Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

In this episode we discuss: why you need to know your strengths and stay in your lane; the importance of being genuine; the significance of being a good listener and observer; knowing when to quit; why you need to be honest with your business plan; 

Ben Filecia has been managing restaurants in the Philadelphia area since the late 90’s. In 1999, Fileccia began his decade-long tenure managing the well known Rose Tattoo Café. His excellent work caught the eye of The Vetri Family of restaurant and in 2009 Fileccia joined their family as General Manager of Osteria. In 2012 Fileccia joined Kevin Spraga, and its been magic ever since.Today, Fileccia serves as Director of Operations of Sbraga Dining group, which consist of Sbraga and Fat Ham, and the forthcoming Sbraga and Company.Under Fileccia’s guidance Spraga Dining earned Esquire “Best New Restaurant” in 2012, Philadelphia Magazine’s 2013 List of “The 50 Best Restaurants”, and lastly Fileccia earned the title of “Best of Philly: General Manager” in Phialdelphia magazine in 2014.

Direct download: 180_Ben_Filecca.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:20pm EDT

Today we're going to discuss falling back in love with your restaurant.  Remember the excitement, nerves, and passion you had early on when you were first opening your restaurant or maybe when you first got your dream job in a restaurant? Now, fast forward a few years. That same burning desire to be in the restaurant every day slowly fizzles away. Before long you may even start becoming resentful and sick of the restaurant. If you know what I'm talking about, this episode is for you.

Misty, a repeat guest here at Restaurant Unstoppable, is the owner of 5 Squeeze In’s with the 6th on the way and does over 4 million in annually Sales. In addition to working on her restaurants she runs an incredible resource at is a consultant and is the Author of From Rags To Restaurants: The Secret Recipe.

Direct download: 179_6_ways_to_stay_in_love_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33am EDT

If you're starting a restaurant or buying an existing restaurant you'll want to listen to this episode! Its Talking Tuesday, which means I'm going solo, and this week we're talking about the 7 things I took away from Misty Young's book From Rags To Restaurants: The Secret Recipe. Misty Young is the Owner of Squeeze In, which today is an extremely successful restaurant concept with 6 locations, and is slowly growing to become a fantastic franchise. In her book, Misty shares the journey of how she became such a success, and dives into the details of how she went from rags to restaurant riches.

Direct download: 178_Rags_to_Restaurants_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:46pm EDT

In this episode we'll discuss: The power of sharing you success with your team; marketing your restaurant one campaign at a time; creating brands around unique talents on your team; the significance of having a small scale mentality; and how effective the google platform can being on organizing and systemizing your restaurant.

Octavio Mantilla was born in Nicaragua and moved to New Orleans as a child. At sixteen, he got his first job in a restaurant and has worked his way through all the managerial levels. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and an MBA from the University of New Orleans. He helped open Harrah’s Casino & Hotel in New Orleans; then to St. Louis as Harrah’s Director of Food Operations. He also opened numerous fine dining restaurants for Harrah’s nationwide. Octavio returned to New Orleans to be reunited with his old friend Chef John Besh at The Besh Steakhouse at Harrah’s. Octavio joined John as a partner in The Besh Restaurant Group, combining his vast experience in restaurant operations with a passion for customer service. Since becoming John’s partner, the Besh Restaurant Group has expanded to include Lüke San Antonio, Borgne, and Pizza Domenica with Johnny Sanchez Baltimore and Johnny Sanchez New Orleans.

Direct download: 177_Octavio_Mantilla_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am EDT

In this episode we discuss: how success is something you choose; the significance of social intelligence; the "magic formula"; why the hiring process starts with self-awareness; Why it is important to know your values; the significance of knowing your audience; and value in trusting your gut.

