Policyholder Spotlight: The Francis Southern Table & Bar
"I’ve been cooking ever since I could stand,” says Greg Martinez, owner of The Francis Southern Table & Bar. “My dad always cooked and my brother-in-law went to culinary school, it’s in our family.”
Martinez opened The Francis Southern Table & Bar about eight years ago in St. Francisville, Louisiana. The popular restaurant boasts a large menu rich with authentic flavors and traditional Southern dishes. The property itself includes the larger restaurant and bar, employing around 100 people, as well as the smokehouse that originally started his hospitality venture.
“We decided to purchase all the land and property after we fell in love with the St. Francisville community. We saw an opportunity, especially for something with some boudin and sausage,” Martinez explained. “It just felt like the town needed more; so, we decided to give them more--plus!”
Martinez says they decided to maintain the smokehouse operation after expanding and opening the restaurant, which is known for specialty items like duck egg rolls, oysters, and homemade boudin balls.
“We have our staple menu items, for sure. But we also welcome feedback from the community. Listening to our customers helps us create exciting new specials that give our people something a little different to try,” says Martinez.
It’s that spirit of welcoming change and always trying to improve that helped Martinez guide The Francis Southern Table & Bar through the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the restaurant industry in 2020.
“We took all the precautionary measures needed, and the community rallied around us like I had never seen before,” says Martinez. “We came out of the whole experience with a lot of incredible knowledge. From the way we had been running the operations, to the way we served our customers and did to-go orders and catering-everything came under review. At the end of the day, we learned a lot and became smarter and stronger. I was grateful to have the help and support of my brother-in-law, Brandon Brown, and business partner Jason Jackson—both longtime restaurant business veterans and good friends. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Martinez says he is incredibly grateful for his staff and management team. “I’m proud that I was able to keep my staff fully employed during the most trying time in the business. They have always been, and will always be, what’s most important to me.”
That people-first mentality is why LUBA was a strong fit for The Francis Southern Table & Bar.
“LUBA was recommended to me by family and friends. Everyone kept saying that their prices were fair and honest. They’ve really proven themselves to me, and it’s a relationship that I feel very fortunate to have.”
When Greg talks about what the future holds for his business, he says he plans to continue to offer the level of quality, service, and Louisiana spirit his restaurant has maintained over the years, and to continue to prioritize his staff, even in trying times. Most importantly, he wants to stay true to the lessons he has learned over the years about how to treat people in the face of adversity.
People-first and always learning—that sounds like a recipe for success.