By Bruce Carlson

Hello and welcome to

Interview with Nikki: Legendary Store Marketer

Sometimes something comes by and you can’t pass it up. We heard about a fundraiser sponsored by  Texas Roadhouse to benefit our parish school. So we said let’s go, and off we went. Fortune favored us and we met up with Nikki Davinroy, Legendary Store Marketer. It was a delight to talk with Nikki and learn about the great things Texas Roadhouse does in the community. So without further ado let’s jump into the interview and hear what Nikki has to say.

Bruce Carlson

So, go ahead. Tell us something about yourself how you got it with Texas Roadhouse, what you are, and I’m really fascinated by what you have on your business card. You said you’re the Legendary Store Marketer?

Nikki Davinroy

So my name is Nikki. I’ve been with Texas Roadhouse for six years. I actually came from working for the Cardinals in downtown St. Louis. I worked four seasons for the Cardinals and one year for the Rams. It was really fun and it was really exciting. Game days were great. I wanted to find something closer to home, I was looking for a change. I was losing time with my son and working long hours. It’s really funny how I ended up at Texas Roadhouse and found my home.

I literally just drove around to all these restaurants with my resume, knocked on the door, or rang the doorbell. One day I stopped here at the Texas Roadhouse and said, “Do you have a hiring manager” and Lara came up to the door. I said, “Hey, are y’all hiring?” She said no, unfortunately not right now. But we’re always accepting applications. I said, “Okay, well, here’s my resume.” And she said, “You bartender at the ballpark village. Can you come in for an interview?” I laughed and said, “I thought you weren’t hiring?”

She knew from my working at Ball Park Village I was used to fast paced environment.  We set up the interview for later that week. And I interviewed with Michelle first. I explained I was losing time with my kid, the long working hours were hard, I wanted something closer to home, and I wanted to move into management. I want to grow with a company. I’m looking for a home and want somewhere to plant my roots. Michelle said okay, this could be a great fit for you, and I came in two days later and actually met with the whole management team. I met with the kitchen manager, the service manager, and the other kitchen manager.

I’ve been waiting tables since I was 16

I’ve been waiting tables since I was 16. I’ve been bartending since I was 21. I didn’t want to be a 40-year-old bartender; the wear and tear on your body is hard.  I wanted to move up and I wanted to find my home. I always say I wish I had found you Roadhouse back in 2014; instead of working for the Cardinals for four years because I could be so much further than I already am with the company. So, I started out as a server in 2017. And then I started bartending after two months. Then after nine months, I started to train other servers and bartenders, and then after a year, I was what we call a key hourly manager at Roadhouse. So, you are still an hourly employee, but you can still wait tables, and bartend. You’re not salaried, you’re kind of a little game changer and do a little bit of everything.

Our keys are the best of the best and lead right beside our management team.  We become key as our team sees potential in us for advancement with the company.  So, I’ve been doing all of that since 2018. I started there in August of 2017. Then, when Sammie was moving to Missouri, she was the old local store marketer, she said, “I know you went to school for marketing. I know you like helping me with community events and food runs. I’m going to be moving to Missouri and I’m going to transfer to the Roadhouse closer to home. Do you want to take over my position?” I was like oh my gosh yes!  I would love that. She had asked me to keep quiet until she got a chance to talk to Lara.

So, then I sat with Lara and talked about taking over the marketing position. I said, “I love helping Sammie with community events. I love doing the food runs. I love that I can get some more daytime hours and then spend more evenings at home with my kid.  This is the work-life balance I am looking for.  Plus, I am great with people!” Because, when you work evenings and your kids are in school all day, you don’t get to see them and it gets old after a while.  It’s hard, mom guilt is a thing.  My oldest will be 12 next month. He was six when I started for Roadhouse, he was still young.  I was looking for more work-life balance, I wanted to climb the ladder, and I wanted to grow within the company. And I mean, most managers with Roadhouse aren’t hired from outside the company.  They are promoted from inside the 4 walls.

