Wendy Krispin got into the catering business 30 years ago, but she says that story isn’t interesting anymore. What really matters, she insists, is her growing restaurant business—specifically, Royal 60, which opened in the Design District last fall.
Featuring French Colonial cuisine, Royal 60 is Krispin’s second go-round in the Design District. Her first, Krispin the Restaurant, just off Stemmons Freeway, was closed last June so she could relocate and expand the kitchen space. Royal 60 is open for lunch Monday through Friday; on evenings and weekends, the 80-seat eatery serves as an events venue.
With her Wendy Krispin Catering handling a whopping 300 to 400 events a month—for clients ranging from Baylor Health System and Gucci to the Dallas Stars and Park Place Motorcars—it’s a wonder the busy entrepreneur has time for a restaurant at all. Both operations, however, seem to be flourishing.
Although she declined to disclose revenue, Krispin says it has doubled in the last 18 months. The bulk of her sales, nearly 85 percent, still comes from the catering side.
Between the two operations, Krispin employs 40 full-time workers—some of whom have been with her for two decades. She has a loyal customer base, too. Krispin knows nearly every person who walks in the door of Royal 60 and takes time to stop and chat with each one.
The restaurant and catering businesses are like working in two different worlds, she says. For example, there’s much less control on the catering side.
“When you’re catering, from the moment you wake up in the morning, a million things can go wrong,” she says. “The napkin company may have missed its ship date; the customer may have decided they want to serve alcohol so you have to get a TABC license—anything can happen. But I’m a glutton for punishment. I love all the red flags that get thrown in my face.”
On the restaurant side, her biggest pet peeve is anonymous critics spouting off on the Internet. If customers have a problem, she says, they should speak up, so she can help resolve any issues before the diners leave unhappy.
All in all, Krispin says, she’s enjoying her work. And with things going well at Royal 60 so far, she’s now laying the groundwork for a second restaurant location.
Through the years she says she’s helped people mark every kind of milestone—from traditional birthdays, to a wedding where the bride rode down the aisle on her childhood pony, to solemn funerals. “You get to see people at all the important parts of their lives,” she says.