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Hidden Gems: Meet Matt Lotz of The Rolling Grill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt Lotz.

Hi Matt, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I was always the kid that was infatuated with the grill at the family cookouts. I would have my parents let me flip the burgers, hot dogs, and chicken.

As I grew older, I started getting really into it. I would ask for cookbooks for Christmas. My mother would allow me to grocery shop and be as creative as I wanted. It really gave me a chance to experiment when I was younger and find my passion. The business started with just one main dish. Pit beef. Pit beef is a Baltimore staple. Essentially in its simplest form, it’s grilled roast beef.

I grew up eating it and loved it. I said to myself, I can do this. So I started to play around with some recipes. At 19, I had a friend of mine whose little brother was graduating high school. His family hired me to do Pit beef at his graduation party. (Every good graduation party in Baltimore has pit beef) I was so excited to get “MY” pit beef in front of a crowd. So I called my other friend who had a lawn trailer and I asked him to borrow it. I hauled my grill, slicer, coolers, and tables to my first catering event. It was a success! At least for the customers. I remember charging way too little for the job and not making any money but I didn’t care. I was just so happy to make money at something I considered fun. Who knew what would happen next.

Well, 2 weeks went by and I got a phone call. ‘My friend’s uncle who was that graduation party was having a 4th of July party and asked if I would cater it. I couldn’t believe it. At that moment I realized I can make this a business. I could actually do something I love.

That was 2013. Here we are in 2021. I have built a successful catering business with 20 employees. I have opened a concessions business as well. We have contracts to sell food with John Hopkins University, local breweries, and other local sports teams. As well as sell concessions at swim clubs. We have had and opened two food trucks. And in 2020 we opened our carryout restaurant in Perry Hall. I’m 2021 we expanded to add 42 seats with an outdoor patio. It’s crazy to think what can happen in just 8 years when you put your mind to it and work hard

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Haha oh no. There are struggles every day. But that’s part of owning a business. I’ve had employees not show up to events. I have had equipment break in the middle of events. Employees sideswipe cars in the food truck. Pour down rain in the middle of the event and lose everything. Not to mention Covid. But we are pulling out and hopefully will end up better than ever.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The Rolling Grill?
The Rolling Grill.

We are many businesses in one. Catering Business, Concessions business, Wholesale, Restaurant.

We do all types of catering. Small platters to be picked up at our restaurant. We do delivery catering for mid-size parties and offices. And we do full on-site catering for large-scale events and banquets.

Concessions: selling food to the public at events. We run a swim club in the summers; we sell food at sporting events as well.

Wholesale: we bottle and sell our homemade dry rub in grocery stores, and other retail outlets. As well as our homemade salads.

We have a carry-out and dine-in restaurant as well. We specialize in Baltimore BBQ. That means meats cooked over charcoal. Everything is homemade.

How do you define success?
I define success by how people view your brand and how your business impacts the community.

We take pride in everything we do. From using fresh ingredients to having nice finishes and products in our store. Pit beef isn’t always viewed as a “glamorous” product. But we take it to the next level. Not only with our presentation but with our quality.

As for the community, people need to be proud of your brand. People need to be happy it’s a staple of the community. And we have that. Luckily being a catering company and restaurant we are a part of a lot of people’s lives. We see their families in our restaurant, but we are also catering their big events. 1st birthdays, graduations, engagement parties, and sadly even funerals. We host fundraisers for many sports teams and schools as well.

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