Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Mark Estee is an award-winning chef, restaurateur and visionary on a mission to reinvent dining culture as we know it. Today, Estee owns Liberty Food & Wine Exchange in downtown Reno, The Union in downtown Carson City, chez louie inside the Nevada Museum of Art, the historic Overland Restaurant & Pub, and the recently opened Cucina Lupo in Carson City. He’s also the managing partner at Campo Mammoth. Estee has been featured on the Food Network and Cooking Channel, is a James Beard Award nominee, was awarded Best New Restaurant by Esquire, and was honored as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Reno Gazette Journal.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Create a culture of learning, caring, and respect."

In today's episode with Mark Estee we will discuss:

  • Humility
  • Is culinary school worth it?
  • What makes a great cook BESIDES ability to cook food
  • The business side of cooking
  • What a corporate work experience teaches you
  •  Attitude, positive mindset
  • Aim low and adjust and scale based on income
  • Mental toughness is key in this industry
  • Weekly managers meetings
  • Say things in the kitchen with caring a respect and you will get the same treatment
  • COVID-19
  • Retrain your staff AND YOUR CUSTOMERS when reopening

Today's sponsor:

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Toast - A POS built for restaurants by restaurant people Adapt fast with Toast's cloud-based restaurant POS system that updates to evolve your POS along with changing industry trends and guest expectations. Toast is built exclusively for restaurants of all shapes and sizes, with over 2/3 of our employees having restaurant experience to serve you better. Online Ordering - Let guests easily order directly from your restaurant for pickup or contactless delivery to keep revenue flowing during these uncertain times. Toast Delivery Services Dispatch local drivers through an on-demand network to keep your community fed and revenue coming in.


Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Leadership
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Following the shiny object
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Can you make marinara sauce?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Finding balance in my life
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Respect our products, respect our people
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Making the customer feel right and heard
  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?
    • Listen
  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 influenced 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?
    • Eat local food
    • Take the job you hate and make it the job you love
    • Strike a balance in life

Contact info:

Reno Local Food Group

All social handles: @markestee

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 Mark Estee for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 717_Mark_Estee_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:38am EDT