Ted's Café excels with great service, food

By Jim Killackey Modified: July 9, 2010 at 4:20 pm •  Published: March 5, 2009
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Long lines start forming late Saturday afternoons at 801 E Danforth and then again immediately after Edmond churches let out on Sunday mornings.

In-line customers — "guests," as they are gratefully termed by management — aren't complaining at all, though, because they know and smell exactly what's in store for them after a relatively short wait: A great meal and excellent service at a restaurant known by a single word — Ted's.

Actually, it's Ted's Café Escondido, one of several Mexican restaurants by the same name in the Oklahoma City area and elsewhere.

The founder of these landmarks is Ted Curtis of Oklahoma City, who opened the original Mexican eatery at 2836 NW 36 in Oklahoma City.

It was built back from May Avenue, so the Café Escondido means "Hidden Cafe."

In these tough economic times, Ted's is holding its own, said restaurant President Rick Tate.

The reasons?

Great food and, according to Tate, knowing that Ted's represents "a service industry" of excellence.

"We focus on our guests. We want our guests to feel special and we'll do whatever it takes to make them feel that way," Tate noted.

Tate said a personal goal is to recognize or know by name as many of Ted's guests as possible.

Restaurant employees know the challenge of running a popular, high-class restaurant. "We run a high-wire act with perseverance," he noted.

"We know our guests have high expectations, and we strive to have to have a great operation and be consistently good," Tate said. "We strive to be prompt, hospitable, courteous and humble."

Tate said the Edmond restaurant has what he calls "positively outrageous service."

For example?

The time from when an order is taken until food is brought to the guests' table — 10 to 12 minutes maximum. Drinks are brought to tables within two minutes.

Guests' lines leading to the restaurant's tables are diminished as quickly as possible.

"We promptly take care of every guest who comes into our restaurant and wants a great dining experience. Our guests are everything to us, and we have stringent steps for great service," Tate said.

Many of the several dozen servers are students at the University of Central Oklahoma. Ted's has a paid training program of a week before employees start work at the restaurant.

"We want our employees to be knowledgeable, confident and successful, Tate stressed. "We want them to part of something great, and where they can make a difference. We want them proud of where they work."

Ted's food is one area when accolades are regularly won, and guests significantly enjoy their food and service.

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