Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Growing up in Laguna Beach, CA, Chef Kim Alter is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy.  She went on to work in some of the Bay Area’s most notable restaurant kitchens before joining the Daniel Patterson Group where she served as Executive Chef for Haven and Plum in Oakland, CA.  Today, Kim Alter is the chef/owner of Nightbird and the adjoining cocktail concept, Linden Room, in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Success isn't just about what you've accomplished, it's about what you've inspired other people to do."

In this episode with Kim Alter we will discuss:

  • You inspire others around you positively
  • Using food to make people happy
  • Food as acceptance
  • Creating impactful “food memories”
  • Mental health in the restaurant industry
  • Tell your staff that they’re doing a good job
  • The hard work angle
  • Ego
  • Mentors
  • Learning something new every single day
  • Constantly improve your business
  • Experiencing failure
  • Fear of failure
  • The inevitability of doing something wrong
  • Thoughts on awards
  • The importance of non-transactional relationships in the kitchen
  • Money and waste management in the kitchen
  • Diffusing angry guests
  • Supporting the restaurants in your community
  • Tasting menus
  • Acquiring permits
  • The importance of respect
  • Women in the industry
  • Culture v. Systems
  • Working with your life partner

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Being humble
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Too much time in the kitchen and not enough promoting
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Personality, goals, how do they treat the dishwasher?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Issues with the city impeding customer flow
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team
    • Treat each other with respect
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • BOH and FOH are one in the same
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
    • Social media
  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?
    • Put your head down and work hard
    • Treat people with respect

Contact info:

Night Bird website

Instagram: @kimalter @nightbirdsf

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 Kim Alter for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 628_Kim_Alter_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT