Summer 2011

Frank Talk

We make changes to our restaurants carefully, and always with the spirit of our restaurants in mind: providing good food at an honest price and delighting our guests with warm hospitality.

The Tam O'Shanter main dining room has an especially charming atmosphere with its colorful heraldic flags, genuine antiques and Walt Disney’s favorite corner booth. The Tam O'Shanter main dining room has an especially charming atmosphere with its colorful heraldic flags, genuine antiques and Walt Disney’s favorite corner booth.

CHANGE IS INEVITABLE—especially in the restaurant business. There is constant competition for our guests’ attention, new trends rise and fall, the economy changes, lifestyles change and the tastes and habits of the dining public turn on a dime. We’re always paying close attention so we can keep progressing and up to date.

But we never want to violate the spirit of our restaurants—the things about us that have drawn guests to our doors for almost 90 years—our caring for the people we serve, our intention to provide good food at an honest price and our desire to keep delighting our guests with warm hospitality.

good food at an honest price and our desire to keep delighting our guests with warm hospitality

So we make changes carefully. And we often get responses from our guests. Guests who feel affection for one or another of our locations, who celebrate some of the most important times of their lives with us, come to view their favorite Lawry’s Restaurant as their place, and they have something to say when we change it.

We get far more favorable comments than unfavorable, but as I always say to my colleagues, with any change, someone’s going to gripe. It’s true you can’t please everyone all of the time, but we sure try hard to make that happen. Praise or criticism, we take our guests’ comments to heart.

We recently made changes in two of our restaurants, the Tam O’Shanter in Los Angeles and the Five Crowns in Corona del Mar, CA. About a year ago at the Tam, we eliminated the traditional lunch that was formerly served in its dining rooms and now serve lunch from the restaurant’s in-house Ale & Sandwich Bar.

we take our guests’ comments to heart

My grandson (the fourth generation of our family to join our company), Ryan O’Melveny Wilson, who is Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc., corporate executive chef, created a revised menu for the Ale & Sandwich Bar that includes, in addition to hand-carved sandwiches, entrée salads and platters such as our signature roasted prime ribs of beef.

the lower-priced Ale & Sandwich Bar was becoming more popular than ever

The reason? Fewer guests were joining us for the formal, full-service lunch, while business at the more casual and lower-priced Ale & Sandwich Bar was becoming more popular than ever.

Our Five Crowns restaurant has undergone an even bigger change.

it was time to rejuvenate the restaurant

We closed the restaurant for a month this spring while we remodeled the interior, modified the menu and wine list and retrained the staff. The reason? We felt it was time to rejuvenate the restaurant.

We wanted to retain its fine dining aspect, but do it in a more casual, contemporary way to add a new dimension that would attract a wider range of guests.

My family, along with corporate managers and managers of both of the restaurants, pitched in to make the changes without compromising our principles.

heightening its feeling of comfort and good cheer, while keeping all of its former charm and character intact.

My son, Richard, who is Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc., president, led our efforts. My grandson, Ryan, is now acting as Five Crowns’ executive chef so he can personally oversee the cuisine.

My daughter, Susie, did an amazing job of directing the redesign of the Five Crowns’ interior, giving it a more youthful look with new fabrics and colors, brightening the restaurant with new lighting, and heightening its feeling of comfort and good cheer, while keeping all of its former charm and character intact.

Now that the Five Crowns has reopened, we hope you’ll visit it, as well as the Tam, to taste and see all that’s new. We think you’ll find they’re better than ever.

From the desk of Richard N. Frank

Related Topics: Dining, Five Crowns, Tam O'Shanter
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Orange County

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