Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Hailing form Austin, TX, Chef Philip Speer fell in love with cooking sweets at a young age. His professional career built momentum at Jean-Luc's Bistro, and Jean George Vongerichten's Bank. In 2005, Speer took the role of Pastry Chef at Uchi in Austin, which is when his career really started to accelerate. Speer would climb the latter to serve as Culinary Director for the Uchi Restaurant Group. It was here he earn 4 nominations for James Beard "Outstanding Pastry Chef", before moving on from Uchi in 2015. Since, Speer has open Bonhomie, My name is Joe Coffee Co, and current project will be opening in late winter 2019

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it again?"

In this episode with Philip Speer, we discuss:

  • Taking time to go through the movements the right way. If you rush something, because you're worried about time, then you'll really be in trouble when you have to do the thing all over again.
  • What the apprentice approach looks like if you're thinking of going that route.
  • How to craft a life in the restaurant industry that allows you to express your passions and interests, instead of resenting your "job."
  • The best way to become a certain type of restaurant professional is by surrounding yourself with those types of professionals you want to become.
  • Mentally going through movements before physically going through movements.
  • Creating opportunities for yourself within a restaurant group by finding weak links and improving them.
  • Why you can't create great food without a system for consistency.
  • Opening restaurant for the purpose of creating opportunity and careers for those you've mentored.
  • How Speer lost it all due to his alcohol abuse and how AA's 12 steps has really helped to turn his life around.
  • How taking care of your mental health can start with taking care of your physical health.
  • How recovery comes from not focusing on who you were in the past, instead, it comes from focusing on who you want to be in the future.
  • Why not injecting your identity in your brand can hurt you.
  • The role instagram and an abundance of restaurants has on an increasingly transactional society.
  • Why you need to be open, honest, and transparent with your business partners.
  • 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?
    • The ability to adapt and evolve.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Always second guessing.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Speer looks for Mutual respect.
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Building a team for his new restaurant.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Always be open minded.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Anticipating guest needs.
  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?
    • Collaborate. Listen.
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls 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. Take care of yourself, first.
    2. Be open to new opportunities to learn.
    3. Take in experiences soak it up.

Contact info:


Thanks for listening!

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Huge thanks to Philip Speer for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 561_Philip_Speer_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT