Left to Right: Pat, Adam and Mike DeSimone

“Welcome Adam! Where are you from? Where is your business located?”

“Adam DeSimone. I live in Peters Township with my beautiful saint of a wife, Megan, and our 3 amazing kids. My business is the AMPD Group, a moniker for “Adam, Michael, Pat, DeSimone”. Michael “Mike” is my brother and Pat is my dad. Our corporate office is in the Southside, but we have locations all over Pittsburgh – at the airport, downtown, Shadyside, and in the South Hills. We’re also getting ready to open 2 stores in North Myrtle Beach, SC.”

“What is it that you do that makes you an entrepreneur?”

“We’re a hospitality management group. Our current concepts include: Delanie’s Coffee, Local (Bar + Kitchen, Craft, Brewhouse), Steel Cactus, Social House 7, Ten Penny, Penn Society, Cain’s, Fairway Grille, Foxtail and Skybar.”

“How long have you had a passion for this?”

“We actually started a DJ company when we were in high school, my brother and I, and that business is still running (we do a lot of weddings and events). That turned into an under 21 nightclub – Fusion – and then Diesel came after that in 2006. It’s been a nonstop whirlwind since then!”

“Do you have employees? If so, how many?”

“500 and growing. We are currently hiring for our Steel Cactus Southpointe location, which is set to open later this month, and at Steel Cactus Shadyside as well. More information can be found at steelcactuspgh.com.”

“Do you ever regret the path you’ve taken?”

“For a few minutes every day! *laughs* This definitely was not the vision I had for my life or the path I thought I’d take, and it certainly hasn’t been the easiest path. The bar and restaurant industry has a unique set of challenges and is ever changing. I have a background in finance and real estate. My dad has a background in real estate as well, and my brother worked in marketing for American Eagle for 12 years before stepping away and coming to work with us full time. At the end of the day, none of us would change what we do. We’re so passionate about it.”

“How do you market your business? Do you have any favorite marketing tools?”

“We do a lot of grass roots stuff, social media, and, of course, charity events. I think one of the best ways to get your name out there is to support great causes. Recently, we hosted the David Alan Fashion Show at Foxtail. It was a celebrity-studded event which benefitted multiple charities, including one of our favorites: The Ronald McDonald House of Pittsburgh. Just last night, Cassaddee Pope, winner of The Voice Season 3, performed at Foxtail for Froggy Radio’s Concert for a Cause, benefitting Young Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation, and on Tuesday, October 16th, we’re hosting “Achieva N’At”, a fundraiser for Achieva, which provides lifelong support for people with disabilities. We donate gift baskets and gift cards to multiple charity events each month, from each of our stores. Doing good is a great way to do business.

Another tool we love is our wifi tools, which allow guests to use free wifi at all of our locations, in exchange for signing up with their email address or facebook account. With this information we’re able to really get a good grasp on the demographic of our clientele at each location. The demographics vary drastically amongst some, and are very similar in others. This allows us to target our marketing efforts accordingly. It’s a huge help.”

“What would your main goal be for the future?”

“We’re working on 4 more openings by early 2019, so those are the main focus right now. Getting those open, making sure they’re a success, and ensuring that our other concepts do not fall by the wayside in the process is a huge undertaking. We’re on the cusp right now, teetering on small business to large corporation, and putting organizational systems in place to really smooth and streamline our processes is a major target.”

“To what do you attribute your success?”

“Laser focus. A passionate, dedicated team who are self motivated. Diversification. We’re about to release a spirits line as well, to be served as the rail and call level liquors at all of our venues, and eventually we’ll sell it in stores as well. This will help us control our costs while giving our customers great products. Any way we can improve our business, while building it, is what we’re all about.”

“Do you have any advice for the upcoming generations of entrepreneurs?”

“Find your passion and pursue it. Hire a team of individuals who care just as much as you do. Treat them like family.”

Discover more about Adam and AMPD Group at www.ampdgroup.com

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