MILWAUKEE - Working in the service industry can be both demanding and rewarding, but sometimes the outcome depends on the relationship between boss and employee. Every Tuesday at Sobelman’s North Shore location, the owner makes sure a very special employee shines in the spotlight the same way his restaurant’s burgers do.
Brian Kramp introduces us to a man whose kindness, work ethic, and pleasant personality are honored every week with a big day that compliments his big heart.
The sizzle…size…and taste of a Sobelman’s Burger “and for the last five, six, seven years, it’s Bloody Mary’s” naturally lure in customers. But, as memorable as the Sobelman’s burgers and Bloody Mary’s are, there’s a special side to Sobelman’s North Shore location not many people know.
Tim Luhr, 24, has built quite a fan base working lunch shifts over the last three years.
“People like Tim. Tim likes the people and it does make for a happier lunch.”
And every Tuesday?
“Well, it’s Big Tim Tuesday. Tim works, we work and together we take a Facebook post we announce to the world it’s Big Tim Tuesday. It’s something we look forward to, customers look forward to.”
So does Tim.
“My favorite job is here. Because here is a nice place. There are nice people here," said Tim Luhr.
“We all look forward to it, we get together we stand by the sign there, we take the pictures, Big Tim Tuesday.”
Tim’s dedication to his job along with his work ethic gave owner Dave Sobelman a reason to honor him on a weekly basis.
“This morning, when we all got here, Tim had been here for fifteen, twenty minutes, can’t recall how much time, but he got everything done. The menus were done, the ice was got for the bar for the bloody Mary station. He comes in to do his work sometimes he’ll come to show and he’s here before anybody else, any of the front of the house staff and he’ll decide to mop if it needs to be done, you know. That’s pretty impressive.”
Once customers start arriving for lunch Tim makes sure they’re greeted and seated with a smile.
“When Tim’s working for lunch it makes for a pleasant lunch you know the people like him they say hi/bye to him you know, sometimes slip him a tip for his good work you know he’s a very pleasant person and it’s pleasant to have him around.”
Which is a pretty nice compliment coming from the boss.
“It makes me feel special," said Luhr.
“In truth, he’s more responsible and showing up every day more than some of my employees. He does his job better than some of my employees. He’s more pleasant than some of my employees.”
But as much as Tim enjoys working at Sobelman’s, he does have another dream.
“One day I asked him, I said Tim, what do you want to be when you grow up? And I think I’ve even asked him more than once. But he says he wants to be a celebrity.”
Sobelman’s Northshore location opens later this morning at 11am and you can guarantee that Tim will once again be ready for his shift and big day, but this time behind his mask he’ll be sporting a smile befitting a celebrity.