Steenrod is a graduate of Clemson University, and got his professional career started as a manager working at Apple South Restauants, where he specialized in leading new restaurant openings and helped propel Applebee’s towards becoming the world’s largest casual dining chain.He would go on to work at Café Tu tu Tango, where he would become director of human resources.From Tu Tu Tango, Steenrod would go on to join Celebrity Cruises as Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations. Under Steenrod’s leadership, Celebrity’s culinary team was the first cruise line to be featured at the prestigious, historic James Beard House in New York City.For almost 2 year now, Steenrod had been the Vice President of Operations at The Garces Group where he oversees more than 1,150 hospitality professionals from a wealth of different backgrounds and cultures, working in 15 award-winning restaurants and bringing the celebrated cuisine of Chef Jose Garces to thousand upon thousands of guest.

Direct download: 176_scott_steenrod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:53pm EDT

In this episode we'll discuss: the satisfaction of witnessing positive guest experiences; how to manage multiple projects at once; the importance of getting people to buy into you and your vision; how to create trends instead of chasing trends; why its important to protect yourself with contracts; getting the initial capital to get started; and how body language can market your restaurant.

Charles, a Scotland native, got his start in the restaurant industry as a fry cook at Long John Silver. Throughout college and while studying for his bar exam, Charles worked in all parts of the restaurant and hospitality industry. Today, Charles owns and operates 4 Stout Burger and Beer locations, Bobby London, Gasser Lounge, Boomtown Brewery, Morrison and currently developing Trevous Tacos, Fred's Chicken and Biscuit, and Third Wave Coffee with Medda World Peace. Additionally, Charles consults on numerous restaurant and lounge projects throughout California and is recognized as one of the city’s leading experts on restaurant operations as well as licensing, permitting, and zoning of hospitality venues.

Direct download: 175_Charles_Lew.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss: taking a risk and pulling the trigger; being extremely competitive; how being the hardest working is more powerful than being the most talented worker; and the importance of having an insatiable desire to read and learn.

A native of Washington, D.C., Chef Craft became addicted to the restaurant life while living in Salt Lake City as a snowboard photographer. Chef Craft went on to cook at Bistro Toujours in Park City, Utah and Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, California as well as a stage at Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey before making the leap to open a restaurant of his own. In 2005 at the age of 25, Chef Craft started it all with Niche restaurant in St. Louis Missouri. Today The Niche Food Group includes Taste by Niche, Brasserie by Niche, Pastaria and opening soon Porano Pasta. Chef Craft’s creative yet simple food has earned him recognition as a Food & Wine Best New Chef, Inc. magazine’s “Star Entrepreneurs under 30” as well as this year’s James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Midwest.

Direct download: 174_Chef_Gerard_Craft_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:55pm EDT

What we'll be discussing in this episode: Building great teams, over delivering, taking risks, seeing the potential in something small, staying true to your brand, and organic marketing.

Eric has been a part of the restaurant and bar industry for 16 years. Born and raised in San Diego, he started bussing and waiting tables, then quickly moving behind the bar. Eric was a bartender at a few different clubs before settling in as a manager of the Tavern at the Beach. Soon after graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in communication, Eric knew he had found his niche. In 2003, after much hard work and determination, he formed a partnership with Mark Sarillo and Joe Vaught, who were the owners of Tavern at The Beach. Two years later, Verant Group was formed. Since then, the company's portfolio has expanded to include 7 locations in California and Arizona.

Direct download: 173_Eric_Lingenfelder.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm EDT

Never stop learning, stay driven and motivated, teach your team about the business and tap into their higher needs, and how to use photo with social media; just a few of the things we'll be discussing this in this episode.

In 2008, after years of gaining experience in the industry as a pastry chef, Summers Joined Lisa Carlson to open The Chef Shack; a food truck specializing in selling mini-donuts at farmers markets. The Chef Shack has since expanded to include multiple trucks, and two brick and motor locations, which include: Chef Shack Ranch; and Chef Shack Bay City. Chef shack has been featured by USA Today, Forbes Magazine, Saveur Magazine, Bon Appetit!

Direct download: 172_Carrie_Summer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT