Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore


Pete Sueltenfuss was Born and raised just Outside of Boston, MA. When he turned 18, he made the move into the heart of the city and attended Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. He spent the next 10 years working in some of Boston's finest restaurants included Eastern Standard, where he met his now wife, Jessica. Pete and Jessica fell in love with Maine and made the move north where they both landed a job at Fore Street in Portland, ME, under the renowned Sam Hayward. They'd go on to help other successful restaurateurs open restaurants throughout the city. Today they are the proprietors of two brick-and-mortar operations by the name of Other Side Delicatessen

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

"Work Smarter; not harder."

In this episode with Pete Sueltenfuss, we discuss: 

  • The benefits of keeping your head down and mouth shut early in your career. Just be a sponge. 
  • What will/can happen when you're not ready to run a kitchen, but you do anyway. 
  • Sueltenfuss admiration for Chef Jamie Bissonnette leadership style. 
  • Creating a ZERO TOLERANCE policy for disrespect between FOH and BOH.
  • How the overall industry culture of working the longest, hardest hours is a recipe for long term disaster. 
  • When moving to a new market for work, take your time to acclimate into the community and settle roots before opening your own place. 
  • How at Fore Street, Chef Sam Hayward gave his crew the freedom of their own station, and how that freedom allowed Sueltenfuss the ability to grow personally and professional. 
  • Why it is so important to share your knowledge with your people. 
  • Advice on what makes a good partnership; you can't have "too many chiefs and not enough Indians." 
  • Why everyone on your team needs to have the same shared vision. 
  • Things to include in your partnership agreements. 
  • The power of transformative relationships in business. 
  • How growth comes from retaining guest not driving new guest in. 
  • The challenges of going from 1 to 2 locations. 
  • Extending your your trust. 
  • Letting your people make mistakes and learn how to create their mistakes. 
  • Living your life of a list. 

Resources Mentioned

Steve DiFillippo of Davio’s

Chef Jamie Bissonnette of Toro

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    1. personability 
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    1. Confidence
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    1. Confidence
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    1. Becoming more confident.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    1. Hospitality.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    1. Hospitality. 
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. If there was one tool or resource that you wish you had now -- or wish you had when you were getting started--to learn from others in the industry what would it be?
    • Patience 
  9. What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    1. Say, "Thank you."
  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. Treat your Community well. 
    2. Be a good friend.
    3. Don't be too hard on yourself. 

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 Pete Sueltenfuss for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 543_Pete_Sueltenfuss_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT