Big Time Restaurant Group (Reviews)

If you’re seeking insider intel on Big Time Restaurant Group, you’ve come to the right place. Established in 1993 and spread across Florida’s prime locales, this dynamic collective is synonymous with dining distinction and innovation. We dissect the essence of their 18 famed venues, the philosophy shaping their menus, and the culinary maestros crafting your next unforgettable meal.

As a Fort Lauderdale local and frequent diner, I’ve been to most of their restaurants and have links to more details on each as you scroll down this page.

big time restaurant group

About the Big Time Restaurant Group

  • Big Time Restaurant Group, founded in 1993 with roots in Delray Beach, Florida, demonstrates significant industry growth with 18 locations and a workforce of over 700, emphasizing chef-driven dining experiences and traditional cooking techniques.
  • Executive Culinary Director Lisabet Summa and renowned chef Louie Bossi are pivotal to the group’s culinary success, focusing on concept development, culinary operations, and mentoring emerging culinary talent.
  • The group has received recognition for culinary excellence, including being named as one of the RH 25: Coolest Multi-Concept Companies, and values customer feedback for continuous improvement while providing career growth opportunities for its employees.

Big Time Restaurant Group: An Overview

big time restaurant group

Founded in 1993 by Todd Herbst, Bill Watson, and Lisabet Summa, Big Time Restaurant Group started as a humble venture in Delray Beach, Florida. With a focus on infusing innovation into every aspect of their restaurant business, they have:

  • Grown to employ more than 700 kitchen professionals
  • Expanded their reach to multiple locations
  • Received numerous awards and accolades for their culinary excellence

Each member of the Big Time Restaurant Group team contributes to the group’s success and commitment to providing exceptional dining experiences.

Renowned for operating highly acclaimed popular restaurants, the group has become a respected name in the restaurant industry. Each venue under the Big Time Restaurant Group banner is a testament to their commitment to quality, customer satisfaction, and a shared passion for gastronomic excellence.

Six Distinct Concepts

With six distinct concepts, Big Time Restaurant Group offers an array of dining experiences, each catering to diverse tastes and preferences. From the contemporary City Cellar Wine Bar & Grill to the vibrant Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, the group presents a culinary canvas of classic concepts.

Big Time Restaurant Group Restaurants
All of these venues are owned and operated by the Big Time Restaurant Group.

A standout among these is Fort Lauderdale Louie Bossi’s Ristorante, Bar and Pizzeria, as well as the renowned City Oyster. This restaurant is the result of a fruitful collaboration between Chef Louie Bossi and Lisabet Summa. Combining traditional New York Italian elements with in-house, scratch cooking, they’ve created a dining experience that is as unique as it is satisfying. Not to mention, the Naples Grease Burger Bar, which adds to the diverse culinary scene in the area.

Expansion and Locations

The Big Time Restaurant Group’s success stretches beyond their original Delray Beach location. They now have a total of 18 locations spanning several cities including:

  • Downtown West Palm Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Boca Raton
  • Sarasota
  • Tampa
  • Palm Beach Gardens

Each restaurant is strategically positioned in premier destinations, offering customers not just a meal, but a dining experience that is both memorable and gratifying. The group’s expansion is a testament to their growing popularity and the continued success they enjoy in the restaurant industry.

Culinary Philosophy and Dining Satisfaction

Dining Satisfaction

At the heart of Big Time Restaurant Group’s success is their culinary philosophy. Built on chef-driven, classic concepts, the group ensures the integrity of traditional flavors and cooking techniques while providing a contemporary dining experience.

The group’s commitment to culinary excellence is evident in their steadfast dedication to dining satisfaction. Their diverse menu offerings are designed to enhance the contemporary dining experience while remaining true to traditional roots, striking a balance that has been key to their success.

Specialty Cocktails and Diverse Menus

A culinary journey with Big Time Restaurant Group is incomplete without a taste of their specialty cocktails and diverse menus, including those offered at Big City Tavern. For instance, Rocco’s Tacos in Tampa is known for its diverse drink selection, including an array of margaritas and tequilas that perfectly complement their food offerings.

However, the gastronomic delights don’t stop there. Each restaurant under the Big Time Restaurant Group umbrella offers a unique menu, catering to a broad range of tastes and preferences. From the enticing sushi bar to wine bars and the popular grease burger bar, the group’s diverse offerings ensure a culinary experience unlike any other.

The Chefs Behind the Success

Chefs Behind the Success

The magic behind the delicious meals and the unforgettable dining experiences offered by Big Time Restaurant Group can be attributed to two key individuals – Lisabet Summa, the Executive Culinary Director, and Louie Bossi, a chef with two branded restaurants under his belt.

Their combined efforts and shared passion for culinary excellence have played a pivotal role in the group’s success. Lisabet Summa’s expertise in culinary operations and Louie Bossi’s flair for creating signature dishes have propelled the group to the top echelons of the restaurant industry.

Lisabet Summa: Executive Culinary Director

Lisabet Summa, the Executive Culinary Director at Big Time Restaurant Group, is responsible for:

  • Overseeing 14 kitchens across the group’s six restaurant concepts
  • New concept culinary development
  • Kitchen design
  • Profitability
  • Food safety
  • Employee development

She is the force behind the group’s culinary masterpieces.

With an impressive culinary background that includes tenure at the 5-star Mobil-rated St. Honore and chef roles at Café L’Europe in Palm Beach, Summa brings a wealth of experience to the table. Her passion for mentoring young cooks over the past 15 years has helped shape a new generation of chefs and leaders in the culinary industry.

