Bonnie Grunberg and Tammie Shockey met in 1988 and together, opened The Oasis Restaurant 28 years ago. Since then, it has continued to flourish. You can enjoy decadent comfort food while listening to live music, this family owned restaurant is a must see if you’re in Fort Myers. With its delicious meals and warm ambiance, it’s no wonder that they get to greet generations of families that show their continued support after so many years. Sekure has been working with Bonnie since 2013, and look forward to many more years together.
The Oasis Restaurant
Bonnie Grunberg and Tammie Shockey met in 1988 and together, opened The Oasis Restaurant 28 years ago. Since then, it has continued to flourish. You can enjoy decadent comfort food while listening to live music, this family owned restaurant is a must see if you’re in Fort Myers. With its delicious meals and warm ambiance, it’s no wonder that they get to greet generations of families that show their continued support after so many years. Sekure Payment Experts has been working with Bonnie since 2013, and look forward to many more years together.
A little about Sekure
The payment industry is a world that is constantly evolving, giving consumers more purchasing options than ever before. One piece of plastic allows shoppers the flexibility they desire which gives them quite a substantial amount of purchasing power, something business owners are acutely aware of. At Sekure, we have the pleasure of handling these complexities on a daily basis with many different merchants from several different industries. Speaking with the same familiar voices each week, we decided to dig a little deeper and showcase the people behind the business and discover their stories of how they got to where they are today.
Can you tell us a little bit about your life before the Oasis Restaurant?
I had moved to Florida from Maryland in 1988 where I was the automobile leasing manager for an independent leasing co. Prior, I was the sales manager for a Lincoln dealership. I was also one of the top salespeople in the country for General Motors as well as being the youngest District Manager for Heublein Corporation where I was recruited at age Twenty two to take over three New England states.
What led you to your current profession? What made you embark in the restaurant industry?
I was driving to a friend’s house when I was run off the road by a pizza delivery driver. I decided that we should deliver chicken dinners to homes and set up coolers for boaters. In the end we bought a small failing restaurant. There were four of us, but we bought out our two friends after the first month, and we were able to turn it around.
“Surviving the crash of 2008 was tough, but our customers did everything to keep us in business”
What are some of the obstacles that you have faced throughout the years?
The biggest obstacle for us is and always will be finding employees who share the same work ethic that we have. Surviving the crash of 2008 was tough, but our customers did everything to keep us in business even though they were struggling themselves, and today we are breaking records. I would say the most heartbreaking was the death of our kitchen manager just over a year ago. Fourteen years ago we built our new restaurant, which was very stressful because we went from a 60 seat restaurant to 150+ seats. However, every day offers a new challenge!
What are some of your proudest moments?
I believe one of them was when a nine year old told his mother that he wanted to make a fifty dollar donation to the Oasis so we could stay open. That was during the 2008 crash. It is amazing to be a part of so many lives and watch the generations of families over the last 28 years. To have people make it a point to come see us if they are having a bad day or need a hug because they feel better when they come to The Oasis. Building our business that has become the successful restaurant it is today, and being a part of the community.
Have you changed the way you run your business? What is the biggest lesson you have learned?
We have always run our business with the belief that it is all about the customer and that nothing else matters. There is always a manager or owner on the floor and every table is checked and rechecked. I know that no one runs your business like an owner, but you do need to find someone you truly trust so that you can take some time for yourself. You must also train your staff to be team players so no table is missed.
Are there any people in your life that you would say inspire you?
Both my Father and Stepfather taught me that if you provide a good product and give good service – you will succeed. They instilled in me a tremendous work ethic and taught me to do the right things in life.
“We have been with Sekure for quite some time and look forward to our continued relationship”
Being your own boss has many advantages, but trying to do everything yourself must be challenging. How has Sekure impacted your business? Is there something about our relationship that stands out to you?
The reason I am with Sekure is quite frankly my relationship with Jamie-Lee Carlino. She takes care of us. She is a call or email away. She responds quickly to our needs. It is a pleasure to work with someone who genuinely wants to take care of her accounts. We have been with Sekure for quite some time and look forward to our continued relationship.
The payment industry is constantly evolving. Has Sekure been able to help you along this process?
It took us a very long time to accept credit cards and of course it is the most prominent way people pay for goods now. I was shocked by our credit card sales, but pleased with the processing and the fact that if we need any help it is immediate. We haven’t had any major issues since we have been with Sekure and don’t anticipate any in the future. We are very happy!
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs today wanting to start off on their own?
Be prepared to work hard. Know your market. Be financially solvent. Treat your customer like gold as they can make you or break you. You need to have a lot of heart and patience.
If you had to choose another career path, what would it be?
After 28 years of owning our restaurant, my next career path is retirement.