So most of us Roadies started out as a server, working our way to a bartender, worked your way to a trainer, worked your way to a key hourly, and from there, you’re either happy and content where you are, but most people want to grow up and they want to move up within the company. They want to keep climbing that ladder and with Texas Roadhouse, the possibilities for advancement are endless! They’re always looking to take their Roadies and turn them into leaders.  That is how they grow their management team. Someone who’s already trained and knows about the company. Knowing service with the heart. We train our Roadie to have service with heart.

Our core values

Our core values are passion, partnership, integrity, and fun with purpose. We pride ourselves on our Story! Our Story is: Hand-Cut Steaks, Fresh-Baked-Bread, Fall-Off-The-Bone-Ribs, Made-From-Scratch Sides and Dressing, Ice Cold Beers, and Legendary Margaritas. We love providing Legendary Food and Legendary Service! That’s why our marketers our known as Legendary Store Marketers. We want your visit to be legendary.  When I’m managing and I’m doing my table touches, I always ask our guests, “How’s everything tasting over here? Or How are those Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs tasting?” If they’re just like, meh or, okay, I’m thinking hold on what’s wrong? That’s not what I want to hear. I want to hear it’s awesome. It’s legendary. It’s amazing. The ribs are falling right off the bone.  My steak is cooked perfectly! My server is taking such good care of us. They’re so sweet.

Let me go back to when I took over the marketing position in 2020. I took over in the midst of the pandemic, which was a crazy time to transition. It was a crazy time to train for this position. Because there were no community food runs and no community events.  It was hard to establish and maintain partnerships that Sammie had and start new ones. Because, well the world was closed and we were shut down. We were curbside only. We relied on digital marketing.  It was Facebook posts, it was text blasts, it was email blasts, it was asking all of our Roadies to please share this post to reach out to the community.

I couldn’t do food runs and I couldn’t participate in community events. It was hard for a long time, but then things started to open back up and the mask mandate was lifted. Finally!  I was back to doing community food runs, but with a mask and trying to carry on a conversation with someone was a little challenging because it’s muffled and it’s hard to hear them. So going into those doctor’s offices, hospitals, libraries, daycares, and schools and trying to pick up on those partnerships again, all while being cautious and respecting them because everybody was kind of scared still.

I think we were all scared of the pandemic when the world slowly opened back up. So it was kind of challenging doing this.  But I LOVE what I do. Community partnerships are my passion because without the community, we would not be as successful, and we would not be as busy as we are. I rely on those community partnerships to build sales and relationships. Did you know that Texas Roadhouse doesn’t pay for any advertising? And they don’t pay for any commercials, you don’t hear us on the radio, and you don’t see any billboards anywhere.

Each store has its own legendary store marketer

Each store has its own legendary store marketer, and they are responsible for building sales by building partnerships within the community. Community involvement!  A lot of my job is tracking sales, and I’m always tracking guest counts. We have so many programs within the community. When I talk about my community food runs, I average about 30 a week, and I go visit local hotels for example.

All of my hotels here in the area, including the Drury and Fairfield Inn; I give them 10% off cards to give to guests when they’re looking for somewhere to eat. And then in return, I track those by the barcodes whenever they come into the store.  I reward our hotel partners with free food for sales brought in.  We give them one Andy dollar for each card redeemed. They’re kind of like Monopoly money, but they can be used towards their food purchase at Texas Roadhouse.  The front desk staff at hotels help us by telling guests how awesome Texas Roadhouse is. Go see my friend, Nikki, here’s a 10% off card for your meal today. Then the hotel within the area that brings in the most business each quarter. I give them a loaded baked potato bar luncheon.

Karen Carlson  

I was just curious if they give you a budget for this.

Nikki Davinroy  

Yes and no, my boss is pretty awesome. And she doesn’t tell me no as long as I provide the cost, and the ROI. But then again, we do have to kind of watch what I’m spending each month because it adds up quickly. Aside from hotels, I work with a lot of the schools, daycares, and libraries in the area. So last year I partnered with 40 schools and my goal this year is to partner with 50. O’Fallon here alone there are so many different elementary schools, and the OTHS High School is sophomore through senior.  They have a freshman campus just for freshmen because it’s such a big town and there are so many kids!

