Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

A product of Chicago, IL, Joe Fontana gave up his cush office lifestyle to pursue his passion for hospitality and food. At the time, this specific passion was meatballs. So he started where he could, selling meatballs at a farmers market, which lead to a Kickstarter campaign to support his brick and mortar. The meatball thing didn't work out, but it created opportunities, specifically, an opportunity for Fry The Coop.

Check out previous episode 425 with Joe Fontana as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out It's My Company Too!: How Entangled Companies Move beyond Employee Engagement for Remarkable Results by Kenneth R. Thompson, Ramon L. Benedetto, Thomas J. Walter, and Molly Meyer as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out Clockwork: Design Your Business to Run Itself by Mike Michalowicz as mentioned in today's episode!

Check out episode 422 with Juliette Gust about Ethics Suite as mentioned in today's episode.

Check out Toast POS as mentioned in today's episode!

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • “Small daily improvements lead to huge advancements.”

In today's episode with Joe Fontana we will discuss:

  • Maintaining you culture vision
  • Importance of being in the building as the leader to maintain culture
  • Quick slogans and phrases repeated in the kitchen help your staff stay on course
  • Give your staff a solid aiming point
  • When your staff decides to have a fight club in your restaurant
  • The pros and cons of hiring groups of friends
  • Do you need a publicist? Probably
  • The benefits of a soft opening
  • Becoming a neighborhood staple
  • Direct mail marketing
  • Getting your brand on TV, local or national
  • The challenges of scaling from 1 to 2 locations
  • Opening in a food hall
  • Do ONE THING really well
  • Keep your menu small if you can
  • Major benefits of a food hall
  • Marketing
  • Bad experiences are learning experiences
  • Gossip in the restaurant; how do we deal with it?
  • Delivery apps
  • COVID-19

Today's sponsor:

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.


Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Persistence
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Procrastination
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Ask about their parents
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Keeping the culture consistent in four different locations
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • If you van't talk while you work, you can't talk
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Always say 'goodbye' to 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?
    • Make things too complicated
  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 influence operations?
    • Jolt - task list for your team
  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?
    • God is number one
    • Surround yourself with good people
    • Have goals and dreams and work towards something

Contact info:


Social media: @frythecoop


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 Joe Fontana for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 715_Joe_Fontana_2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT