Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

As a student at the University of Texas, Kyle Gorden developed a romance... with quesadillas. In 2006, At the age of 23, Kyle decided to pursue his dream to open his own restaurant-- not just any restaurant-- a quesadilla restaurant. He did what I would advise anyone to do; he sought out a mentor and employment with a high-performing restaurant team. For Kyle, the high-performing team was Raising Cane's. Kyle went on to spend 7 years with Raising Cane's before leaving to open his dream quesadilla restaurant, Dillas in 2013. Today, Dillas has scaled to 4 locations  and two additional locations on the horizon.

Check out Episode 513 with Paul Tuennerman as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out Contagious Culture by Anese Cavanaugh as mentioned in today's episode!

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Leap and the net will appear."

In today's episode with Kyle Gordon we will discuss:

  • Fear is the obstacle
  • Making quesadilla's the main course of a restaurant
  • Underserved markets
  • Intentionally seeking out a mentor
  • Everyone has ideas; it's not enough to have an idea; you must be able to execute
  • Interview best practices
  • Tough on standards, easy on people
  • Systems
  • Strong focus with complicated/elaborate menu items
  • Scaling
  • "Flow cooking"
  • Efficiency
  • Listening to customers to form your menu
  • Family investors
  • Opening struggles
  • "Phase training"
  • Fix your current problems before expansion
  • Stay humble

Today's sponsor:

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Enthusiasm, energy, great listener, genuine heart
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Procrastination
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Eye contact, smile
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Staffing
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Professionalism, integrity, language, maturity
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Attention to details
  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?
    • One-on-one's and operational audits
  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?
  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?
    • Be unconditionally happy
    • Happy them where they are
    • Invest your time; don't waste it

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 Kyle Gordon 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: Kyle_699_Dilla_mixdown.mp3a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:48pm EDT