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Meet the Team

Meet The Team: Jennifer Smith

Where Are You From:

Born at St. Mary’s in Knoxville, TN. Raised in St. Augustine, FL.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I am the proud mother of two beautiful children, Andrew and Naomi. My husband Richard and I met 16 years ago, starting our family right away. We are raising our children at our home in Seymour, TN.

My first job, at 15 years old, was a cashier at Winn Dixie. It was then I knew I had a passion for customer service. I couldn’t wait to go to work to see my “regulars”. 

My first job as a server was at Cracker Barrel.  It was probably the best place for me to begin my serving experience. The training is very strict and by the book. The support by the management and the staff prepared me for my future in the service industry.

I have worked in the food/ customer service industry ever since; 12 years for the same corporation. I have made lots of professional relationships and many friendships, including my best friend (and most importantly), my husband Richard.

In 2011, I was offered the opportunity to work for Dead End BBQ. The General Manager, Neal Kelly, was someone that I had previously worked many years for. He is the best in the business, so I knew this was the right decision. The position that was opening was in the catering department for sales. I had never worked in catering, but was excited to try something new.

During the first year, I focused on new customer relationships to grow our business. This was more exciting than I could have imagined! Not only did I help increase the profit of Dead End, but I found many new friends in the business while doing it.

I am now working my fourth year at Dead End BBQ. The catering department has grown and evolved tremendously. I am currently the General Manager of Catering for Dead End BBQ. I manage both of our locations in Knoxville and Maryville.  The best part of my job is that I have the best team EVER to work with.

When you are at work, what is your “go-to” meal?

This is a hard one!! I never have a hard time deciding on a meal at Dead End. I love everything. The Sliced Beef Brisket is the best I’ve ever had. The Smoked Wings are my favorite appetizer. And the Beans & Smoked Sausage is MY FAVORITE side. I definitely recommend having them on every plate you eat.

What is your favorite saying that has been posted on the Dead End Sign?

“Don’t make the same mistake TWICE… Let us CATER your Wedding!”

Share a memorable experience you’ve had during your time at Dead End…

One of my most memorable experiences involves catering at a UT Tailgate. I bet you can imagine the many stories that I could tell. 
It was a crazy day on UT Campus. We had several deliveries & events for the BIG GAME. We dropped off food to a local liquor distributor’s tailgate, set up on top of the parking garage next to Thompson Boling Arena. The wind was moderately blowing, but the drinking pace was much faster J So, I set the food up in heated stands and I told the client that I would return close to kickoff to pick up the equipment.

Boy, was I surprised when I got back!!!  The food table was drenched…and black…. and burnt!!!  

I asked what had happened.  The responses were all totally different?? Finally I got the answer. The wind had blown the tablecloth up and over the heated stands. And of course, no one had noticed due to the celebratory beverages being consumed. 

However, once the table was engulfed in flames, EVERYONE noticed. Unfortunately, there was no water to be found at the tailgate. So they started dumping airplane bottles of liquor on the fire. This wasn’t the smartest or quickest way to resolve the problem, but it eventually worked.

Fortunately, no one was hurt.  And fortunately they had eaten all of the food before the catastrophe!! No wonder no one was paying attention to the table. I guess all you can say is, “Go Vols!”

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