Hailing from Hong Kong, food has always been at the center of Lucas Sin's life. Since the age of 16, Sin has been running kitchens and pop ups. Sin even founded a pop up organization, YPOPUP, while attending Yale University. After graduation Chef Sin spearheaded launching Junzi Kitchen, located in New York city. Three years later the concept has grown to 3 locations. Sin's mission with Junzi is to show the America that Northern Chinese food is some of the best food in the world, if not THE best.
Favorite success quote or mantra:
"The only way you're going to learn how to exist and survive in the restaurant industry is to figure out what you want to learn, who you're going to learn it from, and whether they're the best in the world. Then ask them, "Can I learn X form you?" If they so no, asked the second best."
In This Episode with Lucas Sin, we discuss:
- Sin's mission to open Chinese restaurants in order to spread culture and share stories.
- How Sin opened his first restaurant at the age of 16 in Hong Kong.
- When you're getting started, "Just do it!" Start where you can, as small as you can.
- The Story behind YPOPUP.
- The benefits of getting your start with Pop-ups.
- How if you just focus on doing something great, and accomplish doing something great, people will naturally talk about you.
- Opening a restaurant in the city you know and love the most.
- Your odds of becoming successful increasing if you focus on doing one thing better than everyone else. Become a specialist.
- If you have no experience, and you want to learn how to run a restaurant, become a franchisee; the franchisor teach you.
- Why it makes sense to build scalability into your original concept if scaling is ultimately what you want to do. Build big framework into your small business, i.e. replaceable food, HR, Marketing, clear brand.
- Having a mission that people with money want to get behind.
- If your restaurant is serving food that has an ethnicity which differs from those who are serving it (example: Caucasians serving Northern Chinese food) then you'll need to create really solid systems and training to keep that food consistent and authentic.
- The benefits of hosting collaborative Pop-ups with other chefs and restaurateurs.
- How to approach someone, with a larger following than your own, to do a collaborative pop-up event.
- What data to pay attention to when determining your next location.
- The strategy and reasoning of opening restaurants on or near college campuses.
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- Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
- Making sure the employees in his restaurants are as happy as they can be.
- Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
- What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
- Assume everyone in your restaurant is confused. It will force you to go the extra step in service.
- What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
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- 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?
- What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
- Took more risk with cuisine.
- What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
- 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?
- Kindness and empathy.
- Don't knock high heat cooking.
- Chinese food is pretty good.
Thanks for listening!
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Huge thanks to Lucas Sin for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!
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