Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Hailing from Boston, MA, and a Graduate of Boston University Questrom School of Business,  Sam Hellman-Mass has previously worked at the Montagna Restaurant at the Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, where he met Bryce Gilmore and later moved to Austin and helped him open Barley Swine, and Odd Duck. Under Hellman-Mass's leadership, The Odd Duck received much acclaim. With this success in his back pocket, in 2017 Hellman Mass broke off on his own to open Suerte, a Mexican restaurant specializing in house-made masa . Just this past year Suerte was one of 50 Nominees for Bon Appetit's "Best New Restaurant."

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

"If you do what you love and what you're passionate about, you'll always end up finding the most success."

In this episode with Sam Hellman-Mass, we discuss:

  • How to follow your passion.
  • Going after what you want, head first.
  • Making the most of your job experiences by asking questions, being curious, and constantly creating learning opportunities for yourself.
  • That when you take the time to be the teacher you eventually become a master.
  • How to balance being a boss and a friend with relation to your team members.
  • When managing relationships, coming from a place of caring.
  • How working hard doesn't only create opportunities, but it also improves your skill, making you even more valuable.
  • Having a way to settle disputes in a partnership. It could be a system or a personal that determines the final outcome.
  • Advice for managing partnerships.
  • Advice for managing team members.
  • How you'd be surprised at what people would be willing to share with you if you show an interest in them and what they're up to.
  • Focus on being the best at one thing. Have a "Unique Selling Proposition".
  • Be mindful of the story you are telling on your quest to be the best. Use that story to develop your brand.
  • Build a restaurant where you have roots.
  • When making financial decisions for a restaurant, keep them simple.
  • The benefits of being empathetic, open minded, and considerate of other peoples feelings and thoughts.

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  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Following his passion.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Being annoying.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Will this person still be here when it gets tough?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Trying to keep his people happy.
    • He's combating this by constantly asking his people what they want/need.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Be nice to people.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Try to make it a "yes."
  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?
    • Take a day off.
  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. A good meal always starts with good ingredients.
    2. Serving food that fulfills you, first.
    3. Be nice.

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 Sam Hellman-Mass  for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 584_Sam_Hellman_Mass_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT