Patrons likely don't notice all the work that goes into a restaurant that runs smoothly. From the kitchen to the storeroom, Fikes Products and Services helps numerous restaurants in the Pacific Northwest attend to the dirty details. 

Image: Geoff Smith

Think you know what it takes to make it in the restaurant industry? You’ll need quality food and an inventive menu, of course. Top-notch service and a standout team are a must. But what about the ability to roll with the punches while attending to the dirty details?

“It’s a very complex business,” says Ethan Stowell, a James Beard nominee and founder of Ethan Stowell Restaurants, which operates some 20 Seattle restaurants, such as How to Cook a Wolf and Tavolàta. “People don’t see all the work that goes into cultivating a good team, building out a nice space, making sure you are compliant and that you have good relationships with vendors who are giving you the best product.” Here’s how Stowell describes an average day in his business:

3 a.m. 

Fikes Products and Services starts its routes to deep clean floors and restrooms when it’s dark and early, servicing restaurants without getting in the way before prep work begins.

4 a.m. 

A bagel maker starts to boil the bread, place online orders, and prep for the morning rush as other staff begins to arrive at Cortina Cafe.

6 a.m. 

Breakfast and coffee service begins as the lunch crews at restaurants like Goldfinch Tavern clock in.

7 a.m. 

Vendors cycle in, and kitchen prep is under way. Purveyors supply fruits, vegetables, and fresh seafood to places like Super Bueno. Fikes consistently re-stocks dry goods and sanitizes facilities to its high standards. Tables are set, tea is brewed, juices are squeezed.

Prep for breakfast, lunch, and dinner services start hours before the doors open. Many in the restaurant business, such as Ethan Stowell Restaurant Group, rely on Fikes for everything from compostable containers to deep floor cleaning. 

Image: Geoff Smith

11 a.m. 

Doors open for lunch as dinner staff arrives. If not serving lunch, restaurants like Staple & Fancy start the prep from scratch—receiving deliveries, confirming reservations, and more. Bars are stocked, and Fikes delivers everything from to-go containers to custom branded napkins and pizza boxes to eateries like Ballard Pizza Co.

4 p.m. 

After-work imbibers head over for happy hour at Rione XIII as the final touches are added to dinner menus all around town.

5 p.m. 

Dinner is served!

11 p.m. 

The last guests head home. The fridge is organized for tomorrow’s deliveries. Tables are wiped, floors are mopped, and garbage is removed. Some chefs handle admin work, and everyone hopes to be headed home by midnight.

Fikes helps more than 3,000 businesses enhance image, save time, and reduce costs with the goal of bringing repeat customers back through the doors. 

Image: Geoff Smith

Of course, this doesn’t consider when employees call in sick, the vegetables are late, or the grill won’t fire up. With hundreds of moving parts, restaurateurs like Stowell must lean on reliable vendors like Fikes.

“We look at purveyors as partners. Fikes is a perfect example,” Stowell says. “They deliver all their products, refill the cleaning supplies, drop off and put away the pizza boxes and various other products where we want them and when we need them, and they monitor our weekly inventory. That’s heaven!”

Fikes CEO and Founder Mark Sims 

Numerous restaurants in the Pacific Northwest like the ESR Group rely on Fikes for everything from compostable containers to deep floor clean¬ing, pest control, restroom care, and a full line of products for both the front and back of house. Led by CEO and Founder Mark Sims since 2003, the Washington-based company that started out of a modest 10-by-10 storage unit now has multiple distribution centers and helps more than 3,000 businesses all over the Northwest enhance image, save time, and reduce their costs all while bringing repeat customers through their doors.

“We hear time and again from our most successful restaurant brands that the long-term value of a repeat patron is worth the investment in their facility and the details. And we’re proudly obsessed with those dirty details,” Sims says. “In today’s climate, we hear repeatedly that it’s extremely difficult to reduce costs, that nobody has enough time, and to enhance or even maintain a business’s image can be frustrating. Our brand and purpose was founded to mitigate or eliminate those challenges, and we’re proud to do it.”

Ready to trust Fikes with your company’s facility? Want to learn more about the array of services and products Fikes can offer? Visit or request more information at [email protected]