KATY PEOPLE OF THE YEAR 2017 HONOREE
Restaurant Owners Paid Wages for His Staff Even After Hurricane Harvey Flooded Out Snappy's
Katy Magazine is proud to recognize Bobby Katsabas on behalf of Snappy's Cafe & Grill as a 2017 People of the Year Honoree for paying his entire staff for two months while repairs were being made to the restaurant.
KATY MAGAZINE | December 2017
By Ashley Lancaster
Opening Photo by Tiffany Lanza
Solving the world's problems one cup of coffee at a time...
If you want to know the latest details on what's happening in Katy, there's no better place to go than Snappy's Cafe & Grill on Highway Blvd. in the heart of the historic downtown portion of the city. Everyday neighbors, law enforcement, school district representatives, and even state and local officials all meet over coffee and biscuits to rub elbows, compare notes, talk about the latest update in high school sports, and plan Katy's bright future. Most recently, Bobby and co-owner and brother-in-law Alex traveled to Austin, Texas to accept a proclamation from State Representative Mike Schofield (also a Snappy's regular) recognizing 15 years of success in Katy as a "mom-and-pop-style restaurant that has become known far and wide for it's rib-sticking dishes and for being a place where people gather to remember old times and solve the world's problems."
Where everybody knows your name
One permanent fixture at every table, and a name everybody knows, is owner Bobby Katsabas. Bobby, his wife Effie, and her brother Alex all run the popular breakfast and lunch spot together, and have a front-and-center seat to the conversations that keep business and social life moving in Katy. Many joke that Snappy's is the "Cheers" of Katy, just switch out the bar and the beer for coffee and toast, and you've got a successful formula for becoming Katy's most popular gathering place.
The second flooding of Snappy's
So when the Tax Day Floods hit in April of 2016, regulars and staff alike were concerned that their livelihood, daily routine, and pocketbooks would be affected, but Bobby, Effie, and Alex were prepared to do what was right. The repairs to the store took one week to complete, and each and every staff member received pay for the days that they couldn't work. "It was the right thing to do," says Katsabas. "Without them, we don't have a leg to stand on." An incredibly generous feat for sure, ut fast forward to August 2017, when Snappy's got hit for a second time, and worse than ever before. It was a matter of several days before Bobby and other Snappy's employees could even get to the building to find out how extensive the damage was, and once they did, it became clear that recovery was going to take a lot longer than a few days - if it were possible at all.
Rebuilding with the support of family and friends
"We had to rebuild everything from the ground up. Walls, electrical, equipment, everything," says Katsabas. And while his home and the homes of his family members didn't take on any water, Bobby knew that he had a responsibility to look out for the people who earn their living at Snappy's, about 20 people. This time, each and every Snappy's employee received two months worth of pay while the store was being rebuilt. "Snappy's is all about family, and our staff is like family to us. They have families to take care of," he says.
That "we're all family" dynamic came into play when it was time to get things set up for their re-opening. Employees and their families, regulars, city officials, and more showed up to set up tables, sweep floors, and help get their favorite breakfast joint up and running again. "We are so grateful to all of our customers and the community for coming out to help us get rebuilt. You are all like family."