We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Gary Harris Jr. a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Gary thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. So let’s jump to your mission – what’s the backstory behind how you developed the mission that drives your brand?
410 BBQ was created to bring great BBQ food for people to enjoy. Far to often I would go to different BBQ restaurants and the food was just not good. I would say to myself “My BBQ is better.” So after many years working in the restaurant industry, 24 years at one of the most famous restaurant in the industry “The Cheesecake Factory” and becoming an Executive Chef I decided to open my own BBQ food truck.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
Well my name is Gary Harris Jr but everyone calls me GH. I started working when I was 16 years old in the fast food industry. At 18 years old I graduated from Edmondson High school. I went to college for a few years and decided college was not for me. I had a great passion for cooking. So I drop out of college and started going and graduated from the Baltimore International Culinary School. I found my true “calling”. My personal short term goal was to become an Executive Chef. Accomplished. Long term goal was to operate and own my business. I’ve been working hard to accomplish owning my own food truck for many years. In 2020, I decided to take a leap of faith. I opened, own and operate 410 BBQ food truck. I take pride in always preparing quality food and giving quality service. I value my customers for they are important part of my success. I appreciated each and everyone. I have been featured on WMAR station food segment for small businesses.
You can follow me at various locations weekly on social networking sites. I also do catering.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
In 2002, I started my journey to become an Executive Chef for my company. I was working my way up in management. My goal was to one day be running my own kitchen as Executive Chef. It was a difficult struggle but I worked steadfast to prove I was deserving of the managerial position of Executive Chef. The time came when I thought I was the next person in line to be promoted to Executive Chef. But I was passed over. I was devastated and disappointed. I had thoughts about quitting and searching for a new job. After a few days I realized in the company eyesight I was not ready. I was not willing to give up on my passion to become an Executive Chef for the company. So I dusted myself off. I asked the company what were their expectations for becoming an Executive Chef. So I had to change the way I work and did things. I worked even harder to prove my qualifications to be an Executive Chef. I made it a point that the next time a opening for that position came up, I will be “hands down” the obvious choice. One year later I got promoted to Executive Chef.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
Great food and great service. A pleasant personality goes a long way. We have respect for all our customers. High quality in everything we make and do. I make all my spices. The BBQ sauces are made from scratch. Nothing is store brought. My customers can tell the hard work I put into delivering great BBQ. Always stay consistent with your recipes. Never cut corners. If a customer stop by every few months or every week, the food must taste the same. Customers expect the same food quality every time. That’s the reason why they come back. So don’t give them any reason not to come back.
- Website: 410bbq.com
- Instagram: @410bbq
- Facebook: @410bbq
- Twitter: @410bbq
- Yelp: 410 bbq
- Other: firstname.lastname@example.org