Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Nathan Ares is a native of Boston, MA and was raised in Tucson, AZ where he got an early starting working in some of Tucson's most well-known restaurant establishments. After a stint working at Los Vegas' SushiSamba, Ares made the move back to Tucson to partner with Brian Morris in opening Prep and Pastry. Six years later the single location has scaled into Ares Collective which consists of 3 Prep and Pastry locations, Commoner & Co, and August Rhodes Market. All located in Arizona.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

Hospitality is a big work made up of a bunch of little actions

In this episode with Nathan Ares, we discuss:

  • The meaning of hospitality
  • How you can accomplish anything if you don't who gets the credit.
  • How little things compound and make a big difference.
  • Using processes and systems to create consistency.
  • Winning guest's over by "writing the end of the story".
  • Wishing your team members the best when they move on from you.
  • How daily summaries can help you stay in check.
  • Why it's so important to never burn bridges in this industry.
  • How enthusiasm transfers.
  • Being someone exit strategy.
  • Being truthful.
  • Building your email list.
  • How to get press.
  • Grassroots marketing.
  • Pitching investors.
  • Scrappiness.
  • Selecting partners.
  • Privately responding instead of publicly responding when you get a bad review.
  • Working on the business instead of in it.
  • Getting your personal finances as lean as possible before opening your restaurant.
  • Turning around a failing restaurant.
  • Dividing and conquering with partnerships.

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Hospitality
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Organization
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Ask: What do you want to do outside of here?
    • What to look for: Someone who wants to leave you for a better opportunity.
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Getting everyone to by in. The best way to get your team to buy-in is by leading by example.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Always be nice. Leave whatever happened at the door.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • If you have the slightest feeling your guest didn't love what they got from your. Comp it.
  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?
    • Care for who comes through the door
  9. Name one service or person 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?
    1. Seak to understand.
    2. Be nice.
    3. You're not owed anything.

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 Nathan Ares for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 681_Nathan_Ares_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT