Hailing from Amesbury, MA, Jeffrey Fournier got his start in the restaurant industry working in Los Angeles, CA. Fournier would return to Massachusetts where he would spend 8 years working under Lydia Shire in her Boston restaurants before he took the role of Executive Chef for the Metropolitan Club. In January, 2007, Fournier opened his first independent restaurant, 51 Lincoln in Newton, MA. where he got multiple "best chef" nods. Fournier's second location, Waban Kitchen came in 2013. In 2015, In a search for better quality of life, Fournier moved his family to Jackson, NH where he opened Thompson House Eatery.
Favorite success quote or mantra:
"Fine is not good enough"
In this episode with Chef Jeffrey Fournier, we discuss:
- Why "fine" is not good enough and what is good enough is 100% effort.
- How as you evolve and grow you learn that success comes from not putting the focus on yourself as the chef, but instead, putting the focus on the team. Thats when the magic really happens.
- How chasing accolades and riches is not a healthy way to go about business as a restaurateur. The more money you make and accolades you earn, will not effect your happiness.
- What Chef Fournier learned from the brigade system.
- Being super intentional about the next job you take. Do your home work. Only work for the best. You will become the average of those you work for.
- Cultivating a team with layers of talent.
- What "deep hospitality" looks like: Selflessness.
- Aligning your personal brand with other successful brands in the industry to garner the attention of investors.
- Establishing non negotiable terms and conditions with your investors.
- Having a "what's next mentality" instead of getting caught up in your achievements.
- The challenges of being a chef with BOH experience opening a restaurant with no FOH representation.
- Doing what makes you happy. Otherwise, it is just not worth it.
- If you don't like working in this industry, it's not worth staying in it.
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- Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
- Attention to detail.
- What is your biggest weakness?
- Taking things too personally.
- What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- Ask, "What do you want out of this."
- look for someone who wants to create something bigger than them self.
- What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
- Sourcing good ingredients.
- Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
- What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
- There are no customers. There are only guests.
- 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?
- Don't worry about your name being in the paper; just worry about taking care of your people.
- What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
- 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?
- Have fun or enjoy yourself.
- Push yourself to do your best; even when you're tired.
- take time to recharge and gain perspective.
Thanks for listening!
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Huge thanks to Chef Jeffrey Fournier for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!
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