Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Kansas City native Chef Dan Sobek is a graduate of both Kansas State University and Johnson and Wales where he studied Hotel/Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts, respectively. Sobek went on to spend most of his career at ultra-luxury hotels, including the Dorchester Hotel in London and The Waldorf Astoria in New York City. After consulting with Sysco, and taking a few stabs as an operating partner, Sobek made the move to San Diego in 2015 where he partnered with David Creviston to open The Corner Drafthouse.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Always do the right thing because it's always the right thing to do."

In today's episode with Dan Sobek we will discuss:

  • Empowering your staff to do the right thing
  • Lead by example
  • Admit your mistakes
  • Culinary schools
  • Mentors
  • Major lessons learned from hotels
  • Knowing expectations and exceeding them
  • Realizing when you need to take a break
  • Consulting
  • Navigating and finding the best vendors
  • Partnerships
  • Best practices for lease negotiations
  • The desire to help others
  • The importance of self-care

 Other Resources Mentioned

Check out episode: 613: Horst Schulze on the 24 Standards of Service

Check out episode: 579: Horst Schulze on The 3 Fundamental Gust Expectations

Today's sponsor:

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Restaurant365 is a cloud-based, all-in-one, restaurant-specific accounting and back-office platform that seamlessly integrates with POS systems, payroll providers, food and beverage vendors. It generates accurate real-time reporting and analysis in user-friendly dashboards, facilitating immediate, data-driven decision making. Restaurant365 eliminates manual, error-prone processes and is designed to help restaurant businesses grow with functionality that helps optimize labor costs, reduce food costs and increase revenue.


Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Persistence
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Too emotionally-involved sometimes
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Ask up-front personal questions (without getting too personal)
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • The labor market in San Diego is incredibly challenging
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • always do the right thing because it's the right thing to do.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Emphasize the importance of guest interaction
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. Name one service you've hired.
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls 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?
    • Life is incredibly short and very precious - live every day to the fullest and don't take anything for granted
    • Say yes more often
    • Try new things

Contact info:



Instagram: @sobekdan

Facebook: @DanSobek

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 Sobek for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


Restaurant Unstoppable is a free podcast. One of the ways I'm able to make it free is by earning a commission when sharing certain products with you. I've made it a core value to only share tools, resources, and services my guest mentors have recommend, first. If you're finding value in my podcast, please use my links!


Direct download: 676_Dan_Sobek_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT