Michael Lewis is the owner and head dishwasher of Big Mike’s BBQ Smokehouse with locations in Houma and Thibodaux. Big Mike’s is also a member of the Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce.
Michael is no stranger to the restaurant industry. “I am an industry veteran trained to meet high demand in high volume corporate-ran restaurants,” he said. “My goal to buy my first car was my inspiration to gain employment at the age of 16. After years of success in Houma, the desire to expand and encouraging patrons asking me to come to Thibodaux, I made it my mission to make it happen. Thibodaux, like Houma, is very community-oriented and is one of the best places to create a community gathering place.”
Big Mike’s BBQ Smokehouse is a barbeque joint first and foremost, but they also like to create dishes that incorporate different styles of cooking and flavors. “Our Jamaican Jerk wings are an example of this. We love barbeque, but we also have a passion for great music,” said Michael. “Our goal is to tie them together and give our patrons a place they love to come to for both.”
As far as one piece of advice to someone just starting out, Michael said, “Owning a restaurant is not for the faint of heart, in fact, it can be brutal! Anyone endeavoring to get into the hospitality industry should always put the love of owning a restaurant equal to their passion to earn a respectable living! This is not a get rich quick scheme, in fact, there are far better businesses to get into. If my advice has discouraged you, I have done you a favor, if it has gotten you even more fired up to succeed, this just might be your calling!”
Michael has great ambition when it comes to motivating and steering Big Mike’s BBQ Smokehouse on a successful path. “Achieving my goals of building up our employees, our brand, and giving the community its very own ‘Cheers’ is my greatest ambition for Big Mike’s BBQ and is what motivates me to continue improving. I am a strong believer that the great job we may have done yesterday does not count today.”
Being part of the Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce bas been a master class for Michael in managing his own business. “The opportunity to develop fellowship with the business community is valuable and allows you to be a part of a group filled with business-minded people.”
For more information about Big Mike’s BBQ Smokehouse you can visit www.bigmikesbbqsh.com.
Written by Ben Jones, Jr.
Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce Insight