Model for Small Business Success

Four Kings Sandwich


Following a Model for Small Business Success

For nearly four years now, I have watched one restaurant after another fail in a strip center near me. I seriously began to think that it simply wasn’t possible for anyone to succeed there and that maybe it just wasn’t the right location for that type of business.

But then…

In September of 2011, a little place called Four Kings moved in.

The time has come for the common men and women to eat like royalty. We are proud to offer you unique sandwiches made with our very own breads which we make and bake fresh daily. We have fresh salads and dressings along with generous bowls of soup that are made in house with our very own recipes. Try our English Toffee and our variety of homemade baked sweets that promise to keep that sweet tooth satisfied!”

Not only has this little place survived, it is thriving!

While sitting there eating one of the best Magic Bars I have ever tasted, I began to wonder. What is it that makes this place so special? What is it that makes it so good that they are receiving top reviews and everyone is talking about them, including the local news station and UrbanSpoon?

Working through my thoughts I realized it is the very same things that we can use to make our online businesses shoot through the roof with success – the same business model that seems to make Four Kings so different from the others.

The Extra Touches That Make the Difference

You have to find a way to be different than anything else people can find.

Positive Interaction in Your Community

The folks over at Four Kings have reached out to the community around them right down to being a part of the fund raiser for our local dog park here in Universal City. The community has reached back. Why? Because community still matters to people. No matter what business you own, sincerely getting involved in your local community makes a difference. Try it!

Be Ready To Deal with the Challenges

I remember a week when a belt broke for the big mixer they use to help make their bread. Did they close down or stop selling sandwiches for the week? Nope, they worked their tails off making bread in small batches in two 6 qt kitchen aids.

How does this compare to your online business? What happens when you face challenges with your hosting company? Are you prepared and ready to move to another hosting company if needed? Or, do you just give up and blame the hosting company for why you are out of business?

It’s Way More Than the Product You Sell

It truly isn’t the fact that the cheesecake makes you feel like you died and went to heaven or that the sandwiches make you drool down your chin. It is so much more than that. It’s the way Four Kings makes you FEEL when you are there from the very moment you walk through the door. They make you feel like family.

How can we do this as online business owners?

INTERACT with your customers and potential clients on a daily basis. Don’t be afraid to get more personal on your blogs or Facebook page. Include every possible sense in these discussions. Four Kings post taste tantalizing images on their page that drag me back over and over again and let people know the special of the day.

YOU Are Your Biggest Asset!

In the end, what makes Four Kings different than anyone I have seen in similar businesses is the special folks running this place.

This is the one thing you have full control of.

Be the difference people crave.


Just my 2 cents as always….

J. Cricket Walker of

  1. CricketCricket04-16-2012

    Interacting in your local community can also mean getting involved with online communities that share a common interest. It all comes down to getting INVOLVED!

  2. CarolineCaroline04-16-2012

    I’m fortunate enough to call Sandra a friend, and although I’ve not yet had the privilege of visiting Four Kings, I can safely say that everything she does is with insane amounts of love. I wish my dear friend and everyone else at Four Kings every success because they so thoroughly deserve it. 🙂

    • CricketCricket04-16-2012

      That insane amount of love is exactly what makes the Four Kings so special!

  3. That’s certainly a motivating post, Cricket! It sounds like Four Kings understands the concept of putting the customer first, and reading about them has made me add a couple of items to my own website’s ‘to do’ list!

    However, that photo of the sub is making me VERY hungry, so I’m not sticking around here any longer!

    • CricketCricket04-16-2012

      You’re lucky I didn’t post picture of her cheesecake! OMG, pure heaven!

  4. Jillian ParkerJillian Parker04-16-2012

    The owners of Four Kings are my parents! They take huge pride in what they do and do it with lots of love. They are living out there dream! I am very proud of them. It goes to show when you put your heart and soul into something you can do it! I am the most proudest daughter on the planet! “if you build it they will come” is what I recall telling them when mom said she wanted to open a place. I am almost 1500 miles away and do not get to enjoy the food but I do lust for it over Facebook! I am glad you are near and get to enjoy it! Eat some for me!! I am counting down the days until I can eat my little piece of even! Oh yeah and to see my momma and dad!

