Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore


Graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Justin Elliot spent his formative years bartending around New York City's Boroughs. Since returning to his home state, Elliott has become one of the most prominent, respected bartenders, operators, and consultants in Texas. Having done turns  at MIDNIGHT COWBOY, as the Head Bartender at QUI (where he was named Eater Austin’s 2014 Bartender of the Year), and more recently in his role as Managing Partner at widely acclaimed restaurant THE TOWNSEND, and then as General Manager at JUNIPER, Elliott has consistently produced forward-thinking programs that have been recognized by Bon Appetit, Playboy, Texas Monthly, Zagat, Southern Living Magazine, Imbibe, Food Republic, Star Chefs and many more. In 2018, working with Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, Elliot made the switch to being a full time consultant.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

"Fight chaos every day."

In this episode with Justin Elliott, we discuss: 

  • How Elliotts back ground in theater influences his career in hospitality. 
  • Leading from the front and working harder than everyone  else being the best way to earn respect. 
  • Completely immersing yourself in the industry in order to be the best. Working on technique, speed, and knowledge continuously. 
  • Documenting the creative process when developing new drinks and recipes. 
  • Creating a culture where people WANT to document and follow processes.  
  • Leveraging free technology to improve your systems and communication. 
  • being on the same page and having the same vision as your partners. 
  • Making the less glamorous stuff more fun with gamification and creativity. 
  • Doing something about the tipping issue in the restaurant industry. 

Resources Mentioned: 

Today's sponsor:  A simple powerful and predictive cash flow companion for Qickbooks. Simple, because it requires no data entry, is always up to do and works on any device, anywhere. Powerful, because with it's built-in cash flow calendar, activitiy feed and anomaly detector, you instantly know all aspects of your cash flow with no surprises. Predictive, because you'll know your cash flow today and anticipate it tomorrow.

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Being reflective.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Hates saying things twice.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Ask, "What other restaurants in town are you interested in."
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Inventing systems to keep his systems together. 
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Fucking push.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • The trey is the way. 
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?

    • Handle the tipping situation. 
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls 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. Restaurant work is honest, spiritual work.
    2. You can only do lasting work in this world if the work is true to yourself. 
    3. It never gets easier, but it does get more fun. 

Contact info:

Bill man

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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 Justin Elliot for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 557_Justin_Elliot1_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59pm EDT