Snack bar owner Jack quits after 37 years

Snack bar owner Jack from Geldrop quits
Photo credit: Studio040

After more than 37 years, Jack Willems is quitting his snack bar. The business in shopping centre De Coevering in Geldrop will be taken over by a fellow french-fry shop owner. The problems of no successor and the lack of sufficient staff started to bother the 59-year-old from Geldrop. “It’s been nice”.

A few days before his official farewell, Jack talks about how he once started. “I was about fifteen years old when I came to work here. I did that for about fifteen years. Then I left for a while, but at some point the old owner asked if I wanted to come back. And together with an associate I took over the business a year later”.

An excellent choice, says Jack, because neither of them had had much schooling. “At first the snack bar was only 75 square metres, but later we remodeled twice and included the barber shop that was next door. My business partner had long since dropped out by then, by the way. Restaria De Coevering is a household name in the neighbourhood and in the whole of Geldrop – and even Heeze – they come here to eat or get fries”.

Seven days a week

The problem of getting employees is perhaps the main reason Jack decided to get rid of his restaria – despite its success. “I would prefer to be open seven days a week, but we are now forced to close on Tuesdays. Not enough staff. Moreover, I am getting older by the day and I was seriously ill two years ago. That’s when you start thinking about the future”.

Jack says he still managed to get through the corona years reasonably well, but now that he is once again facing understaffing and also sees purchasing and energy prices rising, it is time to quit. “I’m saying goodbye at my peak”, Jack says. “I still have a top business and now there are people who want to take over from me”.

Bakhuus formula

As of 1 July 1, the so-called Restaria formula is history and ‘De Coevering’ will be changed to a “Bakhuus” franchise business by the new operator. “For the customers, however, not much is going to change”, Jack assures . “All current employees will be taken over and the quality we always guaranteed will be maintained”.

The customers who are there at the moment are confident, according to a tour of the tables. “It’s a shame, though, because we’re used to Jack. Ever since before”. And another says, “It’s always cozy here and you get friendly service. I assume that this is also the case with the new owners. Because for the tasty fries and platters we would love to come back!”


Is there still such a thing as ‘the blacksmith’s secret’ when it comes to the fries? Jack: “This has everything to do with the quality of the potatoes. We don’t pre-fry ourselves. Our fries are made at the factory and delivered here frozen twice a week. The quality is beyond question as far as I’m concerned, although we do use the slogan here: ‘There’s no arguing about taste’ “.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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