Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Dan Simpson has been spearheading innovation and business development for startups, for-profit, and non-profit organizations for the past 20 years. Prior to joining Taziki's Family, Simpson was the founder and CEO of ToGoTechnologies. Simpson would go on to serve as a Taziki's franchisee and managing partner at Fresh Hospitality. Simpson became the CEO of Taziki's Mediterranean Café in 2018 and previously Simpson served as the restaurant's chief innovation officer.

We had Kieth Richards, founder of Taziki's, on the show (episode 511) so please reference that discussion for the come-up story and the core values of that organization.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

"Whatever business you're in, you're in the people business."

In this episode with Dan Simpson, we discuss:

  • Becoming a person of value
  • Restaurant technology
  • The value of curiosity
  • The importance of listening to people
  • Learning from working for a non-profit
  • The Art Of The Pivot
  • Be able to shift at any moment/embrace change
  • There is no ONE WAY to achieve goals/try different approaches/adapt
  • Working for brand that you care about
  • Understanding the "why" before changing direction
  • Cash calls and when you need them
  • The benefits of transformative relationships with your staff
  • Refreshing your brand
  • The importance of clarity
  • Don't take short cuts
  • Dealing with conflict properly
  • Courage through selflessness

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Positive energy
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Setting pace
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • What is your personal driving purpose? What percentage of that can be applied to your work?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Finding enough great people for our team
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Clarity is bigger and more important than hyperbole
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Celebrating the ingredients, celebrating the farmers
  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?
    • Prioritizing off-presence guests over on-presence guests
  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?
    • We are all in the people business
    • Celebrate farmers
    • Celebrate success stories

Contact info:

Taziki's website

For franchising:

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 Dan Simpson for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 616_Dan_Simpson_NO_GUSTO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:50am EDT