Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Bredesen.
Chris, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My restaurant career started with my father, who owned about 15 Burger Kings throughout the South Bay. I would always ask my dad about the numbers of each restaurant, trying to get a better understanding about how these businesses perform. (Sales, Labor, Food Cost, Rent, Utilities, Marketing, etc.)
I started college at USC and saw an opportunity to promote parties and make some extra spending money while at school. This continued after graduation for a few years and allowed me to connect with my business partner Allen Sanford.
Allen was a few years older and already owned Union Cattle Company in Hermosa Beach. (A location we would use to promote events).
The business relationship Allen and I forged allowed the opportunity for us to come up with the idea of opening The Rockefeller Hermosa Beach. We knew that the South Bay needed a casual yet sophisticated gastropub where locals and tourists alike could walk in, grab some great food at a reasonable price in a fun, yet sophisticated environment.
We were lucky enough to be successful and opened up our 2nd location in Manhattan Beach.
Over the years we have opened up multiple other concepts in the South Bay: Primo Italia, Captain Kidds Fish Market & Restaurant, Saint Rocke, etc … As well as investments in other great local restaurants.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Restaurants are NEVER a smooth road. The struggles have been real!
We have encountered almost every obstacle you can imagine opening and running these businesses.
Starting with opening, we have had to deal with city issues, permitting, financial, etc.
We probably have gone through 5-10 chefs throughout the years for various reasons. It is never easy having to rest the kitchen each time when a new chef comes in with his/her own management style and personality. (I would say that the positive of having that many chefs is that we have been able to use the best items from each chef!)
There are repairs/maintenance issues almost daily. HR issues are never ending.
Financial and accounting. The list goes on and on.
The positive of having multiple locations and years of experience is that we have been able to pool together our resources and come up with a master plan to grow these individual restaurants into an actual company. We are in the final stages of this and I am beyond excited to reach this goal.
Once we achieve this goal, we are going to be able to expand into new locations and concepts without having unnecessary stress on the system. Organization is the key to growth.
The Rockefeller – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As stated before, we are two individual restaurant owners that are in the process of consolidating all of our locations into a real restaurant company.
I think we specialize in LOCAL restaurants that focus on LOCALS.
We are here to offer locals great food, in a friendly environment at a reasonable price. We are in business because locals come eat with us every week. Our employees know our customers by name and our customers know our employees by name as well!
I would say that our attention to details sets us apart from other companies. If you ask any of our employees, our attention to detail can get a little extreme at times, but they know that it has made us successful.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career was the day my dad said to me “Christopher. Come here. I want to get your opinion on this.”
It was the day he let me know that he trusted my business opinion and respected my ability to run these businesses.
- Monday: Oyster Monday – $1 Oysters all night (until they run out)
- Tuesday: Burger Tuesday – 99 cent gourmet full size burgers (must buy a glass of wine or beer)
- Weekend Brunch – Bottomless Mimosas – $15.99 (Multiple flavors available – Guava, Peach, OJ, Watermelon)
- Address: The Rockefeller Hermosa Beach – 418 Pier Ave, Hermosa Beach, CA, 90254
The Rockefeller Manhattan Beach – 1209 Highland Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA, 90266
- Website: www.eatrockefeller.com
- Phone: 310.372.8467 (HB) + 310.545.5810 (MB)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @RockefellerGastropub
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eatrockefeller/
- Twitter: @RockefellerHB