Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Hailing from the island of Saint Lucia, Nina Compton is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park. She started her professional career working under the mentorship of Daniel Boulud at his namesake restaurant Daniel. Nina then moved on to Miami where she continued to work in leading restaurants and hotels including Scott Conant's Scarpetta where she served as chef de cuisine. After being runner up on Top Chef season 11, and voted fan favorite, Nina moved to New Orleans to open her own restaurant, Compère Lapin in 2015. In 2018, Compère Lapin was followed by Bywater American Bistro.

Go to as mentioned in today's episode to support restaurants.

Go to to sign the petition to get insurance companies to pay their business interruption insurance claims.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Positive vibes all around."

In today's episode with Nina Compton we will discuss:

  • The feeling of hitting a ceiling
  • Being committed to your journey before taking the first step
  • Receiving industry accolades while operating in the red
  • Food cost management
  • Competing on top chef
  • Having so many things on your table and no time to look at them
  • Making sure you sign the right deal
  • Always get a lawyer on your side for establishing business deals
  • Restauranteurs overspend before opening and open in the red
  • The differences in hotel restaurant deals; which is best for you?
  • The effects of AirBnB on your restaurant's neighborhood and your business
  • The effects of COVID on NOLA specifically

Today's sponsor:

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?
    • Focus
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Impatience
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Open-mindedness
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • The future
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Be kind and empathetic
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Recognition of your guest. SEE them
  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?
    • The focus on diversity in restaurants
  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?
    • Use salt
    • Have fun when you're cooking and eating
    • Share with people you love

Contact info:

Instagram: @ninacompton

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 Nina Compton for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 735_Nina_Compton_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT