Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

In this episode with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, we discuss the inspiration for their eleven books, following your curiosity, common habits of successful chefs and restaurateurs, the significance of listening, how creativity is the #1 skill or strength people attribute their success to, how creativity leads to competitive advantage, the 3 stages to the creative process, the 5 inner senses that guide the best chefs, and how meditation, yoga, and reading impact the creative process.  

Karen Page along with husband, Andrew Dornenburg, are James Beard Award-winning authors of numerous culinary and restaurant industry themed books including Becoming a Chef, Culinary Artistry, Dining Out, Chef's Night Out, The New American Chef, What to Drink With What You Eat, The Flavor Bible, The Food Lover's Guide to Wine, and The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. This past year, Karen and Andrew published their latest book, Kitchen Creativity where they shine a light on the creative process. 

Direct download: 419_Karen_Page_Andrew_Dornenburg_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Kate Edwards, we discuss 1) The unaware customer service rep: folks in open kitchens who are now customer-facing and have to deliver some sort of customer service. 2) How being decent to your fellow man is more powerful and actionable than trying to be amazing. 3) #metoo in the restaurant business and how to handle being sexually... harassed. 

Throughout her 30 years in the service industry, Kate has learned first-hand how to manage high volume and high standards, as well as how to fix operations that were poorly managed or on their way out. With the mission to bring excellent service to patrons of the service industry, Kate launched her full-service hospitality consulting business in 2007. In addition to being an instructor and writing for many publications, Kate is the author of Hello: and Every Little Thing That Matters.

Direct download: 418_Kate_Edwards_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Jonathan Blakeslee, we discuss doing something better every day, being patient when waiting for good things to happen, how Blakeslee got his start, calmness, focus, presence, following your passion, selling your passion, starting where you can, scaling from wholesale to retail, choosing transformative relationships over transactional relationships, knowing who you are, focusing on who you are, letting your team weigh in on the decision making and creative processes, becoming a person of value, and using small business centers.

After serving in the United States Coast Gaurd, Jonathan Blakeslee fell in love with Japnese culture and tea. Upon finishing his service, Blakeslee attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregan, and would eventually find himself working at the Toa of Tea also located in Portland, OR. Homesickness slowly crept in, and Blakeslee moved bake to the east coast where he would start his own wholesale tea operation, White Heron. Today he has scaled that operation to include 40 seat cafe and White Herons own house-roasted organic coffee.

Direct download: 417_Jonathan_Blakeslee_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT


In this episode with repeat guest Anese Cavanaugh, we discuss how to create a positive holiday experience for yourself and those you love, how taking care of others starts with taking care of yourself, the 5 steps of intentional impact, how to close out the old year, and start the new year on the right foot. 

Anese Cavanaugh is devoted to helping people show up and bring their best selves to the table in order to create significant positive impact in their lives. She is the creator of the IEP or (Intentional Energetic Presence®) method, an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations around the world, and author of Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives 

Direct download: 416_Anese_Cavanaugh_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, Richard Celler dives deep into the topic of common wage violations. Specifically, how tip crediting works, why you need to track your employee's tips, qualifying factors of paying someone a tip credit, the amount of non-tip credit work your employees are allowed to do (20%), tip pooling, whos allowed to share in the tip a pool, and what you need to know about off the clock and pre/post shift work.   

Richard Celler is the Managing Partner of Richard Celler Legal, P.A.,  a/k/a the Florida Overtime Lawyer. Mr. Celler’s practice focuses on all areas of the employment context from discrimination, harassment, Title VII, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other employment-related statutes. Additionally, Mr. Celler represents individuals in whistleblower and wage and hour litigation.

Direct download: 415_Richard_Celler_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with guest, Mario Del Pero we discuss how you need to get better every day, starting with the core customer when opening a restaurant, being a student of the business, creating systems around "wow" experiences, owning your brand, finding a business partner that balances you, selling happy, scaling culture, recruiting/filtering the right people, coaching culture, creating process around R & D, and doing what you already do better. 

Mario Del Pero grew up in his family's meat processing business. He would go on to study International Relations at the University of Southern California and was on the path to becoming a career lawyer. Instead, he took a job at a Mexican grill where he started as a barback's back. He eventually became the Director of Operations. In 2005, Mario, along with wife, Ellen Chen, opened Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market in Southern California. 12 year later they've grown their business to 17 locations.

Direct download: 414_Mario_Del_Pero_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Roger Beaudoin, we discuss building your dream team staff, the three key elements of service, how to get your customers to be your best marketers, educating customers, informing customers, entertaining customers, using your "A" players to attract more "A" players, Using "A" players to bring up your "B" players, what types of questions you can ask during the interview process to get more "A" players, doing things for someone VS to someone, conditioning fun behavior into your staff, never asking your guest yes-no questions, giving your guest options, and providing the same level of quality with counter service as with full-service.

Roger Beaudoin’s 18 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry is backed with a business degree from Bryant College and an MBA from Babson College. He has headed four restaurant and hospitality operations in all. His most recent restaurant, The Matterhorn Ski Bar, a seasonal, 4-month restaurant and bar, which generated 1 million dollars in annual sales. Today, with all of his knowledge and experience at

Direct download: 413_roger_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In Today's episode, we're joined by repeat guest, Jennifer Desrosiers. Jennifer and I discuss controlling your focus and energy, hiring good people, putting good people in the right place, getting clear on your mission, writing your mission down, code of ethics VS core values, the transition from working on the business VS working in the business, implementation of a checklist, going from me to we, the mindset of "working with what you got.", knowing when to expand your business, the ripple effect, some tools and services Jen recommends, and making time in your life to recover.

Jennifer Desrosiers founded Laney & Lu in September 2015 inspired by her own journey to holistic health and wellness and commitment to living her soul's purpose. Jennifer wants to live in a world filled with french press coffee, luxurious car camping, and effortless handstands. As a holistic wellness and lifestyle coach, yoga teacher, and self-proclaimed real food junkie, Jennifer believes great health is a synergistic balance of a healthy diet, tons of self-love, passionate relationships, and powerful movement.

Direct download: 412_Jennifer_Desrosiers_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Chef Tim Boyd, we discuss what drew him to the industry, following passion not paychecks, not sacrificing quality, greatness attracting greatness, the dilution of passion with bigger operations, not letting your ego get the best of you, staying focused, having a balance of skill between FOH and BOH, being someones exit strategy, becoming a part of the community, having too many big egos under one roof, defining roles, getting sober, being the average of those you surround yourself with, and picking yourself up when you fall down. 

Chef Tim Boyd got his start at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After moving to South Florida and meeting his wife Lara, Tim’s resume went from Executive Chef to owner of the well-known Upper Crust.  Tim would go on to create Milk & Honey Cafe. Today Tim is the Executive Chef of The Mustard Seed Bistro with wife and owner Lara Boyd.

Direct download: 411_Tim_Boyd_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Mark Chase, we discuss where to start when deciding whether to lease or buy a restaurant, the pros, and cons of leasing and buying, things to consider when negotiating a lease, first right of refusal, leasing with option to buy, how to give yourself control if your leasing, vetting your landlord before signing a legal document, what to consider if using a consultant to find a location, zoning, parking, and licencing. 

Mark Chase is the President of Restaurant Real Estate Advisors. He specializes in providing site selection and real estate advice to restaurateurs. He works directly with growing brands and provides coaching, consulting and training to first-time restaurateurs. Mark is also the author of How to Open a Restaurant at a Great Location at a Great Price. Today we're here to discuss the ins and outs of leasing VS Buying a space for your restaurant. 

Direct download: 410_Mark_Chase_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Dan Margolis, we discuss why Dan fell in love with the industry, the importance of having a mentor, setting goals, humility, controlling your anger, recognizing your staff, the threat in redefining your brand too often, staying fresh, trusting your managers when transistioning to the role of Director of Operations, what to do when you get complacent, transitioning from DO to CEO, the responsibilites of a CEO, how to turn a struggling restaurant around, leveraging technology, leveraging data, and the importance of being a  mentor to someone else. 

Dan Margolis earned a Bachelors Degree in Hotel and Administration from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and an MBA from California Lutheran University. Over the past 11 years, Dan has held the title of Assistant GM, GM, and Director of Operations, for a number of restaurant groups. Today Dan holds serves as of CEO for  Brendan's Irish Pub & Restaurant in Ventura County California.


Direct download: 409_Dan_Margolis_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Sandra Arnerich we discuss, how she got her start in the industry, the power of surrounding yourself with the influence of great people, never accepting that your dream is not possible, discipline, getting everyone to believe in your culture, having fun at work, having your team established before your restaurant opens, the challenges Nick and Sandra went through in opening their first restaurant, determination, patience, hope,  the difficulties of having a scratch kitchen, having a common vision, the challenges of having your name tied to the french laundry, and how hard it was to be named the best restaurant in Oregon after just opening. 

Sandra Arnerich sharpened her teeth in some of the industries most well-known restaurants, Thomas Keller's, The French Laundry and Corey Lee's Benu. It was at The French Laundry where Sandra met her future husband Nick Arnerich, (episode 403). In 2013 discussion of opening their own restaurant began to reverberate. Shortly after Renata was born. Today Sandra and her husbands are the owner/operators of two restaurants with the addition of Figlia.

Direct download: 408_Sandra_Arnerich_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Sean McGrath, we'll shine a light on what should be considered when trying to get our products on retail shelves. What are the pros? What are the cons? We'll also be discussing the trends you should be aware and how you can take advantage of these trends. 

Sean McGrath holds a Food Science degree from Virginia Tech, and a Culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Sean managed the Sara Lee Culinary Department for 10 years and then started his own company after realizing there was a need for fellow chefs, restaurants, and food companies to extend their product lines.

Direct download: 407_Sean_Mcgrath_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Ouita Michel, we discuss how she got into the industry, cooking for people you know and love, the meaning of hospitality, manifesting destiny by letting your intentions be known, visioning your goals, creating a solid business plan, knowing your numbers, being financially stable, the impact of a great mission statement, not being so blinded by the numbers that you lose sight of the mission, Living your mission every day, when its time to call it quits on a concept thats not working, implenting systems, creating opportunity for your team, and openbook managemnt.

Growing up in both Louisiana and Kentucky, Chef Ouita Michel is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Wanting to cook food for those she knew and loved, combined with a desire to be more assessable, Ouita returned to Kentucky where she would start her career as a chef & restaurateur. Today, Ouita, alongside her husband, Chris, is the Chef-Owner of 7 restaurants located in and around Lexington, KY.

Direct download: 406_Ouita_Michel_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Gail Hopps-Page, we discuss getting out of your comfort zone, how gail got her start in the restaurant business, being the best you can be in any given moment, building on your experience if you have no formal culinary education, why people burn out in the restaurant industry, identifying key employees, investing in key employees, embracing food values, keeping it simple, not taking short cuts, always moving forward, teaching what you know, replacing yourself, regulations limiting small farmers, subsidies, certain etiquette when sourcing from local farms, and the importance of food culture. 

Gail Hobbs-Page spent 26 years as a professional cook, working in restaurants including Magnolia Grill and the Fearrington House, both in North Carolina, and Hamiltons’ at First & Main, in Charlottesville. Eventually, the restaurant business burned her out. Today Gail is the Owner, Farmer, and Cheesemaker at Carmont Farm located just outside of Charlottesville, NC.

Direct download: 405_Gail_Hobbs-page_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with James Eling, we discuss the death of facebook for business, discovering your unique selling proposition,  using your USP to create unique experiences/impact, Facebook live, and Facebook ads. 

James Eling is the Founder and Host of Secret Sauce: The Restaurant Marketing Podcast, where they discuss marketing ideas, strategies and tactics with restaurant marketing experts. In addition, James is the founder of where he helps restaurant owners master all things online.

Direct download: 404_James_eling__20171120T212513.655630_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm EDT

In this episode with Nick Arnerich, we discuss how he got into the industry, creating opportunity for those on your team, discipline, never stop believing, surrounding yourself with people that will encourage you to grow, humility, visioning, planning, learning the culture of a restaurant no matter how good you are, Nick's biggest lessons learned from Thomas Keller, the importance of knowing and breaking down the numbers, challendges of transitioning from a GM to a Direct of Ops, asking questions before jumping to conclusions, the benefits of starting as a pop-up, how to create an "impactful" restaurant, the challenges of running a scatch kitchen, the importance of hanging onto your "core" employees, supporting your community with your restaurant, and advice on openign a restaurnat with a significant other. 

Nick grew up in Portland, Oregon and spent most of his first years at his parent’s restaurant Delevan’s. Over the last 15 years, Nick has worked in some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country including The French Laundry. Most recently Nick was Director of Operations for the Delfina Restaurant Group in San Francisco. In 2013 Nick relocated to Portland to pursue his dream of owning his own restaurant, and the Renata was born. In addition to the Renata, Nick and his wife, Sandra, also own the Figlia.

Direct download: 403_Nick_Arnerich_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss how Chef Jeff Deloff got his start in the industry, why you need to follow your heart and "go for it", the importance of finding a mentor, hard work paying off, every role in a restaurant being critical, how being young, inexperienced, and hungry can hinder and help you, how to handle people, not taking a closing restaurant personally if you're a young executive chef, the impact of running a sustainable restaurant, emotional sustainability, knowing when you're wrong, and trusting in your employees.

Born and raised in Oswego, NY, Jeff Deloff,  at 16 Jeff took a job as a dishwasher and has never left the restaurant business.  He enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in 2005.  After graduating he worked in several restaurants in NY, the most recent as Executive Chef at Bistro 197 in Oswego.  In the fall of 2015, Jeff left for Charlottesville to take the position of Executive Chef at Threepenny Cafe.  Jeff is committed to developing relationships with area producers and to spearheading Threepenny's mission to source locally, sustainably, humanely and healthfully.


Direct download: 402_chef_Jeff_Deloff_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Seth Worby we discuss what makes Seth an authority on SEO and internet marketing, what SEO is, the 3 core things to focus on when increasing your search ranking, what effects the searchability of your website, what a "keyword" is, using "natural" or "organic" keywords within your website, getting "authoritative" sites to link to you, providing value instead of self-promoting with content on your website, how analytics play into SEO, making data drivin' decisions, the role social media plays on SEO, and the "cirlce of trust".

Backed by a decade of experience in the SEM and SEO fields, Seth Worby founded Champ Internet Solutions in March 2009. A pioneering SEO strategist and web marketer, Seth’s breadth of technical and business knowledge help drive results in terms of SEO, e-commerce, marketing and integrated solutions for Champ’s clients, including many prominent restaurants and bars in Boston, MA

Direct download: 401_seth_worby_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Chef Jason Alley, we discuss working for the best- even if it means taking a lower ranked or position, getting experience to find your voice, doing work that fulfils you, finding your business partner, the pros of leasing VS owning, benefits in hiring close friends, helping open other people's restaurants before opening your own, being undercapitalized, asking "what am I really doing?", paying attention to guest needs and requests, leaning on trust to extend your operation, sharing a vision, molding your employees into partners, how to stay humble, how to stay humble after failure 

It is said that Chef Jason Alley started cooking at the young age of 4. After a few short stink at Hardee's, a Quaker-owned orchard and country club, Chef Alley started to find his passion. Fast forward multiple Sous and Executive chef positions later, in early 2000's Chef met his Business partner Chris Chandler and by 2003 the pair were opening their first restaurant. Today, Alley is the chef/partner of 3 restaurants Comfort Pasture and Flora.

Direct download: 400_Jason_alley_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Salvador Sanchez and Allen Warford, we discuss saving and investing 10% of your income, visioning,  planning, location selection, being lean, starting where you can and scaling up, being people focused, leaning on your community to get started, staying honest and transparent, forgiveness, going from working IN to working ON your business, the hiring process, planning your work, managing your ego, selecting a partner, creating culture, and creating structure. 

Salvador Sanchez always wanted own his own business. So... he started saving and getting clarity on what that business would be. In 2013, After getting some experience in the world of coffee and cafes, Sanchez opened A Cup of Commonwealth. In 2016 Sanchez acquired magic bean roasters. At the end of 2016, Allen Warford joined the team as a partner and they have since expanded again with the opening of Chocolate Holler.

Direct download: 399_Salvador_and_Allen_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with restaurant marketing expert, Nick Fosberg we discuss if this is the death of Facebook for small business. Facebook is breaking up the newsfeed into two separate segments; public(what you, your friends and family see) and business (the posts you create on your business pages). If you want your business page posts to get seen, you'll have to "pay to play." Nick also takes us through how to get the most ROI from your social media marketing. 

Nick Fosberg has become a leading authority on restaurant and bar marketing and promotions. He has helped hundreds of bar owners all over the US and Canada take their business to the next level by applying radically different direct response marketing strategies.

Direct download: 398_Nick_fosberg_5_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08am EDT

In this episode with Michael and Heather Harrell, we discuss how Michael and Heather got there start in the industry, why they love the work they do, having a well balanced partnership, staying in your lane, having a daily regimen or routine, not losing the human element as you expand your business, working for a chain or franchise to learn operations, the transition from a corporate operation to mom and pop, where to get help with your business plan, testing your menu, never under-valuing your knowledge, treating everyone with respect (they could be your future investor), and much more!

Michael Heather Harrell got his start in the restaurant industry working in and opening Outback Steakhouses and Carraba's. As Carraba's grill started expanding and cutting corners, Michael began to lose interest and passion for the brand. The Harrell's decided to break out on their own and in 2014 they founded 11th and Bay Located in Columbus, GA.

Direct download: 397_Michael_and_Heather_harrell_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with David Fafara, we discuss keeping it simple stupid, giving back to the community, being a hustler, starting small and scaling up, giving before you get, continuous learning, doing one thing really well, educating your staff and guests, scaling a business, and being someone's exit strategy. 

Chicago native, David Fafara is a graduate of North Park and West Virginia where he focused on physical education and counseling. In 1993 Fafara started a small coffee roaster called Shenandoah Joe. Almost 25 years later, this little specialty coffee roaster has expanded to 4 locations and is a staple in the Charlottesville community.

Direct download: 396_Dave_Fafara_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we're joined by business, leadership, and culture consultant, Rudy Miick. We're discussing harassment- what it is, why you can't afford it, how to prevent it from happening, and what to do when it does happen. Also, we discuss how to make your restaurant a "safe space".

This is Rudy Miick's 3rd appearance on the show. Check out episode 181 and episode 358. Miick began working in the restaurant industry at the age of 15, was a partner of a restaurant by the age of 24, and has been consulting for the last 40 years. Miick’s work has pivoted to focus on successful start-ups, performance improvement, and the growth of restaurants, resorts, and other foodservice operations. You can learn more about Rudy at

Direct download: 395_Rudy_Miick_3_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18am EDT

In this episode with Jenée Libby we discuss, why she started her podcast (edacious), how to get out of your own head when starting a scary project, your brand as an extension of who you are,  using technology to bring people together and promote the truly talented and passionate people in our industry,  common threads and characteristics of successful food and beverage people, being generous with your knowledge, not focusing on money, focusing on becoming a person of value, how the Charlottesville community pulled together after the attacks, how to respond to hate, harassment in the workplace, and why you should consider hosting your own podcast.

Jenée Libby is a writer of food, fiction, travel, and essay. A struggling photographer, a frustrated novelist, and a lover of diner ephemera. She’s obsessed with vintage cookbooks and sells them in her Etsy shop, edacious (cook)booksellers. She’s written for C-Ville Weekly, the 2015 Virginia Travel Guide, and UNITE Virginia magazine, Her most recent passion is the Edacious Podcast. Edacious is all about getting people to stop talking ABOUT people in food and to get them talking WITH people in food in an attempt to create connection and strengthen Community.

