Written by Kent Anderson in the February 2016 Issue
As co-owner of Running Wild Catering, Debbie Lowery has a clear recipe for success. “We’re a good, strong, honest, fun-loving company,” she says, “and we work really hard to make our customers happy.”
With partner Teresa Walters, Lowery brings decades of experience in food service and a commitment to quality and service—a commitment that knows no boundaries. “We are not limited to any one type of catering,” says Lowery. “We do it all.”
The broad scope of Running Wild Catering’s services ranges from box lunches and deli trays, to formal sit-down dinners, galas and wedding receptions. The company is also involved in institutional catering, serving a local hospital feeding patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Running Wild is also the preferred caterer for events at the Oklahoma History Center. The company’s talented, dedicated staff of 13 prepares all food at their Oklahoma City facility, then transports it to the designated event site.
When asked to name the company’s food specialty, Lowery has a ready answer. “We stick to the basics. We do a lot of good old-fashioned American comfort food. We also do Italian, Mexican, Barbecue and more, but we stay with the basics. People are always coming back to that. We certainly can do specialty foods, and we love doing them, but our niche is really that zone of American comfort food.”
Oh, and the company name, Running Wild? “We had been through at least 300 possible names,” Lowery says with a laugh. “We had picked one, but it really wasn’t a very good name.”
On the day the three partners were en route to the bank to open their business account, they stopped for lunch, and asked each other if they were satisfied with the name they’d chosen. They weren’t. Then partner Teresa Walters offered this: “I don’t know why we don’t just call it Running Wild. That’s what we do.” The name stuck, and the company has never looked back.
In the end, everything about Running Wild Catering comes back to customer service. “Seeing the personal satisfaction on a customer’s face when we’ve made them happy is so rewarding,” says Lowery. “This is hard work and long hours, but the satisfaction of knowing a customer is happy with what you’ve provided them makes everything worthwhile.”