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Fast 50

Fastest 50: Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen


Photo by Eric Crossan

Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen
Location: Newark

Grain was launched in 2015 by the O’Donoghue and Mikles’ families as a desire to create a warm inviting place to meet friends and enjoy a shared experience of contemporary American fare. The concept is a casual and energizing space where well-crafted food and drink happily go hand-in-hand while live music fills the room. 

What have been the biggest factors that contributed to your company’s growth over the past three years? Consistent focus on the guest experience, quality food and drinks, hiring great people and getting out of their way

Looking back, what’s the biggest mistake you made and what would you do differently if you could? We were growing so quickly we lost focus on what makes us successful. Going forward no matter how fast, or varied, the goal is we will stick to the plan that makes us who we are.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned over the past three years? Trust the people you work with on a daily basis. Experts will come and go; the people working with your customers on a daily basis will have the best insight.

How do you keep your team inspired and focused on the future? Develop plans for growth, give constant feedback on how they are doing against those plans, and promote from within whenever possible so employees know they can be involved in the future of the company.


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