Editor’s note: This month’s Business Beacon is a spotlight on Papa Surf Burger Bar, a new restaurant project from Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley, Jason Aldean and former Braves pitcher Tom Glavine. General manager Austin Miett talks to us about burgers, beer and good vibes.
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1. How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
AM: The idea came from the area’s love for good food. This area has a lot of great restaurants and we felt there was a void for a really cool spot to hang out and have a good burger. The owners bought the building a few years ago and patiently waited for the right idea to come along. They owned the name “Papa Surf” and felt that this building would be the perfect spot for the name to meet the concept.
2. Let’s discuss numbers: What year did you open? How many locations do you have? How many people do you employ?
AM: We opened in late August 2023 and have a staff of about 25.
3. What do you sell or what service do you provide? What’s your best seller?
AM: We sell exceptional food and cold drinks in a cool, welcoming environment. Our top sellers are the Beach Cowboy burger and the Burnin’ It Down burger.
4. What’s unique about what you do or offer?
AM: Our food is truly unique because we care about what we do on every level. We use a local Wagyu beef. A lot of our other ingredients are locally sourced.
5. How would you describe your business to a potential customer?
AM: I would say this is a place where you can come to enjoy an amazing burger along with some cool vibes. This restaurant is the kind of place to sit and just back and enjoy the experience.
6. What do you love most about your line of work?
AM: I love making people happy. I have always been of the mind that this industry is all about people.
7. What sorts of trends are you seeing in your industry?
AM: People are more focused on being aware of what goes into their food. The brands that are willing to focus on being transparent about the food they’re serving will continue to do well.
8. Tell me in just a sentence or two what you feel sets you apart from your competitors.
AM: Our commitment to serving high-quality food in a warm, welcome environment. We are set apart through the true care that we have put into building the menu and the environment of the restaurant.
9. Who or what inspires you? This could be a family member or celebrity, a particular quote or even a book/movie/podcast. The sky’s the limit!
AM: I am inspired by my wife and son. They are the reason I come in day after day.
10. What’s the best thing about being a part of the Emerald Coast, personally and/or professionally?
AM: This area is great because everyone supports each other. In the off-season, it is nice to know that the locals that live here love to support the businesses that serve them. It doesn’t hurt that the beaches are the most beautiful in the state.
11. Are you/your business involved in the community in any way? Volunteering or giving back? If so, how?
AM: We are excited to involve ourselves in the community. The owners are very involved in the Emerald Coast community.
12. What does a typical day in your business look like? (Pretend it’s Monday (or Friday!) and take me through the highlights of your day.)
AM: We start the day by coming in and getting some prep work done. We make sauces, portion out beef, etc. We open at 11 a.m. and start cranking out the delicious food right away.
13. What’s your best “insider tip?” (This could be a community tip for vacationers or homeowners or even a tip for customers related to your business.)
AM: I would say as a tip to people coming to the area, to explore the areas of the Panhandle that are a little north of the beach. There are a lot of beautiful nature areas to explore while visiting.
14. How do you recharge or relax when the day is done?
AM: After working, I love to go home and spend time with my wife and son. If I am off, I love to play golf!
15. Just the deets, please! Where are you located? Business hours? Social media profiles and/or website links we need to know about? (Please feel free to add social media handles or direct links!)
AM: We are located at 4324 West County Highway 30A in Santa Rosa Beach. We are open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Find them on the web at papasurf.com or on Instagram at @papasurfburgerbar.)
16. One final question: If there was just one thing you wish the public knew about your business, what would it be?
AM: I would love for them to know that we are fully committed to coming in every day to create an exceptional visit for them, both from a culinary and guest experience perspective.