Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Hailing from Wisconsin, Mark David Buley is graduate of The University of Wisconsin-Stout and the Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park. After his formal education Buley went to work at the Montagna Restaurant at the Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, where he met future business partners  Bryce Gilmore and Sam Hellman-Mass. In 2012, Buley joined past colleagues to Open The Odd Duck. In 2018, Buley and partners opened their most recent project Sour Duck Market, the teams first crack at fast-casual.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

"Your future depends on many things, but mostly you." 

In this episode with Mark Buley, we discuss: 

  • Understanding that life doesn't get easy, and that if you want to be successful you need to accept that, and then start crushing obstacles in your way. 
  • Why successful people in hospitality often did very poorly in school. 
  • The benefits from culinary school. 
  • Why you need to take risks before you're ready; you'll never be ready.   
  • Coming together with a common goal and vision. 
  • Keeping calm, cool, and setting the example for your team. 
  • Showing your team how much you care for them with your actions.   
  • Surrounding yourself with people who make up for your shortcomings. 
  • How the team for the Odd Duck came together.  
  • Working things like non-compete clauses into your partnership agreement. 
  • How to keep your team driven and motivated.  
  • How to approach someone in a non threatening way if you believe that are under motivated or underperforming. 
  • How to transition from focusing on one location to two locations. 
  • How important it is to have someone on your team on the pulse of your finances.

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  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    1. Curiosity
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    1. Attention span. 
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Find out if they're are a team player or not. 
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Finding way to keep his team motived and focused on the vision. 
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Always help the dishwasher. 
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Service extends beyond the guests and to your team. 
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • They don't take care of local farms. 
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
  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. Food and hospitality are always improved by care from the source.
    2. All great restaurants are a product of their place and time. Embrace it. 
    3. How you treat people is everything. 

Contact info:




Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Huge thanks to Mark Buley for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 591_Mark_Buley_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:32pm EDT