Thanksgiving with Kitchen Manager & Daughter Kayla Wells

The Ranch & Table

Podcast Notes

Thanksgiving with Kitchen Manager & Daughter Kayla Wells

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Well, welcome to another podcast at the Wells Ranch Studios. This is our Thanksgiving episode. And today I am so excited to have my daughter Kayla with me on the podcast. And we're going to just sit and chat for a little bit, talk about, you know, what it's like to work together and some of our time together and.

Just some of the dynamics that we share and, and some of that. So I'm looking forward to that. Welcome Kayla. It's good to be here.

Thanks for

having me. Oh, you're welcome. We, we knew it was going to happen at some point since we started. Usually Kayla is the producer. And so she's the one that's usually in charge of running the cameras and sound and all that for the podcast.

And so today. You're in front of the camera. I'm in front. Yeah. A little different. It's a little different on this side, right? Yeah. Well, you always do a great job producing and and Switching and all that stuff But that's probably because you have a lot of experience With cameras and all of that you want to tell people what we used to do before we opened the restaurant

Was it like a year before the restaurant opened or two?

Yeah, we We would run cameras for different events, and we would stream, and we had the whole setup and, you know, a trailer with the whole setup where you controlled the cameras and all that. Yeah. So I ran the camera. For all these services for churches and other events and stuff conferences.

We had a full production company and I built a food food truck.

I did that. I built a TV truck. And we ran a seven camera live set up with fiber based cameras back to the truck. And so we could roll into any event center stadium. just any building at all. And with just a couple of snakes or multi cables, we could connect inside and then we had multiple cameras and all that.

So Kayla ran that with me during the summers when she was in school and special events, we might've gotten you out of school a couple of times to get to some of those events, but she was my main camera operator then. She could be there and then spend some time doing all that. So now she's moved over and helped me do this.

And so I guess my point is Kayla has been part of the business side of, of. Her and her dad for a long time. We've worked together for a lot of years now It's all through high school for sure. And then now that we've got the restaurant you've been there since day one. Yep

Started out there my first job first first and

only job first real job we're You had to go to work and work with people and all that.

So we've, we've got one of the cool things as a dad, you know, I think one of the coolest things is you have good kids. That's awesome. You know, a lot of people have good kids, but then to be able to share time. Just away from the dinner table or away from family vacations or homework time or whatever, but to spend time like in real life together, right?

I think that's one of the coolest

things. Yeah. I'm very thankful to be able to have a relationship with you other than just being your daughter. It's very interesting. I think it was when, I've never told you this actually, but it was when pop up. passed away. And I realized, I was still young. I was only 14 or so.

I was young. I didn't really understand anything yet. But when I, when he passed away, I realized that I, no matter when, no matter what I had going on, I would always Like be with you if you asked me to go do something because I knew that I had wished I had done that more with Papa Mm hmm. Yeah, so I I made the decision to always have a relationship with you and spend time with you.

Yeah,

I love that You know, I don't know if people always get a chance to to get that revelation or that Understanding that young, you know when someone's gone That's it. There's no, I mean, all you can do is wish it's over. And You know, it's, it's over and it's nothing you could do. So we've, we've had a lot of great times going down the road together and we, then you helped me on the ranch before the restaurant opened, helped me work cattle and got to learn some of that.

Yeah. Yeah. I was, I was glad to have the help. But you know how to. You know how to catch cattle and you know how to run a squeeze shoot and you know how to run a hot shot and all that kind of stuff. And a lot of things. Yeah, he gave some shots and some different things. So the time that we get to spend together I think is, is what life is really all about.

The rest of the stuff are just excuses to spend time together. Family vacation, really that's just an excuse to spend time together. You know, and then when you get to work together the way that we have. Has been has been so as a dad. It's been awesome. Yeah, and fulfilling and rewarding and all that but So you've been in the kitchen or some capacity at well since we opened.

Yes So you were in high school when we started so what grade were you in when we

started? I think that would have been The beginning of my sophomore year,

okay. So yeah, sophomore, junior somewhere in there So because he's you were you were driving them, right?

It was before I was driving. Really? I was like 15.

Okay, okay, so started helping out on weekends and some evenings after school and Have been there ever since now you're my kitchen manager and you do You do all kinds of things for the restaurant from. Placing orders to knowing how to make every item in the kitchen. Yeah. I think you can do it all.

Yeah. Well, I have a lot of help too. Well,

sure. You don't have to do it all every day.

Exactly. I'm, I'm very glad I don't have to do

everything every day. Right. But you can. There's nothing, I don't think there's anything in the kitchen you cannot make. Right. That's right. All the desserts. Mm hmm. You know, all the temperatures on all the cook, all the times on all of the baking on the from the from the bacon all the way to the cobblers and and you run the grill some during the week.

Yeah, right. A couple days. A couple days you run the grill. A lot of times you're on the line assembling burgers and then at some other times you're overseeing and expediting and just whatever needs to happen, right? Yep. Just do whatever

needs to be done.

Yeah. I love that. And I'll tell you, I was working with you for.

As many years as we have it's really cool to have the confidence in somebody. And, and I have confidence in the team individually. Right. I do. We have a lot of good guys people that work for us, people that work for us. They're, they're a great team and they all do their jobs well, they all do. And I don't just say that just in case they're listening.

I really do believe we've got a great team, strong. A very strong team. Our kitchen is so small, we have to have good people because you can't have an abundance of people.

Exactly, yeah. There's no one to fall back on other people if they're not great or whatever. You know, you either are or you're not, and we have a good team.

Nowhere to hide back there. Yeah, there's nowhere to hide.

So you either do your job well or you get moved over. Right, right, right. Because you've got to, you've got to produce. Our kitchen's so small. But we push a lot of food out of our kitchen and so everybody kind of has to be experts on everything Yes, because like it what?

times that our Breaks are going on or whatever people have to shift over and do other people's jobs They have to

be able to cover for each other. It's just makes it so much easier, especially being so small and You know, only having so many stations to do, it's really helpful if everyone knows, you know, all the different jobs.

Right,

right. And they all do a great job with that. We were in a restaurant the other day. I don't want to say the name on here, but it was one of those new ones we went to and we went over to the other side of Dallas and we, it was like a fast food chain, but it was kind of new ish and man, there were people, it was like ants.

You remember? I think I do. Yeah, it was like ants back there and it's just all a glass wall. Oh, yes. I remember. You know, now we're talking about it. I remember now. It's a glass wall and you could see into the kitchen and it was, they, they might have, they might have had 50 people in their kitchen. And people are just running everywhere.

And that is not the case in our kitchen. We, we have what, five basic stations, four or five basic stations, including prep in the back. Yes. And you have to be good at your job. And so you have to be able to do all of that. And you do, you do a great job with it. And then you also lead them well being the one that's been back there the longest.

When you train well. When, when I, when I know you're training a new person, I know it's going to be done right because you, you and I agree that those are the ways that things ought to be

done, right? Yeah. It's been so many times. I remember like, it's just been through the years that if I find something that I'm not sure about or.

Whatever I'm I can always come back to you and double check. So that's kind of cool about our, you know Our having this relationship is if I ever have a question I just come home and I talk to you about it and then I go back and we Fix it and it's never really a problem again And then doing that over the years has been able to make me know exactly what you want, right?

You know exactly what we need to be doing

and that's and that's With that longevity. It's it's been been easy to keep that running and then when people new people come in It's just an established process. Now. We already know what we're doing So you can you could do all the desserts you can do all the the different burgers All the sauces, you know how to make all the sauces all the sauces.

Yeah. Yeah So so for those that don't know maybe this is your first podcast. Happy Thanksgiving Yeah, so We have five sauces that we make in house. Yes. I say every day. Some days we don't need to make every sauce every day, but we make five sauces ongoing. Every week. Yeah. In our kitchen, we make sure we have five homemade sauces.

And some of those but all, we've had those for years now and they've not changed, right? The recipe stays the same. It's always the same but the crazy thing is how much more we're making now than when we first started. Yeah, I think I figured it up the other day. I think we're running like a 55 gallon drum of ranch like a month or something.

Probably, that's crazy

though. Yeah, I think it's what it is, like 50 gallons of ranch a month. Is how much ranch and we put all that either on a burger or we put it in a a two or three ounce little cup and then that goes out. So everything goes out in a little cup like that in a 55 gallon drum. Think about that of ranch and that's not counting spicy ketchup.

We're probably pretty close to that spicy ketchup. We do a

lot of that. Yeah. We make it multiple times

a week. Yeah. And then of course, PB sauce, we don't use as much of that because people don't use it as a dipping sauce. Our barbecue sauce, we do quite a bit of that. Yeah, we do not as not that much because it's not necessarily a dipping sauce either, but we make our own barbecue sauce, our own peanut butter sauce the ranch.

And then we do a a red chili sauce. That we make from the red chili peppers. Yeah. And then the other one is the I just went blank.

Me too. So the ranch, the peanut butter sauce, spicy ketchup. Yeah. Barbecue sauce. Barbecue sauce. Those are the main ones. Oh, there's one more?

No, there's more.

There's more. Oh, I can't remember. Ah,

we're on the spot now. I'm there

every day. That's why, yeah. We're on the spot now. The mics are on, the cameras are on. We can't remember what we do every day. But it'll, it'll come to me. Someone's screaming it right now at their computer. I bet. They're screaming it to us.

What'd you say?

You gotta say that one. You can say it. We don't do it much to ourselves. Oh man, I'm gonna have to edit this and start over now cause it's embarrassing that we don't know. We're gonna start again. Ranch, spicy ketchup, barbecue, Southwest sauce, Southwest sauce, the red chili, and then, peanut butter sauce. Did we already say that?

So peanut butter, spicy ketchup, peanut butter sauce, Southwest sauce. And barbecue. And barbecue.

That's it. We got them. That's the five. That's the five. We do those. We really do those every week. Sometimes every other day. Yes. But anyway. And then we have what? Six or seven desserts? So, so let's go through the desserts.

Now that we're on the spot. Yeah. Let's just do it. We got the two keto desserts. Right? Yep. So the cheesecake. Berry cobbler. And the berry cobbler. And then we got the two pies. That's it. Yep. So we got the chocolate and the coconut meringue pies, right? And then we got the peach cobbler with ice cream. We got the brownie with ice cream and the chocolate sheet cake.

Yep, and and that's it. So we have seven desserts that we do all the shakes and then we have the shakes now Yeah, or you can do ice cream by itself. Yeah, so really that's what 11 or 12 desserts if you separate them all out Yeah, and then we have variations of those like the not your grandma style sheet cake, which is warmed up sheet cake ice cream chocolate shell and whip all All on one massive, gigantic, amazing, delicious dessert.

So good. So you have other variations of that. And of course, strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla shakes. So some variety on those as well. And just a plug here. We use It's Fate Creamery ice cream on all of our ice cream and our shakes. Yes. The best. They are simply the best and the ice cream. Oh,

so good. It's there's nothing better than it.

I don't know how they do it Mm hmm. It's just so good.

You know what? They just got back from From Vegas really there. It was like a national ice cream Creamery something. I don't know what the the thing was, but it was Vegas. It was big and it was a nationwide thing I believe I don't think it was international.

I think it was national but I could be wrong They brought home three prizes, three ribbons out of that, out of that big event. And so anyway, amazing. That's, that's who we use and that's, we're happy to have them and they do a great job for us. So we love doing that. Love having, we love having local partners.

Yes. What else? Let's, let's go through that list. We've got local, local ice cream. Yeah. We've got local tea. Yeah. Yeah, sterling tea sterling tea amazing tea, you know, we've won We've won awards for our tea and we've beat out like boba houses and tea shops For our tea cuz sterling tea is just that good.

They made us They made us our peach mango blend and oh my gosh It doesn't even need sugar. I mean, it doesn't even need to be sweet. It's so good. Yes just so quick. It's crisp and clean. Anyway what else do we use? Local we We do the ice cream we do the tea Well, our, our beef is local. It's from, from our ranch.

Our hot dogs are local. They are they come from about a County over from, from where we are in Rockwall there, South of us. So they come off of a ranch direct to us. Our buns are Our gluten free buns are local from unrefined bakery out of Dallas. We've got, we've got several things that we do.

I could stop and think some more. And then

we've done collaborations as well, like short term things throughout the years as well.

Where yeah, where we would bring in somebody's like we first opened we brought in sideways barbecue brisket. Yeah, I need to do this again People have asked for it for years and put it on a burger.

Yeah, remember that I remember you So we was our burger beef bun and then we put their brisket our barbecue sauce Yes, and then they brought us they made us some The pickled onion. Pickled onions. Yes. Wine, like wine, pickled onions and delicious and put those on that burger. Oh my gosh. That was so good.

I need to do that again. I'm sure Josh and those guys will do it for us. I mean, I'm, I'm sure they would. I just have to ask them. And then like we're, we're on a, we've been on a couple of pizzas with Sonata with Kevin at Sonata's. Most recently we were, we did a meatloaf with them. They used our beef for meatloaf.

And and Kevin told me the other day, he said, man, you're, when you're on our pizza, he said, that's like our top selling pizza every, every year or something, but I don't remember exactly what he said, but he said, when Wells beef gets on our menu, it just goes. And they had a great success with their meatloaf too.

So. Yeah, I remember that. It's a lot of fun to be able to work together. Of course in the past we've used The bagel lady. Yes. We used her bagels on our bun for buns Those are delicious. They don't keep very good though. That's that's

a hard Freeze them and stuff and it wasn't we tried to make easiest thing.

Yeah,

cuz bagels they go they go Not stale, well, maybe it's stale. They just get hard quick just because of the way they're made and what they're made of. They get too

dense.

Better fresh. Yes. When first day you put a bagel on a, on a burger from there, it's, it's amazing, delicious, but we couldn't make it last longer.

And it's hard to get back and forth every day. So, oh, and we've done the donut. I

was about to say, I was like, do you remember the donut burger?

Oh, we did the donut burger. That one was good. They get people asking about that all the time. We did for the listeners that don't know, we did a, a.

Collaboration with our donuts shop down in downtown right there and sweet people, good people. They, they came in and had burgers. I tell you this, they came in and had burgers. It's been a couple months ago now. But they came in, loved their burgers and, and I, I said, do you ever want to do that again?

They said, just let us know. We're happy to do it. What we did is we had them design like a, a solid donut at the bottom, like one that you do like a cream filled or something. I think they're called like a Bismarck or something. They're just a solid glaze donut because the bottom needed to be solid to hold that Patty.

Right. Yeah. And then what we did is we put. Do you remember what we

put on it? I know there were green chilies on it. Yes. And was there bacon? Yes. And cheddar cheese?

Yes. You got it. That's what we did. It's simple. It was a real simple burger, but then we regular glazed donut on top and goodness, it was good.

The, the spice of that green chili with the saltiness of the bacon worked really well. Oh, with our beef and then the, the sweetness of the donut, we need to do that again. We need to bring that back, but those are fun things to do. Yes. And it highlights, it highlights other businesses. You know, and that's, this is Thanksgiving, the Thanksgiving podcast.

And so I think that ties in real well with what we're talking about. Just being real thankful for the relationships that we have. We talked about our relationship a little bit at the top of the podcast, but I think that to have the kind of relationships that we have with other businesses in town who say, Hey, we'll work with you.

We're not going to. Feel threatened or feel like you're our competition or something like that. I think that speaks well of our community and the other

business owners. Oh yeah. It makes you feel very thankful to be in the place that we're at in Rockwell because everyone is so kind and so like, they were so welcoming from the beginning too.

So that's true. Very, very thankful

for that. You know, I, I think there's other, there's probably other guys listening to other restaurant owners maybe that will hear this at some point and say, man, that's, that's weird. Y'all, y'all don't. I don't hate your neighbor and you don't from other places. Yeah. You don't hate the other, you don't feel like they're your competition and they're trying to take your customers.

No, not at all. I do not think that. And I have a book coming out as you know, I do, cause you pre read some of it. And I won't ask you on air how much you read or not, but you did read some of it. And one of my chapters in that are sub chapters in that it talks about. I, there's no such thing as competition and I make the point that I, I don't think we should see other restaurants or any business in their other line of business as competition.

I think that we should see them as our neighbors that are doing something similar. That are giving a different product maybe in a different way or with a different type of service or you know Different offerings like like maybe they have a bar and we don't maybe they have TVs on the wall and we don't Maybe they use a different kind of bun and meat than we do, but that doesn't make us enemies, right?

It makes us different And difference

good. We're all serving the same community, you know people and people who eat out Like pretty often, they want options anyways, you know, you don't go to the same place all the time. Not everyone does that, you know, so the more options kind of the better for the community.

Well, they wouldn't eat with us every night if we were the only place there anyway, right? Exactly. They would eat at home or they would go into Dallas or right. They would go to, you know, one or two restaurants in Greenville or whatever, you know, just whatever they would drive out and they would, they'd go find some variety if it wasn't right there.

Right. I've always said that the, the. The best thing that could happen to downtown Rockwall, where we're located, is that every restaurant perform at the very top of their game every day. That's the best thing that can happen for us. It's bad business when there's people that are not doing a good job around you.

And there's maybe restaurants that are just kind of dragging, and they're not performing well. That's bad on the whole, of, of the whole area. Right. I mean, it's like, do you want to go downtown to Rockwell, downtown Rockwell and eat? And they're like some of those restaurants down there just aren't that good.

Right. Versus, you want to go downtown to Rockwell and find, absolutely. Every place down there's a hit. I mean, every place down there's a winner. Right. Well, that's. I think that's what it is, and even if they don't come eat with us, they got to drive by us. Yep. They got to see us. They got to be, if they're all staying out on 30 or going to another town to eat, Right, going down

to Rowlett or, you know, down there.

They're not

seeing us. Right. So it's good for us to have good business around us. It doesn't bother me a bit that we have Ben 303. With Matt right down the street from us, I, I love, I love, I don't get over there very often. We just don't when, when they're open, we're either not in town because it's like a Sunday or whatever, or we're, we're at our place.

And so restaurant owners have a hard time. I've learned this restaurant owners have a hard time eating at other restaurants around them because they're usually tied up at the same general time.

So they're open at the same time.

Yeah. So we're working when we're there and then when we're done, we're like, we're heading to the house, you know, we're not going to go out and have a family dinner at this, at this hour.

So you don't always get around to everybody, but that doesn't mean you don't support them and, and love that they're there, man. I love that those guys are down there doing a great job. Just. Turning out classic Texas deliciousness. I mean, steaks and red fish. And right. I mean, that's, that's amazing. You go up the other way and I've mentioned Kevin and Zanata's and they, they kill it every single day.

They're open. Wonderful menu. I mean, you just go down the list appear one on one man, that they've chef driven place. You know, now that I've started mentioning names, someone's going to get left out, but I could just about name all the restaurants down there. Right. That are, that are around us man, people give us a hard time a lot of times about boots, burgers being over there.

And they're like, man, don't, doesn't that, doesn't, doesn't that like bother you? I'm like, no, that doesn't bother me. No

reason for it to really.

No, it's amazing. Like those guys. Now this is the honest answer. When somebody asked me, what do you think about boots? I'm like, those guys are legends. That's the honest truth.

I say, I've said it a thousand times in five years. We're the new guy. We're the new guy. They are like, they're legends. They have been doing this for, since 67 and they do what they want to do the way they want to do it. And if you like it, come by and if you don't, don't worry about it. And they do their thing.

You know, that doesn't bother me. That doesn't bother me at all. And the fact that it's always down to, it seems like it's always down to like us and them on like. The, the polls on social media, I'm cool with that, man. I mean, I'm, I'm actually honored to be listed among. The fact that

we're even there, like it's not even a competition.

It's the fact that we're given the opportunity to even be listed on something is really crazy.

Right. There's other places that have a burger that are never mentioned. And I don't know why, you know, I don't understand all the dynamics there. Obviously they're doing something well to be open. So I have no animosity or no hard feelings or anything towards anybody.

We're all in the service business. I think at the end of the day, we're all serving customers. We're all offering a product. Hopefully we're proud of if not, maybe we need to reevaluate that, but we're all doing a job trying to serve people who choose us. And that's the bottom line. I think that I'm just real thankful, just real thankful that people choose us when they do when they don't, that's fine.

There's going to be someone else that chooses us, and we're just going to take care of whoever walks in the door the best that we can. But the people around us, the better they do. The better

everyone is, the more draw you'll have for other people, get a good name going, and then it works out for everybody in the same way.

Absolutely. Well I'm thankful that you understand those things too, you know, cause some people would, would fight about you know, those things or argue about those things. But I think you've been around me and we've worked together enough that these ideas are just. Like family ideas.

Well, they make sense.

I think well, I appreciate

that. I Appreciate you agreeing But yeah, we we were real thankful for just whatever has happened. It's been a blessing and We're just thankful to have what we have and to do what we do and have the customers that we have. It's amazing Let me ask you this whenever we talk about some of the things that you've learned and some of the things that you've done in the In the years working together, tell, tell me about some of the leadership of others.

Some of the, some of the things you've learned about leading others and how, how you've developed within yourself. Cause you're still young how you've developed into the leader that you have become.

It took a long time, I think, to do that because I started so young and when I was in high school, I was not very social.

I didn't really talk at all. And then when I started the rest, when we started the restaurant, I started working there. I was able to sort of come out of my shell more. And I think that was like the first step to even understanding everything like around me. I don't know if that makes sense. But

so the more you, the more you came out of your shell, the easier it was to lead. And

yes, so I came out of my shell and you know, that was like the first step because that's what I've really seen being at the restaurant has been the most beneficial is being able to find out who I am and what I'm, you know, how I present myself and all that stuff.

But becoming a leader, a lot of that is because of learning from others like yourself. I have seen how you let everybody, you know, you're my, you lead me, and you lead everyone that works with us, and seeing that example has really given me you know, taught me how to lead myself.

Oh, I appreciate you saying that.

Very nice. You're welcome. I wasn't asking for a compliment, but I'll

take it. You know, it's just the way it is. I mean, I'm glad to have you, and I, you know, I love you, and I'm I'm proud to have you as my dad. I really am. Even though I am your dad, I'm your dad, even though I am your daughter, I, I feel like I'm able to see it from like the outsider's perspective.

And and I'm just, you know, thankful to have an example and, and then be able to, you know, take those things that you do and then take those into the restaurant and lead by, you know, by your example.

Well, I think it's interesting when you talk about kind of looking from the outside in, I feel the same way about.

You and your sister. I, I, I, yeah, I see everybody has kids that, that have kids that, you know, if you've got kids, everybody wants to think the best of them and think that they're great and they're do well and all that. And, and I don't want to say that. Perfect. I mean, no, neither one of us are saying that either one's perfect.

But you can kind of step outside of where that relationship and say, you know what other, other kids are doing this, or maybe kids are getting in trouble, or maybe they're, they're, they're being rebellious right now, or they're doing these things their way or whatever. And, and I can see from the outside as well that I got a lot to be proud of.

In, in both of y'all it's, it's really cool to have that kind of relationship where you can see that about each other. Yeah. So let's let's talk about, let's talk one more thing here before we get to the fun part here. I'm looking forward to rapid fire with you. I'm looking forward to asking you some hard questions, but, at the end of the day, what, what would you say you're most thankful for in, in your, in your life as far as, as far as you've come so far? Like looking back, what, what is, sum that up for us and then I'll try to sum it up and we'll move on. Oh

man. What am I most thankful for in my https: otter. ai

You know, you look back and I, and I'm only 21. So I've only had so many years to, you know, understand things and you know, you can kind of see what led you to like your point and I am just really thankful for my foundation, which was given to me by my parents and it sounds like, I know I keep bringing it back to you, but you and mama, I'm very thankful for you because you've given me like You've given me the things that I need to live with, the things I need for my foundation to then do whatever I want to do with the rest of my life, you know?

So that's like a really big thing to be thankful for because it really It sets the stage for what I will do for the rest of my life.

Well I think that's probably a parent's number one job if we were to stop and think about it. Right, right. Is preparing our, our kids for real life and to to hear that come back.

As an answer is amazing because that's what we have tried to do. We've tried to let you make decisions, let you make mistakes, let you figure some things out. But at the same time, be here to to help you move forward and grow. And so we, we. We love, we love being parents. I think, I think that's the coolest thing when, when Linda and I first had kids and, and started this journey of parenting was we wanted, we waited five years.

We were married five years before we ever had you. And so we, we traveled and we worked hard and we did some things, you know, just playing. But when it was time to have kids, it was time to have be parents. And I, and we have loved every minute, I think I speak for my wife here we've loved every minute of parenting.

And the ups and the downs and the, and the good and the bad and the hard times, I mean, went through COVID together and your, your graduation was actually, you know, we could only take like five people to a huge stadium. I don't understand the logic there to stick, to sit one seat over from somebody and right behind somebody else, but we could only have five anyway.

