Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

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Originally growing up in LA, Chef Lee Frank moved to San Francisco to start cooking in 1997 at the famous Lark Creek Inn, where he worked his way to the sous chef position at the age of 25. Not long after, he moved East to NH and would spend the next decade-plus working for well regarded New England restaurants including: Bonta Restaurant, Brazo, MC Perkins Cove, Arrows Restaurant, and Anneke Jans, before using his 20 years of experience to execute his own vision Otis Restaurant at the Inn by the Bandstand in Exeter, NH. Only 4 months into business, he  was invited to cook at the beard  house, and in the first year of business Otis was recognized by NH as the Best New Restaurant in NH.

Check out episode 755 with David Vargas as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out episode 748 with Evan Hennessey as mentioned in today's episode!

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Be true to yourself. Do you.”

In today's episode with Lee Frank we will discuss:

  • Don’t chase money if that means sacrificing who you are
  • An early desire to be in a kitchen
  • Realizing school isn’t for you
  • Taking a step back in order to go forward
  • You have to be willing to grind it out in this industry
  • Never choose a job based on the money
  • Gaining knowledge when you’re young is more valuable than money
  • Culinary school?
  • Line cooks and chefs. What’s the difference?
  • Failures
  • Who started farm-to-table?
  • Giving credit where credit is due
  • Living above the restaurant where you work at’
  • The importance of FOH
  • Attention to detail
  • Maintain standards
  • Constant gentle pressure
  • Checklists
  • Thank your staff
  • Business-minded
  • People don’t invest in things, they invest in PEOPLE
  • An individual makes it good, a team makes it great
  • The numbers
  • Building a great team
  • The creation of Chefs After Dark
  • Events in your restaurant aimed at restaurant people
  • Share passion
  • The power of transparency
  • Communication
  • The stress bell curve
  • Quality of service stays consistent regardless of volume
  • Showing up EVERY DAY is easier when you’re being YOU
  • Attracting like-minded people
  • Be willing to put in the work
  • Don’t ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Hard working
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Sarcasm
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • What's your biggest weakness?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • COVID-19
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Politeness, say please and thank you
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Every guest is important, not just the ones that look like they will leave a good tip
  7. What's one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • Adapt
  8. Name one service you've hired.
  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?
    • Love yourself, take care of others, be you

Contact info:

Facebook: @otisrestaurant

Instagram: @chefleefrank

Call the restaurant: 603-580-1705



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 Lee Frank 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: 766_lee_frank_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT