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Daily Inspiration: Meet Katharine Gottfried

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katharine Gottfried. 

Hi Katharine, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I took a job as a counter server at Yo Burrito, in 2006. It was supposed to be a summer position, post-college, while I figured out my next step. I ended up staying for about 1.5 years while moving up to manager. Eventually, In Fall of 2008, I left for graduate school but missed my life in Charleston so much I moved back to finish my degree and work at Yo Burrito… indefinitely. I fell in love with the food & beverage culture at Yo Bo. At the time, we were located in the heart of downtown Charleston, one block from the College of Charleston campus. The place was always buzzing with college students, tourists, and a great crowd of local regulars. Work was busy but it was so fun, the time flew by. I made some of my best friends at work, I learned about business and running a small company, and I really enjoyed interacting with people on a customer service level. 

Nick Powers created this amazing and unique culture and it etched its way into my heart. Under his guidance, never-ending patience, perseverance, and creative abilities, he showed me how to run the company. Nick and I partnered in late 2012 and opened our first joint venture, Yo Bo Cantina Fresca in 2013. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Working is restaurants is never smooth. The job has its’ ups and downs but that is all part of the ride! Within the last 3 years, our main struggle has been staffing and working through the pandemic. There has been a major shift in the workforce and the pool from which to hire staff has been shrinking. At first, it was a quality issue. Then it became very competitive in the Charleston area when more and more restaurants started opening. Then it was really exacerbated by the pandemic. Obviously, safety was an issue and many were afraid to re-enter the workforce but there has also been a shift in what people want to do for work, which doesn’t seem to include food & beverage. We are not getting any applicants and every local business is competing for the staff. 

As I said, it is never a smooth ride but we will ride out this storm and every other one that comes our way! We love our business, we love the staff we do have, and we love our customer base. They make it all worth it! 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
We specialize in healthy Mexican food in an intimate setting. We are known for our burritos and Mason Jar Margarita, which is served in a 32oz. Ball Jar. It’s gigantic! Yo Bo takes traditional Mexican cuisine and puts a Tex-Mex spin on it, offering small-batch homemade salsas & sauces, high-quality proteins, and a consistent product in a local neighborhood that won’t break the bank. 

We are most proud to have served the Charleston community for more than 20 years in 5 different locations. Charleston is an awesome place to be, with tons of options for great food and drinks. We are grateful to be a part of it and we are proud of the evolution of the original concept Yo Burrito and its little sister Yo Bo Cantina Fresca! 

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
At the end of the day, what matters most is that we put out a good product, run a business that we can stand behind, and have a happy staff to help us along the way. We want Yo Bo to be more than just a place to eat. We want customers to enjoy their experience for the food, atmosphere, and human interactions. We want to be like Cheers- where everyone knows your name and you know ours too. 

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Image Credits
Yo Bo Cantina Fresca

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