Lowlands Group

    Lowlands Group

    Address: 1421 N. Water St., Suite 2, Milwaukee


    Year founded: 2007

    Product or service offered: We’re European-style Grand Cafes. From our unique and comforting menus to our extensive bier lists filled with an unmatched selection of rare and even exclusive Belgian biers, we’re a place to go to grab breakfast with a client or brunch with a group on the weekends, catch up with a friend over lunch, enjoy a happy hour with co-workers, or have a relaxing dinner or late night dessert with a significant other.

    Projected 2014 revenue: $23 million

    Leadership team: Michael Eitel and Eric Wagner

    Target clientele: People who eat, people who drink, and especially people who are merry…we really don’t consider our Grand Cafes to have one specific targeted demographic. Rather, we welcome people of all ages and backgrounds, and that mix of people can be seen every day in our Grand Cafes.

    Business organization memberships: MMAC, Wisconsin Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association, FAB Milwaukee

    What has fueled your company’s growth? “We have been very fortunate in the past with finding locations well-suited to fit our Grand Cafe concept, and we’ve been even more fortunate to have found and developed great people to execute our plans. Our management teams are incredibly passionate and engaged in our business, and these teams are largely responsible for our past success.”

    Do you plan to make any changes in your company in the coming months? “We have a lot of changes to look forward to, and many recent ones to celebrate. Looking back a couple months, we have promoted six people in our company to elevated roles. It’s been absolutely incredible to see our people grow into positions with more and more responsibilities. Looking forward, we’re really investing in our growth. We’re developing internal teams to tackle a wide array of problems, and we’re investing in a new back office system to provide better access to our data, along with other management tools to better integrate our financials.”

    What is the outlook for the business conditions of your industry over the next several months? “It’s always nearly impossible to tell what the conditions in the restaurant industry will be – even the professional predictors can’t get that right. Weather patterns, with patio and outdoor spaces being a large part of our business, are also a huge impact on our business and are totally unpredictable; huge commodity swings seem to be the rule these days; and health care changes are particularly onerous on our industry and their overall impact unknown.”

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