AKERS, LA (WAFB) - Middendorf's honored two of its longtime employees, who have been at the famous seafood restaurant for a combined 81 years.
Owners, Horst and Karen Pfeifer, along with their staff, surprised Elaine Brown and Dee Dee Holt with applause, cheers, and gift baskets to thank them for their years of service.
"We cannot even put into words how honored we are that Dee Dee has been with us for 41 years and Elaine for 40 years. In a world where job-hopping seems like a norm, to have two employees who have stayed with you for decades through thick and thin, multiple bosses, new owners, and many changes, it's truly something to celebrate," said Karen Pfeifer.
Holt was hired on the spot at Middendorf's in 1971 and began her career as a server on weekends. She left in 2006 due to Hurricane Katrina and to finish her college degree, then returned to the restaurant in 2011. Holt is now the front-of-house manager.
"It's like home. It's like family. It's something special when you get to know the customers by name, and they know you by name, and you get to watch their children grow up," said Holt.
Brown was hired in 1977 at the age of just 15. She has done a little of everything in the kitchen. Currently, she works frying the restaurant's World Famous Original Thin Fried Catfish.
"I'm excited. I'm excited about being here and being alive," said Brown.
Brown says one of the reasons she enjoys working at Middendorf's is because it reminds her of her late sister. The two worked together in the kitchen for years, and also worked along with their aunt.
"Elaine and Dee Dee have really important jobs. Elaine makes sure our customers get their hot and crispy catfish, and Dee Dee is out there making sure our customers have an enjoyable experience from beginning to end. Middendorf's would not be what it is today without people like Elaine and Dee Dee who show so much dedication, pride and love of their work," said Horst Pfeifer.