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110 Grill

With nearly two dozen locations, 110 Grill is becoming the face of upscale casual dining in the New England area. Chief Operating Officer Ryan Dion shares insights on the modern American chain’s rapid success.

How would you describe 110 Grill?

I would describe the restaurants as approachable. Whether you are wearing a business suit and want to grab a steak with some colleagues, or you’re in shorts and a T-shirt and you just want to get a quick bite and a drink at the bar, you’ll fit in. We have something for everyone.

How did 110 Grill get started?

In September 2014, my business partner, Robert Walker, and I took over a restaurant in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, on Route 110. That’s how we got the name 110 Grill. That first location was a success, and from there, we created the restaurant group 110 Grill. Since then, we have opened 21 additional locations all around New England and New York. We owe that amazing growth to the great people who work for us—they’re our recipe for success.

What are some of your signature dishes?

One of my favorite dishes is our Bourbon-Marinated Steak Tips with a Whiskey Glaze. Sysco produces the steak tips to the specs and standards we need. And we offer a different take on Chicken Parmesan: Instead of pasta, we serve a great Caprese Salad on the side. Something that also makes us stand out is that our menu is 100 percent gluten-free. We buy lots of those gluten-free ingredients from Sysco, such as Rich’s gluten-free brownies, the Glutino thin crackers, Udi’s gluten-free burger buns and the Banza chicpea rotini pasta.

We are mindful of patrons with celiac disease and food allergies. Even our fried items, like our calamari and french fries, are gluten-free because we use corn flour instead of regular flour, which keeps our fryers safe from cross-contamination. And it’s lighter and easier on the stomach, too.

What other items do you typically source from Sysco?

Sysco is our primary meat cutter and supplier. They provide all of our groceries and our meat, like the steak tips and the Buckhead Beef New York strip and rib-eye that we serve. The aging process, along with the quality of the meat, provides a consistent dish for our guests. The overall texture and flavor of these steaks are consistently top notch.

We have opened a dozen restaurants in just a year, and Sysco has been a huge part of our growth.

CEO Ryan Dion

How has Sysco been an integral partner in your success?

We have opened a dozen restaurants in just a year, and Sysco has been a huge part of our growth. Sysco has a phenomenal team—our Sales Consultant is a part of our family here at 110 Grill and works closely with our culinary director. When you’re opening so many restaurants, accurate product and delivery times are essential to making it happen, and Sysco helps us achieve that. For example, Sysco helps us source and stock gluten-free products to ensure we’re able to provide our entire core menu gluten-free.

What are your plans for the future?

We’re planning to open eight more locations this year, and we will have 30 total restaurant locations by the end of the year. We’ve been very fortunate in our success.