P. Terry’s bringing mom-and-pop style burger stands to San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — San Antonians will have a new breakfast and burger spot to visit when the first P. Terry’s Burger Stand in the city opens next month.

P. Terry’s has three locations planned to open in the northside by next year, with the first opening in the Medical Center on July 5.

“We chose San Antonio because you always want to go where you’re loved,” Patrick Terry, owner of P. Terry’s Burger Stand, said. “We felt like this was a good spot from the beginning, just from the requests we’ve had to move here. So far, so good.”

The Austin-based mom-and-pop style burger shop first opened in 2005 and has since expanded to 20 locations including Georgetown, Lakeway, San Marcos and New Braunfels.

Patrick always had a dream of opening a hamburger stand and that dream became a reality with the help of his wife and co-founder Kathy.

The menu is simple: Cheeseburgers, grilled and crispy chicken sandwiches, a veggie burger, and french fries. For dessert, there is homemade banana bread and milkshakes, including a specialty milkshake that changes month to month.

The Terrys added breakfast to the menu earlier a few years into the business and say the egg burger, breakfast potatoes and freshly squeezed orange juice fit nicely on the menu. Breakfast is served every day from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Doing it right

“It’s a small menu, but it’s nostalgic,” Kathy said. “And just takes you back to your growing up days where it was just the mom-a-pop [stands]. … And when we were going through this process, a friend had recommended I read Fast Food Nation.”

Fast Food Nation is a book published in 2001 by Eric Schlosser that discusses a historical view of the fast-food business in addition to a critical look at the chemical components of the food including meat sourced from factory farms.

“When I read it, I have it to Patrick and said, ‘Okay, if we’re going to do this, then we’re going to do this right,” Kathy said.

From there, P. Terry’s vision to provide people with affordable, quality fast food was born.

“And we stayed true to that vision,” Kathy said. “Not only can we do it fresh, but we can do really good quality.”

Photo courtesy of Southern Influence / A cheeseburger meal from P. Terry’s Burger Stand

When the Terrys say good quality, they mean it. The beef is sourced from a ranch in the Panhandle, the buns come specially made from a local bakery, chicken from a farm in Central Texas, coffee specially roasted by H-E-B and the potatoes from a family farm in Idaho.

All 20 P. Terry’s locations receive their prepped ingredients from a single commissary in Austin where orange juice and lemonade is freshly squeezed, french fries are cut, all burgers — beef, chicken and veggie — are ground and pattied, and desserts like the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and banana bread are baked fresh.

The Terrys maintain close relationships with their vendors to the tune of even helping with things like the potato harvest, sending employees (including themselves) on a pilgrimage to Idaho each year to assist with the annual harvest.

Community Impact

Not only are the Terrys focused on environmental and health impacts through the stringent selection of quality ingredients, but they also keep an eye on community impact.

P. Terry’s gives 100% of the restaurant’s profits to a local non-profit on one selected Saturday per quarter in each of the cities they run a restaurant.

In Austin alone, P. Terry’s has donated more than $1.2 million and San Antonio non-profits will have the chance to be recipients of this program with two Give Back Days set for the fall and winter.

Area non-profits interested in being a recipient of Give Back Days can visit pterrys.com/giving-back.

“These Giving Back Days have been great because we get exposed to all these non-profits that working in the community,” Kathy said. “You’re learning about what are the struggles this community is having, what are the needs and then you’re meeting the people doing the work and creating the impact.”

Employee-first mentality

Company culture and taking care of their employees are integral to P. Terry’s success, the couple said this was exemplified by the fact the company did not lose or lay off a single employee during the global pandemic.

Patrick said they were the first restaurant in Austin to go drive-thru only, as well as paying employees to stay home if they became ill.

“We wanted to take the idea out that said you are either going to have to quit or lose your job, or you’re going to come in sick and make it worse for everyone,” Patrick said. “So how you get out in front of these things is always having the best interest of your employees in mind. When that’s the first thing that comes to your mind, everything else just follows.”

P. Terry’s adopted a $15 minimum wage for full-time employees working 30 hours or more, provides Christmas bonuses, no-interest loans for employees in an emergency, and birthday cakes for each of the more than 900 employees in the company.

The first store opening next month will employ between 60 and 70 employees alone, and the business is currently hiring for all positions.

Despite the employee-first mentality and the changes that followed like the across-the-board raise minimum wage to $15, P. Terry’s remains a great value.

“I remember when we first opened Patrick said, ‘I always want a family of four to eat for under $20,'” Kathy said. “And we have maintained that.”

P. Terry’s will open at 8539 Fredericksburg Rd on July 5.

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