Introducing the Zarda BBQ “Get to Know” series. Every so often we’ll interview a different Zarda team member.
Today we’re getting to know Zarda’s Blue Springs General Manager, Mike Ronchetto. Learn all about Mike, what he loves about working at Zarda, and his outside of work hobbies!
- How long have you been at Zarda, and how did you get your start?
I started on my last day of school my junior year in high school, which I believe was Friday 5/23/97 – so that would be 23 years this month. I chose Zarda because my older brother worked here when he was in high school and said it was a good company. I started on the first rung, of the ladder – as a dish washer/bus boy.
- What aspect of your job at Zarda do you enjoy the most?
I think I honestly enjoy watching the growth and progress of the employees. Most of them are nervous high schoolers starting their first job. Over time, they grow into confident hardworking individuals.
- What is your personal favorite thing on the Zarda menu, and what makes it so good?
Definitely the Turkey Crunch! I think the combination of the fried turkey and house made Chipotle mayo make it so good. And of course, the bacon!
- Tell us a little bit about your family and what you like to do outside of work?
I have a wife and two little boys. I’ve been married for 10 years and my sons are 6 and 4 years old. Outside of work I enjoy sports, hunting and fishing, and just relaxing with the family at home by the pool.
- What is the one thing on the menu that someone who has never had Zarda has to try?
Definitely our award-winning Limited Reserve Burnt Ends!
- You’ve been at Zarda a long time, any favorite memories working at Zarda?
I’d have to say it was working Christmas Eve for the first few years of my career here. Mike Zarda would bring a TV/VCR up to the kitchen and we’d all watch Christmas Vacation while we made orders. We were quoting Chevy Chase the rest of the shift.
- What accomplishment are you most proud of at Zarda?
I’d say the greatest accomplishment I’m most proud of isn’t a typical feat like coordinating an event or anything like that. It was building the relationship I had with Mike Zarda.
- What separates Zarda BBQ from other KC BBQ places?
Our employees – both from a customer perspective as well as a manager. From the customer perspective, they are friendly and helpful and genuinely care about helping you. From a manager perspective, they are dedicated and hardworking and like part of the family.
- If you could create one menu item for Zarda what would it be? Describe it to us!
I guess it would be a Baby Back Rib with a Honey BBQ sauce. The sauce would have to have a bit of heat to it though.
We appreciate Mike and everything that he does for the Zarda team! Look for Mike at the Blue Springs Zarda location. Stay tuned as we feature more Zarda team members in the future!