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Sullivan's Castle Island

Boston, MA

Growing A Third Generation Hospitality Brand


The Sullivans initially came to RealFood seeking an outside perspective to recommend ways to make operations more efficient at the legendary Castle Island location. Once the initial scope of work was completed, and a strong partnership had formed, ownership engaged the RealFood team to implement many of their suggestions. The second phase of work focused holistically on all Sullivan’s outlets to ensure FOH and BOH systems were streamlined and consistent, a solid marketing plan was developed, and a growth strategy was built to support future locations for the brand.


RealFood’s work began with an Operational Opportunity Assessment - days of on-site observations and interviews, secret shops, and online reputation research - to gain a deep understanding of the Castle Island location and Sullivan’s brand as a whole. Our work expanded from there to include recruiting oversight, as the Sullivans looked to bring on a Director of Operations, as well as customer experience and brand strategy redefinition. Once the Director of Operations was in place, the RealFood team stayed on for six months in an advisory role to facilitate their onboarding and ramp up.



With a concept like Sullivan’s, the goal is not to change what the customer experiences. Rather, the task for RealFood was to ensure that everyone from the cashier to ownership enjoyed the same quality experience as their customers. Allowing the Sullivans to hand over day-to-day operations to a senior leader and focus on their business’ growth and long-term success has been invaluable. Providing ownership with a new perspective based on industry best practices and decades of first-hand experience set them up to launch into their 70th year as a lean business with staying power.

Photos via Sullivan's Castle Island

updated: 1 year ago