Reflections of a Restaurateur

Scott Slater of Slater’s 50/50

An exclusive eskca interview with Scott Slater (founder) of Slater’s 50/50 which was honored in our:
Tell us your origin story. How did you come to be involved with Slater’s 50/50?

I founded Slater’s 50/50 in 2009 in Anaheim Hills, CA, but the original idea of the 50/50 was born in San Diego. As a San Diego State Aztec, I used to frequent Aztec football tailgates with friends early Saturday morning while an undergrad at State. Saturday mornings were rough as an active social member of the student body, and early morning tailgate foods like hot dogs, ribs or chips just didn’t do it for me…I wanted BACON. The problem is that bacon doesn’t grill, or does it? After a couple of attempts at BBQ’ing a whole pork belly, grinding up 100% ground bacon patties, and a few fires in section P2, the idea of adding ground beef to the ground bacon in a 50/50 ratio was born and perfected. After college, I went on to open up concessions stands in front of Home Depot across the country with a college friend right up until the recession in 2008, which prompted me to change direction and open up my first full-service Slater’s 50/50 featuring the 50/50 Burger.

What were the biggest hurdles you encountered in your journey?

I started Slater’s 50/50 when I was 27 and it was my first full service restaurant. After some immediate success, you need to learn fast about how to operate lightning in a bottle. With over 1000 employees at any given point, and millions of guests served, you need to have the vision of more than yourself to succeed…and then, of course, there was COVID-19.

What does the future hold for you and Slater’s 50/50?

I have been able to step away from the operations of Slater’s 50/50 but I still try and contribute creatively as often as possible. I have some other projects in San Diego: Spitfire Tacos, Head Lettuce, and Understory have opened recently in San Diego County. As far as the Slater’s 50/50 brand, it continues to expand to bring the best of burgers, bacon, and beer to the masses with the newest location in Riverside, and multiple restaurants in development including Covina, Del Amo-Torrance, CA and New Jersey.

What are your thoughts on the food scene in San Diego?

We’re never the first and we’re never the last when it comes to trends, but we are passionate about our food and our local talent. This city supports its restaurants and considers them a part of the fabric of America’s Finest City.

What’s your best advice for aspiring restaurateurs?

“Buckle Up Buttercup”

Our readers love recommendations! What’s your favorite dish at Slater’s 50/50?

The Peanut Butter and Jellousy Burger, Vampire Dip, and Nashville Hot Wings


For more exclusive interviews, see our full Reflections of a Restaurateur series