Knowing how to attract diners—and keep them coming back—is the restaurant industry’s million dollar question. It’s something Stephen Hightower has mulled extensively over the course of his 25-year career. The secret, he says, is knowing your audience.
“Honestly, I’d put the Baton Rouge palate up against any other in America,” says Hightower, 47, managing partner of City Group Hospitality. “People here understand what they like. They’re great home cooks. They know flavor, and they travel.”
Hightower has spent the last six years shaping and expanding City Group Hospitality’s impressive lineup of restaurants, which includes City Pork Bar and Brasserie, City Slice, Rouj Creole and the recently acquired Beausoleil Restaurant and Bar, now rebranded as Beausoleil Coastal Cuisine. The group also holds City Pork at LSU, and thriving catering and food services divisions capable of delivering everything from weddings to school lunches.