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The City Journals

Sandy-based brothers harness burger powers to create local restaurant chain

Jun 17, 2021 02:59PM ● By Julia Partain

By Julia Partain | [email protected]

The sizzling question of summertime - what does it take to make the best burger? It’s simple: hard work, high-quality ingredients and an appreciation for the community. Lucky for Herriman residents, that is exactly what JCW’s dishes up.

Meet John Christian “Chris” and Clay Williams, brothers and co-founders of JCW’s - The Burger Boys. Since their first store opened in 1998, these local burgermeisters use their history to create the best experience possible for their customers.

“We grew up working at family-owned restaurants,” said Chris Williams. “You learn a lot about the hospitality industry and teamwork when you start at age 12.”

Fast-forward 18-plus years, thousands of hours spent honing their skills in the restaurant industry, and the brothers were ready to start up their own burger joint.

“A lot of people want to open a restaurant, but they really don't know what is entailed," said Clay Williams. "But when you work in a restaurant, you know how much work it takes and you need to be invested in the business."

This business instantly became a family affair. Family members rallied and all hands were on deck. From planting flowers, interior decorating and cleaning tables, the Williams family and friends helped make it happen.

Chris’ wife, Libby, was there from the beginning and can testify.

“We have always wanted our family to be a part of this business and culture,” said Libby Williams. “Even with four young children at home, we wanted to make sure that everyone was involved and learned how to work hard together.”

Now, each member of the family has had a hand in the business and tout that with pride.

Why did they decide on the name JCW’s? It stands for the brothers’ first names and last name, John Christian and Clay Williams. At the time of the first opening, a good friend and mentor, Jim Tripplet, told them that they needed something to describe what they were really selling.

“Jim tagged us ‘The Burger Boys,’” Chris said, “and it has stuck ever since.”

"We've also heard it stand for ‘Just Can't Wait’ to eat there,” Clay said.

There is a reason for this success. JCW’s only carries the finest meats and ingredients for their entrees and desserts. They also focus on buying from local vendors.

"We try to buy the best products out there," said Chris.

Judging from the ⅓ lb. of 100% choice AAA ground chuck used in the burgers, fresh golden-fried halibut, local produce and premium ice cream loaded into the famous Oreo shake, JCW’s takes quality seriously.

They also attribute their success to providing superb customer service and an inviting work environment. With 240-260 employees (150 full-time) working at their five locations, JCW’s focuses on hiring locals to contribute to their community.

“During the pandemic, we wanted to make sure that we could do what we could to retain and value our employees,” Chris said. “We did not lay anyone off, stayed open and safe.”

JCW’s also used this trying time to focus on the good. Turning lemons into lemonade, JCW’s spent the past year refining their menu and focusing on the efficiency of their eatery. 

In addition, JCW’s is active in all the communities that they serve.

“From football to drill teams, we sponsor and support the local community,” said Chris. “We have been invested in the community since day one.”

“Our commitment to ‘Quality and a lot of it’ comes through in all we do. We invite you to visit any of our locations and see for yourself. When you leave, we want you to feel good.”