Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Originating from Cypress, TX, Chef Nic Yanes kicked off his hospitality career working FOH while in high school. It wasn't until college when the transition to BOH was made. Yanes went out to study Culinary Arts at Western Culinary Institute.

Between 2004 and 20011, Yanes bounced between Dallas TX and Portland Oregon fine tuning his craft. In 2012, found himself in Austin, TX taking on the role of Chef at Uchi.

Eventually he would earn the title of Creative Director. In 2015 Yanes broke off on his own to open Juniper and has been landing on the cities best of lists ever since.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:


In this episode with Nic Yanes, we discuss: 

  • If you want to make changes in your life sometimes it takes changing your environment and the people you're surrounding yourself with. 
  • The role confidence plays in leading. 
  • As a line cook, manage your managers. Be proactive. Anticipate their needs.  
  • The importance of systems in your business. Using technology to systematize your business so you can use your time more wisely. 
  • Living the expectations  and standards you set for your staff.
  • Why being condescending, mean, and short with people doesn't pan out in the long-run. 
  • How if you're not happy in a job or just where you are in life in general, make a pivot. Do something about it. 
  • Making all new hires start at the bottom and work there way to the top. They may know how to cook, but do they know your cultures?  
  • Before opening a restaurant in a city you're new to, spend some time working for the best in that city. develop a network, and tie your personal brand to other successful personal brands. 
  • While valuable, staging short-term, is not enough to really absorb and learn from the greats. Give the restaurants you work for at least a year. 
  • Being less focused on the cash that is coming in and more focused on the cash going out. Work with what cashflow you've got. Stay lean. Don't assumed a bunch of cash is going to start flooding in. 
  • How being a restaurateur is just as much about being a business man as it is about being a creative.  

Resources mentioned: 

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Not wanting to let anyone down.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Not wanting to let anyone down.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Ask where they go out to eat.
    • Look for honesty.
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Continually staying creative. 
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Be timely. 
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Be nice. 
  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?
    • Engage with their staff on a personal level. 
  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. Be respectful.
    2. Pay attention to the pennies
    3. Have a beer. 

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 Nic Yanes  for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 568_Nic_yanes__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT