Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Kyle Hilla hails form Misquite, TX and has over 12 years of experience bar tendering. Hilla has been recognized as Bartender of the Year in 2016 and 2017 by both D Magazine and CultureMap Taste Makers Awards. Having crafted innovative, well-balanced cocktails for Oak Cliff, and Bolsa for 5 years, Kyle then moved on to act as 'liquid architect' for Turn The Tables Hospitality. Today Hilla Serves as Beverage Dirctor for the Statler Hotel.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

Dreams don't work unless you do.

In this episode with Kyle Hilla, we will discuss:

  • Doing the work!
  • Bartending industry
  • Influences in the industry
  • Passion in staff translates to passion in your guests
  • The "proper way" to be angry and how to prove a point
  • The importance of energy and sociability
  • The importance of the "slow period" in a restaurant
  • People are at their best with at least some stress
  • Keep the customer's perspective in mind
  • Chaos as a motivator
  • Managing liquor costs
  • Don't ever stop learning
  • Observing experts is the best way to learn from them
  • Don't have a confusing menu
  • Be "on brand" but maintain effective communication in the menu
  • Capitalizing on a happy hour
  • The point of happy hour is to get butts in seats
  • Creating loyalty
  • Ego in the industry
  • Hospitality as a way of life

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Adaptability. Avoid complacency and stay hungry.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • An eagerness to always be right. A tendency to keep things black and white.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Past jobs and how they talk about them. Bad experiences and how they reflect on them.
    • People's phone screen (how they take care of their belongings)
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • People entering the industry just for money, not for their passion for hospitality.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Keep in mind the guest's perception of time. The guest's perception of time is longer than yours if you're working.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Shaking the hand of the guest before you drop the check.
  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?
    • The process of opening a restaurant in terms of budgeting, people, training, taking your time with a good first impression.
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
    • Dehydrators; control your waste.
  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?
    • Train your replacement. Mentor someone.
    • Hospitality isn't an industry; it is a way of life.
    • Have a positive impact on someone every day.

Contact info:

The Statler Hotel 1914 Commerce St, Dallas TX

Instagram: ghostfacehilla

Facebook: Kyle Hilla

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 Kyle Hilla for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 597_Hilla_mixdown_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:46am EDT