Chicago's Flat Top Grill Celebrates 20 Years
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Flat Top Grill plans to party all year long.
The pioneers of the fresh to order, DIY grill concept will continue to appeal to their customers' tastes by introducing new menu items, redesigning their restaurants, and launching a loyalty program that will feature special promotions and discounts to regular patrons, also known as Flat Toppers.
On Sept. 19, 1995, the first Flat Top Grill opened on the north side of Chicago in the Old Town neighborhood on North Avenue. Though the location is no longer active, the Flat Top spirit is alive and thriving.
Modeled after the fresh farmers markets of Asia, it remains the company’s mission to offer fully customizable, fresh fare, cooked to each customer’s preference, hence its motto: “They grow it, you pick it, we cook it.”
According to CEO Michael Wozniak, “We wanted to replicate the experience of walking through a market full of fresh, local farmers’ goods and picking what you want. At the end of the market, there is a large flat top grill where someone cooks the food according to each person’s individual taste.”
Staying true to its roots, its mission to offer fresh, fully customizable food has gained it popularity amongst a growing number of customers with special dietary needs and preferences.
“It’s in our DNA to help people live the eating lifestyle they have chosen or must choose because of allergies or intolerances. What others see as a challenge we see as fun, inclusive, and creative,” says Wozniak.
To keep things fresh, the restaurant plans to introduce some new menu items to accompany the traditional noodle and rice bowls, soups, and lettuce wraps. The FTG Mighty Burrito (1.5 pounds of make-it-yourself freshness) and Roti Tacos (on the signature Roti Bread) are now available in all locations, and it is preparing to roll out salads and stuffed sandwiches throughout the year.
In addition to menu items, the restaurant is also updating its interiors with new paint, tables, chairs, lighting, TVs, and more to reflect a contemporary yet rustic look.
As it prepares for the next 20 years, Flat Top Grill’s biggest goal is not additional site selections but the building of its team. “We are looking for people that can deliver our genuine Flat Top Grill experience…those who have a passionate, positive spirit and a real love for people and food.”
The new loyalty program, Flat Top Grill Rewards, was designed using information from thousands of surveys provided by regular guests. The program will provide instant rewards for joining, valuable offers, and a special feature called Your R.O.I (Random Offers and Info) that will offer promotions.