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Guest House Grill: From bus boys, to roommates, to restaurateurs – two friends bring some comfort (food that is) and juicy steaks to Atascadero

Eric Peterson and Trevor LaSalle met while bussing tables at a local steakhouse in Templeton, CA. They became roommates at Cal Poly where they both pursued business degrees. As their education progressed in college, so did their ranking at the restaurant. They began as bussers, then moved to serving and eventually made their way to management. Once they had their education complete, and plenty of experience in their back pocket, Eric and Trevor decided that they both had a strong aptitude for the industry and broke away from the steakhouse to test their luck with a restaurant of their own.

In October of 2007, the former bus boys became restaurateurs when they purchased a Mexican restaurant called Medio Mundo in Atascadero. After the purchase of the location was finalized, Eric and Trevor spent the following three months on renovations. The overhang of the upper patio was completely rebuilt in and partially enclosed, and they added plenty of heaters to the area in order to keep the patio warm and cozy during the winter months. In addition to the upper patio, a lower patio was built that included an ambient fire pit and waterfall. In January of 2008, the two proud owners opened the doors to their newly remodeled restaurant and the Guest House Grill was born.

The mission of the Guest House Grill is to provide a place in Atascadero that combines great service with fantastic food and drink. Having once been in almost all the different positions within a restaurant themselves, both Eric and Trevor know that great service comes from happy employees. “Keeping the staff happy is one of our biggest priorities – happy staff leads to happy customers,” said Eric. One way they are able to achieve this is by keeping schedules flexible, allowing shifts to be switched, and making sure their employees get their requested time off.

The Guest House Grill, values family time so much that they close their doors on holidays. “We feel it is important for our staff to be able to spend these days with their families,” said Eric. “Another reason that our staff is always in good spirts is because they are treated with respect and are viewed as co-workers as opposed to the more usual dichotomy of employer and employee.”

Most cities these days have plenty of steak houses with a traditional Americana menu to choose from. However, Atascadero is unique in the fact that steakhouses are somewhat limited in the area. It was serendipitous that Eric and Trevor came to Atascadero. It gave them the opportunity to bring a traditional steak house menu, but with an added twist. “We wanted a menu that had a lot of different options,” said Eric. “This was achieved by creating a diversity in our menu that not only included fine cuts of steak, but entrée salads, comfort foods, pastas, and less expensive hamburgers, too. However, in true steak house tradition, the best sellers are still the Center of the Plate options – all cut in-house by Chef Rob Lewis – which includes a myriad of Choice ribeyes, filets and sirloins.”

The Guest House Grill uses Atascadero’s “small town” influence to its advantage. In a time where advertising is being driven mainly by multimedia such as radio and print, and now with the use of social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Yelp, the Guest House Grill has found its own success with good old fashion positive word of mouth. “Maintaining a good reputation and rapport with our guests and staff alike keeps people coming back,” said Eric.

Like many restaurants, Friday and Saturday evenings are the busiest, so to capture as much traffic flow as possible, they decided to bring in live music. “The music creates a completely different vibe in the restaurant compared to other nights. It’s extremely popular, and there’s nothing better than seeing our guests having a fun time,” said Eric.

A big draw to the Guest house Grill are their “nightly specials.” To boost sales during the typically slow Monday and Tuesday nights, Eric and Trevor decided to run great deals to draw in the post-weekend crowd. On Monday nights, guests can come in on a budget and eat their fill with the “All You Can Eat Spaghetti Special” for $11.95. On Tuesdays, they can have their steak and eat it too with the “Steak Dinner for 2 Deal” for $22.95. According to Eric, though, the best deal of the week is their Sunday steak and lobster meal for $25.95.

The last thing any business wants is to run out of a product during business hours. Insert Jordano’s Account Executive, Jim Scoville, who works closely with the Guest House Grill to ensure that their restaurant is fully stocked. “It is great working with someone who truly cares about our business,” said Eric. “Jim and Jordano’s Foodservice are always quick to help when we need something last minute or if we forget to order something. He keeps us up-to-date on what’s new in the restaurant world and is always available for our phone calls and e-mails. Jordano’s is a great company – we have always enjoyed working with them, and look forward to many more successful years together!”

For more information about Guest House Grill, visit www.guesthousegrill.com or find them on Facebook.