Often confused as a chain restaurant, locally owned Colorado Grill has kept its doors open to the Valley since 1998 — even after a major fire.
What's the nature of your business?
This is a premium burger restaurant serving fresh — never frozen — meat and also we have other items such as salmon, turkey burgers, chicken and different salads, but we are most known for our premium burgers.
What's the history of your business?
I went to school in Colorado so when my wife and I moved here,this restaurant used to be a "Fatburger." We bought it, changed the name and we were trying to look for a cool name for the restaurant. When people think of Colorado, they think fresh, so that's why we chose Colorado Grill.
What are your biggest rewards?
I enjoy hiring folks who are entry level and help them develop into people who are seeking more rewarding careers in this business. I find great enjoyment taking care of the folks who come in, and serving — what we feel — one of the best burgers in town.
What are your biggest challenges?
Pressure from bigger competitors because they command pricing, government regulations and the bulk of the people thinking chain restaurants have better food. When you're a restaurant of our type, with limited budgets, we cannot reach that level of communication to the customer base that we do serve really good products and provide really good service.
What is your philosophy on customer service?
We strive every day to please every single person who comes through those doors. We open the door because there are customers coming in, and then we close them when they stop coming in. Our customers will tell you we provide superior service for this kind of restaurant.
What's your fondest memory of your business?
When this restaurant burned down the day after Christmas in 2001 because of a kitchen fire, we were shut down for eight months. I told my wife, "Honey, it doesn't look like we're going to get back into this business."
But people were calling us all the time asking us when we were going to open. The Parker family had bought $300 in gift certificates. After the fire, the Parker family said "I bought those gift certificates, and I'm going to spend them at your store when you open."
Owners: Ali Nekumanesh, Hossein Nekumanesh and Justin Hansen
Location: 46 E. Herndon Ave., Fresno; 1207 Willow Ave., Clovis
Phone: (559) 439-2747, (559) 325-3460
Annual sales: $1.2 million
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