The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Vinny Greco is a 57 year-old from the Bronx, New York. He worked as the assistant equipment manager for the New York Mets for 25 years. In 2009, he opened his first restaurant called Hurricane Grill and Wings in Port Jefferson Station, New York. In 2012, he opened the same restaurant in Manorville where he raised his two kids. Vinny is a dedicated, hardworking, driven, and passionate business owner.
What is your favorite part about being a restaurant owner?
I would have to say my favorite part about owning a restaurant is making my own hours, taking care of customers and staff, and being my own boss. I also value my relationships with my customers. I have met so many incredible people and I think having that relationship with my customers makes the job so much more enjoyable.
Why did you decide to open up your own restaurants?
I decided to open my own restaurants because the restaurant industy always intrigued me. I love the service industry and the sports bar theme. I also wanted to bring the first Hurricane Grill and Wings to New York, because it was my favorite place to go when I was in Florida for spring training with the New York Mets.
How do you maintain a good relationship with your employees?
You need to put rules in place but at the same time as long as the work is being done correctly, you can have some fun as well. Every year, I host a Christmas and Fourth of July party where I invite my staff over and I cook for them. I think maintaining a relationship with staff is so important because you can gain their trust and respect.
What is the most stressful part about owning a restaurant?
The most stressful part about owning a restaurant is making sure the food quality is always good, making sure your employees show up with a smile on their face, but most importantly that you are making money.
If you could go back to the beginning of opening your restaurants, would you change anything?
Yes. I wouldn't open up a franchise restaurant. I would do things on my own terms, and I would open up a breakfast and lunch only restaurant. I don’t think I expected it to be as stressful as it is. With that being said, I could not imagine doing anything else with my life.
If you had any advice for someone who wants to open their own restaurant, what would it be?
I would tell them to realize that the success rate is under 10 percent, and that you have to dedicate a lot of hardwork and long hours to be successful. You should also have a game plan before you go in.
Interview has been edited for brevity, clarity, and style.