Sam Slattery is a principal and founder of Buccan – Palm Beach, with his partners Clay Conley and Piper Quinn. In addition, they opened Imoto, Buccan Sandwich Shop with other projects in the works.
Prior to founding Buccan in 2011, Slattery was Chief Operating Officer for Todd English’s Olives Group where his primary objectives were to grow international restaurant and management group plus, build sales and increase restaurant profits. Slattery’s background is an immersion of strategic restaurant and culinary operations including positions: Chief Operating Officer for Vinny Testa’s, Inc.; Vice President of Culinary Operations and Corporate Purchasing for John Harvard’s Brew House; and Slattery was the first corporate chef for Rock Bottom restaurants (Rock Bottom Brewery and Old Chicago restaurants, and hotel divisions). In addition, Slattery has been intimately involved with many rapid growth restaurant companies, and has opened 40 restaurants in the U.S. and internationally since 1989.
How did you get into the Culinary industry?
Cooking runs in the family so I started in high end restaurants as a kid and never left.
Tell us about Buccan. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the restaurant?
The idea for Buccan was to create a place where our guests could get delicious, interesting food in a super laid back, comfortable setting…..”like going to a cool friend's house for dinner”.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Buccan's success?
Our marketing ends where most people think restaurant marketing starts; our goal has always been to create a unique guest experience at a lower price point than our competitors and deliver on it consistently. Positive word of mouth drives our sales growth. We have a great PR person too."
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
The most important underlying trend is that people are getting much more sophisticated when it come to food and beverage, so we don’t cut corners and we constantly innovate.
The harder you work the luckier you get.
Your greatest success as Proprietor of Buccan?
Creating a place where talented people can do what they love, get treated like family and make money.
Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
Not necessarily a “moment” but raising capital for a new venture was the most difficult thing we encountered on the project.
Your advice to an aspiring restauranteur?
Get real with the demands of the business before you get in too deep.
Describe the ideal experience at Buccan.
Drive up to the front door, (valet service upon arrival), greeted warmly our hosts, enjoy a cocktail and snack in the lounge or at the bar, sit for dinner with friends and share a variety of delicious small plates with some great wine and excellent service.
How important are architecture/design to the success of your venue?
A great floor plan is critical. The rest is less essential than people think.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
I thrive on food and beverage-- can't pick just one.
What literature is on your bed stand?
Favorite travel destination?
South of France
What's next for Buccan?
A new Mediterranean/Italian Restaurant, Micaela’s opening in late Summer.
As Co-Founder & Director of Operations for Buccan, Slattery is responsible for operations, finance and development. Slattery’s core business acumen includes a nuts and bolts approach to developing and implementing sound operational infrastructure and understanding complex organizational problem-solving which results in impressive growth and sales results, plus management stability and positive organizational change. In these roles, Slattery has enabled companies to control and evolve all aspects of their business, establish a solid foundation for future growth, and remain nimble.
Aligned with his professional history, Slattery’s education is equally accomplished with Executive Education at Harvard Business Schools, Harvard Law School, The Wharton School of Business and Business Administration degree from Saint Michael’s College. Slattery resides lives in Boulder, CO and Boston, MA.
IN PICTURE: (Sam Slattery, Chef Clay Conley & Piper Quinn)