Bonus: Audio Masterclass – Your Customers Are The Measure Of Success with Tydus and Alisha Hayes of Pat’s Ribs

Alisha and Tydus Hayes

Milwaukee native Alisha Hayes, is co-owner of Pat’s Rib Place. Her entrepreneurial journey began with Studio 51 Recordings and in the true spirit of entrepreneurship, Alisha used available spaces (closets included) to run her business. As the market changed, Alisha and her husband Tydus, adapted the business to include videography.

Tydus credits positive male influences that shaped his entrepreneurial skills and hard-working ideology. Their first project together as entrepreneurs led them to vending machines, then  later onto their recording studio business. Increasing their business acumen with the recording studio, Alisha and Tydus moved onto their biggest entrepreneurial challenge yet, marking the opening of Pat’s Rib Place in 2009.

Risk or Stability

Stability versus entrepreneurship. Alisha and Tydus recognized that having a regular job and pursuing opportunities as entrepreneurs can be difficult. Regular jobs provide the stability of regular pay, health insurance and benefits. Whereas, pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities can be risky without stable benefits in the short term, but rewarding in the long term.

While they both recognized the importance of a regular job, Alisha and Tydus also had their personal ambitions for independent entrepreneurial success. After opening their restaurant, their hard work paid off and they said goodbye to the burden of a 9 to 5.

“Building confidence came a little slow at first. Whatever business that you’re in, you want to make sure that you’re well received because it’s really supply and demand.”

Alignng Purpose, Passion, Path

With an entrepreneurial eye, Alisha recognized the need in the local area. She knew that they could create a restaurant that would replicate elements of  treasured memories of her mother, having both charm and scrumptious southern-style food.

Tirelessly passionate, Tydus recognizes how “the right reason, time and place lined up”. He shares the creation of their original scratch-made sauces, produced in the spirit of barbecue cooking and entrepreneurial fortuity.

A Perfect Opportunity in an Imperfect Time

In the face of a housing market crash, Alisha knew they held the key ingredients for success.While Tydus had the skills to make the food, she supplemented her knowledge with research and analysis for the fundamentals like initial costs, supplies and equipment. A fortuitous opportunity despite all the obstacles.

When Alisha reflects on the difficulties and struggles they faced, she recognizes that having faith and having faith in God helped them through time and again.

Everybody’s Place

Alisha and Tydus welcome everyone and offer a different style of restaurant. “We’re not soul food…We’re southern-style barbecue.” Alisha recognizes the importance of being different and tries to create a positive and clean environment.

Helping and giving back are a core part of their beliefs as entrepreneurs and successful restaurant owners. Charities they support include PAWS and Autism organizations. In addition to this, the successful duo also assist young people to find opportunities for work and support. 

Suggestions for Entrepreneurs

Alisha offers two important suggestions for enterprising individuals. “If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right“ and “Give yourself a time limit”.

Alisha measures success on customers, not ego or perception. Accepting success to her is seeing their business thriving and finding positive reviews.

Being hands on in the business, Tydus shares his advice : “Definitely do a lot of research” and “have a vision board”.

From his experience,  he has found that sustaining success requires the ability to listen, consider, take in the positive information, then be willing to adjust and adapt.  A key take home from Tydus to entrepreneurs is to avoid stagnation and complacency!

The entrepreneur advocates being flexible and implementing change accordingly, all the while keeping the strong business standards. Tydus encourages entrepreneurs to reflect on what is done well, assess if  there was improvement, then look to bring in new ideas to continue positive changes and surprises for customers.

Additional Information: Visit Pat’s Rib Place in Waukesha and for more information check out their website at