CEO John Bettin contends Tavistock Restaurant Collection restaurants are recognized by their “true hospitality—different than great service, although we have that too.”
The company encourages staff at its 15 upscale casual-dining concepts to get to know their guests and make a connection. “Service is what you do for people, and hospitality is how you make them feel,” Bettin says. “When I travel to our restaurants, I like to introduce myself to servers and ask them, ‘Hey, what’s the story on table 42?’ If they respond with, ‘They just finished their salads, and their entrees should be out soon,’ I can’t help but laugh and say, ‘No, where are they from, who are they with, why are they here with us?’” Bettin says. “That doesn’t mean that we’re going to get overly chatty … but we can find some commonality pretty quickly and connect.”
TRC, owned by international investment firm Tavistock Group—which also operates fast-casual chain Freebirds World Burrito—has grown primarily through acquisitions. Its portfolio includes Abe & Louie’s, whose Boston location ranks 37th on Restaurant Business’ Top 100 Independents list. Five TRC brands were developed in-house, including its most recently launched concept, Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen, an American small plates restaurant that opened in September in Orlando, Fla. Bettin says there are no new concepts in the pipeline (although “that can change”), and the company continues to look for small acquisitions in the upscale casual-dining and fine-dining sectors.
Concepts: Abe & Louie’s, AquaKnox, Atlantic Fish Co., Atlas, Blackhawk Grille, Cafe del Rey, Canonita, Coach Grill, Canvas Restaurant & Market, Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Napa Valley Grille, Sapporo, Top Catch at Joe's Waterfront, Zed451