HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A stop at Anna Miller’s isn’t complete without a slice of their fresh strawberry pie.
It’s one of the restaurant’s top menu items — and has been a customer favorite since the very beginning.
The circular, diner-style restaurant at Pearlridge Center was founded by Stanley Miller in 1973, and is named after his grandmother.
Since then, customers have been loyal to the 24-hour restaurant.
But area manager Wade Hashizume said loyalty might not be enough.
“The labor market is very bad now," Hashizume said. “We have a hard time hiring people. And costs have really escalated. It’s hard to do business — cost of food, cost of utilities, it’s getting harder."
Hashizume added when there is a restaurant that has been open as long as Anna Miller’s, more costly renovations are needed.
“After you’ve been open for a long time, you have to replace a lot of major items — change your roof, replace your air conditioner, fix your kitchen,” he said.
The eatery’s bottom line has also been hit hard by Oahu’s rail project.
“We’re fortunate we have another entrance, we have a two entrance lot, but the people who have had their entrances only on Kamehameha Highway, they have really been suffering,” Hashizume said.
All those challenges have Hashizume looking for ways to boost traffic.
One solution: Attracting younger eaters through social media.
“Anna Miller’s has not advertised except for a little bit of print in the past, we did very little advertising. But now we’re exploring television, radio and social media,” Hashizume said.
“We thought the social media would help us attract younger customers.”
Hashizume noted that the customer base had gotten “a little bit older over the years.”
“We’re lucky that people come in and say, oh my dad used to bring us here. Now I bring my kids here. We have that carry over,” Hashizume said.
Hashizume added that Anna Miller’s is a “family place."
“People have to know what to expect and in our case, we want them to know when they come in, they’ll get friendly fast service. They don’t have to wait too long,” Hashizume said.
“They know the food is going to be consistent.”
And for the dish that keeps customers coming back? That pie, of course.
“Our fresh baked pies, we’re very proud of our pies here," he said.