Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Zaid Ayoub has a background in entrepreneurship, angel investing, and start-up growth. Today, he serves as SAJJ Mediterranean's founder & CEO. Currently SAJJ Mediterranean consists of nine brick-and-mortars and two food trucks, with the goal of having 20 corporate-owned locations in the works by end of 2020.  SAJJ was recently named one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the Bay Area by San Francisco Business Times, as well as one of QSR's 40/40, indicating that industry authorities expect the brand to continue along this trajectory.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • Make people healthier and happier.

In this episode with Zaid Ayoub, we will discuss:

  • The similarities between running a tech company and a restaurant
  • Consistency and freshness
  • People and culture are the most important aspect of your business no matter the industry
  • Transparency
  • The restaurant industry as a grind and the need for time off
  • Marketing
  • Keeping the numbers clean and organized
  • Customer-focused
  • Learning lessons the hard way
  • Catering
  • Food trucks
  • Be proactive, not reactive
  • Attracting investors
  • Scaling
  • Speed bumps in scaling
  • Open-concept restaurants
  • Brand ambassadors
  • The benefits of constant gentle pressure
  • How to scale your culture

Today's sponsor:

BentoBox helps restaurants grow their business through a connected suite of tools, offering them an integrated website to connect with their guests and drive revenue online. Restaurant owners and operators are able to easily update menus, promote specials, take catering and event inquiries, sell merchandise, gift cards and more.

Revel Systems integrates front of house and back of house operations into a single dashboard. Designed to increase security, stability, ease of use, and speed of service, Revel’s streamlined ecosystem provides businesses with the right tools to grow. Learn more at

Revel Banner Restaurant Unstoppable Podcast

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Honesty and being a "doer"
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Move to fast, too trusting
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Personality, humility, friendliness
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Maintaining culture while growing
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Transparency, be open
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Be open and generous
  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 do well enough or often enough?
    • Understanding the customer, both needs and behavior
  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?
    • Be transparent
    • Focus
    • Know its all about people.

Contact info:

SAJJ Mediterranean website

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 Zaid Ayoub for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 619_Zaid_Ayoub_no_gusto_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm EDT