Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 79
rants, we conduct research and host tastings at least once a
month. That is where the creativity of the menu comes from."
He notes Bottleneck Management seeks input from its
chefs and ownership. "There's a big love of smoking in our
restaurants," Katz says. "We have smoked barbecue ribs,
wings, pork shoulder, duck and tomatoes."
"It's important that we distinguish ourselves," O'Hare explains. "We have legitimate smokers in our locations. Our
smokers run all day, every day. It's a long process but it's
By offering a wide array of food, Bottleneck Management
can tap into customers' distinct tastes, allowing it to meet
and exceed diner expectations. "Our menu is attractive to
the masses," Katz says.
O'Hare agrees, adding that Bottleneck Management aims
to sell the best food and beverages it can. "We don't worry
about cost when we're figuring out what we want to do," he
says. "We don't charge extra or try to cut costs where we
don't need to. We want to provide our guests with nothing
but the best."
Ultimately, Bottleneck Management's goal is to provide its
customers with a premium experience. "We serve premium
food and drinks, and we only hire the best in the business,"
O'Hare says. "When you come eat with us, you're going to
stay a couple of hours and then talk about the experience
after you leave."
He adds that there is a difference between working for
someone and with someone. "We all work with each other
and not for anyone," he says. "I think that mentality plays a
huge role as to how people feel and positively impacts our
Bottleneck Management will open five new locations in
2018, which is right on track with its goal of opening five to
six restaurants annually. "We are being solicited by every
major player in the country," O'Hare says. "Although many
people are reaching out to us with opportunities, we're being
very picky where we choose to open new locations."
The company is looking for the best locations to open
one of its upbeat concepts. "We're not opening at the end of
strip malls, we're opening in the center of lifestyle developments," O'Hare says. "We want to partner with big players in
big cities where there are large sports teams as well."
Despite its many opportunities, Bottleneck Management
is keeping its options open and remaining nimble. "Although
we aim to open five to six locations annually, if another great
location becomes available and increases that number, we
will open more," O'Hare says.
Bottleneck Management's more than 900 employees play
critical roles in the company's success. According to O'Hare,
Bottleneck Management has a great work culture because
it treats employees with respect. "We treat people how we
want to be treated," he says. "In return, our employees have
been loyal to us."
Additionally, Bottleneck Management not only engages but also invests in its employees with ongoing training.
"We're spending more and more money on training because
we feel that it's very important," O'Hare says, noting each
employee has a "very clear career path."
"Virtually everyone within our company has worked their
way up through the ranks," he explains. "We have people
who started as servers and are now general managers. We
have general managers who are now director of operations,
and so on and so forth. So there are plenty of opportunities
for growth as we continue to expand."
Katz agrees. "Out of 15 restaurants, 10 of those chefs are
now executive chefs," he says. "They have been with the
company for at least two years. For us, it's very important to
look within and elevate before we look elsewhere."
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com