In this episode with Mark Jensen, we discuss:
- Being realistic about the level of work required to open a restaurant.
- Asking yourself, "Are you willing to handle that level of work?"
- Traveling and living to find your passion.
- Being patient during the come-up. Put your nose down, do the work, and give all of yourself. The more your put in now the more you'll get out later.
- The influence of a Biology Degree in cooking.
- How blowing up and being angry doesn't work as a leadership style anymore.
- Scaling from catering, to mobile truck, to brick and mortar.
- Slowly building your brand and network as your growing.
- Comparing yourself globally, not locally.
- Things to be considered when scaling with a food truck.
- Using Kickstarter to get a little cash and to show investors that you're building momentum.
- Keeping hope during the loan processes.
- Abandoning the idea of getting money from investors, at the expense of losing authenticity.
- Not spreading your team to thin by offering lunch and dinner.
- The Benefits of Pre-ticked seasonal Sunday supers.
- Using lists.
- Being aware of your energy and how your emotions are impacting those around you.
Starting in his family’s restaurant in Vermont, Chef Mark Jensen was soon working in restaurants in France, Scotland, Italy, and finally back in New England. Eventually, Jensen brought his family to Lexington, KY, where he began Mark Jensen Catering. The catering company evolved to include Fork in The Road Mobile Galley. In the summer of 2015, Jensen took the momentum he gathered from the mobile food truck and opened Middle Fork Kitchen Bar to much acclaim.
Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.
"You should only aspire to what you're willing to achieve."
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Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
- Not taking on more than he's willing to take on.
What is your biggest weakness?
- Thinking he can do it all.
- Time management.
What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- Let the interviewee talk.
- Find out if they have a plan.
What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
- Overcomeing the day to day.
Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
- Excellence at all levels.
What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
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Share an online resource or tool.
What's one piece of technology you've adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?
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?
- Be yourself.
- pay attention.
- Do good.
Thanks for Listening!
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Huge thanks to CHEF MARK JENSEN for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!
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