Many residents of the Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex are familiar with Blue Goose Cantina because of its quick service, strong margaritas and Tex-Mex food made with fresh ingredients, according to managers.
What many residents do not know is that Blue Goose is family-owned and -operated.
The business was originally started by friends Bob Peterson and Scott Holyfield, who opened the first location on Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas in 1984. Both have since died, but Peterson’s wife, Jill, and son, Nick, now run the business.
While Blue Goose has grown significantly since the ‘80s, Grapevine General Manager Lacy Schara said it has managed to hold onto a family-style, small-business feel.
The restaurant aimed to be a late-night margarita party location back in the ‘80s, but as it enters its 37th year, it has expanded into the suburbs and changed its hours in order to send employees home well before its original 2 a.m. closing time.
“We tend to keep management or have people work from the host stand up [to management], like I did,” said Schara, who has worked for Blue Goose Cantina locations across the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the past 13 years. “We’re a big family. Once [they] are here, people tend to never want to leave. We enjoy the bond.”
Another dimension of the family feel that Schara describes is the loyalty that employees have to the company, which she said is uncommon. While there is generally a fair amount of employee turnover in the restaurant industry, Blue Goose Cantina locations from Grapevine to Plano have employees that have remained a part of the business for as long as 20 or even 30 years.
One of the main reasons the company has been able to keep some employees for so long and why it has lower turnover than other restaurants, Schara said, is because management for Blue Goose Cantina prioritizes work-life balance and treats every employee like family.
After closing at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic from mid-March to the end of June, the Grapevine location has since reopened with increased cleaning, use of face masks and other sanitation practices in place. And unlike some restaurants, it has decreased the number of outdoor tables in order to create safe distance between customers, Schara said.
“We are absolutely here for our customers,” she said. “We want to make them feel as safe as possible.”
Ian Pribanic contributed to this report.
Blue Goose Cantina
2455 E. Grapevine Mills Circle, Ste. 2048, Grapevine
Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Blue Goose Cantina in Grapevine boasts familial environment
The Tacos Dorados ($14) are made with pulled chicken and are topped with salsa verde, lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo and cotija cheese. (Photos courtesy Blue Goose Cantina)