This year marks McKay Cottage's 10th in a row winning the best breakfast award and owner Pam Morgan credits her workers.
"It just comes down to really having a great staff," Morgan said.
Morgan noted employees who have remained with the restaurant for several years, both in the kitchen and in the front of the house.
Her trick for that solid staff: employing workers based on their desire, enthusiasm and kindness, rather than their experience. Everything else can be worked on.
"Hiring nice, smart people and then training them to do the job," Morgan said.
Morgan also praised Bend and its residents.
"Couldn't think of a more beautiful place to live," Morgan said, adding that it's unusual to have a bad day at work. "Being in the restaurant business in Bend is an absolute joy."
January 2020 will mark the 14th anniversary of Morgan's ownership. The building itself once sat in Drake Park and was moved to its current site on O.B. Riley Road—just past Shilo Inns and across from the Deschutes River—in 1973, according to the restaurant's website.
"And it's such a great setting," Morgan said of the restaurant, known for its expansive patio and towering elm trees, a shady oasis for outdoor summer dining.
McKay Cottage is also known for routinely accommodating special orders and substitutions. It's a place that those visiting the area summer after summer make a point of returning to when they're in town.
To Morgan, the biggest challenge has entailed keeping up with the increasingly busy pace—while maintaining the restaurant's high standards—as Bend grows and brings more people to serve.
"It just makes us feel super proud," Morgan said of hitting the 10-year-in-a-row mark. "It's a big honor."