Direct download: 394_Jenee_Libby_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm EDT

In this episode, we discuss how Chef Kyle Lee Mcknight got his start in the industry, why he does the work he does, when getting started- how cooking was a vehicle for travel, how cooking to make people change has changed his career, finding sobriety, how life changes once sobriety is found, being emotionally sound, developing emotional intelligence, how to deal with confrontation, training, culture, side hustling your passion, how to get a product to retail, growing and leveraging your network, and why buying food from friends is chef Mcknights mantra.

Chef McKnight got his start washing dishes for a par of Adidas. 25 years later he has made a name for himself as a premier chef in the south. He's won multiple accolades for his work and has been invited to cook at the James Beard House. Today he's the founder of Nena's Meats and Provisions and serves as Executive Chef at Full Steam Brewery.

Direct download: 393_Kyle_Mcknight_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT

In this episode we invite Bruce Irving back on the shout to answer some Listener questions. The questions answered: Should you let your Facebook followers know when it is not you who is responding on your business page... if it is not actually you reponding? Should you feel obligated to like and respond to guest comments and reviews? Should you allow reviews on your business page? Should we allow our guest to post on our business page? Do we need to claim our business on EVERY platform? Should we respond to reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Facebook? 

Bruce Irving is the marketing visionary behind and host of the weekly Smart Pizza Marketing podcast. On his podcasts, he interviews the leading minds of the pizza restaurant industry. Irving, a top marketing consultant and former pizzeria owner, also hosts PizzaTV’s Marketing Insights livestream program, which streams at 8 p.m. (ET) every Tuesday on Facebook. You can listen to his Smart Pizza Marketing podcast at In addition, Irving speaks at conferences about how to better use social media in your restaurant or small business

Direct download: 392_Bruce_Irving_Qs_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Howard Solomon, we discuss what made him fall in love with hospitality,  the impact of great culture in your business, the "all for one mentality", paying attention to the details, the importance of listening, what Solomon learned from Wolfgang Puck, trying things outside of your comfort zone, how to be a great listener, how empathy is the soul of listening, how to gain trust, how to empower your people

A graduate of the University of Iowa and Illinois State University, Solomon served Wolf Gang Puck as Director of Culinary Administration before starting his own Hospitality Consulting Firm, The Solomon Group. During this time Solomon was also an educator, teaching Restaurant Managementment at San Diego State University. Today, Soloman serves as Founder of Solomon 2.0 where his mission is to open the eyes of good leaders and give them a “great leader make-over.”


Direct download: 391howard_solomon_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

This is the second part of a two-part series! In part two, Chef Scott Crawford and I discuss why shutting the door on opportunity is sometimes the best way to open doors to more opportunities, building a reputation by doing the right things for the right reasons, why you need to pay it forward once you've "figured it out", Keeping it simple, not spending too much money, investing in your people, how to handle the negative energy of a nasty critic, what happens when you have your team's back, why chef has a chiropractor and masseuse come in for his staff once a month

Originally from PA, Chef Scott Crawford got his start in the industry as a server and bartender and would accidentally work his way into the kitchen. He built his career working in some of the finest luxury hotels around the nation earning 5 James Beard Semi-finalist awards in the process. In 2016 Chef Crawford open his first restaurant Crawford and Son located in Raleigh, NC.

Direct download: 390_Scott_Crawford2_20171012T152007.284084_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

This is the first of a two-part series! In part one Chef Scott Crawford and I discuss focusing on results, how Chef Crawford found his lane, how to find your passion, working for the best possible people, how to build relationships, giving before you get, what real commitment looks like, building reputations not resumes, blending life and work, how valuing the intangible in life gets you the tangible, the right way to enter a partnership, why you need to be principle in your business, the process for finding your right investors. 

Originally from PA, Chef Scott Crawford got his start in the industry as a server and bartender and would accidentally work his way into the kitchen. He built his career working in some of the finest luxury hotels around the nation earning 5 James Beard Semi-finalist awards in the process. In 2016 Chef Crawford open his first restaurant Crawford and Son located in Raleigh, NC.

Direct download: 389_Scott_Crawford_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Chef Marc Jacksina, we discuss what attracted Chef Jacksina to this industry, why you need to "remember where the fence is", why a clean workspace is more than just a clean workspace, paying attention to your numbers, how to go about making change, the value of incredible service, the customers need is acknowledgement, carving out your niche, how Chef Jacksina found his niche, how to know when you've found your niche, counting inventory, taking the thing you don't know and doing it, what percentage you should take as a partner, why making money is the restaurant business is about volume, being properly capitalized, making the initial leap into ownership, not buying into your own success, how there is a time an place for play and it's not at 5 pm on a Friday, why you need great PR and story, why getting respect from your peers is more important to getting respect from those who hand out rewards, and why the blame game never works. 

Hailing from NY, where he got his start running neighborhood trattorias, multi-unit corporate restaurants, and a five star Adirondack inn, Marc Jacksina relocated to Charlotte with his wife Lauren, and two sons, Lucas and Ian, in 2004. It was there, where he opened multiple Best New Restaurant award winners including Nan & Byron's, Halcyon, and Lulu. Chef Jacksina is now Executive Chef at Earl’s Grocery, an urban provisions larder and cafe serving inspired street food, grab and go dinners, and some of the city’s tastiest fried chicken. In addition, Marc hosts the online video series, OrderFire where he interviews leading culinarians, mixologists, restaurateurs, purveyors, and farmers to paint them in a more multidimensional light.

Direct download: 388_Marc_Jacksina_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Chef Charles Carroll, we discuss the power in building your team, the inspiration behind his new book, and we share "Chef's Seven Rules of Greatness". 

Chef Carroll is an award-winning chef who travels the world speaking on championship thinking and personal greatness. For his work with US troops abroad, he was personally commended by five U.S. presidents. Chef Carroll current serves as Executive Chef and Houstons Prestigious River Oaks country club.  Additionally, Chef Carroll is the Co-author of The Recipe: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Ingredients of Greatness

Direct download: 387_Chef_Charles_Carroll_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with guest, Pablo Fuentes we discuss how success starts with discipline, how to use your team to get inspiration for writing a good job post, the elements of a perfect job post, common mistakes to avoid when writing a job post and ultimately, how to write job posts that convert. Be sure to join us for the LIVE webinar on November 6th! 

Pablo is the Founder and CEO of Proven, a software company that helps small businesses hire.  He is also the host and producer of Small Business War Stories, a podcast where he drives thousands of miles around the country interviewing small business owners and operators and learning about their stories. Today Pablo is here to cover elements of a perfect job post and he'll also share some of the most common mistakes.
Direct download: 386_Pablo_Fuentes2_20171002T162331.991891_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, with Master Sommelier, Alex Lapratt, we discuss hiring those who are persistent about working for you, being positive and humble, knowing your stuff- if you don't know don't make it up, hard work making the difference between the successful and unsuccessful, surrounding yourself with the best, extreme attention to detail, making massive sacrifice to move your career forward, providing opportunity to your team, when you know to break out on your own, intricacies of selecting your partners, how to go from one to two locations, growing people before growing restaurants, and why you should buy instead of lease.

Growing up in Detroit, Alex's love for wine came at the young age of 19 years old. His passion for wine provided him with the opportunity to work in some of the finest restaurants the industry has to offer including Michael Mina, The French Laundry, Daniel, Atera, Le Bernardin, and Jean-Georges. Today Alex serves as the Principal and Beverage Director at Atrium DUMBO, and Beasts and Bottles located in Brooklyn, NY.

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

In this episode, we bring back past guest, Business Manager of Bar Mezzana, Jefferson Macklin, and business partner, Executive Chef, Colin Lynch. When Jefferson first came on the show (episode 228) he and his partners, Colin and Heather Lynch, were in the build-out stage of opening their restaurant, Bar Mezzana. Jefferson, Colin, and Heather all worked with the Barbara Lynch Gruppo, out of Boston, MA.  In 2015 they decided to break out and pave their own path. 

We discuss what Jefferson, Colin, and Heather did that made the opening go well, getting experts to take care of the details, how to resign gracefully when breaking out on your own, why this location stood out to Chef Lynch, how they raised the money, the importance of practicing your pitch, what being a servant leaders looks like during an opening, how to keep your team as motivated as they were on day one, removing those who bring the rest of your team down, the impact of having a tight partnership, sharing your financials with the team, and educating the guest on the cost of serving them right.  

At the Helm with a combined 30 years of experience in the hospitality business, Colin and Heather Lynch, along with Jefferson Macklin worked together at Barbara Lynch Gruppo for eight years before realizing their dream of opening a restaurant of their own. All three share a passion for creating an amazing dining experience rooted in exceptional hospitality. Most recently, Colin was the Executive Chef for Barbara Lynch Gruppo, while Jefferson served as the President and Chief Operating Officer. Today, Colin, Heather, and Jefferson are the Co-Owners of Bar Mezzana location in Boston's South End.

In this episode, we discuss what makes Erik Shellenberger an authority on the topic of marketing, and we cover the 5 areas you're most likely to find your next NEW customer: word-of-mouth, reviews, search engine optimization, social media, and others. We also discuss the power in paying for a mentor and spending money to make money. 

Erik Shellenberger is the founder of Bar Marketing Basics where he teaches bar and restaurant owners how to improve their online presence and bring in new customers.

Direct download: 383_Erik_Shellenberger_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

 In this episode with Donnie Madia, we discuss the power of collaboration, knowing your strengths, attracting onto yourself those who are strong where you're weak, taking the ideas of others and tweaking them to make them your own, no one person being greater than the whole, having a will to succeed, How Madia and his business partners got the money to start Blackbird, how to attract greatness onto yourself, What makes a successful partnership, the importance of finding the right real estate deal, opening restaurant close to each other, and the power of masterminding.

