JIM RILEY oversees a winning handful of casual dining venues. “The Vig?” It’s a gambling term. He and business partner Tucker Woodbury thought it was a cool name – and fit the gamble of opening a restaurant. A continuing dedication to offering the right combination of good food, attentive, professional service and a fun atmosphere has paid off. In turn, that philosophy is the foundation of the two visionaries’ umbrella company, Genuine Concepts, whose mission statement is built on one simple phrase: “Where Hospitality is Genuine.” Eight different concepts throughout Arizona prove the group’s achievement, each with a unique neighborhood demographic.
Riley says: “Keeping your finger on the pulse of the hospitality industry
isn’t easy, as things change rapidly. Luckily we have a team that’s aware
of what is going on and listens to our guests.” Let him tell you more about The Vig’s successful strategy.
So tracking industry trends plays into your plans for future growth?
JR: We believe part of our success is due to our willingness to adapt and change. Ongoing market research and exploring new trends helps keep our F&B creative and innovative for our guests. We have a few concept ideas for the future and are always seeking ways to improve upon current business models. And Shamrock Foods is consistently bringing new operational trends and technology to us for review, like Menu Wizard (for more information, ask your Shamrock Sales Representative).
Any thoughts on catering and takeaway?
JR: Over the last few years we’ve seen our to-go sales increase exponentially. We’re excited to have our product visible on multiple platforms. We pride ourselves on the ability to meet that demand without sacrificing the quality of what guests receive. And Shamrock Foods’ timely delivery allows us to stay on task for our catering and takeaway business.
How do you cultivate “genuine” staffers?
JR: Our philosophy is simple – if a person is happy at work, that will be conveyed to the guests they serve. Also, we instill our mission in our team members on a daily basis, and I think it shines through our service day in and day out. This is one of our standout characteristics that keeps us relevant in the competitive Phoenix culinary scene.
And training is important to
JR: We utilize standard-setting training that gives employees a complete understanding of the skills they need, useful feedback on their progress, and a test of their readiness to be successful. Turnover is inevitable, but we believe that proper training, evaluation and providing our team members a fun space to work and a place to grow is the reason we’re able to carry the tenure of the team and continually evolve.
You’ve been hitting important
goals and tightening operations
with Shamrock Foods?
JR: Shamrock Foods has greatly assisted with pricing analysis, interior structure, training materials, and achieving profit margins without sacrificing quality. Throughout our growth, they’ve been an excellent guide to us, and even as an ear to bend, they’re valued partners and friends.
What are The Vig’s favorite
products from Shamrock Foods?
JR: That would be protein and dairy. We love sourcing “local.” They provide us with specialty cuts of protein that are made to order for our group. On a side note, we also get to-go containers, cleaning supplies, gloves, etc.
You’ve got several kudos for
Shamrock Foods associates.
JR: It’s clear from interactions with our reps, Haley Jessen and Tom Moore, that we’re more than just an account. They’re available for anything and everything and genuinely care about our individual stores. They’re committed to on-time delivery and full support of products, equipment and service that exceed our expectations. In fact, our interactions with every employee at Shamrock Foods are authentic and show the dedication each member has for our mutual success.
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