Fostering a tasty meal

By Posted on Apr 17 2019 | By

A fresh makeover for Foster’s Grille

There’s a whole lot of new happening at Foster’s Grille in Warrenton. Fortunately, it won’t include tinkering with its popular menu. It’s hard to amplify on a winner.

That’s especially true considering several hundred thousand burgers have been enjoyed by customers since the restaurant opened twenty years ago.

But after April 5 customers walking through the doors of the town’s burger icon, located on Broadview Avenue near the Route 211 intersection, will be treated to an entirely new décor.

After two decades of serving lunch and dinners to the hungry of Fauquier County and beyond, the restaurant has whole a new look.

“We had a need to refresh. We’ve done a complete gutting of the entire restaurant so everything visible to the public has been changed. New walls, floors, order bar and restrooms. New signage will be on the outside of the building by mid-April,” said Mike Cerny, President of Foster’s.

The building was built 60 years ago and was originally a Howard Johnson’s. That chain was established in 1954 and at its height in the 1970s had more than 1,000 company-owned and franchise outlets in the Nation. Fosters is located on hallowed ground.

Cerny has guided the success of the company for the last 16 of its 20 years from his offices in Haymarket. Today there are 12 restaurants scattered across Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and one in Florida, which is good to know if you need a “Foster’s Fix” while on vacation.

Seven of the eateries are corporate-owned and five owned by franchisees. Cerny has been in the food distribution and hotel business in the mid-Atlantic region for over three decades. The Warrenton restaurant was the first to be established. Customers dining there are breaking bread where its success began.

The purpose of the interior sprucing up was to create a, “very comfortable ambiance for family and friends,” explained Cerny.

Included in the renovation is a private dining room with an 80-inch television screen that can be reserved for business or family functions. Guests can order food and then relax in the privacy of their own dining area.

The restaurant seats 110 inside with a front patio seating for 40, which is the largest outside dining area of all its restaurants. It will be increasingly popular with the coming balmy spring days.

The menu
To scan the menu at Foster’s is to understand why its lineup was not toyed with. From its ever-popular charburger to veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches, all beef hot dogs, fish and chips, turkey burgers, chicken wings, fries, onion rings, and salads, the menu has depth.

Deciding what to order will be your biggest in-house challenge.

In addition to assorted fountain drinks, another house specialty is hand-scooped milkshakes. “We hand scoop and blend the shakes ourselves,” said Cerny.

In a nod to Virginia’s artisan libation industry, local craft beer and wines are available.

Cerny underscores, “Everything is fresh and made to order. “There are no microwaves and no heat lamps. Nothing is pre-cooked. We do not start preparing the order until it is placed by the customer.

“It’s not a fast food restaurant. It might take a few minutes longer to reach your table but you’ll get a freshly cooked meal.”

When guests enter the restaurant, they place their food order at the counter, secure drinks and take their seats. The food arrives at their table straight from the kitchen within 12 minutes or less.

If time is of the essence, download load its app on your smartphone and order online. “It’s a great feature for families at ball games or soccer practice. They can order their dinner as the leave the park and we’ll have it ready when they arrive,” he said. “It’s available at all our restaurants.”

If you want Foster’s to cover a family or business event, catering is integral to the business too. “We can bring our mobile 10-foot grill, tents, and everything that goes with an offsite event. We’ve prepared food for schools, businesses and more.”

Community citizenship
Over the years it’s more than good food Foster’s as provided Fauquier County. Cerny is a strong believer in contributing to the community. “We do a lot of sponsorships and support school teams in a variety of ways.

“We’ve also been involved in Dining for Dollars fundraisers for worthy causes.”  When customers attend a Dining for Dollars event and mention or present a fundraiser flyer, up to 25 percent of their dine-in, or carry out net sales check is donated back to the participating non-profit organization.

Cerny is also proud of the support his company gives local contractors. The extensive renovations made to the restaurant have been completely done by Warrenton based firms.

“My architect, electrician, plumber, security company and signage company are all local businesses. I don’t know how many people can say that. And all of the work has been done on schedule too.”

If all this sounds like a successful, well-run company it explains the franchise side of the business. “If anyone is interested in belonging to a successful restaurant business, we are the one to see. We are looking to grow our franchisees.”

He also urges those who may not have been to the restaurant lately to come back. “It’s the same great food but with a totally different look. Our regular customers are going to be in for a special treat. It is far and away a beautiful new restaurant.”

To flip through Foster’s Grille digital menu and prepare yourself for checking out its new digs, visit  https://www.fostersgrille.com/store/warrenton/


Published in the April 10, 2019, edition of the Fauquier Times.

Categories : HAGARTY TALES