Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

With excitement, allow me introduce today's guest, Founder/Partner at Blackstone, 30Hop, Tin Roost, Tribute, and The Iowa Athletic Club- Erik Shewmaker. After graduating from The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business with a focus in Finance, Management, and Entrepreneurship, Erik spent the first year out of college as a Customer Relationship Manager for Great America Leasing before re-connecting with long-time from Matt Swift about opening a restaurant. That restaurant Blackstone opened in 2007. 15 years later Erik is now a partner in 6 different restaurants and running his own landscaping and edging company, Essential Edging.

Check out episode 898 with Ben Smart as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out episode 900 with Matt Swift as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out episode 889 with Jake Brewer, CFO of Miso Robotics as mentioned in today's episode!

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:

  • "Little things make big things happen."

In this episode with Erik Shewmaker we will discuss:

  • Focus on finance
  • Partnerships
  • Bartending
  • Opening a restaurant
  • Taking over a failing restaurant
  • Building several restaurants within one mile of eachother
  • Training
  • The importance of the pre-shift
  • Establishing culture
  • Ego and humility

Today's sponsor:

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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.

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Attention to detail
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Taking things too personally
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Adopt a conversational tone and then flip it to a technical question to see their reaction
    • Looking for people that we want to hang out with because what we do is fun
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Evolving our structure to facilitate growth
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Everything we do is for the guest
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Attention to detail
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influence operations?
  9. What is one thing you feel restaurateurs don't do well enough or often enough?
    • Don't ask for help
  10. Name one service you've hired.
    • Bookkeeping - Deb Standard at Iowa Business 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?
    • Treating others how you want to be treating
    • Celebrate even the tiniest wins
    • Surround yourself with good people

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 Erik Shewmaker 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: Erik_Shewmaker_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT