December was a busy month for staff at Bottoms Bar and Grill, as they broke a personal best record to mark their highest grossing month ever.
Then January came.
“We blew that record out of the water,” says general manager Nathan Cross — making for an exciting holiday period for possibly Sun Peaks’ busiest kitchen.
Over the holiday period, Cross estimates Bottoms was serving around 650 to 700 people a day over lunch and dinner. Even a slow day could still see around 350 people stopping in for a meal.
“Whether you’re in line behind 20 people waiting to get a table, or there’s only two tables being served, I like to think you get that same, consistent experience at Bottoms,” Cross said.
Cross credits his seasoned team — bar manager Brian Gillespie, bar supervisor Marty Ciesiolka, kitchen manager Brandon Harris and sous chefs Olly Coppo and Connor Birmingham — high levels of returning staff, and a positive work environment in allowing Bottoms to deliver food quickly and consistently.
“(Brandon) Harris is only 23, but he’s been here for five or six years now, and his work ethic, his attitude and his ability are unbelievable. He’s a 23 year old running one of the busiest kitchens in Sun Peaks.
“Our sous chefs, are a great team as well, and they really add to the creativity of our menu.
Cross said the menu was designed to play to the strengths of the kitchen, and said the most popular items this winter included the braised short rib grilled cheese, the taco stand, and the calamari.
But Bottoms range of burgers continue to be their best seller: “Our burgers are our number one seller. They’ve probably been the most popular thing on our menu for the last decade.”
Cross said Bottoms beer selection had also increased this year, adding a range of craft beers from around B.C.
Ultimately, Cross said fostering a positive working environment was one of the major factors in their success.
“It’s fun to work at Bottoms, but we also support each other and motivate each other. We’re working the best we’ve ever worked right now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a kitchen like this.” On a visit to Bottoms this week, a staff member quietly took SPIN aside to give some of the credit back to Cross: “I know he (Cross) probably said a lot of nice things about his crew, but none of that happens without him being there. It would be good if you could mention that.”
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