By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Huddle House owners give back to workers
MR HuddleHouse
Ludowici and Jesup Huddle House employees stand in front of their bosses, Randy and Debbie Wilson. - photo by Photo provided.
Randy and Debbie Wilson aren’t your average restaurant owners. But then again, their Huddle House restaurants in Jesup and Ludowici aren't your average eateries.
In 2004, Huddle House Corporation selected the Jesup restaurant as the best in the nation. In 2003 and 2005, the restaurant ranked number two in the nation, and number one in Georgia.  
The Ludowici restaurant was first in Georgia and number three in the nation in 2006, and, in 2007, it was once again ranked the best in the state and runner-up on the national level.
That’s not bad when you take into account Georgia has the most Huddle House restaurants in the country — 450 across the nation. This shows these two businesses are setting a fairly high and consistent standard.
The Ludowici Huddle House was opened in 1993 and the Jesup in 2002.
“We wanted to open a restaurant (in Ludowici) which was open in the evenings so people would have a place to go after ball games and events at night, but we knew we needed a franchise to pull people off the highway (Highway 84),” Randy Wilson said.
According to the Wilsons, they did research and decided to open a Huddle House, and the rest is history.
Debbie Wilson said the awards are very hard to win, and gives credit to good employees.
“The evaluation sheet has 100 areas judged, covering just about anything you can imagine,” she said.
Service was key, and to the Wilsons their restaurants go the extra mile to give good service to their customers.
“We have customers who our employees see coming and start cooking their breakfast before they get out of their cars,” Randy Wilson said, “Some of our customers can hardly get out of their cars, and one of our people will go out and help them in.”
He also said, “We’ve even taken meals over to some of our regular customers who aren’t able to physically get up, if they are sick or something.”
Furthermore, the employees check on some of the older customers if they don’t show up to ensure they are okay.
The Wilsons know they have good employees and, according to both of them, none is better than longtime manager Deborah Harter.
“Deborah has been with us since we opened and oversees both restaurants. She is wonderful,” Debbie Wilson said.
The Wilsons also recognized several other employees, but nothing epitomizes how they feel about their employees better than how they reward them.
“We have great employees, and we try to take as many of them with us to the awards banquet, which corporation hosts,” Randy Wilson said.
The 2007 award banquet took place in the Bahamas, and the Wilsons took seven employees with them to accept their award.
Since 2003, the Wilsons’ two restaurants have won $55,000 based on their performances and the money was given back to the employees.
“We appreciate the hard work of the employees, and this is the way we can show them how much we do appreciate them,” Randy Wilson said, “We also appreciate all of our customers. They are what it is all about.”
Sign up for our e-newsletters