Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore
Megan and Dino Santonicola are owners of Partenope Ristorante located in Dallas, Texas.
They are a dynamic duo with Dino, a master of pizza, and Megan, with her 20 years of experience in the Dallas restaurant and hospitality industry.  In 2011, Dino became the executive chef and master pizzaiolo of Cane Rosso in Dallas. During his 7 years with Cane Rosso, Dino grew the concept and brand from one location in Deep Ellum to 9 locations from Dallas to Houston to Austin.
Megan and Dino met while working at Cane Rosso where Megan developed and guided the growth of operations of Cane Rosso. She has been involved in the Dallas restaurant and hospitality industry since 1999 with concepts such as The Green Room, Dragonfly and Hibiscus. She was also the food and beverage director at the Hotel Palomar and Central 214 for 4 years.


Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Nothing in the world can replace persistence."

In today's episode with Dino and Megan Santonicola we will discuss:

  • Persistence is free; UTILIZE IT!
  • Growing up in Italy
  • Old-school mentorships
  • Too focused on scaling these days; enjoy the work!
  • Knowledge is power in this industry
  • Shortcuts lead to negative consequences
  • Pizza!
  • Restaurant groups
  • Scaling
  • Location scouting
  • Staffing struggles
  • Overstaff when you first open to compensate for dropouts and potential bad hires
  • Business cards for restauranteurs?
  • "Choose your partners very, very well"
  • Empower and recognize your staff

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Persistence
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Control freaks
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Is this what you really want to do?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Staffing
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Tone: passionate, intentional, welcoming, relaxed
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • We really believe in what we do and stay true to our mission
  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?
    • Stick to your brand and thank your staff
  9. Name one service you've hired.
    • Accounting
  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?
    • Everyone should work in hospitality for at least 6 months
    • Smiling goes a long way
    • There's one word that's synonymous with pizza and that's a party so everybody relax and have a good time

Contact info:

Partenope website

Instagram: @partenoperistorante

Facebook: @partenopedallas

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 Megan and Dino Santonicola 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: 695_Dino_and_Megan_Santonicola_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT