Hailing from Fort Worth, TX Matthew Bolick eventually found his way to Austin were he began working in cafes.
While working as a barista at Frank Restaurant, Bolick met Matt and Grady Wright, who were working in the tech and construction industries. Rather naturally, the three started the conversation around opening their own coffee shop and beer bar some day.
In 2012, Bolick left Frank to join Sterling Roberts in opening Flat Track, a coffee roaster and cafe which is still going strong today.
A few years later Bolick joined the aforementioned write brothers to open Wright Bros. Brew and Brew. After a few years of success it was time for the trio to open their second, new concept, Better Half Coffee and Cocktails, which opened in early 2018. It didn't take long for their concept to be recognized as one of the hottest spots in town and was just recently named Eater Austin's "Best Restaurant of the Year"
In addition, the trio plans to open Hold Out Brewing and Little Brother Bar.
Favorite success quote or mantra:
"Onward, through the foam!"
In this episode with Matthew Bolick, we discuss:
- How customers service boils down to genuinely caring.
- If you're young and opening a food or beverage operation, you get to be dumb. Take advantage of it. Just start and ask for forgiveness later.
- Knowing where you skill set ends and others begin. In other words, know your lane.
- Regarding partnerships, get a lawyer involved, and get super honest with each other about what you need from one another.
- Why an "us" mentality almost always trumps a "us versus them" mentality.
- The pros and cons of opening a business with partners, especially in the early, lean days.
- How to develop organic "lanes" for your leaders.
- How Bolick and his partners secured that capital for their vision.
- Why it is so important to transition from working in the business to working on the business.
- Mentally preparing from projects to go over budget and overtime.
- The value in having a deep network within the hospitality industry.
- Having the, "You don't work for me, but I work for you" mentality.
- When you have multiple people contributing to a project, why it is so important to have one person with veto power so the project continues to move forward.
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- Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- Find out what their favorite bars and restaurants are and why.
- What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
- Learning the construction lingo while building out new projects.
- Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
- What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
- Using a heads-up service style. Make eye conduct.
- When serving a cup of coffee, hold the cup by the handle. that is why handles are made.
- What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
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- What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
- Give the people what they want, or "play to the crowd."
- What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls 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?
- work doesn't define
- You're only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
- Figure out where your skill sets end and your partners skillsets begin.
Thanks for listening!
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Huge thanks to Matt Bolick for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!
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