Chicago-born, Donnie Madia got his first lessons in hospitality by observing his mother and aunt caring for and serving guests in their home. It is said that Donnie has mastered the art of collaboration, and is gifted with the ability to see and connect talent. Today, Madia serves as co-founder of One Off Hospitality Group In Chicago IL and has received 5 James Beard Awards acknowledge his work.

Direct download: 382_Donnie_Madia_20170929T152538.079586_20170930T132824.171403_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss how Jen Pelka got her start in the industry, how you got to "fake it till you make it", how to create opportunity for yourself by creating positions, the power of side hustles, having great connections, networking, how to get people to like you,  summarizing your brand, picking one thing and being the best at it, focusing on what you're good at, surrounding yourself with those who are good at what you're bad at, using a cause to appeal to investors, hiring with the same vision, and using branded visuals.

After a decade of experience leading branded events, influencer marketing, content strategy, and media relations in-house at OpenTable, Gilt Taste, Tumblr, Chef Daniel Boulud's iconic Restaurant DANIEL,m Jen Pelka launched Magnum PR in 2015. This past January, Jen took all of her experience helping other restaurants succeed and put it into opening her own restaurant and champagne bar, The Riddler, located in San Francisco, CA.

Direct download: 381_Jen_Pelka_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Ian Boden, we discuss the power of gathering and sharing knowledge, how this industry is filled with misfits- which makes it awesome, why abusing your mind and body needs to be a way of the past, correcting processes not people, taking ownership of your people falling short, why Chef Boden needed time away from the kitchen, what brought Chef Boden back to the kitchen, why you need to learn the entire business before opening your restaurant, why Chef Boden's first restaurant failed, knowing the #'s, the importance of your reputation, getting everyone in your restaurant aligned, how to get your people to "drink the Kool-Aid", leading by example, the value of intent, doing what you say you're going to do, learning from your failures, doing market research, and how to set yourself up for financial success

Originating from Northern Virginia, Chef Ian Boden got his start at the early age of 13 working in a local French restaurant. He would continue his culinary education at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont before making his way to New York City, where he stayed until 2007. Back in his home state, Ian made a go at a number of ventures earning national acclaim and 2 James Beard Nomination for "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic" in the process. In 2013, Boden opened his community focused, casual dining restaurant The Shack, and has been crushing it ever since.

Direct download: 380_Ian_Boden_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am EDT

In this episode, how Jenny Peterson got her start as a baker, getting work experience before opening your own restaurant, learning what not to do from previous experiences, being a strategic/calculated risk taker, making it fun, honesty, values, trusting your gut, make the most of the slow time, scaling into your vision by taking it slow and steady, the impact colors have on your brand imaging, knowing your lane, asking "are you willing before making all decisions, checking your ego at the door, not correcting people; correcting processes, the impact of doing what you love, knowing and sharing your why.  

It all began with an Easy Bake Oven. From an early age, Jenny had her hand in whatever her mother was baking.  she graduated from the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, then interned in one of the most successful bakeries in Paris, “Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Lohezic.” Upon arriving back to Charlottesville, Jenny worked at the Boar's Head Inn, then soon after she continued to pursue her pastry dreams. Today she is the Chef-Owner of Paradox Pastry Cafe located in Charlottesville, VA. 

Direct download: 379_Jenny_Peterson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss the path Charles Bililies took to get to where he is today, the value of working both FOH and BOH to get the "big picture", how Charles landed a job for Thomas Keller straight out of college, creating your own luck,  getting out what you put in, the power of your network, lessons learned from Thomas Keller and Michael Mina, attention to detail, open book finances, creating a company of leaders, doing one thing and doing it well, why planning a restaurant is a full-time job, how Charles raised the money for Souvla, the importance of being scrappy, clarity in identity, doing few things really well, promoting from within, how to motivate your team, when you know it is time to scale, valueing your people, and promoting from within. 

Charles Bililies attended Johnson and Wales University and Cornell University where he studied Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. After finishing his formal education he continued to learn under restaurant masters such as Thomas Keller and Michael Mina. In 2014 Bililies opened Souvla- a fine-casual Greek restaurant and wine bar located in Originating in San Francisco, CA, which today has a total of 3 locations.

Direct download: 378_Charles_Bililies_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31am EDT


In this episode, we discuss how Kirk Kelewae got his start in hospitality, never-ending transitional moments, rewarding ambition, taking initiative, creating opportunities for yourself, creating a culture where people feel they can contribute and grow, why mentoring is a "two way street",  how to make special experiences, establishing trust with your guest, the transition to management, why being management means you have to work even harder, how to critique a best friend, the importance of opening yourself up to feedback, how to management managers, why you should never higher someone just to "fill a role" and transitioning from fine-dining to fast-casual.


Kirk Kelewae is a graduate of Cornell University where he studied Hospitality Administration and Management. In 2008 he joined the team at the Eleven Madison Park as a food runner, which lead to becoming Dining Room Manager, which lead to becoming service director, which eventually lead to becoming General Manager. In 2017 Eleven Madison Park earned the #1 spot on the San Pellegrino Worlds 50 Best Restaurants. Today, Kirk GM at Made Nice.

Direct download: 377_Kirk_Kelewae_20170922T143131.015204_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

In this episode, we discuss why you need to "make it exciting", how there is job security in hospitality, how turning your life around is as simple as making the choice to, showing up to work with enthusiasm, using enthusiastic energy lifts those around you, how doing the work opens up doors and creates opportunity, scaling into a high volume restaurant, why choosing the right partner can make all the difference, and why you need to make your operation foolproof.

While in high school, Chef Tristan Wraight got his start as a dishwasher at a bakery. He continued to work hard and climbed the ladder to become sous chef at Parson's Chicken & Fish in Chicago. Along the way, he had a few stints as touring Guitarist but eventually found his way back to the kitchen. At some point he found himself in Charlottesville, VA and in 2014 he opened Oakhart Social, which has since been one of the hottest spots in Charlottesville restaurant scene.

Direct download: 376_Tristan_Wraight_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss the Canlis family history, what mark has learned from his family history, highering people who inspire, the difference between being a "what" and a "who", The biggest lessons Mark learned working under Danny Meyer, how Mark almost got fired from Union Square Hospitality Group, how being honest and earnest saved his job,  the role humility plays, the importance of having a company mission, why it's worth putting other people first, a lesson on humility, giving others the benefit of the doubt, being empathetic, the true meaning of hospitality

hailing from Seattle, WA Mark Canlis is a graduate of Cornell University and served as a Captain in Air Force Special Operations. After his service, Marked helped open famed restaurateur Danny Meyer’s fifth restaurant, Blue Smoke, in Manhattan.He returned back to Seattle in 2003, as a 4th generation co-owner of the family restaurant, Canlis. Canlis is nationally acclaim as one of the finest restaurants in America.

Direct download: 375_Mark_Canlis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we're creating awareness about the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Program Developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Whether you're looking to become an apprentice or you're a practitioner looking for an apprentice, after listening you'll know where to start. 

Enlightening us about this new program, we're joined by John Shortt. Shortt is the Director Of Program Development at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and is heading the restaurant industry’s first Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Program.

Direct download: 374_John_Shortt_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:46pm EDT

In this episode, I'm going to solo and sharing the books I most often recommend to learn about systems, culture, finances and more.

People often ask me what books I have to suggest. So, in this episode, I'm sharing the biggest "aha moments" I've had since recording episode #1 along with the books I recommend to support said aha moments. Pretty straight forward, right?

Direct download: 373_What_I_know_to_be_true__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27am EDT

In this episode, we discuss the value of getting work experience before attending hospitality or culinary school, getting experience working for others before opening your own restaurant, the definition of service, how to motivate your staff, overcoming the fear of failure, showing your staff you care with family meal, training your staff to the change you want to see in the industry, developing your brand and concept, and how dedication to success can be both a strength and weakness. 

Originating from upstate New York, since the age of six, Chef Christopher Bates knew he wanted a career the Hospitality Industry. He would go onto attend Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in NY. Today Chef Bates is the Co- of FLX Hospitality Family which includes of FLX Table and FLX Wienery, and Element Winery, all three located in upstate NY.

Direct download: 372_Christopher_Bates_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss how a "chip on the shoulder" can serve you, working in the industry before opening your own restaurant, how a partnership can work, starting lean and bootstrapping, leveraging your network and community for help, having a presence in your community before opening a restaurant, how to get your team to "buy in", continually improving operations, how to implement a "hybrid system", The pros and cons of said hybrid system, knowing your destination and finding your own path to get there. 

In 2006 University of New Hampshire Graduates,--SaraTebbetts and Jack O'Sullivan--took over ownership of the Big Bean Cafe, located in Downtown Newmarket, NH. 11 years later The Big Bean is still going strong and racking in accolades like New Hampshire "best of" Awards. As of the past year O'sullivan has opened his second restaurant, the Oak House, and from what I can tell it seems to be going pretty well!


Direct download: 371_Jack_Osullivan_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT

In this episode, we discuss working with the best to become the best, profit sharing, how being small allows you to be unique, motivating and encouraging your people, being selective with who you allow on your team, having personal high-touch relationships with each of your guest, how your team is a reflection of who you are, and tieing good old fashioned manners and courtesy into your culture.

It was over a half century ago when founders Jack and Linda Williams got hitched and began their lifetime dedication to the food industry. Along the way, they helped develop the concept for a well-known steakhouse chain and built 34 restaurants in two decades, becoming their largest and most successful franchisee. In 1989 Jack and Linda Williams would open the first Richie's Diner established in Temecula, California. Today there are a total of 3 Richies Diners and it continues to be a family owned and operated concept.

