In June of this year, the Lowell City Planning Commission approved the site plan for Culver’s. At the beginning of November ground was broken at the location next to Jimmy John’s.
Steve Stephan is the owner-operator of two Culver’s restaurants; one is located in Cascade and the other is on Alpine in Comstock Park. He is also the owner of a third location in Cedar Springs. He has has the Cascade location for 16 years, Comstock Park for 11 years, and Cedar Springs for three years. In 2022 Stephan will add the Lowell location to his list of restaurants he owns and operates.
The Lowell location is aiming for a May 2022 opening, but Stephan indicates this could change as spring nears depending on how global supply chain issues play a role in construction.
Stephan’s initial experience in the restaurant business came from employment at McDonald’s in Alpena while working on a hospitality degree in hotel/restaurant management at Alpena Community College and then Central Michigan University. He eventually decided to leave school in order to pursue a career with McDonald’s at their Regional Corporate Office as a Training Consultant and Area Supervisor. He cites working with six company-owned restaurants in the Grand Rapids area for 18 years as laying the groundwork for his success with Culver’s.
“In 2003, I found a future that matched my values and had a culture of doing business that centered on taking care of guests and team members. Culver’s was it!” he says. “The Lowell community is a great example of the mid-western values and hospitality that mirrors Culver’s and we saw that we could be a great addition to the community,” he adds.
What Sets Culver’s Above the Rest
When asked what sets Culver’s apart from other similar restaurants, Stephan said there are three things – people, food, and commitment to communities.
With Culver’s culture is their people. “We treat each other like family and extend that welcome to our guests.” comments Stephan. Saying “please” and “thank you” aren’t just words; they’re words with meaning. Culver’s mission is “We genuinely care, so every guest who chooses Culver’s leaves happy.” Caring about employees is a big part of creating a team that will in turn care for their guests.
Culver’s serves “high-quality food made with the best ingredients” and even highlights using fresh, never frozen beef. Made-to-order items do not start the cooking process until an order is placed. Frech cod that’s hand-battered once ordered, chicken tenders, Wisconsin cheese curds, and new pretzel bites paired with real Wisconsin cheddar cheese can also be found on the menu. Many also head to Culver’s for their frozen custard. It’s made daily inside each restaurant using family farm-fresh dairy. It’s slow-churned in small batches which gives the custard a silky-smooth texture.
Finally, Culver’s restaurants are committed to the communities they serve by supporting people and causes. They regularly assist with donations and fundraisers and strive to partner with schools and churches.
Preparing for Opening
The Lowell Culver’s will need 55-70 employees to serve its guests. Stephan states this is more than a typical quick-service restaurant. “We pride ourselves in providing excellent service and high-quality food made with the best ingredients. And, we can’t do that without a great team in place,” he comments. He also adds that experience isn’t necessary but that it is a plus and will be compensated.
The location is currently hiring team leaders who will need to be trained in operations as well as the culture of the company. Stephan says Culver’s is a business you can be proud to join. For those who are interested, there is potential to grow and advance quickly. There is even a mentorship program for team members who have a future interest in owning their own Culver’s restaurant. Those interested in seeking employment should email Stephan for more information and start the process.
“I am very excited to be adding a locally owned and operated Culver’s restaurant in the Lowell community,” says Stephan. Look for more information about the opening of the Lowell location in 2022.