Jim West talks about new restaurant opening
by Jody Canaday
Jim West knows a lot about burgers.
On the day of the interview, he’s wearing attire suitable for the hot summer weather: a t-shirt, shorts, and black rimmed Perry Ellis glasses. He talks like a veteran salesman and business manager, explaining ingredients, machines, and business concepts that are associated with his store. His newest Dickie Jo’s Burgers, across the street from the Valley River Center in the Cal Young neighborhood. Before running a restaurant, West worked on Wall Street.
West has lived in Eugene, Oregon since 1992. He started Dickie Jo’s with his brother, who does most of the creative advertising for the business. They named the restaurant after their parents, Richard and Joanna. West’s father was the dean of the business school at the University of Oregon.
They opened their first restaurant in downtown Eugene in May of 2009. He says they don’t have a large advertising budget and rely on their heavy traffic locations for business. West says the main advertising they’ve done for the new location consists of the “A” board sitting just outside the restaurant that lets drivers know the his place is now open.
West explains that one of the reasons they don’t rely on a lot of advertising is because most of their budget goes into getting high quality ingredients. West says that most of their ingredients are purchased locally, including relish grown in Elmyra, Oregon, and Painted Hills Natural Beef, which is based out of Wheeler County, Oregon. They also use Gran’s Jams, which is made in Eugene and can be bought at local grocery stores, for their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
West says that focusing on quality products means that a burger joint like Dickie Jo’s has to become efficient at serving a lot of customers. He says the idea is to give customers high quality food in a waiter-less environment.
West also owns Mucho Gusto and Fina Taqueria, both located in Eugene. West says that he plans to expand Dickie Jo’s up to the Portland area within the next year.