We had the good fortune of connecting with Remington Bruce and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Remington, what do you attribute your success to?
At MAD, we serve more than just food, we curate an atmosphere and an energy that is palpable for the guests. Someone who dines with us at 5:00pm can (and should) have an entirely different experience than someone who dines at 10:30pm… why? Because these two guests are looking for entirely different ambiance and service than each other. We cater the dining experience – temperature, lights, music – all bespoke for the guest. This is what makes us special. The true thoughtful investment in caring about our customer.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It was never my plan to end up in hospitality, although I suppose it was always in the cards.
I grew up working for my parents restaurant & resort. When I went to college at Chapman University, I served tables at Charlie Palmer to make money on the side. When I moved to LA after completing my degree in International & Strategic Communications, I got a job as a Marketing Manager in Beverly Hills. At the same time, I was part of the opening team for Catch LA with Catch Hospitality Group. I ended up moving into Training and Expansion with them and opening locations in Las Vegas & New York City, before relating to Houston to take over operations for MAD.
There have been many challenges. Moving to new cities all the time was a blessing and a curse. Always getting to see new places but difficult to continually meet and say goodbye to new friends. Catch definitely creates strong managers. Especially over the holidays and openings, the hours were brutal and many of us didn’t get to see our families. I think that without having that sort of pressure and intensity, the growth wouldn’t feel so rewarding.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Of course you have to go to a game.
For food I’d say MAD, North Italia, March, Nancy Hustle, or BCN.
For drinks I love Sporting Club, Loch Bar or Dogwood.
I’m a sucker for all things Memorial Park. I love taking people visiting to the Bayou trails or Memorial trails!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Aside from my father (who taught me everything I know about business, and my mother (who taught me everything I know about people), I would have to say my greatest shoutout is owed to my Grandmother, Gracie Strom.
Sort of an Oregon legend, she took over my grandfathers restaurant after his sudden passing. She had no experience running a business, and was suddenly thrown into the challenges of entrepreneurship as a widowed-mother of 3 kids. Well, she ended up turning the restaurant into a staple on the Oregon Coast – Gracie’s Sea Hag. She curated a slogan that stuck, ‘seafood so fresh, the Ocean hasn’t missed it yet!” She took over her supply chain, and purchased multiple seafood markets to sell to herself, as well as a hotel. She even ended up as Chairwoman for the Board of the Bank that initially refused to give her a small business loan.
She would play the bottles behind the bar, and people would come from far and wide to see “Gracie play the bottles”. But truly, she was known for her love and caring. She truly cared about every employee she hired and every guest she served. She was a political activist, and was known for always speaking up for the little guy.
Without her influence, I would have never entered into hospitality. She showed me what the industry is all about.
Don’t take my word for it, they wrote a biography about her named “Amazing Gracie & the Sea Hag”.
Honorable mentions for Credit & Recognition would be Shantel, Daniel, GG, MV, DG and Fink. Without their mentorship and training, I would never be where I am today.