KIRKWOOD, Mo. — Restaurants across the country are struggling to find staff, but Hi-Pointe Drive-In continues to sizzle.
When Mike Johnson opened the first Hi-Pointe Drive-In back in 2017 he had one goal.
“The goal was not to go broke with the first one and just survive and not embarrass myself,” said Johnson.
Fast forward four years and Hi-Pointe has three locations, and Johnson believes he’s found a recipe for success.
“We have a special beef,” said Johnson. “We’re not just slapping a frozen burger on there. We did a lot of research and our beef is really a prime cut of brisket, short rib meat and ground chuck. They all do different things for the meat. We really put a lot of thought and energy into the food.”
However, in today’s economy, it takes more to succeed than just a good burger.
It also takes a lot of help, and that’s been a problem across the region including at Hi-Pointe.
“We actually do need a couple of people at this place, so anyone out there listening we could use some people here,” said Johnson. “We have a high pay structure, we offer benefits everywhere and we treat our staff like family. They can come to us for everything and it’s family atmosphere.”
Johnson believes his family-first mentality with his staff is what has allowed the rapid expansion at a time when other restaurants are failing.
“It’s more about giving people in the company opportunity to manage their own place and become partners,” said Johnson. “We have a lot people that have been with us for years that are actually now partners with us and it’s nice to see them find their dreams.”
Hi-Pointe hopes to add locations in Cottleville, MO, and O’Fallon, IL, in the next six months.
“Everything we have is doing great,” said Johnson. “We’re very fortunate.”
The new Kirkwood location is at 951 S. Kirkwood Road.