Chris Dilla is the founder of Bocktown Beer and Grill, located just moments off the Robinson Town Centre exit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has just recently opened a second Bocktown Beer and Grill in the Beaver Valley Mall, in Monaca, Pennsylvania. She’s dreaming of five restaurants in the area, and a future where she actually has time to blog, consult and play with her dog, Growler. She secretly hopes someone will get around to inventing a usb port for her brain, so she doesn’t have to sit and type it all out.
A little background: Chris came to entrepreneurship at 40. She was able garner financing through a combination of sheer will, borrowing to the hilt against her home, and showing the bank an extremely long work history within the industry. She attended every class and workshop she could, met dozens of peers and advisors, and realized early on, she was not in this alone. Around the same time, the social media tools seemed to mature into something the world could not ignore. Today, she is only 6 years into her journey, and is anxious to help other budding entrepreneurs grow through the use of social media tools. Chris doesn’t use many conventional methods to advertise her business. In fact she opened her second location through the use of social media exclusively. She has built a community of followers who care about her success, and without traditional advertising has opened her second restaurant with double the sales volume of her first restaurant’s first year. Chris didn’t get here without paying her dues! She worked within the restaurant industry since she was 16, tossed pizzas, bartended, served, hosted, managed kitchens, you name it. Her restaurant experience was all local to the Pittsburgh region, and for family owned businesses. All but one of them still exist and thrive in this region and this economy. She learned so much from them and has a commitment to local-ism and small business from these experiences.
A look to the future: Chris has created 100 jobs in the region and wants to challenge her own staff to grow with her as she reaches for her goal of 5 locations.
She has one other restaurant concept that she wants to develop into 100 units in a fast-serve environment, that will offer further opportunities for growth for her staff. She doesn’t sit still and is thrilled to embrace the unusual to grow her business. Please stay tuned!