I'm still bitter. I'm still, I'm still upset by the way all that worked. But we went through a lot of stuff that a lot of generations never did go through. But we were on this side of it. Yep. We made it. Yep. I'm glad

to be over that part of life.

But your graduation was Your last what semester was it your last semester was my

last semester.

Yeah, i've seen your year Yeah, because it was spring break and then right after we never went back after spring break. I'm still on spring break

So it was more than spring break,

yeah It was a whole, it was pretty much a whole semester. Yeah. Yeah. Or at least, yeah, pretty much a whole semester.

Well, that's, we made it through it.

We made it through it. We don't ever have to go through that again. No. God willing. Well, I want to say that I'm thankful for like I started at the top of the podcast. I'm thankful for the relationship that we've been able to build and the things that we've been able to accomplish together because Even though, you know, Lee Wells is the guy that owns Wells and Wells Cattle Company and all that.

That's only in title if I don't have the support of my family, if I don't have the help of, of the family, that's just, it only goes so far until you need to lean on others and make, make it happen together. And so from the beginning, you and my mom and Tina, my aunt, mom, sister you three have.

I've been the core really along with myself that have made this happen. And I think when I look back over the success and the things that we've done you're right there in the middle of, of that success and, and your ability to get up and make it happen in the kitchen every day. I can't be in the kitchen every day.

I can't, I can't be at the restaurant every day. We've got too many cattle to run. We've got too many things going to keep up now, but I don't have to worry about that. Because I know mom or Tina, they're out there, they're out front and that you're in the back and you're, you're making it happen the way it needs to be every day.

And if something does go wrong, I pick up the phone or I text you and say, Hey, got a bad review. Y'all check the temperatures, you know, you check, check your grill. Whatever. And I can, I can know that those things are happening. So I'm very, very thankful. I don't think we would be at this point today if it wasn't for the team, the family core that makes it happen.

And so I'm very thankful for that. Are you ready for rapid fire questions? I think this is one of my favorite parts of the podcast. I hope other people enjoy it as much as I do. You want to, you want to go first question? You want me to go first? You go first question. All right. First question.

What made you decide to open the restaurant?

Okay. So we were selling beef to the public for about a year. And I knew that that was only going to be so successful. I only, we can only go so far with selling beef wholesale. A lot of people sell beef wholesale now either in cuts or some version of their business plan. My first episode of the podcast that we, we aired was with Willie G and he does this for a living and, and so there's, there's a lot of guys doing these kinds of things.

So I knew that for as far as I wanted to go and as much as we wanted to accomplish, I needed to do something more with it and just sell it by the pound. And so I started looking for other avenues to get the, the beef out there. The first avenue I tried was to sell to restaurants and that didn't go over well, which kind of I say this in the book as well, I'm thankful that it didn't now because I don't know that I'd want to compete with myself in other restaurants with our beef.

Or, I don't know if we would have ever had a restaurant, had we start, started selling as much beef

as Yeah, if that was

successful there. Yeah. If we were selling everything we had, I don't know that we would ever try to open a restaurant with it. Right. I had one of the biggest beef companies, one of the biggest protein companies in Dallas Fort Worth.

Contact me and want to carry our beef and they actually even paid for some of our lab testing shelf life testing and things like that themselves and they wanted to do our whole ground beef in in their They wanted to warehouse it and sell it out through their trucks to other chef owned restaurants.

And we worked together for a while. Great guys, good, good people, still good people. Talk to them not too long ago and it just didn't work out. There was some numbers they were looking for, some things we were trying to do. The business end, we could never get it to work just right for both. And timelines, it's just business stuff.

It didn't work out well, again, I'm looking back thinking. I'm thankful for that, but it didn't. Nothing against those guys. They're, they're wonderful folks. But for us, it's turned out well this way. And so that's why, that's how we ended up starting the restaurant was I knew we needed a place to, to really do something more with our beef.

And so, and then we also, yeah, a bigger outlet and then people kept saying, you need to open a restaurant. This would make a great burger. I mean, there was some encouragement from customers as well that, that kind of helped push that concept and idea. So we, we ended up pulling the trigger on it and here we are five plus years later.

It's pretty cool. I'm still loving it. All right. You ready for your first question? Yeah. All right, here we go. I'm gonna start out easy then. Okay, then we're gonna go ramp it up. Oh, great. Okay. All right. So if you could be any superhero, I know you like all the Avengers and all this. I know you've watched all the Star Wars and all those things.

Oh, yeah. People don't know that you're like a little closet nerd. I am a nerd. You love, you love, you read books. Oh, and just so you know, she's got a TikTok. So you got to go find her on TikTok. What's your, what's your user? It's

Kayla's reading.

Kayla's reading. She's on TikTok and she reviews books that she reads and talks about unboxing and collections and all that kind of stuff.

And so you got to go find her on TikTok and go follow her and heart all her stuff. That's what I've been told to do. And so dad tries to do that as well. But so, so question is what superhero would you be if you could just be one?

I was thinking about Marvel, but then you brought up Star Wars. Yeah. I didn't even think of them as superheroes. Well, of course

they are. I mean. Yeah. I mean, Luke Skywalker is a

superhero. Yeah. I'm going to go with, I don't know, the Black Widow is pretty cool. Yeah. Yeah. She's like a fighter. Oh yeah. I would.

