Legal Sea Foods, President/CEO
You've gone from being a 10-year-old kid sweeping the floors of your family's fish market to heading up a 32-location New England restaurant group. What's your recipe for success?
The first thing is understanding your niche and being the best at it. Recognizing that we were in the fish business, rather than the restaurant business, was an "a-ha moment" that allowed me to dive in and develop an almost maniacal attention to the product. The second thing is continuing to evolve. Business is like a treadmill: Without forward momentum, you'll go backward and ultimately fall off. What worked 10 years ago is not necessarily going to work tomorrow.
In what major ways does Legal directly impact the Boston community?
Since 1996 we've been involved with Boston Children's Hospital through our Gift Cod program, which has raised more than $1 million for the hospital. Part of the proceeds from every holiday gift card we sell funds research by Dr. Leonard Zon, one of the world's foremost authorities on stem cells and blood diseases.
Why do you feel that this is a particularly worthy cause for Legal?
Philosophically, we look at what we can donate that will have the greatest possible impact. Having had kids myself, children's causes are very important to me, and I have always held Children's Hospital in the highest of esteem. Instead of a shotgun approach to philanthropy, we've been focused on trying to actually move the needle.
Favorite neighborhood in Boston
I like variety. There are times that I'm in the mood for the South End, and others when I'm keen on Chinatown or the North End. And given that we opened Legal Harborside last year, I'm not going to say that I'm not enjoying the Seaport, too!
I enjoy reading, working out and jogging along the beach. I try to find time for meditation, too — it helps me stay sane and refocus after a long day at the office.
For more information about Roger Berkowitz and Legal Sea Foods, please visit http://www.legalseafoods.com/