Food & Drink International - Spring 2017 Volume 1 - 32
Rock & Brews
mostly from scratch. They, too, have to
have a passion for food."
Rock & Brews offers a vast beer
selection, ranging from 48 taps in its
smallest locations up to 72 in its larger
restaurants, to pair with its quality comfort food. "Fifty-two is our goal; one for
every week of the year, " Zislis notes.
"That multi-selection of beer is really
important right now. Beer has become
this powerful attraction and diners want
to drink local craft beers."
>> Rock & Brew prides itself on sourcing food regionally and making as much of its menu from scratch as possible.
The Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based
company was co-founded by Zislis,
KISS front men Gene Simmons and
Paul Stanley, and concert industry and
merchandising veterans Dave and Dell
Furano. The first Rock & Brews opened
in 2010 near Los Angeles International
Airport in the beach community of El
Segundo, Calif. "We brought four things
together: an outdoor beer garden, craft
beer, craveable food and matched it all
up with great service," Vice President
of Operations Bill Goldblum says. "Our
staff is friendly, they care and they love
what they do. It's a major part of the
Rock & Brews' affordable, casual
American cuisine is made from locally
sourced produce and ingredients. "What
differentiates us from the competition is
that we are very quality-driven," Goldblum says. "We have five-star restaurant
chefs developing our recipes."
Even with locations nationwide, Rock
& Brews prides itself on sourcing regionally and making as much from
scratch as possible. "Bill is tasked with
making great food replicable," Zislis
says. "It's one thing when you have a
chef that makes incredible pizza dough
in a gourmet restaurant that takes 27
steps, but you can't do that in a franchise. You have to be able to replicate it."
To achieve great food consistently,
Rock & Brews trains its general managers, as well as kitchen and bar managers for four weeks at its El Segundo
location. "There's nothing more important than training," Goldblum says.
"We hire GMs and kitchen managers
with culinary backgrounds because
our freezers are small and we cook
food & drink international * spring 2017 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com
Interest in franchising the brand came
about five years ago when Rock &
Brews was recognized by Delta Airlines at LAX Terminal 5 for being a
"local brand that was very exciting,"
Zislis says. Today, there are 19 Rock &
Brews locations throughout the country
and internationally. All but two corporate-owned locations are franchised or
licensed deals. "Next year we should
be up to 28 locations," he adds. "It's expansion, but thoughtful expansion."
Considering itself a suburban brand,
Rock & Brews strives to become part of
the fabric of the neighborhood. "Rock
& Brews strives to be in good demographic locations with ample amounts
of parking," Larry Drasin, senior vice
president of design, says. "We are not
looking to be in Times Square in New
York; we are looking to be in Long Island. Some brands only want to be in
the heart of the city. We want to serve
those in the suburbs."
Once a location is secured, Rock &
Brews helps its franchisees understand
the brand and offers several options
of designs depending on whether the
restaurant will be in an arena or freestanding, for example. "We educate
them to what are our important brand elements that make Rock & Brews distinctive," Drasin explains. "Through the artwork and classic rock posters, we create