In the 1970’s, Robert Risley started our tradition of fine dining with his first restaurants. In the 1980’s, catering services were added to our offering. More than forty years later, he’s still at the helm creating unique venues and exceptional restaurants. What’s the key to our success? Elevating events to experiences by doing what no one else does, and offering every aspect of planning all in one place.
During a company retreat at White Point Beach Resort, Robert Risley got everyone together to put a mission statement down on paper. Plenty of phrases were thrown around that said a lot, but didn’t mean much at all. The conversation kept coming back to the same theme—no request from a client should ever be seen as impossible. From cuisine to décor to entertainment, the answer would always be “Yes, we can!”. Someone said “Why can’t our mission statement be simply that?” and from then on, those three words have been the driving force behind everything we do.
Founded: Halifax, N.S., in 1974.
Founder: Professional engineer Robert C. Risley.
A Brief History: Since 1974, RCR has owned fifteen restaurants in Halifax including Onyx, Fat Franks, Henry House, The Beanery, Le Bistro and Ryan Duffy’s Steak & Seafood. Catering operations began in the mid 1980’s when RCR used Pier 22—an abandoned cargo warehouse next to what is known today as The Cunard Centre—to house the very first “Ultimate Lobster Supper.”
Company Slogan and Customer Promise: “Yes we can!”
Waterfront Warehouse (1996)
Cut Steakhouse & Urban Grill (2007)
Bistro Le Coq (2011)
Shuck Seafood + Raw Bar (2017)
East of Grafton (2017)
RCR provides exclusive catering for:
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 (1999)
Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites (1998)
Discovery Centre (2017)
RCR leases and operates:
The Arms Public House (1998)
Cunard Event Centre (2006)
Employees: 120 full-time employees and 150+ part-time employees in high season
At RCR, we firmly believe that looking back and recognizing our past successes can be a very powerful motivator. We are proud of all that we’ve accomplished over the last 43 years. Take a look at some of our most memorable moments and noteworthy wins:
- Created the concept of “The Ultimate Lobster Supper”®, and have served thousands of tons of lobster since.
- Catering partner for Tall Ships Festivals, since 1995 offering public food and beverage areas, onboard ship receptions, Captain and Crew dinners—all at one time.
- Catered dinner for the prestigious Order of Canada, hosted by the Governor General the second time the ceremony was held outside of Ottawa.
- Allowed guests to travel back in time with authentic theme menus from the days of Alexander Keith and the last meal served aboard the Titanic.
- Large, multi-day catering events that required our team to book entire hotels for several days and setup “camp” away from Halifax.
- Turned the Cunard Centre into New York City for a performance by Jerry Seinfeld.
- Hosted a Buddhist wedding for 1,700 guests, and a lobster dinner for 2,100.
- Hosted the White Stripes on their Great White North tour at the Cunard Centre.
- Notable guests have included Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, former US President Bill Clinton, Mick Jagger, and Paul McCartney.
Industry Awards & Recognition
- TIANS Crystal Tourism Award for Culinary Excellence 2016
- Nova Scotia Business Hall of Fame 2014
- Meeting Professional International Legacy Award 2014
- Halifax Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Silver Award 2011
- Tourism Industry of Canada, Business of the Year Nominee 2011
- Meeting Professionals International, Influence Award 2007
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007
- Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia Lifetime Achievement Award 2007