The Bartolotta Restaurant Group feeds enough people in a year to fill Miller Park about 13 times, according to co-owner Joe Bartolotta.
The Milwaukee-based company will only continue to feed more mouths. Earlier this year, the company announced that it will open three restaurants at the Mayfair Collection development in Wauwatosa by next fall. In addition, Bartolotta Restaurant Group opened two new restaurants this year: Miss Beverly’s Deluxe Barbecue in Greendale and Downtown Kitchen at the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee.
While Miss Beverly’s serves up a menu of Bartolotta’s own take on barbecue, Downtown Kitchen has what the company calls a “modern market” flair.
For its rapid growth, the restaurant group has been named the BizTimes Best in Business Small Business of the Year for 2014.
As the company continues to expand, in both venues and employees, it is evolving beyond a small business, Bartolotta said.
“As our company grows, we’re transitioning from a small business to a medium-sized business now,” he said. “For years we were a smaller business, and in the last four years we’ve seen a lot of growth. We’re in this really unique place where we’re too big of a company to be a small company anymore, and yet we’re too small of a company to be a big company.”
Bartolotta said the restaurant group has its sights set on continuing its growth and continuing to cultivate its team in the process. The company, which currently has 11 restaurants in addition to catering operations, has close to 1,000 employees – 1,100 in the summer – and anticipates swelling by another 250 staffers with the Mayfair Collection restaurants.
The Mayfair Collection establishments will include a dine-in and drive-through restaurant – the first of its kind for the Bartolotta Restaurant Group – with elements of ribs and barbecue; a tavern sports bar concept with a casual feel and major beer, bourbon, scotch and whiskey programs; and a French-themed café.
The company has working names for each restaurant and will be ready to announce each name by early next year, according to Bartolotta. He envisions breaking ground in April and opening at least two of the restaurants by August or September.
While strategic partnerships with developers and investors have accelerated the Bartolotta Restaurant Group’s growth, that growth has also fed off the development of its team, which Joe said is among the accomplishments that makes him proudest.
“It’s been a really good run, and it’s just testament to some of our leadership as well as our culture as well as the loyalty that we have within our staffs,” Joe said. “You can’t deliver great food if you don’t have good people helping you.”