Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

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