We recently sat down with General Manager Jason Crooks, who highlights everything that Ground Round and the Oshkosh community has to offer.
Tell us a little about you.
“My name is Jason Crooks, General Manager at the Ground Round at River’s Edge in Oshkosh. I’m born and raised in Oshkosh, which of course initially made this job opportunity an appealing one for me. When I’m not working I like to work out, ride my mountain bike, and watch Wisconsin sports (mainly the Packers and Brewers). I’m also a diehard fan of mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”
What makes Ground Round at River’s Edge-Oshkosh special?
“I think there are a lot of things that make our property special; it’s by far the most unique place I’ve worked in my 16+ year hospitality career. The obvious thing would be the fact that we are a waterfront property that happens to be in the heart of the downtown. Those two things alone ensure that no two days are alike here.”
What do you enjoy most about working at Ground Round?
“Of course, being on the water comes to mind first. Aside from that, I enjoy working for an open minded ownership group that gets the ‘big picture’ and is willing to reinvest in itself.”
Tell us a little bit about your team and how you stay successful working together.
“We truly are a tight knit family here, especially the management team. I feel our success comes from the trust and communication we have with each other. That means consistently meeting once a week and utilizing email and other things to keep each other in the loop with everything that’s going on. And because we are in a college town, I’m also proud to be part of a very diverse team that again; gets along very well.”
In your opinion what makes Oshkosh, WI unique?
The city of Oshkosh is very unique and it’s kind of easy to take it for granted, especially if you’ve lived here your whole life like I have. The downtown area is hopping almost all summer long between Waterfest, the Farmer’s Market, the Gus Macker basketball tournament, etc. I’m glad we’ve recently taken on the label of “Event City” as it truly does accurately describe what our city is. A goal of mine has been to try to be the “Event Restaurant” in “Event City” with our different events throughout the year including our St. Paddy’s Day Bash, Halloween Costume Party, Packer Game specials, or our annual Ugly Sweater Party to name a few.
What do customers get at Ground Round that they can’t get anywhere else in Oshkosh?
“I just think it’s the fact that we have so much to offer. Breakfast, delivery, outdoor bar, patio fire pits, and the fact that we’re right on the Oshkosh Riverwalk. I also think it’s an advantage that we are a locally owned and operated franchise. I’ve personally worked for independently owned restaurants that lacked systems, or corporate brands that were too “cookie cutter”. The fact that Ground Round is in the middle and has the best of both worlds makes us unique and it’s what initially drew me to the position.”