FAIRFIELD — Staying in business for 30 years in the same spot means you must be doing something right.
At least that’s the case for Peking Restaurant in Fairfield’s Woodcreek Plaza Shopping Center on Travis Boulevard.
With three decades under their collective belt, owner Jennie Yueh and husband Steve have no plans to quit anytime soon. Longtime customers will be glad to hear that.
Over time, the restaurant has built a strong relationship with its customers, crucial to the long-term survival of any business. Much of that comes from making the business a family affair.
“Both of our parents were in the restaurant business,” Jennie Yueh said. “We want to make sure the food is healthy, low oil, the highest quality. Our key is to make sure the food is fresh. It’s always made after the customer orders, down to the sweet and sour sauce.”
Yueh said all the vegetables are fresh.
“Even our soup is made with real chicken bones,” she said.
As with any restaurant, repeat customers have become a major part of Peking’s success and longevity.
“A lot of our customers came in with their parents when they were kids and now they’re grown up and married and they come back with their children,” Yueh said. “Every time a new customer comes in (we try to make a good impression).”
Even as customers move out of the area, the restaurant manages to attract new ones.
“We get to know our customers. I know a lot of them by name,” Yueh said. “One of us will be always here.”
Among those customers are Robert and Ellen LeVine of Fairfield.
“We’ve been coming here every Friday for about 20 years,” Robert LeVine said.
There’s a reason for that, too. Actually several reasons.
“The food is good and they’re very friendly people. It’s just a nice place to come,” Ellen LeVine said. “Even our kids say, ‘Can we go to Chinese?’ They like the food here.”
The LeVines aren’t the only ones.
“Some fellow was here last week and he says, ‘I was here when I was a teenager,’ ” Ellen LeVine said.
But it’s the food and the people who keep the couple coming back.
“Everything’s good. Can’t complain, or we wouldn’t be here,” Ellen LeVine said.
Her husband agreed.
“Their food’s good. Their service is good,” Robert LeVine said. “They will fix food to taste. And we’ve known Jennie for a long time.”
Ellen LeVine added: “You get to be friends with them. We see them there and we have to chat, talk about the kids and everything.”
Jennie Yueh attributed that to learning the ropes in her family’s restaurant as she grew up.
“Before this restaurant, we were both in restaurants,” she said. “We worked in our parents’ places. After we were married, we decided to try one.”
Staying on top of things has helped.
“We always know what’s going on in the kitchen, what’s going on in the dining room,” she said. “That’s how we stay in business.”
Jessica Yueh, daughter of owners Jennie and Steve, said there’s a little more to it.
“I grew up with parents owning the restaurant and they treat their customers like family,” Jessica said. “My dad always said he won’t feed his customers anything that he wouldn’t be comfortable with his own three kids eating.”
That attention to quality has served them well.
“They built it up and taught us about business, too, so we can be successful on our own,” Jessica Yueh said.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.