Students learn about barbecue business

Published 10:15 am Friday, March 4, 2016

By Julie Mackie

The Clemmons Courier

“One day I want to own my own business.”

It’s a familiar refrain among students, especially when they are quizzed on career plans. But as any entrepreneur will tell you, there is a wide range of things to consider before starting your own company. In fact, knowing the facts beforehand is often the difference between owing a business and owning a successful business.

Last week, a group of eighth-grade students at Meadowlark Middle School were the fortunate recipients of firsthand knowledge from a successful business leader in Clemmons, On a class field trip, they found that there is much more to the operation of Little Richard’s BBQ restaurant than just producing great meals.

Restaurant owner, Nick Karagiorgis guided the students through a comprehensive lecture and discussion about all of the elements that are involved in day-to-day operations. “We have been here a long time,” he explained to the group, seated in restaurant booths. “I credit our longevity to providing customers with good food and a good value for their money. We also have a nice clean place to eat and our staff works very hard to give everyone the best possible service.”

Students, a bit standoffish at first, soon became engaged in the certainty and passion of Karagiorgis’ informative message. They responded with an array of questions, ranging from “how much money does it take to start a business?” to “how do you deal with competition?”

Without hesitation, Karagiorgis answered each query in succinct fashion, making sure to use terms and analogies that would resonate with his audience. The students were impressed. “I learned that owning your own business is a difficult process,” explained Carmeron Hamrick after the session. “But it’s definitely well worth it.”

Fellow student Natalie Feldman said that she got a sense of just how much time it takes to operate your own business and added “that you have to make sure to surround yourself with good employees.”

Kaye Patterson, a teacher at Meadowlark Middle and one of the FBLA sponsors, said the visit to the restaurant came about after she learned that the father and uncle of Stavros Karagiorgis, one of her students, were partners in Little Richards. She then asked if they would be willing to address her group. Patterson, along with Debbie Guenther and Adam Doss, has over 100 students in the school’s seventh and eighth grade FBLA clubs. The entrepreneur classes have been studying different types of businesses, such as corporations, sole proprietorships and partnerships.