Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Husband and wife, Sara and Paul "Buff" Burden, had a dream of one day opening a burger joint that had an emphasis on local, natural, and sustainable ingredients. Paul, originating from the UK, and Sara, a native to Houston, knew Texas was the place to pull it off. So, they packed up and moved south to Sara's hometown.  In March of 2015, BuffBurger, a gourmet fast-casual burger restaurant, was born. Almost 4 years later they've scaled the concept to 3 locations.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

Balls to the wall. Just keep going.

In this episode with Sara and Paul Burden, we discuss:

  • Opening a restaurant with minimal experience
  • Switching from ski instructors to restauranteurs
  • Finding mentors no matter where you are or what you're doing
  • "Just try it."
  • Making an impressive, professional business plan to secure funds
  • Systems/processes
  • What next after securing funding? Finding real estate!
  • The importance of customer service
  • Make sure customers are happy and given the best possible ingredients
  • Chaotic restaurant openings and how to navigate them
  • A need for control and an obsession with quality
  • Importance of making ALL of your food in the same kitchen
  • Utilizing a commissary
  • Stumbling early-on
  • Getting ahead of yourself and signing too many leases while attempting to scale!
  • Knowing when to take the shot or hold back
  • Opening a new location without enough staff
  • Charging what the product is worth
  • Work/life balance
  • Friendly competition SHOULD BE FRIENDLY!

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Sara: Serving people how you like to be served makes it easier
    • Paul: Quality
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Sara: Sometimes too careful with money
    • Paul: Growing too fast
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Grit
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Cash flow
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • BOH: How the food looks when delivered to the table. FOH: Be nice, kind, and constantly check on people
  6. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  7. What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • It's hard to be critical of anyone in this industry
  8. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
    • Cameras
  9. 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?
    • Believe in yourself
    • Work your ass off
    • Believe in the people around you/who work for you

Contact info:

BuffBurger website

Instagram: @buffburger

Facebook: @EatLiveLocal

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 Sara and Paul Burden for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 614_Sara_Paul_Burden_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:16am EDT