Culinary adventure and attitude collide through Mongolian stir-fry at Genghis Grill.
The chain started in Addison and now has more than 30 restaurants across Texas. CEO Al Bhakta oversees 71 stores in 19 states.
“The culture at Genghis Grill is really interactive, a build your own bowl concept. Consumers love it because they are able to control their own destiny of what they eat. We love working here because it is a fun and exciting place,” said Bhakta.
The concept is simple. You walk to an open bar filled with food. There are 30 different types veggies, 13 different kinds protein and 12 different spices. It’s all cooked on an open seven-foot radial grill.
“There’s a lot of creativity that goes into these bowls and a lot of interaction. It’s pretty fun and really healthy as well,” said Derek Crissey, general manager of the Addison Genghis Grill.
Crissey’s restaurant is the second store ever opened and now the oldest. The first store in Addison that started it all in 1998 doesn’t exist anymore.
The Addison restaurant as well others around Dallas and Fort Worth have one crazy customer in common.
Brian Derus is a member of the company’s "Kahn’s Rewards" program. After you buy 9 bowls your 10th one is free. Derus has accumulated more than 100 free bowls. Yes, that means he’s bought more 1000 bowls to earn his gratis bowls rising in the triple digits.
“It got to be kind of a hobby making bowls and working with the cooks,” said Derus.
After so many bowls, you'd think Derus would have gotten bored -- he has a solution for that.
“I make a different bowl every time. If you come in and keep making the same bowl you’ll get burned out. So, I make 10 different bowls and keep rotating them out. I’ve even been known to bring in my own ingredients from other restaurants to make my bowl even better” said Derus.
Here’s how Derus climbed north of 100 bowls so quickly.
“I can basically accumulate a free bowl a week. On Mondays, when you come in here with that card, there are double points so I can come in here for lunch and get two points and come here for dinner and get two points, so I’ll have four that day then I only have to eat here five more times in the next six days,” said Derus.
While he has cashed in to get a handful of bowls for free, he plans on treating his streak like a sports statistic and "go the distance."
“I’m just going to keep going and see how far we can take this,” said Derus.
People he’s met worry if he doesn’t cash in soon he might lose what he’s worked so hard to earn.
“They are like, ‘What are you going to do if they get rid of that program and you can’t redeem the bowls?' I’m like, 'we’ll have to talk to management about that.' Someone’s going to have to give me something. A free t-shirt or something,” said Derus.
Genghis Grill - The Mongolian Stir Fry
4201 Belt Line Road