Meet Kathy Muir
A Be A Better Human Story
A line dancer, avid pontoon boater and 33 ½ year veteran server, Kathy Muir brings a plate full of talent and heart to every shift here at First Watch. Named the first Black Apron server in Kansas, Kathy is perhaps our longest serving team member. And her pride in her work hasn’t slowed down one bit – from the hundreds of team members she’s trained to the customers who keep coming back for her unmatched service and charm.
How’d you begin your First Watch journey?
I moved to Kansas shortly before starting at the First Watch location on 95th Street in Overland Park, Kansas. I’ve always been a people person, so I feel that I totally follow what First Watch is about. I started off as a hostess, then a server, then they asked me to manage. I went to our 83rd Street restaurant for nine years and managed there for two. That’s when I got pregnant and had my second son, and I went back to serving so I could be with my boys more. Not too long after that, I became the first Black Apron in Kansas. Now, you can find me serving at 119th Street restaurant in Overland Park!
You were the first Black Apron in Kansas…that’s incredible! Tell us how that felt.
It was awesome. I felt like I was being recognized for my hard work. The acknowledgement honestly made me feel like the company liked what I was doing, that I was doing my job correctly. That’s the type of person I am – I’m a hard worker, and because of it, I’ve trained a lot of team members, probably in the hundreds if you counted.
What’s something that working at First Watch has brought out in you?
I feel like the company has helped me a lot. From the time I started, I was 28 years old, and now a lot of the younger team members call me their work mom. I am direct and honest, and I don’t sugarcoat anything. When people want to ask me about something serious or important, I warn them that they might not like my answer because a lot of people don’t want to hear the truth. Over the years, I feel like I’ve become a sort of counsel and talk to people about certain issues – not telling them what to do, but instead giving them advice. I always say: “Take with it what you want and hopefully learn from it.”
You’ve been with First Watch for 33 1/2 years.
What keeps you coming back?
A lot of it is my customers, because they all tell me not to leave and they’ve become my friends. Like today, we had a new team member start and tell me, “Oh my gosh, everybody loves you, Kathy!” I have a lot of regulars that come in asking for my section and it makes me feel good. And honestly, that’s why I do what I do: to make our customers feel good and keep them coming back.
What are you most proud of at First Watch?
At our 83rd Street restaurant, I had a regular customer who ran a local newspaper called The Squire. A couple years in a row, I was awarded Best Waitress in Kanas City in his paper and even received a plaque. Also, on my 25th anniversary with the company, First Watch gave me a trip to Vegas – it was so unexpected and so appreciated. I unfortunately did not win big, though, so maybe next time I’ll get lucky!
What advice would you give to new First Watch employees?
You have to make sure your customers are being taken care of from the moment they enter the door to the moment they leave. And to enjoy your job, you need to have fun – and we do here at First Watch – but you can’t forget to do what you’re here to do first.
What do you like doing outside of work?
Spending time with my family, Marvin and friends and watching my sons DJ. After that, I like going to football games and dancing to country music – line-dancing and such. I would say I’m pretty good at it. A new location reopened near my place, so I started going there once in a while.
Where are you the happiest?
Spending time with my sons or hanging out with Marvin and our friends out in the barn, on pontoon rides or sitting around the bonfire making new and fun memories!
What does family mean to you?
Family is everything to me. I think of my two sons, Ryan and Austin, and my boyfriend Marvin, who is an amazing man and I’m glad to be with him. As my sons get older, I don’t see them as much, but they know their mother still loves them. They’re both DJs, playing at night. As many times as I can, I try to go watch them.
I have a lot of regulars that come in asking for my section and it makes me feel good. And honestly, that’s why I do what I do: to make our customers feel good and keep them coming back.– Kathy Muir
What’s a dream you hope to achieve?
My dream is to be financially free. I have an older home that’s sprawled out on five acres– it’s peaceful and I like it out there, but it’s older and there are issues I just cannot afford. I pray daily that in the next few years I can retire and be able to afford to live without working. And take a few vacations, too. My late husband won a trip to Hawaii through business several years back and we went to the Big Island and Maui. It’s a place I wouldn’t mind seeing again if possible.
Since you’ve been a part of our team since the very beginning, is there anyone you would like to recognize for impacting your First Watch journey?
I’m so thankful for John Sullivan and Ken Pendery for starting First Watch. Ken was always easy to talk to – he’d always come in smiling, asking how he could help. In some places I’ve worked, that was unheard of. As far as First Watch goes, I am proud to have worked for Ken and proud to be part of his company. I would also to give recognition and thanks to Ron Hendrix and Rod Hennig for their tremendous leadership, guidance, support and knowledge. They both helped me so much through my journey with First Watch. Thank you for everything.
Want to join Kathy in making days brighter?