Reflections of a Restaurateur

Sarah Keith of Scrambled Southern Diner

An exclusive eskca interview with Sarah Keith (co-founder and co-owner) of Scrambled Southern Diner, which was honored in our:
Tell us your origin story. How did you come to be involved with Scrambled?

In 2010, we opened Josephine’s Kitchen as a farm to table restaurant and catering business, but I decided to close the business down in June of 2015. We had a great business and a great location, but parking became an issue in the evening, so I decided to change the concept to Scrambled Southern Diner. By having opposite hours from our neighboring restaurants (where would be open from 7:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m.), we were able to alleviate evening parking stressors for customers and neighboring restaurant owners, thus helping us all succeed. It was the smartest move I’ve ever made professionally.

What were the biggest hurdles you encountered in your journey?

Going from a farm to table restaurant to a fast-paced, high volume breakfast diner had many challenges that I never expected, nor did I realize how many people did not like to make their own breakfast and wanted to come out to breakfast and see us! The overwhelming immediate success and continuing success has always been wonderful, even with the challenge of keeping up the pace, especially with the labor shortage.

What does the future hold for you and Scrambled?

Scrambled is here to stay. I love Scrambled. We have an amazing team that leads, a support staff that sometimes never sees an end in sight but somehow manages to keep going through with smiles on their faces, and kudos to our kitchen who can turn out a meal every 35 seconds even on our busiest days!

What are your thoughts on the food scene in Greensboro?

I love the food scene in Greensboro. From some of the best holes in the wall to James Beard nominated restaurants, we have an incredible talent of chefs, leaders, owners, and most importantly, an incredible customer base from all over the world.

What’s your best advice for aspiring restaurateurs?

Do what you know!! There are so many learning curves and such a high failure rate with restaurants – sticking to what you know will help you succeed. Keep up with all of your costs and keep an eye out on your labor force so you may support them as much as they support you. Treat everyone as a teammate, not just an employee! Maintain consistent, fair, and open dialogues with your teammates, customers, and vendors on how to improve, and own your mistakes.

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

Pancakes, pancakes, and more pancakes! But if I’m not going to go that route, I’m definitely going to have a rare ribeye, over easy eggs, and the best cheese grits ever!


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