Direct download: 370_Jack_Williams__20170831T132914.311122_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Alan Silverman hails from Brooklyn and has experienced a lifetime of loving and making a living from food. Alan comes from old school fine dining and has worked in some of the greatest restaurants in New York, Chicago, and LA. Today, Alan has settled in Seattle, where he serves as founder and CFO of Festivals, Inc.

In this episode we will discuss: Avoiding mediocrity. Innovation. You're going to have to prove yourself to certain people. Making connections with your customers. You have to impress EVERYONE who comes into your restaurant. Start small and expand slowly. You have to be on a mission to learn. As an owner you need to be physically involved in your kitchen and food service.

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

Gabriela Vilar is the Chef Owner of Quintana Restaurant, located in Curitiba, Brazil. Vilar has found a way to create a business around her passion of respecting the environment, art, culture, tradition, and food. She isn't only surviving, she's thriving going into her 9th year of business.

In this episode we will discuss: If you want to see change you need to enact change yourself. Finding your lane in the industry and sticking to it. The importance of serving others. Art, culture, traditions, food. Thew road that leads you to hospitality. Exhaustion in the restaurant industry. Seeing failures and successes that you learn from. The importance of educating your guests.

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

In this episode, we discuss the value of finding a mentor, creating system depending restaurants, putting great people in system dependent restaurants, staying lean when opening your first restaurant, being a good listener, living to serve others, and the meaning of hospitality. 

Kyle Itani spent most of his life around food being raised in a farming family. It wasn't until he was in college when trying to recreate what he was seeing on the food network channel, that he fell in love with cooking. Before long he would find his mentor, Showtaro Kamio and his interest in Japanese cuisine took off. Today He is the Chef/Owner of Hopscotch Restaurant,  Itani Ramen, and Thistle Meats- all of which are located in CA. 


Direct download: 367_Kyle_Itani_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Chef Trigg Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied English Literature. It was while in college he met his mentor,  Pei Jen Chang, who helped him develop his interest in Taiwanese food. Brown would go on to work for both the Crafted Hospitality and Starr Restaurants, where he further developed his skills. Today Brown is the Chef/Partner of Win Son, a Taiwanese American restaurant located in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

In this episode we will discuss: As a leader you need to do the right thing always. The importance of mentors. Finding the RIGHT mentor. Quiet leaders. Hold yourself to a high standard. Sacrifice your time, money, and energy to get what you want and need in this industry. You will get the knowledge you need from the great mind you surround yourself with. Partnerships. The importance of owning your property. Running a successful Kickstarter campaign. Attract good people with good systems.

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

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Craig Hartman spent 37 years building his career around fine dining, hotels and educating others. In 2010 he deiced it was time to change it up and made a go at fulfilling a lifelong dream to open a BBQ Joint. Today he serves as the chef owner of The BBQ Exchange, located in Gordonville, VA. In this episode we will discuss: Learning from your mistakes. Make yourself better each and every day. Never being satisfied. Being a chef means making people happy. The best path for successfully open a restaurant. Don't lease: buy. Building equity with the building you buy. Very few chefs can do whatever they want in their restaurants and still make enough people happy. Service is key. Partnerships. Being married to your partner. Tell the truth. Catering.

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

In this episode, we discuss why we need to show up each day to live intentionally. Then we show you how to show up using the IEP Method (Intentional Energetic Presence). 

Anese Cavanaugh is devoted to helping people show up and bring their best selves to the table in order to create significant positive impact in their lives. She is the creator of the IEP Method®, an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations around the world, and author of Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives

Direct download: 364_Anese_Cavanaugh_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Xavier (“X”) Mariezcurrena, aka Mr. FOH hospitality, and Chef Tony Aiazzi are restaurant dudes and longtime compatriots. Together they have over 32 years experience in hospitality and have worked under names such as Bobby Flay and Charlie Palmer. Today they serve as Co-Founders of ChouxBox, the industry's first web-based "point of purchase" service that helps everyone organize their paperwork, understand purchases, and save time.

In this episode we will discuss: Helping people. Partnerships. Don't try to do too much too fast. Blame yourself if your staff can't succeed. You need to able to see yourself married to your potential partners. The restaurant industry as less effort and more reward. Work-life balance. The importance of time management.

Direct download: 363_xavier_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Brett Schulman graduated from the Universtiy of Maryland College Park in 1995. He would go on to pursue a career in finance as an equity trader. After losing his passion for finance, Brett changed paths to help his wife run Snikiddy Snacks- a natural snack food company-as their COO. Brett found a new passion - changing the way people think about eating, the way they are eating, and their accessibility to fresh food. Not too long after, he discovered the full-service restaurant, Cava Mezzay. Fast forward almost a decade and Brett serves as CEO of Cava, which includes not only the full-service Cava Messay but also their rapidly growing fast format version of Cava Mezzay, and the line of consumer packaged goods.

In this episode we will discuss: Making a big change in your career. Feeling unfulfilled in your work and how to adjust that. Passion is the key to success in your work. If you're not happy, it's up to you to change your life/situation. making BIG transitions. Grocery industry vs. restaurant industry. Numbers. Marketing. Staying true to who you are during growth. CULTURE! Keep it simple. Labor costs. Real-estate. Maintaining culture during expansion.

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

In this episode, we discuss why online reviews matter more today than ever before, The biggest mistakes restaurant owner make when it comes to online reviews, when the best times are to ask for a review, and the 5 step process to handling online reviews.

Matt Hayman is a digital marketing expert based in the UK with over 8 years experience in Search Engine Optimisation and Paid Traffic. He's the founder of and helps businesses large and small grow by harnessing the power of customer reviews.

Direct download: 361_Matt_Hayman_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Chef Brooks Tanner Studied at Cornell University. Brooks is known for his underlining team building abilities and fiscal awareness. His passion is building concrete infrastructures to support high-quality services and educate those on how to waste less, be sustainable and eat well while financially building for their future. Today Chef Tanners serves as Executive Chef at Rockhill located in Cherry Hill, NJ.

In this episode we will discuss: You have to expect the unexpected in the kitchen. Going from the dishwasher to the manager/owner. The value of mentors. You need to just "jump in" to learn the most. You need to create the change you want to see. If you don't fail you're not growing. Create a strong support group around you and what you do. Tanner can't stress the importance of forming lasting social relationships with people in your industry. BIG emphasis on CULTURE. Foster the good in your staff and they will become amazing workings and great people. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. 

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

Raised in Simsbury, CT, Jeff Lizotte is a Cornell graduate whose culinary résumé includes experience at David Bouley's Danube and Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin in New York City. During two years in France, he worked for Bordeaux's La Tupina and the Michelin-starred La Bastide St. Antoine in Grasse. This past year Chef Jeff Lizotte was a semifinalist nomini for James Beard Best Chef Northeast for his work as the Executive Chef and Partner at Present Company, CT

In this episode we will discuss: It's OK to make mistakes. Culinary theory. Competitive spirit in the kitchen. Starting very young in the restaurant industry. Getting started in the restaurant industry in the heart of NYC. Doing your best to keep your staff happy and stress-free. Learning the culinary arts in France. The importance of mentoring with the right people. Stamina in the kitchen.

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

Want access to my network of consultants? Email or direct message me your Q's and I'll get an expert on the show to answer them! or @ericcacciatore 

I've never claimed to have all the answer, but after 350 + interviews I guarantee you I know someone who does know the answer to your question. This episode is the first of many to come, where I lean on my network of experts to answer listener questions.

Today, Rudy Miick, who first joined me in episode 181 is back to be the question answer-er. Miick began working in the restaurant industry at the age of 15, was a partner of a restaurant by the age of 24, and has been consulting for the last 40 years. Miick’s work has pivoted to focus on successful start-ups, performance improvement, and the growth of restaurants, resorts, and other foodservice operations. You can learn more about rudy at 

Direct download: 358_Rudy_Miick_QA_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Bryan Gibb is the founder of Bolt Coffee Co. Over 4 years ago Bolt Coffee Co. carved out a niche by starting as a mobile coffee catering cart which focused on weddings and other events. They have since scaled into their first brick and mortar location at The Dean Hotel in Providence, RI. Bolt Coffee Co. is A COFFEE COMPANY SEEKING TO CREATE MEANINGFUL IMPACT IN THE PLACE they find themselves. They BELIEVE THAT GOOD COFFEE IS BEST ENJOYED WITH FRIENDS.

In this episode we will discuss: COFFEE. Bringing people together around a cup of coffee. Coffee catering. Moving from having a boss to being your boss. Start small and grow. Starting a restaurant with minimal capital. Growing while maintaining culture. Recognize what makes you special and retain it. Changing the normal interactions in the hospitality industry. Using body language to sell coffee. Changing the way you're greeted at a coffee shop. Defying expectations!

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

Today we're sitting at the Paddle Inn, Josh Childs, Beau Sturm, and Suzi Maitland's newest restaurant, located in Newburyport, MA. In addition to the Paddle Inn, the restaurant group also operates Trina's Starlite Lounge, Parlor Sports, and Audubon. This Restaurant Group is most well known for craft cocktails and high-quality comfort food.

In this episode we will discuss: The power of good partnerships. Collaboration! Find your lane and stay in it. Atmosphere can be more impactful than food. Make the effort to take the next step. Going out of your way to make guests happy. Bartending culture. Opening on a shoestring budget. You HAVE TO believe in your restaurant to make it a success. Neighborhood bars.

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

Michael Krupp is an eclectic, impassioned businessman with a proven history of pushing Boston’s restaurant and retail boundaries, he co-owns and oversees business development at Area Four’s three locations including an Arcade plus a mobile wood fire catering business. He tackled the Area Four project with the same unrelenting drive to set trends that he has carried throughout his career.

