Working side by side for years, then spending time apart, convinced four Fort Collins, Colorado, foodservice colleagues they belonged together.
So Gerard Boyle, Steve Boothe, Anthony Gray and TJ Compton joined forces. Henry Fang came on as business strategist, and DC Oakes Brewhouse and Eatery opened in 2017. They opened Penrose Taphouse and Eatery in June 2020.
"When we make decisions," says general manager Boyle, "We ask ourselves three questions: 'Is it good for the business? Our guests? Our staff?' Answering those affirmatively has kept us on track and true to the experience we want to deliver. These are our top priorities. We try not to worry so much about anything that can take our attention from them."
“Shamrock Foods' people are good friends and business partners who genuinely care about the well-being of our business."
What sets you apart from the competition?
GB: We avoid discounts, coupons and off-price specials. Our menu is already designed to be a value statement. Our “Beer It Forward” beer wall also sets us apart. Guests buy a beer for someone who’s not there. Recipients’ names go on the board. They redeem their beer when they come in. We donate $1 to a specified nonprofit for each beer purchased. Currently the board has several celebratory beers, beers of thanks and beers for military personnel and public servants.
What inspires you?
GB:Working in the community we all live in.
How do you motivate your staff?
GB: Our restaurants are vibrant, fun workplaces. We celebrate team members’ work anniversaries.
How do you ensure hospitality?
GB: Our core group of staff takes great pride in their work. We lead by example.
How do you stay profitable?
GB: By keeping the focus on what made us successful and delivering on what brings guests back. We raise prices selectively, never across the board.
Have you changed your menu?
GB: With some supply-chain shortages, we’ve adjusted recipes or removed menu items until product is back in stock, but, overall, those shortages aren’t affecting us too negatively. Shamrock Foods has done a great job of staying ahead of out-of-stock items and providing substitution options.
How do you attract new customers?
GB: We engage new guests through our “Eat, Drink, and Beer It Forward” program. Every Monday, we donate 10% of sales from it to a local organization that’s contacted us wanting to raise funds. So far, we’ve donated almost $75,000.
What opportunities have you embraced lately?
GB: We saw a tremendous increase in carryout sales. Packaging is more time consuming than plating a meal, but we’ve
streamlined the process so that it flows more efficiently. Now that we’re at full capacity, we no longer offer delivery at DC Oakes but still welcome all carryout orders. We’ve engaged a third-party local delivery company for Penrose, as delivery fits that location’s demographic very well.
Colorado approved off-premises alcohol sales, and we found packaging for cocktails that made it easy on our staff and guests. This will continue for the next few years.
Any changes heading into 2022?
GB: We anticipate more folks dining outside throughout the winter. We received a grant from the Colorado Restaurant Association to help make our patios more comfortable.
"Gold Canyon Premium® Beef is a great quality, and always fresh."Gerard Boyle
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