Breakfast Dads – Andy
Have you met Andy?
You can’t miss him. He’s the bold, tattooed franchise owner who you can find working in the trenches at our Resolution Drive Sunset Grill in Brampton.
Andy grew up in the restaurant biz. He started working in his dad’s restaurant when he was about 14 years old. And he’s learned a lot over the years. “The best advice my father gave me once…he described the restaurant like a cruise ship,” Andy explains. “You have your captain (which is myself), you have your crew, which is your staff, and your passengers, which are the customers.” And as long as your crew is taking care of the passengers, the ship will move along nice and steady, he adds.
And his ship sails on calm waters.
He attributes that to having a strong team. “Building a good solid team is the hardest part about the business,” says Andy. “Once you build that solid team together, you’re solid. If the staff is happy, the customers will be happy.” He’s recently started a bi-weekly newsletter to boost staff morale, recognize the team, and their accomplishments. And it’s been a big hit so far. “A little pat on the back goes a long way,” he says.
Andy just celebrated his one-year milestone at the Resolution Sunset Grill. Before that, he ran our Stockyards location with his cousin, Mike, for two years. Having worked in the restaurant industry for most of his life, working double shifts and not being able to do the things he enjoyed most, Andy was ready for change. When the opportunity to become a part of the Sunset Grill family presented itself to Andy three years ago, he was excited about the prospect. “The one-shift [at Sunset Grill] is great. It’s breakfast, it’s easy. I love it,” he says with confidence. “They got a great brand. It’s the number one [Canadian] breakfast franchise, and I hope to get a couple more under my belt. That’d be awesome.”
The restaurant is a family affair for Andy. His wife, Irene, and their two adult-children work in the restaurant as well. “My wife is my right-hand man,” he states proudly. “When I’m at the cash… when my daughter stands beside me, and people don’t even know it’s my daughter, and they come up and they’re like ‘this girl needs a raise, this girl was awesome’,” …those are the moments Andy cherishes. He’s even beginning to teach his son how to run the restaurant in the hopes of one day having him take it over, or open his own.
When he’s not slinging breakfast, or getting tattooed, Andy enjoys riding his Harley, relaxing by his pool, or taking his truck off-roading. “My therapy is riding the bike, getting out there in the country, either by myself or with a few guys, and disconnecting.”
His tattoos are unique – his arms are fully covered in large-scale black and grey pieces. His first tattoo was a tribute to his brother who passed away 17 years ago. He’s got a stunning portrait of his father when he was 18 years old on one arm, and a beautiful portrait of his mother on the other. There’s religious symbolism representing the balance between good and evil, a ton of Greek imagery, an homage to his Harley love-affair, in addition to his wife’s and his kids’ names. Oh, and, a giant pirate ship on his calf.
As for what’s next, Andy hopes to get a portrait of his Boston Terrier, Louis, done, along with more Greek-themed imagery, and maybe even the Acropolis.
Andy is looking forward to Father’s Day this year; however, is reminiscent of a Father’s Day he enjoyed sometime 5-10 years ago. He’s a big fan of celebrating Friday the 13th up at Port Dover, and this particular weekend happened to work out perfectly – Friday the 13th in Dover, and then his birthday on the 14th (Happy Birthday, Andy!), and Father’s Day on the 15th. “Those three days in a row… it was one of my best weekends ever,” Andy says excitedly.
He’ll be working at the restaurant this Father’s Day, but is hoping to spend some time with his kids and perhaps go out for dinner after it’s all said and done. It’s important for him to spend time with his own father as well. “[My dad and I] …we’re best buds,” says Andy. “He’s helped me a lot too.”
At the end of the day, Andy feels lucky to have his family working alongside him, and looks forward to one day passing the ceremonial reigns over to his kids. As long as he’s got his family, his Harley, and Sunset Grill, he’s happy. What more can a man ask for?
The next time you stop by for breakfast or lunch at our Steeles & Kennedy, Brampton Sunset Grill, be sure to say hi to Andy!
Steeles Ave. E. & Kennedy Rd. S.
60 Resolution Dr.,
Brampton, ON, L6W 0A7
Monday to Friday 6:30 AM to 3 PM
Saturday & Sunday 7 AM to 3 PM