Owner shares key to Cold Fusion’s success


Regina Neeman

Cold Fusion’s owner Joe Perkins, states that he owes all of the restaurant’s success to his phenomenal employees, community and customers. Perkins states that everyone is able to find something on his wide-variety menu and that it fits every customer’s needs.

Consistency. That is the main ingredient that Joe Perkins, owner of Cold Fusion, attributes to the success of his restaurant. Cold Fusion is celebrating its 1-year anniversary on Main Street of downtown Platteville.

Cold Fusion is one of the first restaurants to make it past the 6-month mark at the 92 East Main Street location. This space has seen its fair share of restaurants come and go, but none that have been fortunate enough to last.

“You’ve got to serve the same thing every time. If people come in and get something different every time even though it’s the same order, they’re not going to come back,” Owner of Cold Fusion, Joe Perkins said.

Perkins has been in the restaurant business 27 years and has owned restaurants before. He has also been a certified chef for 23 years and a certified master chef for 13.

Over the years, Perkins has learned to measure the success of his restaurants by the feedback that he receives from talking with his customers and not necessarily by how much the restaurants make in sales. Reviews are great, but he prefers face-to-face communication from his customers.

“If for some reason there is a bad experience, I want people to tell me right then and there. Let me fix it. Let me take care of you so that you do come back,” Perkins said.

Perkins believes that the only way to succeed in the restaurant business is to be consistent and to have a phenomenal staff, which he is confident that Cold Fusion has.

“If I did not have a good staff we would not be where we are right now. We are successful for two reasons-constancy and our phenomenal staff,” Perkins said.

Perkins also takes pride in the pace of serving in his eatery. Understanding that students and community members are busy, he trains his staff for speed so that patrons do not have to wait too long for their food.

“You have to be open to new ideas. You can’t compromise the restaurant or the quality of the food. That’s why we have vegan items, meat, everything. If you can’t find something on the menu, it’s because you didn’t look hard enough,” Perkins said.

Perkins says that his restaurant should always run better when he is not there, rather then when he is. He has a great confidence in his entire staff and knows that they play a huge role in the success of Cold Fusion.

“Joe pushes us to work hard, get to and consider every customer’s needs-the five dollar burger and the different deals throughout the week, plus the constant change, as well as the great staff bring people in,” Rachel Bekele, senior graphic design major and Cold Fusion server said.

Friendships among staff members seems to be the trend.

“Everyone has fun, but works really hard. It’s a really good work atmosphere, and I enjoy bonding with all of the employees,” Bekele said.

“I enjoy going to work and I like everyone I work with. Enjoying yourself at work is a plus,” Bryan Duffin, Cold Fusion server said.

Miners, the restaurant that previously occupied the location that is now Cold Fusion, was temporarily closed in June of 2013 for general improvements and planned to re-open in August. Perkins believes that being closed during the summer breaks your continuity, and that being open during the summer is just as important as it is during the rest of the year.

Perkins expressed that he could not have done it with out the outstanding support of the Platteville community. He explained that during the summer, Cold Fusion was just as busy as it was during the school year.

“It’s the most successful restaurant that’s been in that location, and it’s good for Platteville. I don’t see it going away anytime soon,” Duffin said.

Looking back to Aug. 21, 2013 when Cold Fusion was opened after only 12 days of preparation, Perkins continues to have high hopes for his restaurant and is taking the steps to continuously get the word out about Cold Fusion.

“People need to know that we are here and we are open for business,” Perkins said.
The restaurant will be starting to do Trivia on Tuesday nights as well as expanding his menu to include a Reuben, fried green beans, “land calamari” and fresh seafood with his overall goal of making sure that there is always something for everyone at Cold Fusion.

To stay up to date with what is going on at Cold Fusion, stop by for a bite, follow the restaurant on Facebook, or check out www.coldfusionrestaurant.com.