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My first question for Shawn Broaddus was, of course, how did you get started in this business? I was expecting to hear about a dream that stemmed from his first hamburger, a story telling me all about how he knew he was destined for this life. Instead, I got an answer that was quite genuine and just as interesting.
“I signed the lease before I knew what I was going to sell.”
He knew he wanted to own his own business, that was sure. He dabbled with the ideas of selling fried chicken or plate lunches, but the big “Aha!” moment came when he heard burgers behind his last name- Broaddus Burgers. And thus, a star was born.
To Shawn, the best part of owning his own business is simple- freedom.
“It’s really a lot of stress, but I enjoy having it all on my shoulders. Everything I put in, I get a return on… The harder I try, the better it does…it’s cool to work like that.”
Entrepreneurship is definitely not a lifestyle for the weak (or easily tired). For Shawn, he seems to be doing a great job.
Something else you might notice about Broaddus Burgers is their extremely loyal, almost cult-like following. Even if you haven’t tried a Broaddus Burger (what are you waiting for?), you’ve probably heard of them. You may have even seen Shawn’s “Lunch with the owner” videos. How did this happen? “I won’t say that it wasn’t on purpose that it all happened this way.” Shawn was inspired by the cult following that the In-n-Out burger chain has developed and sought to create something similar in his home town. How does he do it?
“Giving people stuff that they want and letting their feedback become a real thing.”
By connecting with his customers, he can give everyone an experience that feels welcoming and personal, and they keep coming back for more.
Where does Shawn see Broaddus Burgers in 10 years? Off I-10, hopefully. He envisions the Bass Pro Shop of burger restaurants. A place not just to grab a bite to eat, but a full-on experience that would draw people into Lafayette. To him, it would be a “must-see Louisiana attraction”.
Broaddus Burgers will be opening its new location at 610 E. Kaliste Saloom Road January 2018. We know what our new year’s resolution will be. (To eat more burgers, of course.)