3 Days to Open: Big Guys Sausage Stand
In suburban Chicago, Brendan O’Connor and three of his best friends desperately needed Bobby Flay’s help to make their restaurant dreams come true at Big Guys Sausage Stand. With just three days until the grand opening, Bobby tackled clashing personalities, unimaginative toppings and a depressing interior to help the guys create a sausage spot that impressed even the toughest of critics: Chicago’s Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro.
But what happened when Bobby headed home, leaving the guys to fend for themselves? We checked in with Brendan to see how Big Guys is doing a few months after Bobby’s intervention.
Brendan is happy to report that Big Guys is off to a great start: They are averaging $1,500 per day in sales and their numbers are growing daily thanks to neighborhood buzz, good local press and many repeat customers.
Joe is now the general manager of Big Guys and Yves and Jimmy are also managers. They manage the stand during different shifts and train all new employees. Yves and Brendan have been getting along well: “Yves is really hustling, training people really well and setting a good example for the new recruits,” says Brendan, who has hired 10 full-time employees to work various stations since the opening.
After Bobby’s interior renovation, the guys spent six figures updating the exterior of the space and getting new equipment. “Now the interior matches the rest of the stand,” says Brendan. The City of Berwyn helped them with the funds for this project as part of their effort to revitalize local businesses.
“Everyone loves the food!” says Brendan. “We have served every cop in the area, so the word is out.” All of the recipes Bobby helped them develop remain on the menu and the guys have since added new dishes including buffalo chicken sausage, Italian chicken sausage, chorizo, crawfish sausage, chili and tamales.
Based on what Bobby taught them, the guys continue to make their specialty sausages in house and are now making their own chicken sausage. They are planning to start offering a house-made pork sausage of the week.
Brendan says he is grateful for everything that Bobby taught him and only wishes the all-star chef and restaurateur could have spent even more time with the Big Guys.