The Fifteen Group is North America’s
TOP restaurant consulting team
The Fifteen Group has a team of 40 of the industry’s top personnel. Our team has seen it all. We focus on the complete spectrum, from operations management to finance/start-up. We know that the hospitality industry is one of the toughest around – long hours, a stressful pace, getting patrons in the door, keeping good staff – it’s a business with demands and pitfalls like no other.
Our expertise and support have maintained a client success rate of more than 95%. We offer you the freedom to cancel your contract anytime, because we are pretty certain you won’t!
Meet the Team
David began a career in restaurant management after graduating in 1990 with an honours degree from one of Canada’s leading business universities, Queen’s University. From 1990-1997, David focused on restaurant operations and held various senior management positions within Toronto’s top restaurant companies, including the well-known Oliver-Bonacini group (Jump, Canoe, Auberge de Pommier). In 1997, David joined SIR Corp. to head-up the financial/accounting department of one of their most profitable divisions, Signature Restaurants (Al Frisco’s, Alice Fazooli’s!, Far Niente, reds). During his 5 years with SIR Corp., David reconstructed the division’s information processing into a centralized accounting department, and helped the division grow from 4 restaurants to 9, each with sales over $4 million annually. This development included the roll-out of the Alice Fazooli’s! chain.
In 2001, David left Sir Corp to form The Fifteen Group Inc., a consulting company dedicated to maximizing restaurant profits through effective sales generation and disciplined cost control management. The Fifteen Group’s clients range from owner/operated establishments to multi-unit restaurant corporations.
Jenny started her restaurant career over thirteen years ago with the restaurant group Milestones Grill & Bar. Over the seven years with Milestones she worked her way up in restaurant management and held positions such as bar and training manager, assistant General Manager and General Manager. In 2007 she was the opening GM for the introduction of the brand to the London, Ontario market. In 2010 she joined SIR Corp and the Alice Fazooli’s brand. She worked along-side senior leaders of the company to help develop SIRCorp’s leadership competencies, a labour program and ‘manager in training’ online program. Before leaving SIRCorp to join the fifteen group she was heavily involved in the development of training materials and rebranding of the Alice Fazooli’s chain. Jenny’s love for restaurants and food revolves around the ‘perfect guest experience’. She has a very strong business and operations sense with a love for training perfect guest engagement.
Alex began his career in one of Canada’s leading wine regions, 25 years ago. As a young Chef, Alex worked in one of Canada’s 4 diamond restaurants Escabeche, in the historic Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara on the Lake, studying under a 2 Michelin Star Chef. After graduating from Niagara College’s Cook II Apprenticeship Program, and satisfying his penchant for cooking, Alex expanded his focus and development to the front of the house operations and has held the positions of General Manager and Director of Operations with Liberty ITM, representing some of the top corporate branded restaurants in Canada. Alex has facilitated the opening of over 35 restaurants throughout Canada, including with world renowned chef, Wolfgang Puck.
Alex moved from the Toronto office in 2006 to open and lead the 15 Group’s Vancouver Office operations.
Stuart Betteridge CCC has over thirty years of culinary experience and is a certified Chef de Cuisine. His journey began in England where he attended Shrewsbury college for the culinary arts. During this stage of his career he worked in many deluxe 5 star hotels and several Michelin stared country house properties. His travels brought him to Canada where he worked at the Harbour Castle Western and at the incredibly popular Alice Fazooilis! Seeking more adventure Stuart gained the position of corporate opening chef for Island Records founder Chris Blackwell’s Island Outpost boutique hotel group. He opened hotels and restaurants in Miami South Beach, Compass Point in Nassau Bahamas, Pink Sands on Harbour Island Bahamas, Jakes, The Caves and Strawberry Hill in Jamaica. After five years of Caribbean life the pull to come back to Canada concluded with Stuart take over as execute chef of Far Niente and Soul of the Vine restaurants in Toronto’s financial core. After almost three incredibly successful years another Caribbean opportunity arose and he opened La Luna boutique hotel on the island of Grenada. Returning to Toronto he became over several years the executive chef of Reds, The Drake Hotel and Cru Restaurant. Stuart has been with the 15 Group for nearly a decade and has opened and designed over 30 kitchens and worked with over a 100 clients all across Canada and the US.
Betteridge is also a full-time culinary professor at the prodigious culinary school George Brown College.