Yeah. She could, she could handle herself. Oh yeah. I'd do that.

You have to look good in those body suits. I don't know about that. I don't know about the body suit.

I don't

know, but all right. So what you got for a second question?

This one's more serious. You do so much, you know, people. I don't know if everyone knows how much you do, but I get to see it and I'm very, you know, it's cool to be able to see the side of you that people don't see, you know?

So my question is what drives you to do all that you do?

So when you say I do a lot, you're talking about like I eat a lot or no,

that's not what you mean? Not, not at this moment. No. Okay. So,

so you're talking about just the business?

Like, I guess, how do you, I don't know, kind of a broad question, like what drives you to.

Yeah. People don't just make businesses all the time. Oh yeah. You know what I mean? Like you have a, you know.

I would call myself a serial entrepreneur for one. I love the process of. launching a business. I love that challenge. I love the the effort that it takes. I love the doing the jobs that it takes to start a business.

One of these days I've got the one book coming out now. I may I've got a couple concepts for 2nd 3rd books coming out and one of them I'm working on in my mind is I haven't told anybody about But kind of the steps you take to launch something from nothing. I made a post on Facebook today and talked about using your resources correctly.

And it's a, it's a picture, it's a cartoon of someone that stacked a bunch of ladders on themselves, like flat. And they're barely reaching the top of the wall looking over. And that in one ladder would have been enough to get over that wall, but they didn't understand how to use their resources. And so I want to maybe write a book about how helping people who have an idea, make it into it.

I've, I've started eight businesses now, eight companies. And so. And that's not counting like the podcast or the book. I'm not counting that. I'm just saying eight, eight like companies. And so I enjoy the process. But what drives me is I believe that God gifts people with abilities as he sees fit.

And I'm driven by the idea that there's a scripture that says of much for who You Much is given, much is required. And so I believe that God has given me abilities to do certain things and help certain people. And that's what drives me every day is I've got people that depend on me for payroll, people who depend on me for their life, their livelihood.

My family depends on me for a roof over their head and protection and, and and finances various things. And that drives me, that, that drives me every day to get up. And there's some people who have to be driven. And then there's some people who are self driven. I don't need anybody to call me in the morning and say, it's time to get up.

I'm going to get up. I'm going to set my own hours, my own, my own alarm. I'm going to, I'm going to accomplish what I need to accomplish that day. And that drive, I think comes from just the responsibility of all the people who depend on me. And I love doing that. That's not a burden. It's not something that someone needs to feel sorry for me about.

I'm just a driven person and I love to accomplish things and help other people. And so like this book coming out, I've, I hope with all of my heart that it helps people do better in business and are more profitable in business and can take better care of their families. Work better in their communities if I could see that come back as a result.

I would be so happy. Yeah It's not about money. I don't I'm not trying to make an extra thousand dollars I would love for that book to go out and just be a blessing to people like turn a light bulb on in their brain and say oh I could try that or Man, why hadn't I done that? Man, that's really working for him, let me try it for me.

And if that was the case, that would be reward enough. So I'm driven by that. I'm driven by just trying to help people. I know that may sound silly, but That's what gets me up in the morning.

Interesting.

I like it. You ready for your second question? Yes. Now this is a hard one.

I'm not ready then. This is a hard

one.

What is the best memory growing up? When you think about your childhood best

memory. Memories. There's so many memories. Well, that's what makes it hard. I know. It's so many memories. And then each person, like you have memories with each people, like each person in your life. I talked about him earlier.

I don't know. No. I

mean, I guess I could say going to Disney World is not the best, but it's really up there. Oh yeah. I want to go back. Yeah. But you know.

Hey, Disney, Disney is a big deal. We've been,

I want to see the Star Wars. One. Oh, okay. Like at Disney, yeah. Yeah.

How many times have we been to Disney? Three times?

Two times.

Two? I thought. Two, right? Yeah,

two. Two times. Been to Disney twice. Disney World. Mm hmm. Twice, yeah. And and they were both, both fun. Y'all were different ages. It was, it was fun. Mm hmm. We enjoyed it. Okay, that's a good one. What you got for me?

Okay, this one's the most important question. I think anyone will ever ask you.

Okay, I'm ready. And it is which daughter is

your favorite? Oh my here we go Which daughter is my favorite? So

here's here's the here's the honest here's the honest answer You are both two of my favorite human beings on the planet. I can honestly say that I love my wife. She is Means the world to me my mother. I have dear friends outside of that circle of close family but but you and your sister are two of my very favorite human beings and the in the reason is because you are You contain the best of both of us.

And so my Linda, your mama, my wife the best, I think, I think y'all embody the best of both of us. You're smart. You're smarter than both of us somehow. I mean, smarter than me for sure. Beautiful well rounded, just balanced, balanced people. And so, and I love to spend time with you. So there's no answer to that.

There's, you know, there's no answer to that. There's no way, there's no way that the one is more than the other. People come into the restaurant and they say, what's your favorite burger? And I'm like, dude, that's not a fair question. It's like asking what's your favorite kid. So I'm

compared to a burger.

