The Chronicle -

By Victoria Stephens
THE CHRONICLE 

Helping other businesses succeed is his business

 

October 17, 2019

PHOTOS PROVIDED/TOGATHER

Seth Gruschow, owner of Togather Restaurant Consulting and Springfield Coworking.

SPRINGFIELD – And just like that, Springfield has its own award-winning industry leader.

Seth Gruschow, owner of Togather Restaurant Consulting at 116 S. 4th St. said he was surprised to learn they were selected as the 2019 Allied Partner of the Year by the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association.

His business: Helping other businesses in the restaurant industry succeed. Togather offers services to help new companies with start-up, turning around struggling businesses, training staff, marketing, menu creation and evaluations.

Although Togather works throughout the Northwest, locally the company has assisted several restaurants, including Jasper's Tavern and Cornbread Cafe in Springfield, as well as Veg in Eugene.

Togather collaborates with partners in related support industries, such as Campfire Collaborative Architecture & Design, Curtis Restaurant Equipment, McDonald's Wholesale and Emerald Business Systems. This partnership collective allows for everything an independent restaurant could need, whether it is physically building the building, remodeling, installing a professional kitchen, obtaining food in bulk, needing point-of-sale equipment, technology or a budget or business plan, he said.

On being named Allied Partner of the Year, Gruschow said, "They've seen the work we have been doing for the last three years, and wanted to recognize us for that, which is a great honor, very humbling considering it is a statewide award."

With 25 years in the restaurant industry, Gruschow knows the ins and outs of the business firsthand and has developed his company by building on that know-how.

Starting as a dishwasher at the age of 14, he said he "fell in love with (the restaurant industry) pretty much instantly and have been in it ever since."

Gruschow worked his way up to executive chef ,then into full operations. He found his way by following his heart with the guidance of mentors along the way, he said. He worked primarily in independent restaurants and realized the struggle they have managing the many areas they have to juggle. The industry has a high turnover rate; 60% of independent restaurants fail within the first year and 80% fail within five years, he said.

Gruschow started his consulting work in New York, "doing consulting without realizing it was consulting," and worked in Yellowstone for a few years before coming to this area.

He and his wife, Ashley, came up with the name "Togather Restaurant Consulting." In the restaurant and hospitality business, the "whole point is to get people together, to gather," he said. "The ultimate goal of what we are trying to do is to get people to gather."

This sense of working together and gathering within a community is also expanding on a new horizon. Togather has divided its work space to include a large coworking space, Gruschow said. This second business is called Springfield Coworking, and is similar to those found in Eugene and other large cities.

"The space gave us the idea," he said. Coworking space options include full-time permanent desks, floating desks and temporary traveler desks for weekly and daily rates. All options include WiFi, B&W copying and coffee. "We want to create a good feeling here, of working together... truly working together," he said.

Gruschow's business partner, Jacob (Jake) Moog, handles financial assessments and proformas to see if businesses are viable, and focuses on expanding the company. Currently he is looking into expanding

into the international market, primarily in Asia, which they hope to establish by the end of the year.

 
 

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