Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

SEP 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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76 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • SEPTEMBER 2017 Walker, are also exploring expansion opportunities in upstate New York. "We love to go to areas that are lacking in restau- rants, and they still exist around here," Dion says of the company's second- ary market growth strategy. "Our fourth restaurant, for example, is in Hopkinton, Mass. We're one of very few restaurants in town and certainly the only upscale- casual place in the area." BULL'S-EYE: SUBURBIA The target market strategy of 110 Grill keeps develop- ment costs in check and suits its largely local and community-driven market- ing approach. Alicia Puputti, director of marketing, says social media and public re- lations play big roles in that approach, but local store marketing and participat- ing in events — particularly those at which 110 Grill can connect directly with guests and offer samples of its food — are especially valuable. "We're really passionate about being a key member of our local communities," Puputti says. "We don't do any large-scale advertis- ing or discounting, but we love local competitions and sampling events. We win a lot of awards at those that we can leverage afterward in our marketing programs. We also have a very popular loy- alty program. When mem- bers spend $110 on food and nonalcoholic beverages, they receive a $10 award." 110 Grill's site-selection strategy also enables the chain to make a big splash in its smaller, more suburban locales. When the concept comes to town, it offers a menu and an environment that work for everyone look- ing for something a little bit special close to home. "Here, you can come in shorts and sandals and have a burger and a beer at the bar or on the patio. You can also come in a business suit and enjoy an appetizer, a $32 ribeye and a nice bottle of Duckhorn cabernet. Either way, you fit in here, and that's a unique place to be," says Dion. The concept's broad menu focuses on scratch- made specialties and up- market interpretations of casual-dining classics from flatbreads and salads to burgers, sandwiches and en- trees. Best-selling signature items include appetizers like Asian calamari and tater tot poutine and entrees such as bourbon-marinated steak tips, cucumber and avocado tuna, chicken caprese Par- mesan and sesame ginger salmon. Local sourcing takes precedence and many parts of the menu change seasonally. Dion says 110 Grill also prides itself on its commit- ment to accommodating guests with food allergies. All managers have current certi- fications for food safety and allergen awareness, and all employees receive extensive allergy-awareness training to ensure guest safety. Fully Top: Averaging 5,800 square feet plus outdoor patio space, most units are either freestanding buildings or shopping-center endcaps. Above: 110 Grill's menu focuses on scratch-made specialties and up-market interpretations of casual- dining classics. THE CONCEPT'S SUCCESS TO DATE IS A BIT OF A THUMB IN THE EYE TO THOSE WHO MAINTAIN THAT CASUAL- DINING RESTAURANTS ARE A DYING BREED. 7 EMERGING CHAINS

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