Luke Beemer is the Operations Manager at Pickle Hospitality, known for the popular Southern comfort food establishments Jacob’s Pickles, Maison Pickle, and Lucky Pickle Dumpling Co. He joined native New Yorker and founder Jacob Hadjigeorgis, who launched the first restaurant, Jacob’s Pickles in December 2011 on the Upper West Side.
Jacob's Pickles is the original flagship restaurant from the Pickle Hospitality Group. It's a classic southern menu with our special twist on those beloved traditional dishes like biscuits, grits, fried chicken, and of course pickles & beer.
Beemer joined Hadjigeorgis when he was just a server, and quickly rose through the ranks to become operations manager, helping launch the restaurant group, Pickle Hospitality. We sat down with Beemer to chat about why he opened Pickle Hospitality and his love of the restaurant industry.
What inspired you to open Pickle Hospitality?
“I opened Pickle Hospitality when it was just Jacob's Pickles in 2016 as a server. Having recently graduated with a degree in economics my plan was to wait tables until I found another job. Once I walked into Jacob’s Pickles, that all changed. I fell in love with the restaurant and found myself seeking out every opportunity to become more involved in the projects and programs that the team was developing. When I was offered the opportunity to join the operations team there was no question in my mind about accepting.”
Why are you passionate about this industry?
Helping people escape into exciting food experiences is something I really enjoy. There’s something special about a spot that helps you to leave the rest of the world behind for a time. Increasingly my passion is finding ways to leverage technology to further enhance those experiences.
How did you get into the restaurant industry?
In high school, I started as a busser a local family owned restaurant in the Catskills. I waited tables throughout college, helping to pay for school. Until I found my way to Jacob's Pickles I never envisioned a career in hospitality.
What makes Jacob’s Pickles different or unique to the New York dining scene?
It's a comfortable place that takes our guests on a transportive adventure. It's a t-shirts and jeans kind of spot but with a service style and menu that surpass the expectations of any casual restaurant—loud and alive but striving towards a quality of service akin to any of our favorite spots around the world.
The Jacob’s Pickles’ family has grown to Maison Pickle and now a new dumpling restaurant. How do these restaurants differ from Jacob’s Pickles?
There's a dynamic relationship between the three restaurants. Jacob's Pickles provides the foundation, a staple of high quality southern style food served in a rustic inspired space that buzzes with energy. Around the corner on Broadway, Maison Pickle invites diners on an exploration of American fare and refined cocktail culture. The decor evokes elegance but is reminiscent of the classic American diner experience. Our newest venture, Lucky Pickle Dumpling Co., is a more playful concept where characters from the “Pickleverse” adorn the walls and differentiate the dumpling containers. Lucky Pickle is an also exercise in efficiency – modern restaurant technology has been utilized to maximize the ability of staff to provide seamless service to our guests. All three have an approachability for any audience or occasion. The warmth of our staff and our ties within the Upper West Side community are the pillars of Pickle Hospitality.
How has Toast Tab improved the customer experience at Jacob’s Pickles?
Toast has helped us to more efficiently deliver great food and drink. The ability for servers to enter orders table-side has the kitchen and bar firing up items immediately, without any communication lag. The ease of use and added efficiencies of the backend allow our managers to spend more time on the floor with guests and provide a greater overall experience.
Just for fun, what is your favorite type of toast?
It’s tough to decide between the biscuit French toast at Jacob’s Pickles or the Texas toast at Maison. At the end of the day I’d have to go with Chef Glenroy’s “cookies and cream” biscuit French toast – who doesn’t love Oreos for breakfast.