Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

In the mid-'90s after being hired at Ichiban in Santa Barbara, CA, Davin Waite made the decision to drop out of college and chase his new-found passion; food.

After a few years of being mentored by local legend, Chef Hiro, Waite made the move to San Diego where he weaseled his way into the kitchen of Cafe Japengo where he further refined his skills.

Six years later Waite opened his first business, The Fish Joint (which later rebranded as Pickled Ginger Catering & Events) which was followed by Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub, and The Whet Noodle all located in Oceanside, CA. For his next project, Davin is partnering Jessica Waite and Christopher Logan, a plant-based, zero-waste restaurant named The Plot.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "The future is unwritten."
  • "Live in a way that the teenage version of myself would be proud of me."

In today's episode with Davin Waite we will discuss:

  • Food in the family
  • Zero waste
  • Married to your business partner (literally)
  • Successes and failures
  • The importance of travel
  • Collaboration with restaurants near you
  • Enjoying the rushes in a busy restaurant
  • Learning from many different cultures and cooking
  • Ego in the industry
  • Ask questions and always learn
  • Keeping a notebook and writing in the kitchen
  • The birth of modern sushi
  • Mentors
  • Branding
  • The decision to open your own restaurant
  • Common mistakes in opening a restaurant
  • Costs and bottom lines
  • Gaining focus throughout your career

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Waking up every morning excited about life
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Smoking cigarettes
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • "Were you born to do this?"
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Quitting cigarettes
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • If it's not "wow" then don't send it out
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Tasting menus
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • Value your own time
  9. Name one service you've hired.
  10. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influence operations?
  11. 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?
    • Try to make a difference
    • Things don't have to be perfect
    • Be good to each other

Contact info:

Instagram: @davinwaite


The Plot website:

Wrench and Rodent 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 Davin Waite for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 679_Davin_Waite_COMP_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT