Jon Suddeth to buy Delano Barbeque Co.

WICHITA — Ben E. Keith district sales rep Jon Suddeth was visiting an account, Delano Barbeque Co., when he learned owners Scott and Teri Webb wanted to sell the business.

“I said, “I may know somebody who would be interested,’” says Suddeth, who was thinking of another account of his.

“At the time, I didn’t think it would be me.”

It now is, though. Suddeth and his wife, Michelle, are taking over the restaurant at 710 W. Douglas on June 30.

“I swore I would never do it again,” Jon Suddeth says of getting back in the restaurant business.

He’s previously managed restaurants such as Heroes and Gobi Grille. This is the first time he’ll own a restaurant.

So why does he want back in?

“I’m an idiot.”

Suddeth says he’s keeping his day job, too.

“I’m not leaving Ben E. Keith,” he says. “I do want to make it perfectly clear.”

Michelle Suddeth is going to run the restaurant.

Jon Suddeth says he enjoys selling food to restaurants in addition to diners.

“Essentially, I’m picking up a new account, and it’s mine.”

The Webbs opened Delano Barbeque in 2004 to serve lunch and offer catering.

“I guess we’re both a little bit tired, a little bit burnt out on being on our feet all day,” Scott Webb says.

He says he’s not sure what he and his wife are going to do now but that they have a couple of options.

“It’ll be kind of hard to walk away,” says Webb, who says he’ll miss customers the most.

“There again, my knees will thank me.”

Jon Suddeth says Delano Barbeque has a good reputation so he won’t have to make changes.

“It’s just a matter of keeping the train on the tracks.”

He says he’d like to expand the business, though.

“We know that the opportunity is there for us to open up at night once we get in and get settled.”

Suddeth says after about eight weeks or so, he’ll open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

“Then we’ll expand from there depending on how those nights go.”

In addition, he says he hopes to expand catering into evening events.

“It might be a really good opportunity to do something with it.”

Suddeth says he knows from work he does with other restaurants in the area that they do well.

“I really like the Delano area,” he says.

“The whole area’s really coming together.”