Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

As a descendant of restaurant operators Stacey Poon-Kinney caught the restaurant bug early. After 8 years of managing a restaurant chain, Stacey and her father took over Megan's Cafe in 2007. After a successful 2 year run, Stacey decided to rebrand to The Trails Eatery and expanded the restaurant footprint to twice the size, but her success was followed by near-total failure in 2011. On the edge of losing total hope, Stacey reached out to the Food Network and Robert Irvine's Restaurant Impossible for help and the rest is history.

Check out Episode 641 with Greg Scheinman as mentioned in today's episode!

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "The magic is in the details."

In today's episode with Stacey Poon-Kinney we will discuss:

  • Growing up in kitchens
  • Connection through food
  • The value of money and hard work
  • Valuable lessons learned at big franchises
  • Volume hides everything
  • Mentors
  • When it is and is not appropriate to flip out on your team
  • Structure in the kitchen
  • Being pregnant in a managerial role in the kitchen
  • Taking over an existing restaurant
  • Get tax records if you're taking over restaurants
  • Butts in seats earns money
  • Regulars are key to success
  • Always look for a lesson in bad situations
  • Community is no longer spacial
  • Applying to Restaurant Impossible for help and what that's like
  • The importance of insurance
  • Water damage and how to deal with it
  • Dealing with a break-in
  • Fear is a great motivator
  • POS customer service

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Communications
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Communication
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Kindness, consideration, a sense of humor
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Time Management
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Vintage hospitality
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Challenge staff to remember three new names of customers
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. Name one service you've hired.
    • Way Front marketing in San Diego
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls 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?
    • Live from your heart
    • Ask questions
    • Say thank you

Contact info:


Instagram personal: @spkcooks

Instagram business: @thetrailseatery

Facebook: @TheTrailsEatery

Twitter: @TheTrailsEatery

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 Stacey Poon-Kinney for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


Restaurant Unstoppable is a free podcast. One of the ways I'm able to make it free is by earning a commission when sharing certain products with you. I've made it a core value to only share tools, resources, and services my guest mentors have recommend, first. If you're finding value in my podcast, please use my links!
Direct download: 678_Stacey_Poon-Kinney_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT