Brad Wise is making his mark in the San Diego restaurant scene – fast. After winning awards at several area venues, he opened Trust way back in 2016, debuted Hundred Proof just last year, and mentions a third venture already in the works: Fort Oak.
His culinary vision: “Use the best ingredients I can find and showcase them in the best expression of myself. I like to give our guests ingredients, flavors and dishes they’re familiar with, but prepared and presented on a level they may not be able to achieve at home.”
Let Wise tell you more about making smart moves in every area of his culinary ventures.
“Shamrock Foods has helped us meet our goals for cost of goods.”
Who else is helping you launch Trust Restaurant Group?
BW: First, co-owner and general manager Steve Schwob. We have a great working relationship, and at the end of the day he has the same passion for the front of the house as I have for the back of the house. And my Executive Pastry Chef, Jeremy Harville. His approach to pastries is clean, fun and refreshing.
Now that you’ve jumped into ownership, you seem to be thinking constantly about restaurant trends and new opportunities.
BW: Always. If you don’t evolve, your restaurants will be short lived. If something doesn’t work or isn’t working it needs to be addressed ASAP. You want nothing to eat at your bottom line. Right now eating and drinking out is very popular, and we’re just trying to create something fun and exciting to make people come back time and time again.
How do the intriguing names of your venues evoke your philosophy?
BW: The word “trust” was always one of our top priorities we wanted to instill with our guests. With Hundred Proof, we knew we wanted a cocktail-driven concept with a parallel food program. We felt that the name portrayed exactly what we were trying to achieve.
With your big push for brunch, what are some of your favorite Shamrock Foods products?
BW: I’m a big fan of Gold Canyon Premium Duroc Pork and Artisanal Provisions, specialty ingredients curated by Shamrock Foods. Both are solid programs, and I like what they have to offer.
In-house events and catering: How does Shamrock Foods fit your strategy?
BW: Shamrock Foods is my go-to on any event we have through our restaurants or catering. They carry almost everything, and at the end of the day our clients are very happy with what they’re getting.
So Shamrock Foods supports your ambitious plans?
BW: They’ve been our partners since Day 1 and have grown as we’ve grown. Continuing to evolve is very important to operator customers. The value of their services day-today is very important to me, and Shamrock Foods does their best to meet my standards and most of the time exceeds them. If something’s wrong, I have some of the best people in the company calling to fix the problem within minutes.
Last but not least, any tips around staffing, as you continue to build your team?
BW: Your employees should want to come to work. Create an environment that’s enjoyable for everyone and make sure they’re making money. We try to hire employees who have standards not only in themselves but in the work they put forth. We want them to believe in what we’re doing and have a sense of pride in what they’re serving, which comes from the top down.
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