GUERNSEY – Twisters, the quaint eatery and bed & breakfast at 84 N. Wyoming Street in Guernsey has a new manager who also does double and triple duty in a time when good help is not only hard to find, but also hard to keep.
Darrell Reitz (56) took over in July and has been cooking, waiting tables and working the cash register along with setups and cleanups.
“I was in retail for 32 years,” he said. “After that I just wanted to look for something else, anything different would be good. After that many years in retail, I just grew tired of it and wanted to move on.”
Darrell was a friend of Craig Frederick, the Twisters owner and the two have known each other for many years. The two met while Reitz was working at ShopKo. That is where Reitz began his retail career in 1988.
He was born in Sydney, Montana, and growing up he had jobs working in the restaurant and hospitality areas. After high school, Reitz joined Pamida and quickly moved into an assistant manager position before eventually becoming a manager.
He moved as the company moved him five times before he settled down into one location. As for cooking, Reitz said that he learned when he was in high school and picked up a lot of things on his own.
“I had never cooked breakfast, so that’s something I’ve been learning,” he said. “Because of some recent turnover I was kind of thrust into cooking. I have a few cooks helping me, but I would like to find one more who could come in and work since we have extended our hours.”
Starting to manage a bed-and-breakfast along with a restaurant can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have the experience in those areas. Reitz says the biggest challenge is finding the help and another big challenge is holding on to the help you hire.
“With the whole COVID thing, I think a lot of businesses are going through this,” he said. “The workers just can’t be found right now. I have the positions if people want to work. Right now, I am doing a lot of the cooking and waiting tables and it would free me up to do other things if I could find a few good employees. I would like to find a few waitresses and one more cook.”
One of the advantages that Reitz has from his background is the extensive work in customer service as opposed to a job where there is no contact with the general public.
Some of the things that Reitz wants to do that will give back to the community is a “Twist Fest” instead of an Octoberfest.
“We would also like to open up both dining rooms and have like a karaoke night,” he said. “I haven’t really sat down with Craig to see if it’s something he’s interested in doing.”
Twisters was open during the street dance with an outdoor barbecue and they also cater to Trail Ruts Golf Course for banquets and Chamber things.
“Mostly to start, it’s just us keeping up here, and getting things going,” he said. “We also just extended our hours which are Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Reitz is making the move from Wheatland and is purchasing a house in Guernsey which will really tax his schedule since he is a workaholic. He also enjoys working in his yard. He attends the UPC in town and enjoys his church family as well as the cozy town of Guernsey.
“I’m excited to do this,” he said. “There are never two days alike. And never a dull moment.”
As far as their working relationship thus far, Frederick is pleased.
“We’ve known each other for quite a while,” Frederick said. “He’s just an overall great person and he has a lot of solid managerial experience and I know the work that he’s done at ShopKo. Being in the business field myself, and in customer service, he is a good fit for us. He is also a very hard worker and not afraid to put in the extra hours if needed to get things done. And he does. Get things done.”