I work with Fairview Heights, Shiloh, Swansea, Belleville, Lebanon, and I go out to Mascoutah schools as well. I had a couple of schools last year down in Nashville. It was a little Catholic school in Nashville, Illinois. It’s about an hour south of here and it is called St. Ann they did the best gift card fundraiser out of all my schools here in O’Fallon, and it was amazing!  We help support local schools by offering a Partners in Education program. This is free to local schools; it doesn’t cost anything. We give them Student of the Month certificates, Athlete of the Month certificates, and Teacher of the Month Certificates.

Free to local schools

We have a bookmark program for reading as well. They get a bookmark for their book. They read three books Mom, Dad, Teacher sign off; the kids come in they get a free kids’ meal from Texas Roadhouse. The Student of the Month awards are good for free kids’ meals as well. Unless obviously it’s a middle school or high school then it would be for a free burger or free entree up to $10. Schools are so much fun.  Let’s be honest, at the end of the day, kids decide where they’re going to eat.  When they see that coloring sheet on the fridge they have their bookmark from school and they’re like, Mom, I read three books. Let’s go to Texas Roadhouse so I can get my free kids meal and they’re so excited about it when they come in.

Karen Carlson  

We came in last week because of St. Joseph in Freeburg that was

Nikki Davinroy  

That was my first time partnering with them. They did pretty good. They brought in around $1,500 in sales. When we host those dine-to-donate nights, we give those organizations back 10% of sales brought in by supporters. So I get to give their school a $150 donation check. That’s pretty awesome stuff. And sometimes honestly, some of the schools that are a little farther away are like a 20 – 30 mile radius. Sometimes those do better because those small towns don’t have anything like in their town.  A lot of times I find these fundraisers through the schools and daycares, or I find them through our Local Law Enforcement. For example. I don’t know if you saw any of my fliers that night you dined in but we partner with the O’Fallon Police Department every year and we host a Tip a Cop night.

It is to benefit the Special Olympics of Illinois. We allow Officers to set up a table to sell shirts, raffle items and collect donations.  Local Law Enforcement Torch Run comes out on this night as well as some of the athletes.  They have a donation jar by the front door and one of the athletes sits in his wheelchair and collects donations.  Tony is a ladies’ man. And he says hi to everybody that walks in the door. And he holds out that donation jar with the biggest smile on his face. It is so much fun.

It is so much fun

Officers help us wait tables, and they help bring bread and refills to the tables.  They walk around with envelopes looking for donations because, well you’re there to tip the cops. We then give Special Olympics of Illinois 10% back of total food sales brought in by the evening as well  I know last year was a big night. I think we gave around a  $2,000 donation. And then through the month of September, we also raise funds for the Special Olympics as well.  We give guests the option to round up their change or if they donate $5; they receive a free appetizer for their next visit.

We take all those donations and I turn them into gift cards to give to the athletes and the officers It’s pretty cool! That is what we do with local donations collected in our restaurant.  Last year we had the Law Enforcement Torch Run with $1,100 in gift cards! With October coming up here, we partner with an organization called Swing Fore Hope here in O’Fallon. It’s a nonprofit down the street here.  Julie and her husband, Brett, work out of Visionary Wealth Advisors and they run a nonprofit out of their business right around the corner.

Last year we donated $2,835 in breast cancer donations to Swing For Hope for families in need.  Whether they are going through chemo/radiation, or in remission. Patients or survivors. No one has the energy to cook meals when they are fighting that battle. So we raised the money within the community and we gave them those gift cards to turn around and feed families battling breast cancer.  It is amazing to see what our community can do when they come together.

Karen Carlson  

It’s team building, building that community, that idea of community, among your employees as well as your patrons and customers.

Nikki Davinroy  

We value our employees just as much as we do our guests. Our founder and CEO Kent Taylor always said we are a people-first company that just happens to sell steak. That’s what he always said. And that goes towards our guests and our employees. You know what I mean? Honestly, I’ve been with Roadhouse for six years now. And I’ve never been so valued and felt so appreciated as I have from the company that I work for.

