Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore


In this episode with Chef Margot McCormack, we discuss:

  • Keeping it simple... Make it taste good.
  • Learning the importance of systems and organization.
  • Understanding that you are the only person that makes your restaurant a priority and giving freedom from your restaurant to your employees.
  • What you can learn from working for a corporate restaurant.
  • Encouraging people who've "got it". 
  • The value in doing your own thing.
  • Maximizing the college experience.
  • Welcoming people into your restaurant as if you were welcoming them into your house.
  • Choosing to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.
  • When opening a restaurant, start where you can, not where you think you should.
  • Being careful about who you're partnering with.
  • The value of just taking a leap and starting.
  • Scaling from one locations to two locations

Nashville native, Chef Margot McCormack is a graduate of UT Knoxville and the Culinary Institute of America.  1995 After spending some time cooking in NYC, Chef McCormack returned to Nashville as Executive Chef of F. Scott's. In 2001 Chef McCormack opened her own restaurant Margot's Cafe and Bar. Five years later she opened her second location, Marche Artisan Foods. Both restaurants are going strong to this day. Also Chef Margot was just nominated for James Beard "Best Chef Southeast". Woot woot! 

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

"Make it taste good."

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    • Work ethic.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Work ethic.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • hire for hospitality.
    • Hire the person, not what they can do.
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Staffing.
    • Adopting to the cultural changes. Example. Tattoos and piercing are now ok.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Bring something to the table.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?

    • Make a human connection to the guest.
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

  8. Share an online resource or tool.

    • instagram
  9. 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?

    1. Have fun.
    2. Work hard.
    3. Make memories.

Contact Info


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 Chef Margot McCormack for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 46020Margot20McCormack_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT