Little Rock Soiree

Women to Watch 2014

Christen Franke

Co-Owner/Operator, Franke’s Cafeterias

Facebook: Franke’s
My Family and I own and operate Franke’s Cafeterias. Franke’s has served generations of families since my great-grandfather started the company in 1919. My father, Bill Franke, has taught me everything I know about the restaurant business and continues to guide me every day. For 95 years my family and I have been given the privilege of serving great food, made from scratch, to the good people of Arkansas. We are extremely grateful that our customers allow us to continue to serve them and their families every day.


Why do you love your career?
The Staff! The Customers! The Food! I spend my days watching generations of customers grow, surrounded by the most devoted and hardworking employees, and I get to do it all standing behind a massive line full of amazing food.

If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
Spending more time with the 20th Century Club. I am a grateful member of a charitable organization that financially and emotionally supports cancer patients while they fight for their lives. I wish I had more hours and minutes to give.

What’s a fun fact about you that would surprise people? 
By the grace of my parents, I spent much of my childhood at Camp Waldemar for girls in Hunt, Texas. The ability to act like a lady and shoot a gun like a man is a juxtaposition I adore.

Who is your role model?
My father, mother and sister are my role models. They have loved, supported, and taught me every day of my life. My parents for obvious reasons, but my younger sister has a wisdom different than mine. She is my moral compass and my fashion guru.

How did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I was 15 my first day working at Franke’s. I have had many other jobs and have pursued many other dreams, but I always came back. I always knew this restaurant was my home, my heart.


Restaurant: I have been eating at Franke’s my entire life, and I still love it
Song: I could never choose just one
Gadget: Eyelash curler
Book: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Vacation Destination: New York with my boyfriend, or anywhere for a weekend with my best girlfriends