Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Co-owners Roberto Espinosa and Eric Wilkerson both went to the University of Texas and met after Espinosa opened the original Tacodeli location in Austin, TX in 1999. Over the past twenty years, Tacodeli has expanded their menu while still making sure to source ingredients locally whenever possible. Founder Roberto Espinosa was born and raised in Mexico City and the menu shows these roots, from the ingredients, to the cooking techniques they use. They now have 11 locations with 6 in Austin, 4 in DFW and 1 in Houston.

Check out "Jolt - The Operations Platform for Any Business" as mentioned in today's episode!

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Don't just be the best at what you do, be the only who does what you do."

In today's episode with Eric Wilkerson we will discuss:

  • Important to enjoy what you do
  • It's about relationships and experience; not just food
  • Accountability is key in an owner/operator
  • Spanish/Mexican food restaurants
  • Learning about the industry before diving in
  • Starting small
  • Choosing a location
  • Going from consulting to opening/operating
  • Be close to the work and appreciate it
  • Getting your staff ready for expansion
  • Business models for expansion

Today's sponsor:

BentoBox empowers restaurants to own their presence, profits and relationships. The hospitality platform disrupts third-party services that come between the restaurant and the guest. BentoBox puts the restaurant first and offers tools that drive high-margin revenue directly through the restaurant’s website. BentoBox is trusted and loved by over 5,000 restaurants worldwide including Union Square Hospitality Group, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Lilia and more.

Restaurant365 is a cloud-based, all-in-one, restaurant-specific accounting and back-office platform that seamlessly integrates with POS systems, payroll providers, food and beverage vendors. It generates accurate real-time reporting and analysis in user-friendly dashboards, facilitating immediate, data-driven decision making. Restaurant365 eliminates manual, error-prone processes and is designed to help restaurant businesses grow with functionality that helps optimize labor costs, reduce food costs and increase revenue.

P&G ProfessionalTM offers innovative total foodservice solutions featuring trusted brands such as Dawn® Professional, Cascade® Professional, Spic and Span® and Comet®. We are unique in that our total solutions are founded in customer and patron understanding, superior products that help save time and cut overall costs, and a five-star service group that is compensated based on customer satisfaction, not commissions. Visit for the latest information about P&G Professional's solutions and services.


Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Give it our all, make people feel we truly care, gratitude
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Over-think, over-analyze
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Personality
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Responsibly growing their business, labor pressures
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Be yourself
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Development and cultivation of relationships with guests
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • See a macro-level perspective of our industry, be less reactive
  9. Name one service you've hired.
  10. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influenced operations?
    • Clipboard, physical clipboard with checklists
  11. 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?
    • If it was easy, everybody would be doing it (restaurant-specific)
    • If you're feeling stressed, take a step back, it's only a taco (restaurant-specific)
    • Stay humble (restaurant-specific)
    • Slow down and enjoy life (personal-specific)

Contact info:

Tacodeli website

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 Eric Wilkerson for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 697_Eric_Wilkerson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT