KEVIN GUTTING Tony Paciorek is giving a facelift to the interior of 127 Elm St. in Hatfield for his new restaurant and bar, The Grill 'N Chill, with a target opening date of May 1. After working here for 14 years and three former restaurants (the Paddock, the Smithsonian and 127 Elm), Paciorek is calling the shots as president and chef. Purchase photo reprints »
Job title and company: Anthony Paciorek, head chef/president of Grill ’N Chill, 127 Elm St., Hatfield
Your duties: Head chef, food inventory, manager
How did you land your job? I worked at the location in previous restaurants for 15 years, since I was 11 years old, before purchasing and going in business with my brother, Tim.
What’s most challenging about your work? The long hours and many behind-the-scenes details and duties that come along with owning and operating a restaurant and, more importantly, a business.
What do you like about your job? Making my own decisions.
What is your key to success? Treating people as I would like to be treated. Great customer service. Making sure that Grill ’N Chill has a warm and inviting feel to it. And also providing the community with great home-style cooking at reasonable prices.
How do you feel the Valley economy will fare this year? This was the first year we’ve run the business on our own, however through the last few years, the economy has been getting a little better than it was. We have surpassed most of our goals since we’ve opened, including sales from previous years. The economy hasn’t seemed to affect us much.
Why did you choose to do business in the Valley? I grew up in Hatfield. My brother worked at this location for six years when the restaurant was called the Paddock. That’s where I started and I worked here for many more years. It just feels like home.
Who has helped mentor you professionally? Peter Langlois and my brother, Tim. I did not go to culinary or business school. Pretty much everything I know was learned from these people. I worked under Peter at the Smithsonian (restaurant) and learned a great deal about the whole industry. And Tim is always there hammering the actual business stuff into my head.
Name a few of your goals for the coming year: Probably not in the coming year, but within the next few, we will have a second location somewhere.
Tell us a little-known fact about you: I guess the most obvious fact about myself is my work ethic.
What is your advice for others seeking business success? Take advice only from people that have been in business and were successful at the business they ran. Opening a restaurant because you think you are a great cook is not the right direction to go in. There are many, many other things that go along with running a successful business and having everybody on your staff on the same page.
Work in all aspects and positions so you become familiar with all areas. Finally, get ready to work! You can’t treat it like a hobby. You have to do whatever it takes to get the job done. You no longer have a 9-to-5 job. However, if you put your heart into it and learn from your mistakes, and get the right advice when needed, being in business for yourself can be really rewarding.