Courtney Mitchell arrived at the entrance of The Butcher’s Son Chophouse, a Virginia Beach favorite for excellent steaks and a welcoming ambiance. Courtney and her husband were frequent guests who spent many Friday nights enjoying the cocktail menu and premium cuts. But that day, she approached the restaurant as both a regular guest and a SpotOn hospitality specialist.
She wasn’t there to sample the seasonal cocktails, but rather, she had a new motivation: understanding the restaurant’s operations. Courtney was ready for this meeting in hopes it could form a new partnership with this locally renowned spot and help problem-solve with one of her favorite restaurants.
Courtney’s timing was perfect, as it turned out. She connected with the Director of Operations, Greg Alkire, and learned how The Butcher’s Son was looking to overcome certain operational challenges due to rising restaurant costs. Brian Radford, the owner and eponymous butcher’s son, first opened The Butcher’s Son back in 2015 to carry on his father’s philosophy towards quality food over everything else.
Since his father was a butcher for over 30 years, Radford himself toured multiple ranches all over Virginia to find the best possible beef for the restaurant. Even if the perfect menu didn’t exist, Radford and Alkire, alongside Nick Clark, the Chief Financial Officer, worked hard to make sure guests could eat the highest quality meat (and get a great guest experience), all for a fair price.
“Courtney came in with a wealth of knowledge. She was enthusiastic. She shared our philosophy towards quality food and service. SpotOn was exactly what we were looking for.” – Greg Alkire, Vice President Director of Operations, The Butcher’s Son
That quest for perfection and passion for hospitality resonated with Courtney. At 14, she started her first restaurant job. In high school, she worked in a pastry shop alongside a fine dining shop, where she helped chefs craft a bread sculpture or decorate a cake with sugar petals. She soon enrolled in Johnson and Wales to earn a degree in baking and pastry arts, which allowed her to work alongside chefs in prestigious venues and hotels in the area. By the time she became a manager with her own team of pastry chefs, Courtney had already mastered an important lesson in hospitality. While people’s tastes and restaurant operations will always change, creativity and passion would be the greatest asset to adapt and grow in that space.
“Thanks to my background, I knew exactly that every restaurant wanted to serve great food without spending unnecessary money.” – Courtney Mitchell
After graduating from culinary school, Courtney worked at a few different bakeries and restaurants, crafting desserts that pleased the eyes as much as the taste buds. Her crowning achievement to this day is a ten-tier wedding cake that features over 2509 hand-sculpted sugar flowers. However, after landing a job as the executive pastry chef at a local university, the pandemic hit, and Courtney felt it was time for a bit more flexibility. That’s when she found SpotOn.
“I didn’t want to completely lose touch with the industry, with everything developing and changing. SpotOn felt like the right place to laser focus on restaurants in a way that I respected and wanted.” – Courtney Mitchell
As one of SpotOn’s hospitality specialists, Courtney wants to show clients she isn’t there to only make a sale. She’s got a wealth of compassion for a restaurant beyond its tech. If she gets a call for some feedback on a menu or an issue with the hardware, Courtney doesn’t call back. She drives straight to the client, ready to help right away. She wants to hold the menu in her hands and look people in the eyes as they talk to her. A real human interaction, for Courtney, is still the best way for her to communicate with another person.
She fit right into The Butcher’s Son, listening to Alkire and learning everything from the back-of-house quirks to their approach to hospitality. Labor and supply chain challenges meant Alkire had to adjust menu prices. It was either that or compromise their integrity, which was a non-starter. After all, there was a reason why guests like Courtney loved the restaurant’s atmosphere as much as the food and drinks.
“We used 6 or 7 different systems or platforms that didn’t talk to each other. That’s not including our mobile solutions. SpotOn has helped tie all that together and help us save a lot of time and energy.” – Greg Alkire
When she examined their legacy point-of-sale system, Courtney saw how The Butcher’s Son had outgrown their existing tech. It wasn’t just about cost-saving. They needed to streamline communication between the floor and the kitchen, making it easier for the back-of-house to deliver on guest preferences.
By keeping all different integrations and platforms in a single hub, The Butcher’s Son would cut down on all the extra tech and easily access real-time data reports. They could now track every purchase and cost going into their daily operations and adjust accordingly. If a certain cut of meat had gone up, Alkire could alter the overall restaurant’s spending so menu prices would stay the same.
"We started saving $200-300 per location on technology thanks to SpotOn's simplified point-of-sale,” says Greg Alkire. “The point-of-sale gets the orders into the kitchen right away, which creates more table turns for our reservations.”
With their new cloud-based restaurant POS system, The Butcher’s Son had a more efficient holiday season, saving on labor dollars and tracking their success through detailed reports. While they’re focused on faster order times and increased profits, Courtney’s still within reach. “I still text The Butcher’s Son once a week to see if everything’s okay,” says Courtney. She even brings potential clients to The Butcher’s Son for a steak, proving that business and pleasure mix pretty well together. Especially when there are premium cuts and intuitive tech involved.