I just went to Dallas back in March this year.  It was honestly my first time flying and my first time going to Texas. I got nominated for LSM OF THE YEAR, LSM being a local store marketer. I was one out of 5 from our Region.  There are 14 stores in our Market and 13 Markets in our Region.  So that’s kind of a big deal. I know that’s exciting stuff.  This was all based on my ROI, fundraisers, community events, food runs, sales, and our guest counts compared to the year before. I was going to Dallas with my boss for 3 days, and I was super excited.  It was a lot of fun.

hallway of building

They put us up at the Gaylord in Grapevine, Texas.  Beautiful hotel. It was really so nice. I had goosebumps the whole time. I was teary-eyed. I’ve never done anything like this before through my employer. This is so amazing. They took good care of us. They took us on a tour of the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It was so much fun. It was awesome. And I told my boss to please sit right next to me on the plane. I’ve never flown before. I may be a little nervous. Well, she didn’t get to sit next to me. She sat behind me so she’d tap me on my shoulder and she’d ask how I was doing. I’m okay, I said, I’m fine.

I’m fine

I took a bunch of pictures and a bunch of videos for my kids. It was such a good time. We have an organization here in O’Fallon. They’re called the O’Fallon Women’s Club, and they’ve done multiple fundraisers with us before. They host an empty bowl luncheon every year on Ash Wednesday.  They help fight and stop hunger within the community.  The empty bowl symbolizes the potential, a vessel of a promise. Artists create all different shapes and sizes of empty bowls for the event.

We did it last year right up the street there at Gateway Classic Cars. We donated 1500 rolls to pair with their soups. It really is amazing to see all these different organizations and all these different businesses come together and provide soup. And you just go around, and you can fill your bowl and you can get samples and then they take all those funds and they put it back into the community to fight hunger. I think it’s like $10 for a ticket to get in and they do a raffle as well to raise additional funds. It’s a lot of fun. We followed it last year with a Dine to Donate also for the O’Fallon Women’s Club the following week.  So we got to promote that as well.

Karen Carlson  

We just joined the Chamber of Commerce.

Nikki Davinroy  

I partner with Debbie Martinez.

Karen Carlson  

Tonight they’re having an after-hours event. We’re so we’re meeting people. And Bruce has been interviewing people from the chamber to highlight their businesses.

Involved in the community

Nikki Davinroy  

So there’s a lot of people here in the community involved in the chamber and Debbie is fantastic. She’s a great partner. They just had their annual COC golf scramble. Last Tuesday the 12th at Far Oaks. We donated peanuts and free appetizer cards for the golfers.  We also donated 4 free dinner vouchers for the winning team. Golf tournaments are a great time. She helps me out if we’re looking to hire, if I’m pushing a fundraiser for the Tip a Cop night. She’ll throw that up on their Facebook page to help me out. I’ll just send her a note and say, “Hey, this is what I need. Can you help me out?” She’s a good lady. And she’s so busy too.  She is very involved in the community as well.

Bruce Carlson 

Well, I’m not a golfer, but we’re talking with Johnnie the membership person. She said I could come and help drive the carts.

Nikki Davinroy  

Absolutely. Yeah. Deliver beer.

Nikki Davinroy  

We do participate in a lot of golf scrambles here within the community, Persephone, is one of our bartenders and key hourly leads as well. She is actually a golfer and comes with me to help me. She can talk golf with the guys while I talk marketing and PR. But when we do those, we usually run a putting contest and we’ll help raise money to give back to their charity of choice or whichever the raising funds for $5.

Basically, $5 to putt you make a 10-foot putt you win $10, make a 20-foot putt you win $20. Make a 50-foot putt you win $50. We just partnered with Scott Air Force Base, at Cardinal Creek. It was for the Scott Chiefs’ group and they had so much other stuff going on. The gentleman that I partnered with said let’s just do $2. A $2 buy in. I said that works. And we raised $226 for him, just from a $2 buy-in for putting.  Pretty cool.

The Fall Festival

I will actually be on base this Friday the 22nd for their fall festival. This is a huge event. So there’s my partner Tracy Tansley. She’s their events coordinator. She’s fantastic. I will be out there for their fall festival this Friday. From 1 pm to 5 pm. We always set up a table and we offer free face painting for the kids. I take about three or four of my Roadies with me, my artistic girls. They offer face painting and free kid’s toys We offer prepacked peanuts, and koozies.

Sometimes we giveaway samples of our flavored lemonade because not a lot of people know how many options we have.  We offer Strawberry, Raspberry, Blue Crush, Peach, Mango, and Blackberry. The kids love to sample the flavored lemonades.  We will have kids’ meal vouchers, candies, toys, and sometimes coloring sheets, and then we always do an entry to win. We always do a giveaway for a dinner voucher, a bottle of steak sauce of sirloin seasoning, or something fun like that.

I’ll put together a little gift basket. They’ll have anywhere from like 500 to 700 people there just in those couple of hours. They’ll have food trucks, they’ll have bounce houses, all sorts of different vendors. They usually have a DJ out there too. And he’s awesome because he always gives all the vendors a shout-out, so nice to tell him what we have going on. Like, don’t forget to go see Texas Roadhouse, for face painting and fun.

Face painting and fun

It’s a good time. They also host an Easter extravaganza event in April every year as well and that’s always a really big one. They have an Easter Bunny out there and they always break it down with the different age groups for the kids for the Easter egg hunt. And again I take my girls with me and we offer free face painting, toys, kids meal vouchers, and candies. The kids love it. The parents love it.? I mean, who doesn’t love Texas Roadhouse?

Karen Carlson  

And the girls probably have fun with it too.

Nikki Davinroy  

They’re getting paid as part of my LSM support staff. They get to share their artistic abilities and talk about Texas Roadhouse with the kids.  They have a good time.

Bruce Carlson  

Well, this is very enlightening. You said you do community food runs or whatever. What’s that?

Nikki Davinroy 

Yep. I do community food runs. We go visit different businesses here in our community. Actually, the girls said something when I walked in the door today because I had sent Ashley and Mel here at Starbucks earlier today, they dropped off some peanuts and fundraiser flyers We are promoting for our Tip a Cop night. I had them go all up and down the strip here and visit all these businesses to talk about Tip a Cop. Remind the community to save the date, September 29. We’re giving 10% Back to Special Olympics of Illinois, and local law enforcement will be there helping wait tables. When we do these community food runs, we help promote those things.

We talk about different kinds of events we have coming up, special kinds of fundraisers, we promote our mobile app, how to join the waitlist, and we talk about our early dining menu, which we run Monday through Thursday, 4 pm to 6 pm. These are good ways to give back to the community and be good partners. I also partner with Serra Honda down the street and they started with them just by doing a community food run and talking to them about advertising and co-branded gift cards. Now we partner with them for advertising and co-branded gift cards, and they invite us out whenever they host events.

Partnering with others

The advertising includes co-branded gift cards with both their logo and ours on them to give to their clients, their vendors, their staff, or whatever they want to use them for. We will take bread and peanuts or we’ll take flavored lemonades. You know sometimes we’ll do salads for the schools. I also attend PTO meetings to help talk about partners and education and fundraising opportunities. I’ll participate in a PTO meeting and give about a 10 – 15 minute presentation. I usually feed up to 15 to 20 people and offer pulled pork, green beans or corn, and of course fresh baked bread. Because I mean people have to sample our food. I have to take the legendary business to them. You know.

Karen Carlson  

All the sacrifices. Yeah.

Bruce Carlson 

That’s a dirty rotten job, yeah.

Nikki Davinroy 

I know how dare you.  I am going to give you free food. But you must listen to me talk in return.  Like it’s a pretty good trade.

Bruce Carlson 

So this is a good point to get into the future. What future ideas do you guys have? I mean, you’ve gone way over anything I would have thought of. But it sounds like with everything that you’re doing in the community and all this great work. What do you see in the future?

Nikki Davinroy  

For myself or for Texas Roadhouse.  For myself, I am content right now. I love my marketing position. I have the flexibility to shorten my days to be home with my kids at night, to work from home on days needed, or if I’m not feeling well, or if the kids don’t have school. I mean, obviously, I can’t do food runs from home, but I can make phone calls and I can track sales, and I can run numbers and I can talk to people about fundraising and upcoming community events and all of the emails because they never stopped but it’s fun. If I miss one day, I’m checking emails. There are so many, but I mean, Texas Roadhouse in general, as a company, our goal is to just continue Kent Taylor’s dream.

Continue Kent Taylor’s dream

He was our founder and CEO. He passed away in March 2021. Kent is the founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse. We were first established on February 17, 1993, in Clarksville, Indiana. This is another reason I know I was meant to work here. My birthday is February 17, so I am just destined to work for Texas Roadhouse. It’s meant to be, I mean, just continuing his dream by providing legendary food, legendary service, and being involved within the community.

We have goals that we want to reach each quarter.  We set goals for a certain number of sales each day or reach a certain amount of sales each week. And same thing with the guest counts. We always want to be building guest counts, and we always want to be building sales. How do we do those things? By getting your LSM out in the community. When I go do these community food runs, or I do these events, and I talk about these fundraisers, they usually say, I didn’t know Texas Roadhouse did that. I didn’t know Texas Roadhouse was that involved.

When they see me out at the YMCA events, or out at a local golf scramble. What are you doing here? I didn’t know Texas Roadhouse did this. We sure do, let’s talk fundraising. Let’s talk about how we can partner with you. How can we help make you better? How can we help make us better? Community partnerships are everything at the end of the day, that’s what it all boils down to.  The partnerships and the commitment.

Karen Carlson 

It’s continuing to expand that circle. Expand that community reach that community, that community environment.

Nikki Davinroy  

And I mean, I want all the stores, I want all Texas Roadhouse to thrive, and I want all the stores in my market to succeed as well. I actually just put on my first company-wide dines to donate back in July, so I got all 14 stores in my market to participate with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Okay, so 14, Texas Roadhouses gave back 10% of sales. And then the gentleman who I worked with also got I think, three other locations that weren’t in our market to participate as well.

Fundraiser night for St. Jude

So it was 17, Texas Roadhouses participating for a fundraiser night for St. Jude. I’d have to look at my notes. I don’t remember what store each store gave, but I don’t think it was anything less than $100. I know some stores are about a $300 donation, but I don’t think any of them gave less than $100. So at least it’s at least $1,700. You know, minimum I forget the exact total, it’d be in my notes somewhere. But it’s a great company, I love what I do, they take care of us and we take care of our community,

Karen Carlson 

It seems very satisfying to you.

Nikki Davinroy 

It is very rewarding. Yet it is self-motivating. If you want to achieve these goals, and you want to achieve this number of sales, you set with your management team and those guest counts, you have to go out and you have put in the work. You can do the bare minimum, but you’re not going to see the results.

Nominated for LSM of the year

For the year 2022, I got nominated for LSM of the year and I went to Dallas this past year in 2023. I think my guest counts and my sales were up just like an ungodly amount. And I think for the whole year just blew 2021 out of the water.  It was like 933 Food runs that I did. It was 50-some-odd community events and over 100 fundraisers.  When I tell you we were busy, whew, I mean it.

Bruce Carlson 

Do you have a schedule of all the places you’re going to be doing your outreach to

Nikki Davinroy  

I do. So I have a tracker and I update it weekly and quarterly. It comes from our marketing coach for our team. And each quarter we get a different tracker with all the weeks, all the periods, and all the quarters. Each week, each goal, each month, and each quarter I set a certain goal. I did six community events last quarter. This quarter, I’m going to do ten community events. I did 22 fundraisers last quarter, and this quarter, I want to do 30 fundraisers.

I want to do 30 fundraisers

Bruce Carlson  

Could you send me a list of that, I can put that in the article. These are places you’ll be going to if you’re doing remote community events.

Nikki Davinroy 

Yeah. That would be cool.

Bruce Carlson  

That’s the kind of information people want to see.

