GREGORY WESTCOTT/KRYSTAL SEYMOUR
- Los Angeles, California
- Restaurant/Bar Consultant
- Restaurant Concept: Hicks
Gregory Westcott's first job was in a restaurant at 14 years old, working his way up from dishwasher to prep cook. He continued to bar tend, manage, and consult for some of the top bars and restaurants in California. Gregory is trained mixologies, and is also a writer who earned his degree in English literature at San Diego State.
Krystal Seymour is an only child, but refuses to believe she's spoiled. Seymour is usually the life of the party and likes bringing people together. She has worked in numerous restaurants and is known as The Sandwich Connoisseur. Westcott and Seymour joined forces to come up with Hick's, an American-style small-bites barbecue. Their plan is to have a themed environment, embracing the redneck but serving classic American comfort food, carried out tapas style.
- Exit Interview - Krystal Seymour
What inspired your fast casual restaurant concept?
We were inspired by barbecue joints in the South. I spent a large majority of my life eating top-notch Southern food made by my grandma. I wanted to introduce Southern cooking and flavorful grilled meats in a healthier way. Greg and I frequent three places in Los Angeles. One is a popular build-your-own salad concept, the other serves gourmet sausages and amazing craft beers, and lastly Chipotle. All of these places have perfected their product and have a cult following to prove it. We were inspired to combine certain aspects of all of them with our love for Southern living and came up with Grill'Billies, a place that serves hormone-free meats, smothered in our signature rubs, served sandwich-style or salad-style, and of course, topped with our signature jalapenos. Our desire was to introduce healthy food without compromising flavor and promote sustainability.
What was it like to make it to the Top 10 and compete on the show?
Making it to the Top 10 was a surreal experience. We invested so much of our time and energy in creating Grill'Billies, and it was validating to know this group of successful investors believed in our idea as well.
What moment or moments on the show were most surprising to you?
There were many moments where I was caught off guard with questions from the investors. I felt confident that we were very prepared, especially having a strong background in restaurant operations, but there were moments I realized we had holes in our concept that needed to be patched. It was hard to fix these issues with the pressure and time constraints in the competition.
What was the best part of your experience? Did it change you?
I loved being a part of the entire show! I felt very comfortable on camera because I was able to share something I'm passionate about - food! This experience made me realize I would like to be involved in a food-related TV show in the future.
Did you make any lasting friendships and/or business relationships on the show? With whom?
I made some great new friends and a prospective husband!
Do you think you should have been eliminated? Did you agree with the investors' decision?
No, I don't think we should have been eliminated. I believe our concept was the most realistic option in terms of eating out on a consistent basis. However I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason!
Are you going to continue to pursue your restaurant concept?
We have been working hard on fine-tuning and perfecting Grill'Billies. Our concept has evolved since the show, and we are really excited about the new development. We will no doubt open the doors for business one day. This concept is our baby and our hearts are extremely invested in it. We are determined to take the necessary time to put out a restaurant we are truly proud of.
Which one of your competitors' restaurants would you eat at regularly?
A few of our competitors had good business models, but you would probably only see me at Spice Coast.
What have you been doing since being on the show?
I am back to work in restaurant consulting and management. The show has inspired me to dive into other opportunities within the food world, so I'm in the midst of pursuing a few projects.
What has the experience of being on the show taught you?
It taught me to fight for what I want and not give up regardless of how challenging things may feel at times. I know I was destined to be in the food industry. This show fueled my fire. It also confirmed that I have a great business partner in Greg. We both have strong opinions but share the same creative vision.