Reflections of a Restaurateur

Mike Bausch of Andolini’s

An exclusive eskca interview with Mike Bausch (co-owner) of Andolini’s, which was honored in our:
Tell us your origin story. How did you come to be involved with Andolini’s?

Andolini‚Äôs was started by me and my brother Jim Bausch in 2004 in Owasso. The idea was to make things from scratch with pizza and underpromising and overdelivering with each experience. Since then, Andolini’s has grown to 5 locations and a food truck in Tulsa.

What were the biggest hurdles you encountered in your journey?

There is no road map for restaurant ownership, so creating each system and overcoming the financial burdens of a small business have been massive hurdles we’ve taken on over the years. Each year and location brings new challenges, but now there is a systemized approach to them.

What does the future hold for you and Andolini’s?

Our goal is to hire and have as many employees thriving in Tulsa as possible. So more pizza, more growth, and doing it all in tandem with our staff.

What are your thoughts on the food scene in Tulsa?

It’s genuinely incredible. We have more restaurants per person than NY or Dallas, plus more restaurant groups native to Tulsa than I’ve ever seen in one city – it’s truly a food-centric place that people who know, KNOW. The rest of America is perking up to how much is going on here.

What’s your best advice for aspiring restaurateurs?

Get rid of plan B. Give yourself to plan A if you want it to survive. Also, realize it’s not about you. It’s about the customer and their experience. Also, lead with great food above all else.

Our readers love recommendations! What’s your favorite item at Andolini’s?

My go-to is still a Demarco with an Eggplant Parm appetizer, and garlic knots with gelato after the meal.

 

For more exclusive interviews, see our full Reflections of a Restaurateur series