DYER | For a Dyer employee of Texas Roadhouse, helping open a restaurant in Kuwait was a dream come true filled with adventure, fun, education and satisfaction.
Brittany Blackmore, who has been with the company four years, was part of a team of 35 “Roadies” chosen to spend Oct. 23 through Nov. 19 in Kuwait City to help train new employees and prepare the location for its grand opening.
Her love of travel and new experiences spurred Blackmore, a server, trainer and key hourly employee, to volunteer for the assignment.
“I was absolutely excited about the trip,” Blackmore said.
Driving from the airport to downtown Kuwait at night, Blackmore’s first impression was of being in the future.
“Their buildings were just absolutely gorgeous,” Blackmore said. “They had crazy lights on them. The windows lit up blue, red and purple. It looked very futuristic and beautiful.”
The new Kuwait Roadhouse staff greeted their trainers with enthusiasm.
“Normally for openings the trainers are more excited about sharing their passion and then get the trainees excited,” Blackmore said. “It was the other way around. No matter how excited we got they were always so much more excited to be there.”
Most of the trainees were English-speaking from the Philippines and India.
“The only thing we couldn’t do was use any slang sayings because they took every so literally,” Blackmore said. “Opening was crazy and wonderful. We made Texas Roadhouse history with $40,000 in sales. At one point we had sold 270 combo appetizers and 17 six ounce sirloins. In Kuwait, we absolutely sell more fried food than steak which was surprising.”
There were some menu differences.
“In Kuwait, it is against their religion to eat pork,” Blackmore said. “There was absolutely no pork on the menu.”
Beef brisket replace pulled pork dinners, beef ribs replace pork and only beef bacon is used. Blackmore said the bread pudding there is “absolutely phenomenal.”
Since drinking is illegal in Kuwait, the bar sells only non-alcoholic beverages including juice smoothies, Blackmore said. The most notable cultural difference was women’s clothing, Blackmore said. Trainers were told to dress modestly, with no bare shoulders or knees.
One surprise, Blackmore said, is that the women in Kuwait wear beautiful gowns, only shown at home, underneath their black burkas.
Blackmore enjoyed her time in Kuwait.
“I loved it every day, just seeing and being a part of a different culture,” Blackmore said. “It was really great.”
Kuwait is the second international location for Texas Roadhouse, which opened a restaurant in Dubai last year, company spokesperson Kym Voorhees Raque said.