Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Samuel Stanovich Restaurant Unstoppable Podcast

With excitement allow me to introduce to you today's guest, Restauranteur- Author - Podcast Host - Strategist - Coach - People Connector- Samuel Stanovich. Samuel has been involved with the hospitality industry for over two decades. Samuel primarily works on the leadership and development as Area Representative for Firehouse Subs responsible for Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana.  Samuel’s restaurant serves as the training restaurant for the market. Before assuming his current position, Samuel was Director Partner Product Development & Industry Relations, National Restaurant Association including the support of the National Restaurant Association Military Foundation. Samuel’s past experiences include: President & CEO of the Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau, in addition, he is a 12-year veteran of Marriott International.

Samuel holds a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and associates degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Johnson and Wales University.

Samuel volunteers his efforts to serve on the board of directors and finance chair for the Bellwood - Proviso Chamber of Commerce and recent past board member of Housing Forward, an Illinois based homeless prevention organization. Other activities include: Advisory Board Member of the Illinois Restaurant Association, member of Les Amis d’Escoffier Society; and strategic adviser to Baci Hospitality. Past board of directors for the American Culinary Federation Chicago Chefs of Cuisine, past- president of the International Food Service Executives Association- Northern Illinois Chapter. Nightclub and Bar Magazine Advisory Council and co-chair of Teresa’s Trotters Cancer Team.

Check out S.M.A.R.T. Guide To Catering Domination by T.J. Schier and Sam Stanovich!

Check out Rocketbook as highly recommended by Sam

Check out Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow by Chip Conley as mentioned ion today's episode.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Go big or go home."

In today's episode with Samual Stanovich we will discuss:

  • The Marriott family and culture
  • Learning from the best in the beginning
  • Promotion and marketing
  • Opening a waterpark - lessons learned
  • Networking [the pre-internet kind (it still works today)]
  • Change fees: what are they? (They are important)
  • Occupancy costs
  • Advice on brokers
  • The importance of partners
  • Catering

Today's sponsor:

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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

At Popmenu, we know that in today’s world, a great hospitality experience usually begins onlineKeeping the conversation with guests going beyond the meal also requires simple, powerful, fun technology capable of expression through all kinds of channels. Our team takes pride in helping restaurants put their best foot forward digitally so they can focus on what they do best. We think PDF menus are super boring, we believe 3rd party platforms have had too much say in how consumers find their next dining experience and we deeply feel that sharing your beautiful menu doesn’t have to be so difficult, time-consuming and expensive. As a listener of the Restaurant Unstoppable, you'll receive $100 off your first month of Popmenu!


Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • My wife
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • My A.D.D. Keep a journal.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • What does service mean to you?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Getting the right people
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Treat everybody like family
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Do something unexpected
  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?
    • Get out from behind the counter and spend time with the customers/ask them open-ended questions
  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?
    • Facebook group for the restaurant
  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?
    • Be passionate about what you do
    • spend time with those that you love
    • My legacy is what you see from my family, what I left behind

Contact info:

Samuel's podcast

Samuel's website

Sam on LinkdIn

Catering Domination! -Sam's book

Instagram: @chicago_sam

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 Samuel Stanovich 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: Sam_Stanovich_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT