Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore
Jon Alexis is the owner of TJ’s Seafood Market (2 locations) and Malibu Poke (2 Dallas locations and 1 Austin location). TJ’s Seafood Market is celebrating 30 years as a family-owned business. Under Alexis’s vision, TJ’s has expanded from a neighborhood favorite fish market to two award-winning restaurants with fish markets, plus a robust catering company.
Malibu Poke is Jon's fast-casual poke concept known for it’s uber-fresh ingredients. Malibu Poke also features a unique tech-based self-serving kiosks which allow guests to choose facial recognition features that “remember” their order history.
Check out as mentioned in today's episode!
Nir Eyal has a whole chapter dedicated to Slack in his book Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life 

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "The longest journey begins with a single step."

In this episode with Jon Alexis we will discuss:

  • Just start
  • Lean into an underserved market
  • Changing the perception of seafood
  • Do everything in order to make the experience better for the guest
  • Taking all the risk on yourself
  • Systems
  • Budgeting
  • How to create a "problem solving machine"
  • Automated ordering
  • Trial and error in finding the best way to order seafood
  • Fish-driven over chef-driven seafood experience
  • Utilizing the normally unused parts of fish in creative ways
  • People want options
  • Value of educating your staff on everything you serve
  • Surprising benefits to not being first to market
  • Approaching Poke from new and fresh angles
  • "Fast-fine" dining
  • Using tech to improve the hospitality experience
  • Only make decisions based on "will it make the experience better?"
  • Over-fishing and what we can do about it
  • The truth about "bycatch"
  • Don't take the BS of you industry home with you
  • Aqua-farming; 5 key factors:
    • Are the fish raised in the environment they are meant to live in?
    • Does the aquafarm have clean water circulation?
    • Does the aqua farm produce more protein than it takes out?
    • Is the feed they are using high-quality?
    • The quality of antibiotics

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Effort
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Inability to delegate
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Tell me about the best boss you've ever had
  4. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • If it would get you fired in a 9-5 you can't do it here
  5. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Answer every question with another question
  6. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  7. What's one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • Why WON'T a guest come to your restaurant (as apposed to why they WOULD)
  8. Name one service you've hired.
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influenced operations?
  10. If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?
    • Life is hard, food is good, enjoy your meals
    • We don't have the responsibility to be good to the people around us; we have the opportunity
    • Realize that waking up everyday is a blessing

Contact info:

TJs Seafood Market website

Malibu Poke website

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Huge thanks to Jon Alexis for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


Restaurant Unstoppable is a free podcast. One of the ways I'm able to make it free is by earning a commission when sharing certain products with you. I've made it a core value to only share tools, resources, and services my guest mentors have recommend, first. If you're finding value in my podcast, please use my links!
Direct download: 696_Jon_Alexis_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT