New Jersey born and bred, Bob Platzer puts the ‘P’ in patriarch, serving as the fearless entrepreneurial leader for the entire clan of PJW Restaurant Group’s brands. He and his wife Donna have proudly grown the group from a single bar in the Poconos with a staff of two in 1983 to a multi-unit, multi-operation restaurant group spanning two states and more than 20 locations. At the helm of one of the largest, and most successful family-owned restaurant groups in the Delaware Valley, Bob has been an instrumental force in increasing the employee base and supporting the local workforce from two to 1,600 full and part time workers.
A big believer in giving back, Bob supports myriad causes and leads the company by righteous example. Under his direction, the PJW Restaurant Group believes in helping others and supports The Ronald McDonald House, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation for teens battling cancer and innumerable athletic teams, food shelters, clubs, and schools – right down to his grammar school alma mater, Pennsauken-based St. Cecilia’s.
Fondest Memory of PJW Restaurant Group
“I will never forget the feeling of walking into my first bar on the first day. I knew right away this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and could feel the excitement right down to my bones. Honestly, that feeling and rush of adrenaline still resonate with me every time we open a new restaurant.
When I hear people say, ‘How did you ever get so many great people to work here?’ There is no greater feeling than knowing guests recognize that we are a big family, who care about each other, get along and enjoy coming to work. For the past 35 years, I have witnessed the interconnection of our employees’ lives. They work, hang out, vacation together and in many cases, are a part of each other’s weddings. I have watched one generation to the next become friends and travel down their separate paths of life all the while remaining connected through something I built. I have many employees from the same families and in plenty of cases, now employ their children! I don’t know a better example of how we treat our team and our guests. It’s the greatest reward and can’t be faked. I am very fortunate to have been given this opportunity and to share it with others through the PJW Restaurant Group.”
Bob is a Trustee, contributor and guest speaker for the Rowan University entrepreneurship program, member of Vistage and prestigious local CEO clubs. In 2017, he was named as Greater Philadelphia Entrepreneur of the Year by EY and has been recognized as South Jersey Entrepreneur of the Year by the Philadelphia Business Journal for his commitment to the region and entrepreneurial excellence.
Bob and his wife have two daughters. Danielle is a graduate of Tampa University and continued her education in design at Suffolk University in Boston. With the same entrepreneurial spirit as her father, Danielle opened a home goods boutique store and design consulting business in Boston where she currently lives with her husband, James McClure. Jacqueline is a graduate of St. Joseph’s who went on to obtain a culinary degree at the esteemed Napa Valley Culinary Institute of America. From there, she went on to work in the acclaimed restaurant, nopa in San Francisco and eventually back to her roots in the family business. In his spare time, Bob can be found opening new restaurants so he can visit them often and enjoy his time by sharing his never taken for granted, but highly deserved success.