Restaurants happy about Beechcraft deal

Published On: Dec 27 2013 05:48:22 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 27 2013 05:49:11 PM CST

For something to eat or drink, Beechcraft workers spend their money at the businesses around the plant.

"There will be days in here where we have all flight safety guys," said Two Guys BBQ owner Kyla Ryan.

That's why nearby restaurant owners pay close attention to what is going on at Beechcraft.

"If things are going well for them, that helps us. And if it's not going well for them, we notice it," said Livingston's Diner owner Jeanne Livingston.

Ryan says about 50 percent of Two Brothers BBQ customers work at Beechcraft.

"We're obviously happy they're sticking around because it helps our business and everybody else's around here. So, we're glad they're staying in Wichita," said Ryan.

Livingston agrees. In the past few years, they both worried about a buyer taking the company out of state or bankruptcy shutting it down.

"That did scare us, yeah. We thought this could be a really quiet, deserted area right here," said Livingston.

The owners say Textron's purchase of Beechcraft will keep the workers eating at their restaurants.

A statement released on behalf of Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and city council members reads:

"The acquisition of Beechcraft by Textron, Inc., is a development of great interest to the City of Wichita.   Our city's reputation as the Air Capital of the World has been built on the solid business decisions of our aviation industry.  We fully expect that the Textron/Beechcraft merger will result in a positive outcome for the individual businesses and the community as a whole."

Talk of what it could mean for employees is now on the minds of many workers.

"I had a Beechcraft guy come in today that was on his lunch break and I was like, 'So how you thinking?' and he was just like, 'Yeah, it's good,'" Ryan said. "Then, there was a lady right behind him that works for Cessna and she was like, 'It's going to be interesting to see what happens with it.' Cessna employees are watching it pretty closely too."

Some business owners fear a consolidation through the deal could mean a loss of some jobs at the plant. But they say overall, they are happy it is staying in Wichita.