Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

In this episode with Mason Ayer, we discuss: 

  • The power of just being nice. 
  • Having a business partner that compliments you well.
  • Being open minded when hiring your team.  
  • How having a background in law has helped Ayer's restaurant career.  
  • Creating systems in your life to be proactive. 
  • The importance of regular exercise, meditation, and sleep. 
  • The a risk of losing control of your brand when franchising and chasing fast growth. 
  • What Ayer didn't enjoy about being a lawyer.
  • How Ayer transformed from lawyer to restaurateur. 
  • With multiple locations, struggle and importance of keeping the brand unified.
  • How to wash yourself of the people who don't match the new culture you're creating. 
  • Creating systems and layers of financial accountabilities.
  • The benefits of open-book management. 
  • Letting your managers have equity in the business. 
  • The danger in being TOO trusting. 
  • Having a close group of leaders and like-minded individuals you can share ideas with. 

After earning his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, Mason spent several years in the legal world before returning to his family’s business, Kerbey Lane Cafe, in Austin, Texas. Today, Mason Ayer is serving as CEO of Kerbey Lane Cafe. Under his leadership, the Cafe has rapidly expanded and cemented itself as an iconic Austin business known for caring service and wholesome food served at reasonable prices. 


Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

Just be nice. 


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Knowledge bombs

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

    • Taking care of himself.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Trusting too much.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Have the interviewee tell a joke. 
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Navigating family business dynamics.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Personal growth and education. 
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?

    • Allocate 1% of sales to guest appreciation.
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

  8. Share an online resource or tool.

  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence 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?

    1. Offer personal growth to your people.
    2. Make sure your family know you love them. 
    3. Have fun.

Contact Info

Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Mason Ayer for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 477_Mason_Ayer_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:28pm EDT