If you like down-home cooking and fresh caught catfish, Howell’s Fish House in Yazoo City, MS is the place to go!
Marketing Iceologist, Heidi, caught up with owner Grady Howell in between busy lunch and dinner services for a chat. Grady has been in the restaurant business for 48 years and has a wealth of experience. He has interesting experiences and observations after nearly half a century in the restaurant business.
And from that experience, his advice includes never buy a restaurant ice machine!
The Iceologist: Wow, Grady, you’ve been at this for 48 years!
Grady: Yes. Owning a restaurant is hard work, but I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve been at this location for 13 years and I’m still here 5 days a week, 10-14 hours each day.
The Iceologist: Tell me more about Howell’s. How many people work for you and who’s your typical customer?
Grady: I have about 25 on staff right now. Most of them have been with me 10 years or more.
We’re a unique fish house with all kinds of home-cookin’. We have a big restaurant, 300 seats, and have other businesses in my12,000 square feet building. There are stores in our space and we have room for live concerts, usually gospel music.
We’re a family place and most of my customers are regulars. We have a lot of locals, but we also have regulars who drive 50 miles all the way from the capital (Jackson) for my catfish. We have some regulars that travel as far as 75 miles for my down-home food.
The Iceologist: So you’re a fish house? What’s your speciality?
Grady: We’re a fish house in Mississippi, so locally caught, fresh catfish is a big seller. We serve great steaks too. I only serve the best Angus beef.
The Iceologist: Before Easy Ice, did you own or lease an automatic ice machine?
Grady: We owned and we had a lot of problems. I wish I’d known about Easy Ice sooner!
When we owned the industrial ice maker, we had so many maintenance problems. And repairs were really expensive. The repair guys would take so long to fix something that I was always buying bagged ice.
The Iceologist: How has Easy Ice made your life simpler?
Grady: If people knew about Easy Ice, they’d never buy a commercial ice maker. It doesn’t make sense to buy one! We got a 900 lb (of ice per day) ice machine from you guys. Ice comes in handy in a lot of ways besides just drinks. I don’t usually need all that ice each day, but I like always having extra. You don’t want to run out of ice!
Easy Ice is a great deal. I’ve even referred some folks who’ve become Easy Ice customers.
The Iceologist: Since you decided to go with Easy Ice instead of spending $3000 or more buying an ice machine, what did you do with that extra cash?
Grady: We put it back in the business. Not having to spend that kind of capital on an ice machine helps keep us afloat during hard times. The economy has been tough lately, but really it’s the fast food restaurants that hurt us. Fast food places in general are killing restaurants. People live at such a fast pace these days and don’t take the time for a real, sit-down meal anymore.
Howell’s Fish House
618 Center Park Ln Yazoo, City, MS 662-746-9194
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