Buckshot's Saloon & Eatery

Buckshot's Saloon & Eatery Boosts Productivity with Alto-Shaam Solutions

Buckshot’s Saloon & Eatery, a family-owned restaurant in the northern woods of Wisconsin, has tackled labor challenges, adapted menus, and increased sales while providing the highest quality dining experience for customers. See how they did it with several pieces of Alto-Shaam equipment.


Buckshot’s Saloon and Eatery puts culinary innovation at the heart of its philosophy. The family-owned restaurant in Eagle River, Wisconsin has achieved significant growth in sales and notoriety over the years because of their relentless pursuit of providing the highest quality dining experience for its customers.

Buckshot’s owner and operator, Dan Ullsperger, discovered Alto-Shaam as a partner that provided the equipment solutions necessary to boost productivity, tackle labor challenges, and continue evolving its highly reputable menu items.

“In today’s environment, you have to change your menus,” Ullsperger explained.

Ullsperger was originally introduced to Alto-Shaam’s Vector® H series wide multi-cook oven for cooking large quantities of extra-large 16” pizza. With much success, Ullsperger needed additional capacity to keep up with the uptick in pizza orders.

He has since then expanded and outfitted his kitchen to include a total of two Vector® H Series Wide Multi-Cook Ovens, two 1750-SK Cook & Hold Smoker Ovens, and two warmering drawers with individual controls for holding food at their proper temperature ahead of service. These additions have allowed him to expand his menu and offer higher ticket items - despite having limited staff.

The addition of the Cook & Hold Smokers has enabled Buckshot’s to add additional flair to their menu, and further, created an entirely separate menu exclusive to smoked meat offerings. Noticing the popularity in smoked meats, Ullsperger found that over a year, the addition of the Cook & Hold smoker has increased Buckshot’s overall sales by 11%, with smoked meat sales also up 11%. Smoked meats now make up roughly 13% of their overall sales.

After receiving positive feedback with their smoked brisket and pork butts, Buckshot’s further utilized their smoker oven to ramp up their homemade mac and cheese by topping it off with smoked pulled pork and bacon. Adding a unique twist can transform a traditional menu item into a higher profit menu item.

For ease of use, intuitive touch screen controls on the Cook & Hold smokers and Vector ovens have helped speed capacity through the kitchen despite having limited access to labor.

“The beauty of the Cook and Hold Smoker and the Vector is you click a button and walk away,” said Ullsperger, “The oven tells you when it’s done.”

With the Cook & Hold, the operator can prep the meat with spices, put it in the oven, click the recipe, and let the oven handle the rest. Smoke meat overnight and hold it at the proper temperature by the next morning without drying out—no babysitting needed.

This is accomplished thanks to Halo Heat® technology, a gentle, radiant thermal cable that evenly pulses heat throughout the oven cavity in a highly efficient manner. There are no fans, harsh heating elements, or added moisture. This makes for low and slow cooking, naturally tenderizing meat while maintaining its own moisture and flavor.

With the Vector wide, Buckshot’s can cook a variety of food items, including their extra-large 16” pizzas, baked fish, 6oz chicken breasts, and bacon, which is used for several menu applications such as on their burgers or in their bloody Mary’s. Structured Air Technology® enables high-velocity, focused heat for more even and consistent cooking, ensuring the highest quality output. Featuring up to three independent oven chambers, operators can control the temperature, fan speed, and cook time for maximum flexibility. This allows Buckshot’s to simultaneously cook a variety of menu items at the same time with no flavor transfer. When the oven is done or in need of an action step, there are visual and audio cues that display to ensure the oven is tended to.

“I had to tell my cooks to trust that they wouldn’t need to babysit the oven during the cooking process,” said Ullsperger, “They worried about needing to add an extra minute to the cook time. I came back after an hour, and they were amazed that the food came out so perfectly just from the programmed recipe.”

Both the Cook & Hold Smoker and Vector multi-cook ovens have the option for ChefLinc™ remote oven management system. With this cloud-based technology, operators can create recipes ahead of time and push them out to other compatible ovens – all done from your mobile device or laptop, no matter where you’re located. No longer do operators need to travel with a USB to upload LTOs or download software updates. With this system, operators can better understand alerts, minimize oven downtime, view real-time service diagnostics, and more.

Consistent food quality is the key to Buckshot’s exceptional customer experience.

“If you don’t have consistency, you’re dead in the water as a restaurant,” Ullsperger said. “Having an oven that is programmed to cook food perfectly, ultimately keeps our customers coming back.”

To learn more about Alto-Shaam’s system solutions and how they can tailor to your operations, sign up for A Taste of Alto-Shaam demonstration near you.

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