In this episode we will discuss: Boston pizza! Getting ahead in this business because people like what you do. Do ONE THING really well in your business! Opening a restaurant in the middle of a economic depression. Partnerships and how to best navigate them. Let the product ride the success, not the other way around. Evolution is a good thing! Know your lane and stay in it. Quality of product. You need sufficient capital to start a restaurant and sustain it. Reinvesting in your company. Surround yourself with the right people. Find mentors and learn everything you can from them! 

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


In this episode we discuss: How experience helps you find your niche and clarity in your "why". Giving at least one year to each job you take. Building relationships and loyalty among other professionals. How to know when you're ready to go all in on opening your own restaurant. Having the right partner. The reality that things will get hard and when times do get hard, you need to take care of yourself, first. H0w establishing culture can help you transition from working in your business to working on your business. 

What started as a romantic pizza dinner on the floor of a college dorm room in RI, has blossemed into a what is probably one of the best known pizza and hamburger joints in NY City, Pizza Loves Emily. 3 years later they have a total of three locations: Emily Brooklyn, Emmy Squared, and most recently Emily West Village. They've garnered ton attention and have been featured in media outlets such as Vogue, Thrillist, Grub Street, and Travel and Leisure to name of a few.

Direct download: 354_Matt_and_Emily__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

It was in Boston, MA where David Kennedy got his start in the restaurant industry, as a part-time bartending while working towards his MBA. Today, David is the founder of The Holy Grail, located in Epping, NH, which has been nominated as NH's #1 Irish Pub 7 years running.

In this episode we will discuss: Making guests feel special. The host and the dishwasher are the most important part of your restaurant. The importance of saying good-bye and thank you when guests leave. Make guests and team members feel like they matter. Turn your restaurant into a learning experience for your staff. The importance of passion. Looking for the perfect location for your concept. The importance of researching the market that you're trying to break into. Start small. Proper promotion. Creating a really creative loyalty program.

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

To Nandu's FREE "GET BACK YOUR TIME COURSE" --> (limited time) 

To Nandu's "Profit Accelerator Master Course" --->

Nandku Awatramani (Nandu) is back on the show for the 2nd time consecutively. We just interviewed him yesterday, but we ran out of time. There was still something we didn't get to discuss; why time management is the first step to taking back your restaurant and life. 

In this episode, Nandu teaches us WHY you need a STRATEGY to get back time in your life. It is not enough to just delegate, you need a proven system.  

Here is the link to the course Nandu created that teach you the same exact strategy he used to regain time in his life. HE'S GIVING IT TO YOU FOR FREE!

Direct download: 352_Nandkumar_Awatramani__2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Nandu is a third generation Hospitality Entrepreneur with 18 years in the hospitality industry. He is based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA and helps restaurateurs and other F&B business owners make more money, get their time back, and grow their businesses beyond what they could have thought was possible.

In this episode we will discuss: reach out and find the right education. Improving revenues by working less. Taking over managing a restaurant unexpectedly. Daily meetings with your staff are essential. Take a minute to say hello and ask how each member of your staff is doing every day. Cultural challenges. Learning another language on the job! Show your employees that you appreciate them. Bringing Italian food to India. Imprint your drive and passion on your employees. Bad business and how to avoid it. Making pizzas for a movie theater! High volume in a small space. Branding and messaging is so important! Knowing when to go for professional help and when not to. Growing your company. Learning to be strategic. Have a plan! Systems, processes, and procedures. Step outside the box. Getting the people who like your restaurant to come back more often rather than only trying to attract new customers. Leading a balanced life of profits and happiness. Hard work is important BUT SO IS SMART WORK!

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

David Mazur is considered the renaissance man of hospitality. I have had the pleasure of interacting with him as a hospitality professor, general manager, and mentor. His career has spanned over 25 years in hotels restaurants, clubs, consulting and coaching. He has been involved in a half-dozen startups and continues to grow his success.

In this episode we will discuss: Teaching business in a college setting. Bartending in New England. Experience equals knowledge. The REAL YOU is not the FACEBOOK YOU! Communicating with the consumer. The conception of Restaurant Unstoppable. The importance of mentors in any aspect off life. Putting yourself out there and the benefits it earns you. Money will come with skills. Don't do it for the money. Restaurant consultancy.

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

Chef Johnny Ray Zone, an LA native, has worked professionally under some of the best chefs in the world, including Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Mat Sue He Sa. In 2014, during a stage at Sean Brock’s Husk in Nashville, TN, a local chef introduced Johnny to Nashville Hot Chicken. It was instantaneous love. It is safe to say in the years to follow, Chef Johnny has dedicated is life to mastering the perfect piece of hot fried chicken. You can find his chicken at Howlin' Ray's Nashville Hot Chicken, located in Los Angeles, CA.

In this episode we will discuss: Striving for perfection. Hiring customers. The decision to go or not go to culinary school. Mentors in the restaurant industry. The different mindset of someone leaving culinary school with massive debt. The cost of training an employee. Integrity in the restaurant industry. Transitioning from food truck to restaurant. Do one thing well instead of many things well enough. Making guests happy (and encouraging them to come back) is more important than watching the numbers.

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

A native of Detroit Michigan, Chef Kate Williams studied Food Science at Michigan State University and would later transfer to the French Culinary Institute in NYC. Kate has served under Wolfgang Puck as Sous Chef, and served Detroit's Republic Tavern as Executive Chef. She's received the title of "Top Chef" Detroit and Eater Detroit "Chef of the Year - Semi-finalist." This summer Kate is opening Lady of the House which has already stirred up talk including Eater National's "Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings 2017" and Tasting Table's "Most Anticipated Opening 2017."

In this episode we will discuss: Creating a restaurant that emulates your guests dining room. Questioning why you got yourself into the restaurant industry. Making your restaurant more like a home dining room. Serving a community that you love. Finding the "right money" for investment in your restaurant. Creating a business plan for your restaurant concept. Molding your business to serve its surroundings. Making guests feel special.

Direct download: Untitled_Session_1_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

The idea for The Holy Donut grew out of a craving. Leigh Kellis wanted a donut made with fresh ingredients that she could feel good about eating. Since she couldn’t find what she was looking for, she decided to create it herself. Thus, The Holy Donut was born in 2011. Six years later Leigh has scaled The Holy Donut from an apartment kitchen wholesale shop to a 3 locations operation with 80 employees.

In this episode we will discuss: creating what you think is missing in your community. The anti-Dunkin' Donuts come to life. Everything's better with potatoes. Making donuts with potatoes. Starting a business with no overhead. The importance of testing the market BEFORE you sink too much money into your idea. Taking the risk of quitting your job to devote yourself to your idea. Welcoming change while staying true to your mission. Take your time before you grow and expand. Working with family. Spreading happiness through food and drink. Food as more than calories to keep you alive.

Direct download: 347_Leigh_Kellis_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In 2004, Moses Sabina joined his brother, Alec, and they embarked on a gastronomic tour, eating their way across America’s finest diners, barbecue fests, soul food joints, and fish frys.  Their goal was to learn how a good neighborhood restaurant becomes a food institution. Today, Moses and his brother have spent the past decade practicing what they've learned  with their restaurant, Hot Suppa, located in Portland, ME.

In this episode we will discuss: Always trying to make things better for guests and employees. Running a "neighborhood restaurant." The desire to work for the independent restaurants. Independent v. Corporate company mentality. People-dependant businesses v. Systems-dependant businesses. Working with family. Owning real estate is important for building equity. Taking the time to establish your concept before you put its in motion. The importance of choosing the right market for your concept. Not having financial room for error can help you take your time in establishing a business. You need to be at your restaurant, especially in the beginning. Finding your life-balence. Making people happy through hospitality everyday.

Direct download: 346_Moses_Sabina_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In 2008, After traveling the world learning how to brew and distil alcohol, Eric Michaud, opened Novare Res Bier Cafe, which has nestled itself comfortably on multiple national best beer bar list. In 2013 Eric Opened Liquid Riots Bottle Company to satisfy his need to create. Their spirits have been winning awards ever since. Today, Liquid Riots Bottle Company consist of a Brewery, Distillery, and Rest0-Bar.

In this episode, we talk about living to embrace the work we do, following your passion and living intentionally from an early age, what Eric learned about hospitality from living with Buddhist Monks, learning the business on someone else's dollar, treating the business you work in like you own it, the steps Eric took in opening his first bar, how to take initiative, listening to the advice of your future customers and the locals when opening a restaurant or bar, the impact of being a hands-on owner who teaches his/her staff first hand, leading by example, stepping back and trusting your people, sharing your business's equity with your best employees, and how being interesting can help you attract great people. 


Direct download: 345_Eric_Michaud_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In 1994 Mary Allen Lindemann and Allen Spear opened their first Coffee By Design coffeehouse in Portland, Maine. 23 years later, what started as a humble coffeehouse with a part-time barista has grown into a sustainable business that currently employs 60 individuals in its 5 coffeehouses and its sustainably sourced roastery. Their growth is attributed to their fantastic employees, exceptional coffee, and strong underlying belief that what we do can make a difference.

In this episode we discuss: Doing what is right for YOU! Community. How do you define success? Making sure your job is right for you. Proving your doubters wrong. Choosing the right market for your concept. What it means to truly be an entrepreneur. How politics can come into play when opening a business. Honoring your mistakes. Staying true to who you are. Slow growth. Good communication with your team. Doing good for your community and getting your name out there in other ways. Don't be afraid to be you. Knowing your numbers.

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

Originally from Malden, MA Chef TJ LaRosa is a two-time transplant. He first moved to San Francisco where he got his start working in the kitchen of the historic Alioto's at Fisherman's Wharf. In 1998 he would relocate again, this time to Texas. In 2012 he opened Fulbelli's Restaurant, located in Sherman, Texas.

In this episode we discuss: the joy of taking on a challenge. The importance of mentors. The importance of asking questions. Patience in the kitchen. The importance of being a hands-on owner. Passion in the industry. Saying yes to customers. Pitching restaurant ideas to get investor interest. Taking a leap of faith. The importance of saving money. Word-of-mouth marketing. Lead by example.