A native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Cuff’s career choice was a product of his environment. Growing up in a small farm town, owning a John Deere Dealership and sourcing much of their food directly from their massive garden & nearby farmers. Be it eggs, vegetables, bread or meat from the neighboring farms and butchers, Cuff grew a natural passion for food, Wine and a fine appreciation for the hard work and dedication of small-scale farmers and producers.
After studying culinary arts at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and working in Europe, and in some of Western Canada’s Best Restaurants. Cuff has had the opportunity to be the Chef in some of Canada’s most reputable restaurants The Terrace at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, The Wickaninnish Inn, West Restaurant, Aura at Nita Lake lodge in Whistler. Most recently, for the past 2 ½ years, Cuff was the Executive Chef of West Oak Restaurant in Vancouver’s Yaletown.
As testament to Cuff’s dedication to the culinary profession, in 2006 Cuff received the prestigious Chef de Cuisine certification by the Canadian Culinary Federation. The designation is one of the highest professional culinary recognition and accreditation in Canada representing the culmination of the highest standards of managerial and administrative responsibilities, culinary skills and dedication to the cooking profession.
By working with influential leaders of the Canadian culinary profession who have helped shape his style and depth of knowledge, Cuff has developed his own distinctive style and culinary philosophy. For Cuff, it’s about respect. Respect for classic cooking techniques, for food, and for the myriad of local suppliers that he works so closely with. He insists that there is a difference, a richness, depth of flavour and freshness that comes from their passion and attention to detail.
With over 19 years of experience Tim looks to continue his passion for culinary excellence with project work for our west coast clients.
With over twenty years of culinary experience, Steve brings his strengths of recipe and menu creation, team training, and restaurant openings to the Fifteen Group.
Upon completing the Italian Arts program at George Brown College, Steve moved to Italy and spent two years perfecting his culinary skills at Palace Hotel Villa Cortine on Lago di Garda, and Savini Ristorante in Milano. Upon returning to Toronto Steve trained under Master Chef Giampiero Tondina, eventually becoming the Chef at popular French Bistro Pastis for six years. Steve then joined the Sircorp brand as Executive Chef of Alice Fazooli’s Italian Restaurant. Steve oversaw the brand transition to Scaddabush Italian Kitchen and Bar, and assisted in opening new stores while renovating existing locations.
Olivia is an award-winning designer with a passion for how branding can apply across all consumer touchpoints. She believes what a brand looks, acts, and feels like, is as important as what the brand produces, and has spent the last 10 years working in the advertising and design industries with companies big and small to help them realize and achieve their vision.
Her experience includes brands in the hospitality, consumer packaged goods, finance, automotive, fashion, and non-profit industries.
Victoria brings a passion for good food and good design to The Fifteen Group. A graduate from OCAD University with a BDes in Graphic Design, Victoria recently produced an entire cookbook, ‘We Eat’, from concept to completion. This accomplishment exemplifies Victoria’s undeniable passion for food, photography, and graphic design.
Management Team & Consultants
An experienced Associate and Assistant from three departments at Ontario Power Generation (Human Resources, Project Management, and Public Relations) with a passion for Organizational Behaviour and Psychology as it relates to HR. A Bachelor of Honours Psychology Graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a recent President’s Honour Roll graduate from Durham College’s Human Resource Management Graduate Certificate program. Currently working towards a CHRP designation from the HRPA, and is committed to both ensuring office harmony and overseeing the smooth day-to-day operation of all departments, in addition to supporting the President directly.
Tyler’s career in the hospitality industry began 11 years ago, during which time he has held a number of operational roles in fine dining, casual fine dining and catering environments. Tyler’s experience in both corporate structured and independently owned and operated restaurants has been invaluable in his new role with the Fifteen Group. Along with an unwavering passion for the hospitality industry, Tyler brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that he can effectively apply to a wide variety of situations. Understanding the importance of customer service in all aspects of the hospitality industry, Tyler strives to meet the individual needs of all of his clientele through a client-centered approach. Tyler joined the Fifteen Group team in January 2011 in a business development role and then advanced to his current position as a consultant.
Tyler has spent the last two years as the director of operations of the Waters’ Edge Restaurant in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Through this role, Tyler has gained extensive experience and positive relationships with the health and safety inspection board of Nunavut, as well as extensive knowledge experience dealing with northern food and beverage suppliers.