Okay. Yeah.

So when I'm not comparing you to a burger I'm, I'm giving the illustration that people ask all the time, what's your favorite and I'm like. How do you pick your favorite kid? You can't. And then I have some say, yes, I can, but no, they're not, they don't mean it. I don't hope they don't mean it anyway.

But yeah, you're both as, as a, as a honest answer. You're both equally a pain in my rear. No, you're both equally beautiful people. And I, there's no way to pick, there's no, you both have individual, interesting personalities and differences and traits and talents and, and, and ways about going about life that when you have kids someday, you'll understand that there's no one over another.

It's just like, if we could have had two more kids or if we'd had another kid, it would just be split between three. Love never divides. It always multiplies. So. That's the answer. All right. You ready for this? Now, this one's, this is, this is number three, right?

Yes. This is number three. All right.

You ready?

Yes. If you could have one wish and it come true right now, and the wish cannot be for multiple other wishes. Okay. That's, that's, that doesn't work. So if you could have one wish right now and it come true, what would it be?

Do you have any idea what I'm going to say? Really? I have no idea what you're going to say. One wish that I would be able to go back and see Elvis live. Oh, okay. Did you think I would say that? I have

no idea what you're going

to say. That's no idea. That's exactly what I thought. The first thing I thought I would go back in time.

To like the 70s and I would just have a great day and I'd see Elvis live. Yeah. Yeah. I'm an Elvis fan Oh,

yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh i'm gonna say this and we gotta I guess we have to wrap up here at some point cause I could sit and talk to you all day, obviously we sit and talk all the time, but for, for the folks that are listening, if they're still with us the the thing you don't know about Kayla until just now is she, you know, people call people old soul, like an old soul.

And that means that they just are older, maybe older, wiser than their years, or they are a person out of their time. And Kayla Wells is a, is a young lady removed out of her. Time. She should have been a 60s, 70s person. And what I mean by that is all the music she listens to, her dad can't stand. Love oldies.

All the 60s and 70s music is bleh. Whatever. And she loves it. All the the mamas and papas and tell me some more. What

are the carpenters? I like all of them the 80s. Yeah 70s

We used to fight in the car about no more kayla music Because we get dad dad never has really been a fan of the 60s and 70s.

I don't hate it It's the craziest thing. I don't like talking about a hammer I don't like the music. I don't like the sound of a lot now. Now 70s like funk. I like, I mean, I can get down with some, you know, like disco. I like some of the bass. Yeah. I like all that. But the, the smoother, like, like folk, slower folk stuff.

It's not for me. I just, everyone has their choices in life and that's one that I don't like, but it's funny. And that's what you listen to. And that's what you love. And just this what two, two months ago, three months ago, you got to take a trip to

Graceland. To Graceland. That was the best day. I'm the best little weekend or whatever.

Yeah. So fun. And you got to do all the tours. Oh yeah. Oh, I splurged on that. Yeah. I was like. I'm going to go and it's going to be, I'm going to make the best of it. So you did like the VIP tour? Oh, and the cool thing is, is that we were, it was me and my grandma Jude. She went with me to Graceland and it was just me and her on the tour.

And we did like the one based on the Elvis movie. But it was like an actual person, you know, it wasn't a, you know, on a tablet or whatever. So you had a tour guide? It was a guided tour, yes. And he, we got on the tour bus, just me, Mamou, and him. And he was like, I don't know what you prayed, but this never happens.

And it's never just two people. And I don't know how this happened, but you, it's just you two today for the tour. And we got the, we had the best time. You could ask him anything. Oh yeah. And the way I am, I don't normally ask a lot of questions in like big groups. I'm not that great in a giant group, but because it was one on one sort of.

I just, we had the best time and had a bunch of conversations throughout the whole tour. Isn't that cool? It was so fun. And then we saw the museums afterwards and he let us come back for like another day and like sign the back of the ticket. And we got to go through the whole, like, Graceland tour, cause it's so much more than just his house.

Yeah. It's very, it's a very fun

time. Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. Well, that's, that's my very mature 21 year old that loves Elvis and, and all his music. Now, now Elvis music, I don't mind that near as much as some of the old folk stuff. Right. That's a little different. Yeah. So anyway, well, thank you for. Coming on and, and doing this Thanksgiving podcast with me.

And I appreciate all the work you do behind the scenes, making it work. And thank you to Linda today, my wife for producing. If there's any mistakes, no, no, she didn't, she didn't make any mistakes. She never does. She's never wrong. But anyway she wants to say something. She's rolling her eyes right now.

She wants to say something so bad right now, but she doesn't have a microphone. And this is such a power position for me right now. I'm going to pay for it later. But anyway. Thanks for doing it. Thanks for the conversation. Thanks for being my girl. Yeah. Thanks for being one of my favorite daughters.

Aw. And all right, this is this is Lee Wells on the Ranchin Table podcast, and thank you for being with us today, and as we sign off, we always say, adios, farewell, good luck. Can't read my writing. Bye bye. Bye. Bye.

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