  5. cj jeffersoncj jefferson04-18-2012

    What an inspiring post.

    Jillian, your parents are braver than I am! As Cricket hints at in her opening paragraph, making a successful restaurant is really hard – it’s great things are working out so well. And Cricket, you shouldn’t post images like that one, it’s making me hungry just looking at it, and I’m trying to lose a few pounds for summer!

    • CricketCricket04-18-2012

      Ha! Four Kings is a 2 minute walk from me. They constantly have me craving stuff! LOL

  6. DerekDerek04-19-2012

    I found this blog post through my google alert for “Cheesecake”

    Back in highschool i worked at a Italian Resturant. This wasn’t a huge place to eat at but a small place with the touch of Italy inside of it. Just makes you feel like you are in Italy and the food is so good. I got to eat for free since i was a employee at the time.

    Small place but big shot business owners in the neighboring towns came there for lunch and sometimes dinner besides the local mayor and his crew. They didn’t do much advertising but word of mouth was our advertising. Good food, excellent waitress’s and waiters made the place feel like you was eating dinner at home.

    Funny thing is that the place is accross the street from a grammar school so i think the kids told there parents about the free ice cream they got once and awhile. My old boss used to give out ice cream bars to the kids playing outside once and awhile. Through the economy that tanked this business is still doing great and once and awhile i stop by to visit my old boss who treat me very good. The employees is what makes the business grow. It’s not always about spending money on advertising. Like online websites, word of mouth is the strongest advertising you can do.

  7. Manish PandeyManish Pandey04-28-2012

    YOU are your biggest asset!

    Couldn’t agree more on that. Great post Cricket. 🙂

  8. Shellie GardnerShellie Gardner05-04-2012

    I know that I try to support my local businesses whenever possible and it sounds like Four Kings may be a reason to road trip soon in the pursuit of a wonderful sandwich and stallar cheesecake!

    I think that the restaurant’s investment in their community really has to make an impact on folk’s decisions regarding where they are going to grab a sandwich. I also really appreciate homemade goodness – the attention the owners are giving to quality is another huge thing that would draw me back time after time.

    Thanks for your post and it’s reminders about some of the things we can forget – especially when we are doing our business online. The trick is to translate it to the intangible.

    For instance, how do we give show the quality of our products when we don’t have the aroma of freshly baked bread working to our advantage? Some things that come to mind are good quality photos, enticing text, superior customer service…..

    You’re already making me add some items to my perpetual list of things to do!! Thanks for the post!

  9. WeaverWeaver06-15-2012

    Thanks for a good story – this is sooo aplicable to any type of website business, too. We sometimes tend to forget that if you are not really taking care about users, you are actually not taking care of your business.

  10. MariaMaria10-15-2012

    A heart-warming and insightful look at the example of an eatery that succeeds where others had failed. It’s interesting, the amount of lessons that can be gained from this small business that can also be applied to Internet or online businesses, whether in web design or marketing or customer relations, etc. One interesting point is that interaction with the community makes a huge difference. I agree it has some advantages including raising the company profile, improving goodwill or sentiment toward the business, as well as the personal, family touch that makes you feel like coming back as a “repeat customer”. The number and type of responses really emphasizes this. The first tip actually sums it up, that it’s the extra touches that make the difference. Though, I’m not sure how many businesses that only care about the bottom line would make the effort “to be different than anything else people can find”.

    • CricketCricket10-16-2012

      It’s caring about far more than that bottom line that makes all the difference in the world….

  11. One interesting point is that interaction with the community makes a huge difference. I agree it has some advantages including raising the company profile, improving goodwill or sentiment toward the business, as well as the personal, family touch that makes you feel like coming back as a “repeat customer”. The number and type of responses really emphasizes this.

  12. CricketCricket06-15-2014

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