Carrie Rengers

Looking to get in the restaurant business? Ben Arnold says he has some 'sweet little deals'

Ben Arnold wants to stay in the restaurant and catering business, but he says he no longer wants to operate cafes within businesses.
Ben Arnold wants to stay in the restaurant and catering business, but he says he no longer wants to operate cafes within businesses. Wichita Eagle file

Ben Arnold is once again looking to get out of the cafe business. He says he's having a hard time keeping up with all of his cafes located in businesses.

"I go through managers like somebody goes through a bottle of water on a hot July afternoon," Arnold says.

He says he wants to focus on his Corporate Caterers of Wichita and AVI Seabar & Chophouse.

Arnold calls them "my bread and butter."

"The cafes are a second thought, and they're getting treated like a second thought," he says. "I need to realign my focus."

The cafes include Cafe 151 in the Cargill building, Cafe Intrust, Cafe Cox and Cafe 245 in the Farm Credit Bank building. That cafe will be shutting down for a month or two soon for a $500,000 remodel.

Arnold says he'll spend the month of May separating the cafes and their food and other orders from his catering company and AVI.

"All of my businesses are so intertwined," he says.

By making the cafes more stand-alone, Arnold says that "somebody can walk in and just take them over."

"They're sweet little deals," he says. "For somebody who wants to work 45 hours a week, it'd be a wonderful life."

Arnold says he's notified all of the businesses where he has cafes that he hopes to stop running them.

There was another time someone else briefly took over the cafes, but Arnold wants to make it permanent this time.

He says his employees also want him to quit taking on other side ventures and charitable events, which he gets involved with a lot.

"They won't let me answer the phone anymore."

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com.
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