Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Join the RUNetwork! First 30 days on me!

Check out episode 013 the first time Nancy Batista-Caswell joined the show!

Check out Mass Restaurants United focusing on independant restaurants in Massachusetts.

Check out Speaking Broadly Podcast as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out Super Soul Podcast as mentioned in today's episode!

Today's guest, Nancy Batista-Caswell, has been kicking butt and taking names for as long as she's been in the game. She is the Proprietor of Caswell’s Restaurant Group which consists of Ceia Kitchen and Bar, BRINE, and Oak + Rowan. Ceia has received numerous ‘best’ awards for its culinary, wine and overall experience. Some of Ceia's more recent recognitions include an invitation to cook at the beard house and most recently has named Today's guest Rising Star Restaurateur, the only honoree in the category.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • Fail fast and move on
In today's episode with Nancy Batista-Caswell we will discuss:
  • The FOH grind
  • Growing up in kitchens
  • Chefs who excell in both the dining room and the kitchen
  • It’s all about relationships
  • Embracing chef creativity
  • Learning construction and how it relates to opening restaurants
  • Seeing restaurants “from scratch” via buildouts and construction
  • What brought her from Boston to Newburyport (north shore Mass.)
  • Culture
  • Volume issues in a new restaurant
  • Community involvement
  • When team members hit a ceiling in your restaurants
  • Self-confidence in the industry
  • Make your intentions known
  • Feeding front-line workers
  • Work/life balance
  • Struggling to relax when not at your restaurant
  • Does your community need another restaurant? Probably not
  • Training costs money (hire slow, fire fast)
  • COVID restrictions as a reality check for our industry
  • Making payroll leaner
  • Opening mistakes to avoid
  • Game-ifying business
  • How do politics affect the restaurant industry
  • Emotional intelligence

Today's sponsor:

7shifts is a modern labor management platform, designed by restaurateurs, for restaurateurs. Effectively labor management is more important than ever to ensure profitability and restaurant success. Trusted by over 400,000 restaurant professionals, 7shifts gives you the tools you need to streamline labor operations, communicate with your team, and retain your talent. Best of all 7shifts integrates with the POS and Payroll systems you already use and trust (like Toast!) turning labor into a competitive advantage for your business. Restaurant Unstoppable members get 3 months, absolutely free.

PlateIQ- the leading AP automation platform in the hospitality industry. Since 2014, Plate IQ has been saving time and money for companies like Cava, Tender Greens, and more. Just upload your invoices into Plate IQ and our proprietary technology will code each line item to your chart of accounts — automatically. For Bill Pay, virtual cards, and end-to-end invoice automation, head to

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?
    • Time spent by myself
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Give people too many chances
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • What are you eating and drinking?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Growing and maintaining loyalty from staff and customers
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Positive energy
  6. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  7. What's one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • Reflect on your own day-to-day duties/routine
  8. Name one service you've hired.
    • One Oak - HR
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influenced operations?
  10. 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?
    • Still be you
    • Live intentionally, daily affirmations or intention
    • A recommendation list for places with great food and great drink

Contact info:

Thanks for listening!

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Huge thanks to Nancy-Batista Caswell 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: 757_NBC_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:09pm EDT