Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

After attending the Scottsdale Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Chef Justin Brunson Scored an internship with Chef Michael DiMaria at Michael’s at the Citadel. In 2004 Brunson made the move to Denver, CO where over the next 4 years he worked with key mentors Richard Sandoval, Frank Bonanno, and Alex Seidel.

In 2008 Brunson opened Masterpiece Delicatessen to rave reviews. The Delicatessen was followed by Old Major in 2013, which won numerous "best of" awards. These hits were followed with Culture Meat and Cheese in 2016, River Bear in 2011 and Royal Rooster in 2018 and the newest concept Folsom Foods in Boulder.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Just Go."

In this episode with Justin Brunson we will discuss:

  • Food halls
  • Growing up in a farming community
  • Respecting food
  • Agression
  • Learning respect
  • Enthusiasm vs. extremism
  • Communication is key
  • Don't be a hothead
  • Minimizing stress
  • Differences between family-owned and run vs. corporate chains
  • Testing the market
  • Trying things out before going all-in
  • Opening at ultra-low cost
  • Opening mistakes and how to avoid them
  • Opening new locations, closing them, and why
  • Offering health insurance to your staff and team
  • Be weary of partners
  • Getting burned by partners
  • Trust AND track
  • Be a caring boss

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Be good and kind to people
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Being too kind to people
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Worst work experience and how you handled it
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Finding good employees
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Clean your shoes
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Push hospitality to the max
  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?
    • Take take of themselves
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
    • Hire good IT people
  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?
    • Do what you say you're going to do - integrity
    • Don't be late
    • Make sure your knives are sharp

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 Justin Brunson for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 660_Justin_Brunson_COMP_mixdown_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15am EDT