Nikki Davinroy  

O’Fallon and Belleville YMCA, have their trunk or treats coming up too. So those are in October. So those are always really fun. And again, we dress up, we give out kids’ toys. We give out kids meal vouchers. You know, come see us soon. Thanks for coming to support us. Sarah Honda has a really big one coming up. It is Saturday, October 28. And they do theirs and their empty parking lot across from their business. They had over 1000 people there last year. It was insane.

It was insane

They had a helicopter come in and land. They had service dogs there. They had all sorts of cool stuff. Bounce House for the kids. It’s fun. But it’s a lot. But like I said, it’s self-motivating and self-rewarding. You want to be good at your job. You have to put in the work. Earlier this year the Blue Angels were here. Yeah, it got rained out. But yeah, we know it got rained out because we got completely bombarded afterward. But I know they were really busy. I would love to take the kids, but I had to work that weekend. But that’s always a good time. And they always let us know when they’re in town because they start flying around and it’s like Blue Angels are here and they let us know they’re here.

Karen Carlson  

So from the corporate level, do they have plans for expansion or growth or any particular areas that they’re focused on for expanding?

Nikki Davinroy 

Yeah, I don’t know about expanding. I mean, we’re always building new restaurants and we’re always putting in new locations. So, one of our trainers just left and they just opened up a store in Pennsylvania I think.  We’re always looking to develop and build more. So the Pittsburgh area is where she went. And then the newest store in our market that we just added is in Festus, Missouri. They just opened up last year on December 12. So that’s another store in our market. We have different stores in Illinois and Missouri. We have Wentzville over there. I know Festus is closer to Wentzville, which is about an hour and a half from us. Probably west of here, at least  Honestly, I am not that familiar with Missouri.  I can get to our St. Charles, and Kirkwood stores.

Bruce Carlson  

So you said you have 17 stores that you got together for that one fundraiser. They’re all in this immediate area?

All working together

Nikki Davinroy  

One of them was in Indiana, three of them were in Nebraska, and then two were in Illinois and all the rest of the Missouri. So yeah, a little different plethora of locations there. Because of the way our market is, we have three Nebraska stores one Indiana store, two Illinois stores and the rest are all in Missouri. How they divided up the markets that way. But we make it work. We have round table meetings a few times a year. All the LSMs and Keys from all the stores get together with our marketing coach, and we kind of brainstorm. This is how we did last year; how can we make this better this year? What kind of goals are we going to set? They’re always wanting us to be bigger and better. And we just set those goals and we just go to town.

Bruce Carlson  

Well, this is very eye-opening. I never knew how much Texas Roadhouse does. You were a safe place that we could go with our son when we went to North Carolina. You’ve given me so much more about what you guys do. This will be an exciting article. Community involvement is huge, way beyond anything I would have known. We need to promote that. In our own little way, with our startup website here, we can get you out there and promote you as best as we can get people to see it.

Schedule of upcoming events

Friday, Oct 13th- Ofallon YMCA Trunk or Treat 6p-8p

Friday, Oct 27th- Downtown Belleville Kern Center Fall Fest 4:30p:6:30p

Saturday, Oct 28th- Serra Honda Spooktacular Trunk or Treat 1p-5p

Feel free to reach out for information on fundraising and how we can help make your event better, email

Wrap up

We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we share our adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, This is an exciting area and we are so happy to be part of this area. Our lives are being fulfilled by the people we are meeting. Bruce & Karen.

We’re Bruce and Karen Carlson. We recently moved to the Metro East area of Illinois. This area is east of St. Louis from the Mississippi River north to Alton, east to Carlyle, back south to Waterloo and the Mississippi River, finally north to Columbia. The center is Fairview Heights, Swansea, Belleville, Shiloh, and O'Fallon. Not to be forgotten is Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Edwardsville. It’s a whole new world out there. Our goal with this website is to share our exploration of the Metro East area. As we find businesses and services we use in our daily lives, we’ll share how these businesses and services have helped make our lives better and easier to live.

We’re calling our move to the Metro East area retirement, but we’re not quite sure what that means. By sharing our story with you, we hope you too will gain a better sense of what the Metro East area has to offer and how their businesses and services can improve your lives and build a better community.