To Top

Meet Josh Yates of Green Truck Pub in Savannah

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josh Yates.

Josh, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Having been laid off from my engineering job, (and after a little soul searching) I figured it was a great opportunity to change careers. The only other job I had ever had was waiting tables at a college pizza joint and I missed the thrill of the dinner rush. Then begins this 7-year journey of scraping by for $8.50/hr. in various kitchens soaking up every experience I can to flesh out this ratty business plan in my back pocket. Oh, and I picked up an MBA along the way at Georgia State’s night school, all the while with my fiancée-then-wife Whitney basically supporting us.

Her career took us to Savannah, where we found a lot of the restaurants were geared towards the tourist clientele versus all the neighborhood joints we liked to frequent when living in Atlanta. So that’s where the “Grassfed Burger Joint” concept really took shape. After finding a vacant fast food building for lease that had been home to a number of failed concepts, we opened Green Truck Pub in October 2010 and the response from the community has been tremendous.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Looking back on that first year, I have to laugh at how unprepared I was. We opened a sit-down restaurant with only like 9 staff members because I thought we’d be this sleepy little neighborhood joint in a sort-of sketchy part of town. Everyone tells you to prepare yourself for failure when opening a restaurant but no one says you need to be prepared to be slammed right off the bat too. I think our service probably really suffered those first 6 months until I got enough help, and I think we burned out a few good cooks too.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Green Truck Pub story. Tell us more about the business.
Green Truck Pub was founded because we believe that Savannahians deserve a casual place to eat and drink well. We make simple food the hard way- by handmaking everything from ketchup and pimento cheese to salad dressing and veggie patties. Eating well also means doing some good for the local economy by sourcing everything from our grass-fed beef to our corkboards close to home.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I think most engineers (current and former) don’t believe in luck. Studying probability takes all the mystique out of it.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Hunter MaCrae
Siobhan Egan

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in