Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 119

Mainstreet Ventures Inc.

food and wine sales, all paramount in
guest satisfaction."

MSV Top Knife Competition
MSV recognizes its restaurants annually
for their work, Gibbons adds. "We call
it 'Top Knife,' which is a live cook off
competition between our restaurants,"
he says, noting that each restaurant
submits a dish that could be created by
anyone in the eatery. "It could be a chef
or it could be a server from the dining
room." The winner at the local level of
each restaurant earns their right to compete at the main event, held yearly.
The Top Knife limited seating event
hosts VIP judges that evaluate the dishes and the elected winner receives a
cash reward and a set of new knives,
along with the coveted title of Top
Knife. "The award-winning entrée
is then featured on each appropriate
menu concept for the whole year," he
says. "This past year, it was an espresso-crusted filet mignon, which has been
a very popular dish with our guests."

the strong management teams create an
effective operational team dedicated to
the guests' dining experience. Given the
autonomy of each manager within each
concept, it also produces longevity in an
industry known for high turnover. "We
hire for the long term and managers
tend to stay with us for a long time with
the average being nine years," he says.
"That's unheard of in the industry."
One manager, Barbara McCoy, has
even been with the company for over
30 years. "She manages Real Seafood
Company in Ann Arbor," Gibbons says.
"She started as a breakfast server and
I don't think she'd want to work anywhere else."
He also highlights Executive Chef
Brent Courson, who started as a dishwasher and busboy. "He came up
through the company and became a
general manager for us," Gibbons says.
"When our original executive Chef Simon Pesusich, who had also been with
us for over 30 years, retired, I offered
Courson the job." Courson had previously trained under Pesusich.

Standing Out
MSV is uniquely positioned in its industry, Gibbons says. As a private firm,
"We have a few advantages," he says.
"We can make decisions quickly at the
local level as our managers are empowered to do the right thing. Therefore,
each restaurant general manager operates like an owner.
"Additionally, we provide a high level of support to each of our restaurants
through our MSV Restaurant Support
Services and the Guest Services Call
Center," he continues, noting that the
centers even schedule reservations for
guests. "We've centralized some core
functions that free up our managers'
time and allow our restaurant management teams to focus on the mission,
which is about the guest experience."
The unique restaurant concepts and

On the Drawing Board
Gibbons sees growth ahead for MSV.
"We've got several things on the drawing board right now," he says. "I've got
a letter of intent on another property
and it's going to be another concept."
Gibbons remodels each location
every five to seven years. "I think our
guests and team appreciates new inspirations added into the ambiance, keeping it fresh and active," he says.
Gibbons also has three restaurants
that will open in the next year, including a Palio location and a spinoff of The
Chop House. "I'm going to call it 'The
Chop House Grill,'" he says. "We've got
another new concept coming. It will be
on a lake in a resort area, and I think
our team is really looking forward to
that one for the next team retreat!"
food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

119


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1

Contents
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