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Rudy's BBQ and Mighty Fine Burgers Win National Award

Mighty Fine burger
Image courtesy Matt Scoggin
K&N Management, the company behind Mighty Fine Burgers and Rudy's BBQ, has won a national management award.

The people behind a couple well-known Austin restaurant chains are getting a positive review from the the Obama administration. K&N Management - the company that owns Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q and Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes - is one of seven recipients of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

What is the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, you may ask? Why it's only the "the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership," according to a press release.

The Baldridge website lists some of the reasons why they think K&N is awesome. Here are the highlights.

  • In sales, K&N Management's restaurants significantly outperform local competitors and national chains. Their Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q restaurants increased average unit sales from just over $3 million in 2000 to slightly more than $7 million in 2010. From its inception in 2007 to the third quarter of 2010, Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes increased annual unit sales from just over $2 million to more than $3 million, triple the unit sales of its best competitor.
  • Gross profit for Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q has exceeded the industry standard of 40 percent in every year from 2001 to 2010, reaching nearly 47 percent in 2010. Mighty Fine Burgers, Fries and Shakes has exceeded the industry standard since 2008, with a gross profit of 44 percent in 2010.
  • K&N Management builds and maintains a focus on "guest delight," relying on innovation and technology to create product offerings that meet or exceed customer requirements.
  • All leaders, from the general manager to the owners, carry a personal digital assistant (PDA) that alerts them of customer complaints and daily performance results.
  • K&N Management strives to retain its workforce by offering a comprehensive set of above-market benefits to all team members who average at least 30 hours per week, including 90 percent paid comprehensive health care and a company-matched 401(k) plan. 

"We had a team of eight examiners come out to our organization, and they spent 1,000 hours going over our organization just making sure that we are as excellent as we say we are," K&N spokesperson Allison Dreiband told KUT News.
Dreiband says it validates their operating mission that quality is everything.

Local Yelp reviewers mostly agree with the positive assessment for Rudy's. The Research Blvd location has 275 reviews and four-and-a-half stars. Users are less enthusiastic for Mighty Fine however, which gets three-and-a-half stars at all three of its locations. Of course, Yelp reviewers are not assessing the restaurant based on management practices or profit margins.

President Obama will recognize the Baldridge award recipients in 2011. 

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.