Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Paul Bartolotta is the Chef and Co-Owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Paul got started in restaurants in his very early teens as a dishwasher and eventually became a prep cook. He decided to pursue becoming a chef after high school and eventually made his way to Italy where he trained in multiple restaurants for 7 years. From Italy he went to France and worked and studied there as well. He returned to the states and helped open a few restaurants before opening his very own Ristorante Bartolotta in 1993, with his brother Joe as his business partner. The Bartolotta Restaurants has opened 17 unique concepts in its lifetime, from fine dining to food halls. Since 2017, Chef Paul Bartolotta and his brother Joe have been nominated for, and won, 2 James Beard Foundation awards.

Check out The Next Supper: The End of Restaurants as We Knew Them, and What Comes After by Corey Mintz as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out RestaurantSystemsPro 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:

  • "Integrity and authenticity above all else."

In this episode with Paul Bartolotta we will discuss:

  • Telling your story
  • The decision to become a chef
  • Helping young chefs find opportunities
  • Staging in Italy and France
  • Work/life balance
  • Scaling
  • Standards
  • Art and economics
  • Winning James Beard awards
  • Labor and how to address the current issues

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Indefatigable
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Time management
  3. What's one thing you ask or look for when interviewing/growing your team?
    • Sparkle - enthusiasm for living
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Inspiring growth in the team - get them as excited as I am
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Integrity above all else
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Knowing the name of the guest through technology and habit
  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?
    • HR software
  9. What is one thing you feel restaurateurs don't do well enough or often enough?
    • Take enough time to find green space and travel to refresh themselves
  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?
    • Family first
    • Listen to your moral compass
    • To chefs: find your own voice

Contact info:


Thanks for listening!

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Huge thanks to Paul Bartolotta for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!

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Direct download: Paul_Bartolotta_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT