Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Once upon a time Austin, TX hometowner, Jason Sabala, had aspirations of becoming an elementary school teacher, until one day, when Sabala broke up a fight at Austin's well-known night club, Emo's. This experience took him on a new trajectory into the world of security, and eventually night club ownership. His experience at Emo's gave him the skills and knowledge to eventually open his own Night club in Portland, OR called Sabala's. Today Jason Sabala is the owner of two Buzz Mill Coffees with a third on the way, and Plow Burger.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "You gotta kill the man you are today to become the man you will be tomorrow."

In this episode with Jason Sabala we will discuss:

  • Self-reflection and self-improvement
  • The desire to teach and mentor
  • The importance of community
  • The importance of having fun
  • Running a club vs. a restaurant
  • Mismanagement and how to avoid it
  • Embarrassment in the industry and what it teaches you
  • Honesty
  • Falling down only to get back up bigger and better
  • Culture and soul
  • Cultivate your community

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs:

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Perseverance.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Too trusting; too kind.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • "What is one trait you admire most about human beings?"
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • "A man who chases two rabbits doesn't catch either." Focus.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Learn everything above you while teaching those who come behind you.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Don't blame your staff when things go wrong, blame yourself.
  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?
    • Thank their people.
  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?
    1. Time, take the leap
    2. Play the infinite game
    3. Have empathy

Contact info:



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 Jason Sabala for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 640_Sabala_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT