When Tyler Wilson and his cousin Joseph Pitruzzelli started Wurstkuche, they didn’t know anything about sausages. They also didn’t know anything about starting a restaurant, but they committed to the idea that they were going to do sausages better than anyone in the business.
At a young age, Tyler could be found selling oranges from his grandfather’s ranch. In High School, he started his first company renting and selling margarita machines around town. When it came time for college, Tyler attended USC as a swimmer, but naturally had his sights set on the university’s business school. However, his grades didn’t make the cut, so he hustled his way through the minor business courses and left USC without a degree.
Wurstkuche, German for “sausage kitchen,” is Tyler’s restaurant chain that serves 22 varieties of sausages, Belgian fries, and an array of German and Belgian beers. In classic Hofbrauhaus style, Wurstkuche sets its dining area with communal tables and removes distractions like televisions. Patrons are encouraged to escape technology and socialize with friends and the community. And at a time when restaurants were closing left and right, Wurstkuche thrived and even opened a second location.
Tyler didn’t know what Wurstkuche would become. He just knew he wanted to sell beer and sausages. You can’t be stuck on a set path as an entrepreneur; “You need to be ready to change what’s not working and take what is working and make it better.”
For Wurstkuche, the original concept was a half bar, half sausage shop that had local beers and a few sausages, but it constantly adapted and changed until it found its niche. From expecting the sale of 50 sausages a day to now selling 1,000 sausages a night, Wurstkuche has indeed become a success.