Although the standard four menu items had become a local staple, after the Emmett family took over, the menu was the first thing that changed.
The offering at Duffy’s has expanded to include steak, seafood, salads, chicken, and more. But back in 2000, besides beer, customers could choose between the Duffy’s Burger, Duffy Dog, Duffy’s Chicken Sandwich, and the Texas Squealer.
Emmett says he couldn’t recall exactly what went on the Squealer, but remembers it was popular.
He says his father also implemented an “MVP” loyalty program that, while commonplace today, was well ahead of its time in the early-2000s. Recognizing a strong local following in Palm Beach County, he wanted to incentivize loyalty, and by pairing the initiative with a new, sports-focused theme and plenty of TVs, soon saw the concept explode.
But while the name, look, and menu at the restaurants have transformed, Emmett says the same philosophy of quality that his father admired at Duffy’s hasn’t changed in the slightest. Nearly two decades after the Emmett family bought Duffy’s, the company’s mantra remains the same: quality leads to profit.
“The original menu was basic as it could be, but they were just great, well done items,” Emmett says. “So the menu has drastically expanded, but still today, that killer Duffy’s burger remains our biggest item.”
Of course, the chain wouldn’t have lasted more than three decades without some sprucing up. Before the Emmett family created a bit more upscale, albeit casual dining experience, Duffy’s didn’t even have fryers. The draft house’s four menu items were served in baskets and came with bagged chips.