After a fifteen-year career in Hospitality Operations, Chris has joined The Fifteen Group where his extensive career in the industry is put to use, helping new and aspiring restaurateurs bring their concepts to life. Chris began his career with Cara, under the Milestones Brand, helping to open several locations before moving to SIRCorp where he worked at Alice Fazooli’s. Later, after joining a Micro-brew pub concept from France; Les 3 Brassuer/The 3 Brewers, he helped to expand their presence in the Ontario market assisting in opening several locations with them across the GTA. Chris is also a graduate from George Brown College with a diploma in Hospitality and Food and Beverage Management.
With over 15 years’ of experience in hospitality, Karalyn White brings a plethora of industry expertise to The Fifteen Group. Upon completion of an Honours Bachelor of Commerce in Hotel and Food Industry at Guelph University, Karalyn quickly rose up the ranks in various managerial roles at SIRCorp. Karalyn received many awards and accolades for her amazing work with SIRCorp internally, as well as becoming a recipient of the Top 30 Under 30 in the hospitality industry by the Globe and Mail. Certified by the Freeman Group to train executives and managers in training others. Prior to joining The Fifteen Group in 2015, Karalyn held the position of Regional Training Manager for Canyon Creek SIRCorp. Karalyn’s love for providing the ultimate guest experience, coupled with highly effective operation management cost control, will surely be an asset to our clients!
Cheryl’s restaurant management career began nearly 15 years ago with corporate west coast restaurant groups, Earls Restaurants and Boathouse Restaurants. Through her career she has held positions as, Operations Manager, Assistant GM and GM. Her love of food and travel lead her into 5 year hiatus as an international culinary tour guide, making her way through some of the world’s most important culinary regions. After her return to Canada, she opened her first restaurant in Corner Brook, NL. The Bay of Islands Bistro garnered national attention in multiple publications including Zoomer Magazine and Where to Eat in Canada. Shortly after, Cheryl added a successful coffee house and a commercial small batch craft coffee roaster to her business portfolio. Cheryl joined the Fifteen Group Team in Vancouver in 2011.
Lindsay was previously the Accountant, as well as the Assistant Operations Manager for the IL Fornello Restaurants Group for over 6 years where she oversaw and assisted in the daily operations of several corporate locations. Lindsay Kaltenback holds a title as a Chartered Managerial Accountant (CMA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). These designations combined with Lindsay’s extensive experience in restaurant accounting as well as operations will surely be an asset to all of our clients as well as the Fifteen Group team.
Steven Wright joins our Vancouver Consulting team with 28 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Steven started his career at an early age in Edmonton, Alberta and obtained international experience exploring summers in boutique Inns in Scotland. As a young adult, he then moved to Victoria, British Columbia before heading up the Sea to Sky corridor and spending 7 years in Whistler and has called Vancouver home since 2009. His roles in multi-award winning operations include Director of Operations for Wentworth Hospitality Group (Loden Hotel, Tableau Bar Bistro, Homer St. Cafe & Bar, Musette Caffé), General Manager of the Bearfoot Bistro and part of the opening team as Food and Beverage Director at Nita Lake Lodge.
Stephen brings 17 years of experience to the Fifteen Group team. Steve studied at the University of Guelph getting an Honors Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in Hotel and Food Administration. He started his career with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts at the Chateau Lake Louise holding progressive positions leading to managing the signature dining room of the hotel. After taking courses with the International Sommelier Guild, Steve was responsible for the 300 label wine list at the hotel from 2002-2004. Once deciding to move to Calgary, he was recruited to work for the Joey Restaurant Group and moved up through the company to finish with them as the General Manager of the Saltlik Steakhouse. He then decided to open a new restaurant with the Creative Restaurant Group. In the first year, Cibo received awards for Calgary’s best new restaurant as well as Calgary’s best family restaurant.
Phil brings thirteen years of hospitality experience building a positive culture, exceptional guest experience, and operational excellence. His hospitality career began in the back of house operations at local Toronto restaurants Grazie Ristorante and Il Fornello. He then went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Upon returning to Canada, Phil joined the Hyatt Hotel Calgary as the Food & Beverage Manager. He then transferred to Toronto, and played a significant role in the re-launch of Houston Avenue Bar & Grill.
From 2013-2016, Phil was a part of the Signature Division team at SIRCORP, supporting the re-brand and operational improvements at Far Niente, FOUR, Petit Four and Reds Midtown Tavern. Phil’s work and expertise was recognized when he was awarded the 2016 Signature General Manager of the Year.