"Hop Jack's is locally famous for its brews, burgers, and neighborhood feel. The company has 12 restaurants, with three more under construction, mostly around Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. It employs 800 people and does more than $30 million in annual sales. The casual-dining juggernaut is the creation of a first-time entrepreneur who found himself unemployed in his 50s.
Mark Eggen, 62, spent most of his life working for the Red Robin chain, where he learned two things: how to run restaurants and how to scale restaurants. Eggen would likely have been a Red Robin lifer had the company's IPO not required he relocate from Seattle to Denver. Unwilling to move while his kids were in high school, Eggen joined another company, from which he got fired.
Eggen next bought a pizza franchise and ran it for three years. But being a good franchiser did not make him a very good franchisee. "At that age and point in my experience, I did not like being told what to do," he says. "So eight years ago--I was 54--I came home and said, 'Honey, I have got just enough money left to open my own restaurant.'"
After selling the pizza restaurant back to the company, Eggen had $100,000 to invest in the new venture. He also applied to the bank that financed his franchise for a $500,000 loan. "They said, 'Yeah, if you put your house up,'" says Eggen. "I knew it was a risk, but I wanted to do it. If I was unsuccessful, I was going to have to work a lot longer. But I enjoy working."
Coming up with a concept was easy: Eggen knew bars and burgers. Having started his career running an individual Red Robin, he believed restaurants that reflect the personality and leadership of the general manager treat people better--and consequently perform better--than corporate-driven entities. So he positioned Hop Jack's as a cozy neighborhood gathering spot, but with the infrastructure to scale."
Comments Off on Local Read Across America Day Activities
"The 5th Annual Read Across America Community Celebration is set for Edmonds and Lynnwood next week. Occurring near the birthday of Dr. Seuss (March 2) and sponsored by the National Education Association, Read Across America Day is focused on encouraging families to read together, and also raises funds locally for Edmonds School District libraries.
The fun starts Thurday, March 2 from 3-7 p.m. at Crossroads Center at 196th and Highway 99 in Lynnwood. There will be guest readers at Yogurtland, an “I’ve got a Thing for Reading” scavenger hunt starting at Great Clips, a balloon artist at Hop Jacks, carnival games at various locations in the shopping center, and photo opportunities with the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1, and Thing 2.
Yogurtland is providing free yogurt for the first 100 students, and Hop Jacks is donating 20 percent of guest bills that evening to school libraries — just bring a Read Across America flyer. There will be adult goody bags available, and Smith Brothers Farms will be handing out free beverages."
Hop Jack’s, the Klahanie restaurant where 22-year-old Mo Radcliffe worked, held a fundraiser for Radcliffe’s family on Tuesday evening.
Radcliffe was killed in a hit-and-run on Jan. 25 at Beaver Lake Park. The event raised over $2,200.
On Tuesday evening, a packed house turned out at Hop Jack’s, the Klahanie restaurant where 22-year-old Mo Radcliffe worked.
The restaurant held a fundraiser for the family of Radcliffe, who was killed in a hit-and-run on Jan. 25 at Beaver Lake Park. The restaurant gave the family 20 percent of its sales from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. to help with funeral expenses. The event raised over $2,200.
Susie Bauer, a marketing specialist with Hop Jack’s, said it was the busiest Tuesday night the Klahanie restaurant had seen. She added the restaurant experienced close to a record-breaking three hours in sales.
Comments Off on Department of Defense Patriot Award
Congratulations to Maple Valley Hop Jack's General Manager Mark Eilinger for receiving "The Patriot Award."
This award was presented by Larry Kerchner from the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve. "It reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed."
Hop Jack's team member and reservist, Justin Crawford, nominated Mark for this award. Thank you Justin for your service to our country and for making this award possible for Mark and all of us at Hop Jack's!
HOP JACK’S MANAGER RECEIVES DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PATRIOT AWARD
BY VOICE OF THE VALLEY | NOVEMBER 30, 2016
"Mark Eilinger, General Manager of the Hop Jack’s Restaurant in Maple Valley, Washington was presented the Patriot Award on November 9th by Larry Kirchner, Military Outreach Director for the Washington state Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Committee, in recognition of his extraordinary support of an employee who serves in the Army Reserve.
Eilinger was nominated by Sergeant Justin Crawford, a member of the Army Reserve’s 909th Human Resource Company in Bothell, WA. In his civilian career, Crawford is an assistant manager at the Hop Jack’s restaurant in Maple Valley. Hop Jack’s has twelve locations in Washington State and one location in Oregon. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units both when called to state support missions and federal active duty.
Sgt Crawford, in the award nomination, expressed his gratitude for the support and accommodation provided by Mr. Eilinger and the management at his workplace. “I am grateful to Mr. Eilinger and Hop Jack’s for their patriotism,” said Crawford. “By supporting me, Mr. Eilinger and Hop Jack’s have allowed me to both maintain my civilian job and serve in our military.”
Hop Jack’s, “A Neighborhood Gathering Place,” was founded in the Pacific Northwest, and is owned by the Eggen family and partners. The first location opened in Bonney Lake, Washington in August of 2009.
Company wide, Hop Jack’s employs over 650 in the state of Washington with plans to add additional stores over the next several years. Hop Jack’s current locations include Spokane at Northpoint, Spokane Valley Mall, Issaquah, Silverdale, Bonney Lake, Lacey, Lakeland Hills, Lynnwood, Maple Valley, Kennewick, Smokey Point and Richland, Washington. The most recent Hop Jack’s opened in October of 2016 in Happy Valley, Oregon."