Allow us to introduce Eric Fossett, the owner Scottie’s Deli in Oklahoma City. Scottie’s Deli was founded in 2017 in the tradition of Italian, Jewish and German delis, and serves sandwiches created from meats that are cured, smoked and cooked in-house. In addition, Scottie’s serves scratch-made soups, salads, and family take-home meals. Eric was a Yelp Elite in Oklahoma City from 2014-2016, and the experience has given him a bit of a different take on owning a traditional-style deli in the age of digital reviews and social media.
Eric moved to Oklahoma City in 2014 from California, for a role with a local oil and gas company. He soon earned a spot on OKC’s Yelp Elite squad and quickly became a fixture at local Yelp Elite events. When he was laid off from his job in 2015, he started talking to his fellow community members and local small business owners to discuss his idea to open a deli in Oklahoma City. Everyone he talked with confirmed his hunch that there would be a market for deli that served hearty, flavorful sandwiches made with house-cured and smoked meats. To bring this deli to OKC, “seemed like a natural marriage,” Eric says.
Eric grew up in California’s Central Valley, and his family had owned sandwich shops during Eric’s youth. When he decided to open a delicatessen, he wanted to honor his grandmother Scottie, and the “countless memories made while I spent time at the sandwich shop with her in the summers during my childhood.” The deli is an amalgam of the shop he grew up in, plus some of the delis he discovered on his travels throughout the country over the years. He pays homage to many of the great American delis in his decor, which features photos of dozens of delis, turned into panels that line the dining room ceiling.
Reviews show he’s getting something right: Yelpers call out his signature pastrami, corned beef, roast beef and perfectly toasted rye, but they also notice the finer touches, like the house-made horseradish, mustards, coleslaw, pickles and more. The tomato soup is also a standout in reviews, as is the Russian dressing. Yelpers love the Uptown location and the clean look of the light-drenched space.
Eric talks about how his time as a Yelp Elite helped shape his approach to owning a restaurant. “Being Elite made me aware of people’s perceptions, and helped me see how important reviews are to a new business. It also helped me understand how connected people really are to food; I wanted to help them find that connection to my food.” Elites have also turned out in support of the deli – many of his reviews have been penned by Elites.
As a business owner now, Eric has good advice for all Yelpers: “If you’re sitting in my restaurant, and you’re thinking that you may not be able to write a five star review, please come find me or one of my managers. Let us try to make it right. If the draft you’re writing in your head is anything less than five stars, I’d love the chance to make sure your experience lives up a five star review.”
Want more? Bookmark Scottie’s Deli on Yelp. You can also find Scottie’s Deli via its website and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Also, you can read more local business success stories right here on the Yelp blog!