Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

With excitement allow me to introduce to you today’s guest Former Chief Culinary Officer and EVP Kitchen Operations at The Cheesecake Factory and Current Partner at DOM Food Group, Donald Moore. Donald found a passion for cooking and the kitchen early on in his life because of the parallels he found between teamwork in the kitchen and on the soccer field. After college, he worked in kitchens all around the country before joining The Cheesecake Factory in 2001 as a kitchen manager. He quickly rose through the ranks and by 2010 he was the Chief Culinary Officer for the entire organization. In 2020 Donald left the Cheesecake Factory to form DOM Food Group. a Los Angeles-based venture studio that incubates, invests in, operates, and consults the leading scalable food businesses of the future.

Check out The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right by Atul Gawande as highly recommended in today's episode by both Eric and Donald.

Donald says this is the best book for multi-unit leadership: Multi-Unit Leadership: The 7 Stages of Building Profitable Stores Across Multiple Markets by Jim Sullivan

Today’s feature affiliate: Bentobox. In need of a restaurant website? Click this link to find out why so many of my guests use Bentobox!

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • What you do in the dark puts you in the light."

In this episode with Donald Moore we will discuss:

  • Early key mentors
  • Go out, travel, get new experiences
  • High standards
  • What Donald Moore learned at Cheesecake Factory
  • Working as a kitchen manager
  • Importance of checklists
  • Multi-unit leadership
  • You have to demonstrate your values
  • Specific recognition to staff is key

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Constantly hunting or talent
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Can't shut it off, mind is always racing
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Write the job description of what they want to do 100% of the time
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Be hard on standards and easy on people
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Prioritization
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Let people swing at you? Hear people out
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What is something restaurateurs don't do well enough or often enough?
    • Collaborate
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influence operations?
    • Hyphen for kitchen robotics
    • Curb Mobility for efficient curbside pickups and delivery routing
    • Acelerate helping mom and pop restaurants be more profitable
  10. Name one service you've hired.
    • Have conversations with the people who are providing your business with services
  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?
    • Hard on standards, soft on people
    • Gratitude
    • Tune in before you turn on

Contact info:


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 Donald Moore 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: Donald_Moore_NEW_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT