Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Desk Jockeys, Michael Oxton, Mike O'mara and Rob Burns started home brewing in 2007. By 2012 Night Shift Brewing was an official licensed brewery with the mission to create and share a world class culture built around their passions. This belief influences everything from their branding, to their sales service, to their staffing, to their Taproom environment, to their processes on the production floor. 2 years and much increase in demand they made the move to their current 30,000 sq. ft. facility with they have a new restaurant space on the horizon.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.


"You need humility to see the word as it is, but audacity to imagine how it could be."


"Be a day one company, every day." -Amazon

In this episode with Michael Oxton and Rob Burns, we discuss: 

  • What Michael, Mike, and Rob were doing, before owning Night Shift Brewing.
  • How Rob starting brewing beer as a way to feed his hunger to create.
  • Why you should be questioning your path, especially if it feels like you're on the wrong one. The other option? Risk living a "grey life."
  • Finding partners that bring unique strengths to the table.
  • Starting where you can and finding unique ways to get feedback and create awareness about what you're doing. Michael, Mike, and Rob got starting brewing beer for parties they would host. The would use the parties as market research.
  • Doing the work yourself, so you can learn the work and create the systems. Once the systems are made and you know how your business operators, then start plugging more talented/better suited people into those roles.
  • Having a solid logo being key when developing your brand.
  • Getting creative with your labeling and doing things like promoting local business that have menu items which pair well with what you've created.
  • Tying your story into your brand.
  • The impact of being a quality driven brand.
  • Creating quality control systems, especially when you start product high quantity batches. Mistake can become very expensive.
  • Going to masters and mentors when you need help.
  • Being mindful of the current state of your company culture as well as being mindful of the individuals on your team who are having both positive and negative influences on your overall company culture.
  • The role transparency plays in a partnership. 

Resources mention

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    • Rob- positivity.
    • Michael-optimism.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Rob- Giving positive feedback
    • Michael- following in love with an idea and getting tunnel vision.
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Rob- Look for passion.
    • Michael- Look for humility. 
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Rob- Growing the business in a responsible way. 
    • Michael- Asking, "What's 2019 looks like?"
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Rob- Trust. 
    • Michael- Delivering a clear message. 
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?

    • Be approachable and accessible by educating your guest. 
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

  8. If there was one tool or resource that you wish you had now -- or wish you had when you were getting started--to learn from others in the industry what would it be?

  9. What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?

    • Rob-identifying weakness and hiring where you're strong. 
    • Michael- focus on customer problems. 
  10. If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?

    1. Rob
      1. Challenge the status quo.
      2. Follow your passions. 
      3. Love what you do.  
    2. Michael
      1. Cultivate a lifestyle that keeps you smiling and laughing.
      2. Stay focused.
      3. assume you're wrong more often than you're right.

Contact Info


Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Michael Oxton and Rob Burns for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: Michael_Oxton_Rob_Burns_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm EDT