Reopened restaurant runs out of food

Staff writer

After months of being closed to remodel, the Wagon Wheel Express restaurant reopened this past week to serve a pack of hungry customers.

Owners Keith and Sherry Hess thought they had bought enough food to last four days after receiving two large shipments days before opening, but they were wrong.

“We ran out of food Thursday, Friday, and again on Saturday,” Sherry Hess said. “It’s been overwhelming, but in a good way.”

The owners had a 4 a.m. wakeup call Monday to received another shipment of food, including hamburger buns, which they have ran out of each day. The restaurant also ran short of meat, vegetables, sides, and other items over the weekend.

Hess estimated that on opening day, the restaurant served 250 people; on Friday, 300; and on Saturday, she was too busy to count, but they did run out of their special, ribs, by 3 p.m.

“On a regular day we serve about 150 people, maybe 200 on a really busy day,” Hess said. “The response has been great, but we expect things will level out soon.”

Hess said she expects the restaurant will be slightly busier than before for lunch because of the closing of Country Lakes Cafe.

“I knew we’d be very busy, but this has been above and beyond,” she said. “We were so busy at points this weekend that we wanted to cry but I was so nice to see everyone again and it feels good that so many people missed having the restaurant in town.”

The hardest obstacle for the restaurant’s staff to overcome has not been the customer stream; it’s learning a new routine. She said customers have been very understanding about some long wait times they’ve experience.

“Before we had everything memorized,” Hess said. “Now we’re having to relearn where things are, and with the improved layout once we get things down it’ll be so much smoother than before, but until then we’re having to stop and look for things and that takes time, but we’ll get there.”

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