Louie Bossi: A Culinary Collaboration

When Summa hired Louie Bossi over 15 years ago, it marked the beginning of a culinary collaboration that would redefine the Big Time Restaurant Group’s offerings. Together, they created the culinary themes for Louie Bossi’s restaurant, combining traditional New York Italian elements with in-house, made-from-scratch cooking.

The result of this collaboration is a menu renowned for large volumes of freshly made pizza dough and pasta, reflecting Summa’s love for simple, essential Italian cooking. This combination of traditional Italian ingredients and modern culinary techniques has led to Louie Bossi’s Ristorante becoming a beloved fixture in the Big Time Restaurant Group’s portfolio.

Awards and Recognitions

Awards and Recognitions

The Big Time Restaurant Group’s dedication to culinary excellence and outstanding customer service has not gone unnoticed. Over the years, they have been the recipients of numerous awards and recognitions, underscoring their esteemed reputation within the hospitality industry.

These accolades include being recognized as one of the RH 25: Coolest Multi-Concept Companies in 2016 by Restaurant Hospitality magazine. Burt Rapoport, a crucial figure associated with the group, has also been recognized as one of the Palm Beach 100 Most Influential Business Leaders for three consecutive years: 2022, 2023, and 2024.

Local and Regional Honors

In addition to their national recognition, Big Time Restaurant Group has also been honored with local and regional awards. Their contribution to the hospitality industry has been acknowledged by the South Florida Business Journal, which listed Burt Rapoport among the Power Leaders in Hospitality in 2017.

Customer Reviews and Feedback

Customer feedback plays a crucial role in the continuous improvement and success of Big Time Restaurant Group’s venues. Some of the benefits of customer feedback include:

  • Providing valuable insights into customer preferences
  • Identifying areas for improvement
  • Building customer loyalty and trust
  • Enhancing the overall dining experience

Compliments and constructive criticisms alike are appreciated and help us to better serve our customers.

From the celebratory atmosphere of Rocco’s Tacos in Tampa to the culinary delights offered across all their establishments, customer feedback has been instrumental in shaping the group’s offerings. Positive reviews not only boost the group’s reputation but also reaffirm their commitment to providing a memorable dining experience to every patron.

Praise for Atmosphere and Food

Rocco’s Tacos, one of the group’s most popular restaurants, often receives glowing reviews for its vibrant and energizing atmosphere. The restaurant’s unique feature of tableside guacamole preparation has been highly praised, enhancing the dining experience and leaving a lasting impression on patrons.

The restaurant’s margaritas and tacos also receive accolades from customers for their authenticity and flavor. These positive reviews reflect the group’s commitment to providing a distinctive dining experience, combining quality food with a lively atmosphere.

Common Complaints

Despite the group’s best efforts to provide a flawless dining experience, there are occasional complaints from customers, particularly regarding pricing and noise levels. Some customers perceive the pricing at Big Time Restaurant Group’s venues as high, an outcome of their commitment to using quality ingredients and providing a premium dining experience with their priced food offerings.

Noise levels at some Big Time Restaurant Group locations have also been a concern, as they could detract from customers’ enjoyment and their ability to converse comfortably. The group takes these complaints seriously, continuously striving to refine their services and customer experience.

Career Opportunities and Growth

Big Time Restaurant Group offers more than just a culinary journey; it also offers a path toward career advancement and growth. Recognized as the #1 medium-size workplace by the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s ‘Top Places to Work’ in 2020, the group clearly values its employees and their development.

With an expansive workforce of over 700 kitchen professionals, there is a wide array of potential job opportunities within the group. These range from culinary roles to management positions, each offering the chance to learn and grow within an industry-leading organization.

Job Postings

Job postings for the group can be found online, offering competitive salaries and benefits. For instance, Big Time Restaurant Group is currently seeking a Senior Manager for Louie Bossi’s Ristorante in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The position offers a starting salary of $60,000+ based on experience, with benefits including paid time off and dining discounts at all their restaurants beginning after 60 days of employment.

Employee Development

Big Time Restaurant Group places a strong emphasis on employee development. Lisabet Summa, for instance, has mentored young cooks for approximately 15 years at the group, leading them to become chefs.

The group’s focus on personnel development is further demonstrated by their provision of dedicated training for both new hires and current employees. This commitment to employee growth and development is a testament to the group’s nurturing work environment and its contribution to the restaurant industry.


In conclusion, the Big Time Restaurant Group’s success is no culinary fluke. With a focus on traditional flavors, chef-driven concepts, and a commitment to dining satisfaction, they have built an enviable reputation in the restaurant industry. From their diverse restaurant concepts to the key figures behind their culinary success, the group has demonstrated a dedication to excellence in every aspect of their business. Their numerous awards and recognitions, coupled with positive customer feedback and a commitment to employee development, truly set them apart as a leader in the restaurant industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Elisabetta’s owned by Louie Bossi?

Yes, Elisabetta’s Ristorante is owned by the same group that operates Louie Bossi’s restaurants. They are both under the management of the Big Time Restaurant Group.

Who owns City Oyster Delray Beach?

Big Time Restaurant Group owns City Oyster Delray Beach.

What is the revenue of the Big Time Restaurant Group?

The annual revenue of the Big Time Restaurant Group was $657 million in 2024.

Who owns Rocco’s Tacos in Florida?

Rocco Mangel owns Rocco’s Tacos in Florida, having opened the first restaurant in West Palm Beach in 2007.

What is the culinary philosophy of Big Time Restaurant Group?

Big Time Restaurant Group’s culinary philosophy is chef-driven, focusing on classic concepts while providing a contemporary dining experience that stays true to traditional roots. This ensures the integrity of traditional flavors and cooking techniques.

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Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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