By David Oliver
British Beer Company is a pub where people come with friends and family to relax and enjoy time together. This pub opened up in May, and is located on Shrewsbury St in Worcester. The menu includes American favorites and British classics. But what I have realized through working there is that what comes first at this restaurant is its promise to involve itself in the community. I sat down for an exclusive interview with General Manager Mike Walsh to talk about the business’s commitment to Worcester.
Before beginning at the BBC, Mike Walsh had been working for the Boston restaurant Wahlburgers, which is run by the Wahlburg family and is so popular that it has its own television show. Mark Wahlburg is an actor, and is the most famous of the brothers, but Paul Wahlburg is the mastermind behind the restaurant. Walsh really enjoyed it there because of the family atmosphere, but when his own father fell sick, he made it his priority to come and be with him in Worcester. Mike knew he could come and work for British Beer Company because he had worked for one before, and they gave him another opportunity to do it again.
NWS: Why leave Wahlburgers in Boston and come work for BBC in Worcester?
Mike Walsh: I am working here for my dad. When I was working at a fast growing company such as Wahlburgers you realize that they’re a family style restaurant. I saw that friends and family were a huge priority. I left them to come here because I saw that BBC was very similar. If you enjoy the people you work with and they become like a family you produce better, not only with business but also with making people better individuals.
NWS: What would you like to accomplish as the manager of BBC?
MW: I’ve learned over the years that managers start off focusing too much on themselves and the potential of the restaurant rather than doing good for the community. The staff comes to work, works, and then goes home. Helping the community opens up areas inside themselves that they aren’t used to. It helps people realize how fortunate we are when we help the less fortunate. It helps us become better people.
NWS: What community programs does this restaurant want to involve itself in?
MW: The Worcester Boys and Girls Club, Hanover Theater. Non-profit organizations, any volunteer work, which includes feeding the homeless.
NWS: Do you think restaurants want to involve themselves in their community?
MW: Some I believe do. It all depends on their platform. They can try to but they might not have the resources or staff to be able to. It has to be all about giving back and we should give back a lot. It can’t just be about giving back money. If we can donate our time to help out then we should. It is better to be able to actually see the difference that you make rather than receiving an email that says thank you.
NWS: Why do you want to help the Worcester community out?
MW: I think this community has great potential. I have seen it grow, gain and lose ground in certain areas. I want to help this community that has helped me out. Throughout history I have seen that you can’t do anything successful by yourself.
NWS: What does giving back to this community do for this restaurant and yourself?
MW: It puts a smile on knowing that you helped someone out. A pub brings in family, friends, and the community as their guests. As a pub, we need to be accepted, just like you have to be accepted by friends. If we make ourselves friendly, and people see that we are helping this community then this pub will be accepted into it.
NWS: Do you think helping this community will make a difference?
MW: One hundred percent. You might not always see it, but it should be the only choice that should be made.
NWS: Why is helping this community out so important to you?
MW: The way I used to do things was all about me and no one else. The one thing I learned over the years is that you do something for everyone else then the rest follows.