Hard work, home cooking and a whole lot of heart

By KRISTINA HU

MILTON, Ga. — Every morning, hours before opening, chefs at ‘Cue Barbecue are hard at work kneading raw dough, preparing fresh vegetables and hickory smoking a variety of meats.

‘Cue Barbecue opens every day promptly at 11 a.m., inviting customers in with a homey environment, and alluring smells of smoked pork and fresh, homemade bread.

Just over six years ago, co-owner Paul Doster opened the first location of ‘Cue Barbecue in Milton, Georgia, and it’s been a hit ever since with its slogan of “homemade everything ya’ll!”

‘Cue’s success is largely due to the dedication and hard work of its employees.

“The main reason ‘Cue is successful is because we like what we do here,” said Doster.

“The staff has been with us for a long time for the most part, and we think of them as family. The staff knows that they work with me and not for me. I also believe that we put out some pretty good food, and I know we have a great staff who enjoy being at work.”

‘Cue’s slogan of “homemade everything ya’ll!” is very apparent in the quality of food it provides for its customers. From freshly baked bread every morning to homemade barbecue sauces, ‘Cue takes Southern hospitality to new standards.
Manager Cory Cain said, “I like the fact we make nearly everything from scratch that we put on your table. We have a really small freezer; we don’t buy a lot of frozen goods, which is something to be proud of. We start early and end late making our own food — even sauces, even dressings. I think that’s a really awesome thing that restaurants aren’t doing. I take a lot of pride putting homemade food on the table.”

In the past two years ‘Cue has almost doubled in size, from the original 2,100 square feet footprint of the restaurant to its current 3,600 square feet; as well as opened two other franchise locations, said Doster. The origins of barbecue started for Doster as a young boy, when he fell in love with the woodsy, smoky smell of several barbecue places he and his father would visit near Macon, Georgia.

‘Cue’s award-winning food for “best bar-b-que” by readers of the Answer Book 2012 is not the only aspect of the restaurant that regularly brings people back.

“The regulars enjoy the staff and the conversation almost as much as the food. It’s important to have a staff that enjoys meeting new people and are not afraid to get out there and get to know our customers,” said Doster.

“You meet all kinds of people in this business from sports celebrities, to government types to popular musicians to television stars … Luckily they all like good barbecue,” he said.

‘Cue’s menu utilizes locally grown fruits and vegetables to enhance the customer’s choices of sides and desserts with a “seasonal veggie” option, as well as a seasonal fruit cobbler — adding more variety to the menu.

Doster said to keep things fresh he likes to “add some new and interesting side specials or to change the way the full rack platter is served,” but all in all, he is happy with the concept and operation of ‘Cue Barbecue.

Manager Cory Cain demonstrates the fun, lighthearted environment at ‘Cue Barbecue while preparing to open for business for the day. Photo by Kristina Hu.
Manager Cory Cain demonstrates the fun, lighthearted environment at ‘Cue Barbecue while preparing to open for business for the day. Photo by Kristina Hu.

Cain said, “I think that keeping everybody happy and positive is of utmost importance, and I think it’s something that all the managers here do a good job of. We do like to have fun.”

The lighthearted environment of ‘Cue adds to the comfortable and friendly dining experience where the only goal is “to serve the best barbecue we know how to make and have it served by the sweetest, nicest people we can find and to make everybody have a great time,” said Doster.

Both Doster and Cain foresee real growth in the future of ‘Cue, with hopes to open store number four in the next couple of years.

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