17 October 2011
Home of the Throwed Rolls My hometown is considered just another piece of flat land. In fact, if you drive straight for no more than seven miles, you’ve pretty much passed the town completely. The Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo and Lambert’s Café are the only two tourist attractions. Since the rodeo only comes once a year, Lambert’s Café is basically what Sikeston is known for. Home cooked meals and hot rolls are just two aspects that make Lambert’s Café such an extraordinary place. Walking into Lambert’s Café, customers become a part of the friendly atmosphere (Sheetz). Every employee is ready to help serve customers and make their experience the best one yet. One of the first things a customer notices is the employee uniforms. They are made to wear a light blue, button up shirt, red suspenders, and a red bowtie. With this attire, the employees fit in very well with the old fashioned ways of the restaurant. Another eye catcher is that every wall is covered in license plates. In fact, these license plates are customized with different people’s names. There are also giant flags from numerous places hanging from the ceilings (Sheetz). After being seated, customers have a wooden table that is covered in old newspaper clippings concerning the history of Lambert’s. Also, there is a tiny train that makes its way around the entire restaurant. This helps occupy most of the children while they are waiting for their food. Along the main wall, there is a painted mural of the entire Lambert family. This shows the customers that Lambert’s Café is a family-orientated place. When Lambert’s Café is decorated for Christmas, the entire restaurant is beautiful. With the shorter waiting time and outstanding decorations, Christmas is the best time for customers to visit the restaurant.
Starting in 1942, Earl Lambert and his wife Agnes borrowed fifteen hundred dollars to begin their new business. It was located in a tiny building on South Main Street in Sikeston, MO. The restaurant only had five employees. The entire building seated forty-one people and left several waiting in line. When Earl passed away, Norman Lambert decided to enter the partnership with his mother. Norman had thirteen “golden” rules that were followed in order to make Lambert’s Café a booming business. One particular rule that stands out is rule number four. It states, “We need you, our guest, much more than we need ourselves.” This explains the statement, “Come on in and eat or we will both starve” (Lambert’s Café). Today, these rules are still posted in the back of the restaurant to remind employees that customers come first. Lambert’s Café also understands that the customers are very important to the success of the restaurant. Without the customers, there simply wouldn’t be a business.
As the restaurant grew, the Lambert family decided to expand. After moving into three different buildings, Lambert’s Café is now located on 2305 E. Malone in Sikeston, Missouri. Becoming such a major success, Lambert’s Café decided to open up two other restaurants. One restaurant is located in Ozark, Missouri, while the other is in Foley, Alabama. These two locations help carry on the same traditions as the original Lambert’s Café in Sikeston (Lambert’s Café). “Hot Rolls” is something that customers hear the entire time they are eating. A male employee is constantly walking around with a cart full of fresh, hot rolls. When raising your hand, a customer must think fast, or a roll could hit them directly in the face. It isn’t unusual for most customers to drop the first roll thrown to them. If this happens to you, just simply raise your hand and better prepare yourself for another roll to be chucked your way. Afterwards, customers are given the choice of putting sorghum molasses or apple butter all over their roll. During one year, Lambert’s Café serves on average 2,246,400 rolls to customers (Lambert’s Café). The idea of