Direct download: 343_TJ_LaRosa_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Tommaso Bunker has over 20 years of outstanding experience in operations, finance, human resources, marketing, & Corporate Officer-level management for both stable & turn-around corporations and independents. During his tenure as Director of Operations at Sushi Ran, the restaurant earned a Michelin Star. He would then go on to share his knowledge by helping restaurant operators turn things in their own business around. Today he is the Director of Business Development of Mr. Esspresso located in Oakland, CA.

In this episode we will discuss: There's always a solution, you just have to find it. Taking the initiative and where that gets you. Getting involved with your team as much as possible. The business side of running a restaurant. Working in a vast array of restaurant styles and what you learn from that. Staying calm in stressful situations. The importance of mentors. Sympathy. Empathy. Culture-clashing in the kitchen. Conflict resolution. Repetition and communication are keys to success. Discipline. A smile costs nothing but means a lot. Being willing to learn.

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

Chris Schultz spent 15 years with the Starbucks Management and Leadership team before joininging MOD Pizza, aka the MOD Squad in 2009. Since then the MOD Pizza has gone from 1 location to 100 locations in 2016. Since the beginning the driving force behind MOD has their philosophy of putting their people first. Today Schultz holds the title of Senior Vice President of Operations.

In this episode we will discuss: Team importance. Everyone on your team is equally important to getting the job done: no star players. Not worrying about who gets the credit and just focusing on getting the job done. You have to believe in your team. Culture-driven organizations. Failure is not an option. Growing big while remaining small. Move slowly. Make sure you have the confidence to go being before you try to grow. The customers need to want to go back to your restaurant. Customers need to feel comfortable. Being a part of a company that stands for more than just profits. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Direct download: 341_chris_schultz_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Tracy Chang is from Cambridge, MA where she first experienced the restaurant industry while observing her Grandmother, a multi-unit restaurant owner. She would go on to study finance at Boston College. After college and a short stint in a kitchen, she would continue on to travel the world learning about food, marketing, media, and public relations. Today, Tracy is the Chef, Owner at PAGU, in Cambridge, MA.

In this episode we discuss: Living intentionally. Drive and determination and where it gets you. The early days of opening a restaurant. Being passionate about what you do for work. The importance of learning how every job is done properly under your management. Being self-made. Informal training is not a deal-breaker; we can learn the skills we need from anywhere. A willingness to do anything to get what you want. The willingness to contribute fully to your team. Looking at your situation and attempting to add value. The importance of family in your life no matter your profession. Serve your community and your community will serve you. Ramen. Starting small and scaling up. Staying local. You need to care and be intentional. Thew importance of having endurance in this industry. This is a "people" business as much as a "restaurant" business. The importance of treating your staff like family.

Direct download: 340_Tracy_Chang_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Chef Edward Mendoza comes from Augusta, GA and has a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Agusta State and a Culinary Degree he earned in Vail, CO. He would go on to cook all around the country and world and has garnered countless accolades along the way. Today he is the owner of Cucina 503 and serves as corporate chef at major events like the Masters, U.S. Open, Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, and the Salt Lake City Olympics.

In this episode we discuss: Tweaking the system to make it your own. Looking at cooking in a restaurant as hosting a party every single night. For every one dollar you spend, you need to make three dollars to make that dollar back. Standards are very important. Your partners can't follow your vision if you don't clearly lay it out for you. How to operate when failure is not an option. Location and dependable events near your restaurant are guaranteed money made and guests served. The importance of earning a good reputation in your community. The importance of being prepared. The importance and ease of having a payroll company. There's no room for error in catering. There is no such thing as being too prepared for a catering event.

Direct download: Untitled_Sessio339_Edward_Mendoza_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Lisandra Pagan is the founder of Deliberate Plan Consulting LLC. She helps restaurant owners prepare for business interruptions such as natural events, day to day crisis, or anything that can prevent them from doing their job. Then she helps develop strategies to bounce back quickly and prevent permanent business closures.

RJ Joyce, is a past guest of Restaurant Unstoppable, episode 299. In 2015 he partnered with James Woodhouse to open his second restaurant Louie’s, located in Portsmouth, NH. Two months ago they were forced to close indefinitely.

In this episode we discuss: The importance of planning. Planning for a catastrophe at your business. Planning for a fire in your building. The emotional response to tragedy. The strength of keeping things positive in the face of disaster. No matter how loved and successful your business is nobody is natural disaster-proof. Picking yourself up after tragedy. Planning during peace time. Contingency planning. Time is of the essence in disaster response. How insurance comes into play.

Direct download: 338_Lisandra_Pagan_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Originating from Boston MA area, Debi Saltzberg holds a degree in hotel and restaurant management from UMass Amherst and has spent the last 15 years working in the San Diego restaurant industry. Today, she is the founder and host of Just Forking Around: The podcast show for Restaurateurs, Creative Chefs, Kick-Ass Servers, Wicked Cool Winemakers, Fresh Farmers and frankly, anyone who plays a pivotal part in this beautifully insane sexy world of Food and Beverage.

In this episode we discuss: Perspective and how it determines your outlook on what's positive. The importance of your team! The feeling of making your guests happy. The choice to move from bartender to manager. Wanting to be part of a team. Picking yourself up when you fall down. The important part of failing is the recovery. Viewing your restaurant in the "macro." The desire to be the best! The feeling of being worthy of rewards. Hard work and what it earns you. Being a mentor. The joy of inspiring your employees. LEADERSHIP! The importance of looking up. Your employees want to be great so it's YOUR JOB to foster that. Don't freak out; find the solution! Filling your mind with positivity through podcasts.

Direct download: 337_Debi_Saltzberg_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss: The power of journaling. The power of positivity. Setting the stage at your restaurant. The history of food. The importance of having goals. the importance of mentors. Living intentionally! The importance of time management. Time delegation. Time-blocking. The nitty-gritty of opening a restaurant. Making sure your restaurant concept is good for it's geographical location. Making your brand known. getting your name out there with pre-opening marketing! Operating a business "lean." Do the research to get the best prices and quality. Negotiating with vendors. Increase your bottom line without just increasing prices for guests. Budgeting your work employee Labor management. Track your data. 

Rafe is an exceptional leader with more than 20 years in the restaurant business. With outstanding relationship building, training and presentation skills, Rafe is a results-orientated business professional with proven abilities in strategic planning, managing projects, improving the efficiency of operations and team building. With both Sommelier and Cicerone certifications, Rafe is a vital asset to the Puccini Group, where he serves as Vice President of Restaurant Operations.

Direct download: 336_Rafe_Gabel_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Hailing from India, Chef Jehangir Mehta is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating in the mid-90’s Chef Mehta got busy working in and opening some of the finest restaurants in New York City. Today Chef Mehta is an author and restaurateur at Graffiti, Graffiti Earth, and Me and You.

In this episode we discuss: Not following the crowd. Sustainability. Sociology and how it applies to the restaurant environment. The right way to speak to guests. The importance of working under difficult managers early in your career.Taking something positive from bad experiences. The importance of maintaining integrity. The importance of teaching our youth the process of cooking and where their food comes from. The most important part of your endeavors is that you tried. The importance of carefully choosing your team! Mentors are key to success. Learn from your mentor’s mistakes so that you don’t have to make them. Sustainability and how easy it is to improve in your business.


Direct download: 335_Jehangir_Mehta_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss: Focusing on and enjoying the work you do, living purpose and intention, surrounding yourself with people who are better than you, the evolution of a good manager, treating others the way you would want your children to be treated, how to build a team, the importance of good communication, making yourself obsolete, storytelling, adding more to the world than you take out, and not being afraid to ask for help. 

Hailing from Montana, Chuck Samuelson is a high school dropout turned award-winning chef and restaurateur. In 2004 he sold his restaurant, the Bird Rock Café, to head food services for Stone Brewery. Today he is the Founder and President of Kitchens For Good, a social enterprise that is designed to break the cycles of food waste, poverty, and hunger in the San Diego community.

Direct download: Chuck_Samuelson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm EDT

In this episode we discuss: Food as a central aspect of life. The science of food. The emotional response to food. The importance of choosing the proper location for your dream restaurant. Why do fancy restaurants have white table clothes? Anything is possible as long as it obeys the laws of physics. The struggles of building a restaurant. Bars should work like restaurants. Fixing inefficiency. The business side of owning and operating a restaurant. 

After graduating with a degree in philosophy and a successful 10-year stint as an independent derivatives trader, Nick Kokonas partnered with Chef Grant Achatz to open Alinea Restaurant in 2005. In the 123 years to follow, Nick would go on to co-find Next, The Aviary, and Roisters. In addition, Kokonas is the Founder and CEO of Tock, a cloud-based comprehensive booking system for restaurants, events, and pop-ups around the world.

Direct download: finalized_NK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

Restaurant Unstoppable's first every LIVE episode! In this episode, we discuss what to do after you've accomplished what you set out to do, needing a symbiotic relationship with landlords, how to sell the dream to your investors, focusing on doing a few things really well, why opening a restaurant is an equation, attracting the right talent, why sharing the profit upfront pays in the long run, starting small and scaling up, the benefits of operating a fast-casual vs a full-service restaurant, and how to maintain your essence as you grow.

We first had Chef Matthew Gaudet on the show over 2 years ago! That was episode 106. In that episode, we found out how Chef Gaudet came to be the chef and partner of one Boston's most well know restaurants, The West Bridge.

Much has changed since then! Today, Chef Gaudet is a Partner at the fast-casual Superfine Food, located at Manchester by Sea, The Chef at Freepoint Hotel, plus he has numerous other projects in the works.

Direct download: 332_Chef_Gaudet_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss why we live in a world dominated by a disengaged workforce, how to find your passion, why branding should be a reflection of culture, why there is a shift in people choosing to work for purpose over profit, how your passion comes from finding your purpose, the age of manipulation and decent coming to an end, how to create your product once you've found your purpose, and using story to deliver your brand. 

Adam Fridman is a seasoned entrepreneur who enjoys the challenges and excitement of startup companies. He founded AdvisorTV, a Chicago-based advice and mentorship community for entrepreneurs, and Mabbly, a digital marketing agency. In addition, Adam is a contributor at Inc. Magazine where he writes on topics related to storytelling from a place of purpose.

Direct download: 331_Adam_fridman_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss what can happen once you understand your job as a restaurant owner is to make it about everyone BUT yourself, why you should view neighboring restaurants as comrades; not competitors, knowing your strengths, finding the right partner to offset your weaknesses, staying in your lane, the power of masterminding,

The name, La Finca Chiquita- or The Little Farmhouse- has been a part of Oscar Cavazos's life since childhood, as it was the name of the family restaurant his parents opened decades prior in Gilmer, TX. Today, Along with his wife, Ashley, Oscar is the Owner and Operator of La Finca Chiquita in Allen, TX. The restaurant has become a staple in the community, and it is safe to say Oscar's making his parents proud.

I met Oscar through the mastermind I'm hosting. I've just been so impressed with who Oscar is as a person. He shows up to every meeting with such positivity, He always hits his goals. He even lost 30 pounds last month! I just really like Oscar and felt the need to make an example of him. When I asked Oscar to join me as a guest on the podcast he said, "Eric, are you sure you want to dilute the quality of your guest?" HA! Oh yeah. He's also humble. 

Direct download: 330_Oscas_Cavazos_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss growing your company by distributing loyalty and allegiance to your team, providing feedback to your team members, why you should have  scorecard for all your managers and team members, how success comes from hiring good people then developing them into amazing coaches and leaders, surrounding yourself with specialist, why servant leaders make the best managers, why bad experiences can be learning opportunities too, the power of thinking outside the box and diversify your business, the role of market research during expansion, the benefits of the entrepreneurial approach VS the corporate approach, why fast-casual is the way of the future, and the benefits of fast-casual to an operator.

With over approximately 40 years of experience in hospitality, Bill Post got his humbles start at Levy Restaurants back in 1978. Today and multiple businesses later, Bill is the founder and CEO of WJP Restaurant Group a multi-dimensional restaurant company with locations scattered about the country and Founder of WJPost Restaurant Advisors, offering consultancy to forward-thinking owners and entrepreneurs of small to medium sized restaurant companies.

Direct download: 329_Bill_Post_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, Nick Fosberg reveals new marketing strategies that are bringing him and his clients the highest ROI out of any marketing strategies they've used. Discover how they are using the e-mail address to NOT e-mail them, but connect with their customers in other platforms for pennies on the dollar and how they get them back in the door. Nick also reveals why he's giving away over $3,000 worth of new training that will help you take 10 hours a week off your plate and allow you to put automated new customer and existing customer marketing systems in place to keep sales coming in, even during traditionally slow times.

Nick Fosberg has become a leading authority on restaurant and bar marketing and promotions. He has helped hundreds of bar owners all over the US and Canada take their business to the next level by applying radically different direct response marketing strategies.

Direct download: 328_Nick_Fosberg_Direct_Response_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss: how to scale from a dinner club to a brick and mortar operation, why they chose Tock to handle reservations with their dinner club, treating growth like a marathon, why you should invest in system and culture training before you open your restaurant, implementing bottom line change, managing work-life balance, and being clear about expectations.

Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski are the chef partners behind Honey Butter Fried Chicken located in Chicago, IL. What started as a Sunday Night Dinner Club has evolved into something truly amazing. Since 2013, Honey Butter Fried Chicken has believed in awesome ingredients, stellar service, and strong community, They also believe that you should feel good about your food—where it comes from, how it’s prepared, how it is served and by whom.

Direct download: 327_Joshual_Kulp__Christine_Cikowski_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:57am EDT

In this episode, we'll discuss: Marketing. Great food is not the only way to make money and be successful in the restaurant industry. Direct marketing. Direct response marketing. Small business marketing. Highly-targeted marketing. Royalty Rewards. Cost-effective marketing. You need to have a birthday club! The most important thing is a good online presence. Making it easy and encouraging to have customers leave positive reviews online. Constantly be in contact with your customers about incentives to come be your guest. The importance of taking action.

Direct download: 326_Rory_Fatt_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31am EDT

In this episode we discuss, being sincere, creating impacting relationships with both guest & team members, being genuine & authentic to yourself, starting small & scaling up, and getting experience before opening your own restaurant.

Originally from the Northeast, Michael Pazdon started sinking his teeth into the hospitality industry after moving to New York City in 1999. It was his time in NYC when he fell in love with food and drink. After 11 years in New York, he moved to Napa Valley and ended up staying there for over 5 years. Around 2015, it was time to head back home to the Northeast where today, Michael is the Founder and Mixologist of the Wallingford Dram in Kittery, ME.

Direct download: 325_Michael_Pazdon_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am EDT

An Arkansas native coming from a family of incredibly rich and interesting food-related history, Scott McGehee trained at the California Culinary Academy and cut his teeth at Chez Panisse working under Alice Waters for many years. Today Scott is a rabid advocate of treating people and contemporaries in the industry with absolute kindness, dignity, and respect. He exercises this advocacy as Executive Chef/Partner at Yellow Rocket Concepts, a Little Rock restaurant partnership, which is known as Central Arkansas's culinary juggernaut.
In this episode we discuss: Never giving up. If you want something you need to chase it. You need to be consistently positive. learn to communicate effectively. Utilize the path of least resistance to get things done. Lift struggling coworkers up, don't put them down for their mistakes. Paying your dues in the kitchen to learn and become better. Cooking is about more than food. Food is about human relationships, not just sustenance and taste. Be calm and kind. Baby steps are key to expansion. If you're not improving and growing every day, you're dying.If you don't know something just ask. You should be continually reinventing your restaurant.
Direct download: Scott_McGehee_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss: Customer service IS THE BOTTOM LINE! Learning how to gain skills with face-to-face interactions. Transformative relationships. Training your staff. How do people learn and how do we successfully implement tactics for learning. When a restaurant closes it affects a large community, not just the owners. Being supportive of your co-workers even beyond work-related issues. Must succeed in your personal life to succeed in your professional life. Don't go to work just for the paycheck. Your training tactics should be flexible to the kind of learning your staff is more apt to succeed at. All problems in a restaurant start at the top. Managers shouldn't just be putting out fires but preventing them. Bringing people up to your level will empower them and you. Make yourself better to make others better. Don't just accept mediocrity. Keep moving forward.

Andrew Carlson is a restaurant consultant and coach with focused knowledge on personal growth, leadership, training, customers service and social media marketing and he writes on these topics at . As of recently, he is also an author and just published his first book Customer Service is the Bottom Line.

Direct download: 323_Andrew_Carlson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss: surrounding yourself with people who want to make a difference in the world, who aren't just out to benefit themselves. Hard work and believing in yourself pays off. Providing employees with metro cards to get to and from work. at the end of the day if you don't support your community your community won't support you. being a "people person" helps in this industry. Have someone to hold you accountable because you need someone to push you and guide you when you need it. You can't teach hospitality. Increasing staff productivity. Believing in the core values of the company you work for. There is a place out there for you but it will take an effort to find it. Don't tackle a problem right away; be patient and formulate a plan first. Service and hospitality are completely different things. You should want your co-workers to move on and do better things if they want it. If you screw something up just fix it! Don't expect people to come to your restaurant just because you open the doors.

Patrick Patterson has always been drawn to people and their stories. After a stint documenting Texas Death Row for publications such as Playboy, Patterson's career took a different path, restaurants. Patterson, who as a kid, had standard rolls of washing dishes, cleaning spuds, bussing tables, and getting fired for eating croutons and dressing in the walk-in cooler! In 2008, Patterson landed on the steps of the Food Fight Restaurant Group in Madison, WI where he quickly rose from part-time bartender to first time GM & owner. In 2015, Patterson and his family relocated to the NH Seacoast. Today, Patterson is the GM of Block Six, the restaurant at 3S Artspace, a local arts non-profit in Portsmouth.

Direct download: 322_Patrick_Patterson__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss the importance of human resources, the core of HR being genuinely caring, why there isn't a problem with finding good people but instead it is a problem with good people finding good employment, going beyond transactional relationships to transformative relationships, and living a life that is true and transparent. 

As a human resource professional with more than 15 years’ experience, Carrie has dedicated her entire career to helping restaurant owners and operators navigate the complexities of HR policy. For more than a decade, Carrie served as the Director of Human Resources for Potbelly Sandwich Works where she was a key player in the ten-year expansion of Potbelly, which included growing the chain from three restaurants in one market to more than 200 restaurants in ten markets. With her success at Potbelly Sandwich Works, she founded Restaurant HR Group in 2010.

Direct download: 321_Carrie_Luxem_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm EDT

In this episode, we discuss: treating your restaurant job like you own it, open-book management, not just showing up to work to fill a role but being proactive in helping the business grow and be more successful. Lead by example, be able to do what you ask others to do. Treat the business as if it was your own. Dreams are just dreams until you put them into action. Internal growth-spurt. Every day you come to work you should be learning something. Create a mission statement that is ingrained with your personal values and your communities values. Servant leadership. Mentor not manager. Better to make one thing that are incredible and beautiful than it is to make ten things that are mediocre.  Your biggest strength flows into and feeds your greatest weakness.

Dimitri is the founder and Owner Dimo's exists as a for-profit hospitality organization that champions unity, development, and justice for our guests, our team and our communities in order to lead the charge in creating a positive, long-lasting impact.

Direct download: 320_Dimitris_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT