Ryan Moreno

BC Business Magazine - - Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 - –D.H.

CEO AND PRINC I PAL , JOSE PH R ICHARD GROUP

Work­ing as a 15-year-old Red Robin bus­boy was Ryan Moreno's hum­ble first step to be­com­ing a hos­pi­tal­ity en­tre­pre­neur. His Sur­rey-head­quar­tered com­pany, Joseph Richard Group (JRG), founded with best friend An­dré Bourque in 2009, op­er­ates restau­rants, pubs, liquor stores and a ho­tel in 21 lo­ca­tions in B.C. and Al­berta.

Moreno be­gan his first busi­ness after he and Bourque got jobs sling­ing drinks at night­clubs. Bar­tend­ing schools weren't ad­e­quately train­ing peo­ple for real-life work: while Moreno tossed bot­tles like Tom Cruise in the 1988 movie Cock­tail, his rookie co-work­ers strug­gled with the ba­sics. So the two friends built their own course, and after the first class they had $10,000 cash in their hands. “Holy cow, we cre­ated this out of noth­ing,” Moreno re­calls think­ing.

The first res­tau­rant he opened in 2002 failed. “I didn't do the home­work,” Moreno ex­plains. He does it now, fo­cus­ing on pro­vid­ing ex­cep­tional guest ex­pe­ri­ences. JRG, which has more lo­ca­tions in the works, re­cently launched a hir­ing drive to grow from about 950 em­ploy­ees to 1,000.

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