Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Hailing from Virginia, just outside Washington DC, Mike Rypka got his start in the restaurant industry as a fry cook at Popeyes. He found his passion for cooking during his time working at a country club in Springfield, VA. From there he attended Johnson and Wales University in North Miami, FL. This experience earned him a place with Marriott, which took him to CA, and eventually TX, where he worked in corporate settings until he left the corporate scene for Chuy's in the mid-2000s.

Two years later, at the age of 32, it was time for Rypka to do his own thing. In 2006 Torchy's was born. 14 years later Mike serves Torchy's as Founder and Chairman and the brand has scaled to 17 locations in the Austin Metroplex area and over 75 locations in all.

Check out The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey as mentioned in today's episode.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

"The Devil is in the details."

In today's episode with Mike Rypka we will discuss:

  • The details and why they're important
  • Why you should move on from a restaurant after 2 years
  • Working in different areas of hospitality
  • Letting your team be a part of the creative process
  • Gamifying work
  • Giving your people room to be creative and add value to your organization
  • How much better the culture is when the owners are fewer places removed from the bottom of the heigherarchy
  • Do something unique to stand out
  • Guerilla marketing give lots of food away- get it in their mouth
  • Know your lane and trusting others who are strong where you're weak
  • Ego - get rid of it
  • Catering for Disney and MTV

Today's sponsor:

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MarginEdge is completely free for new customers until September. No setup fees. No integration fees. No commitment. Take your back office paperwork down to 2-3 minutes a day while creating real-time financial views to inform your path ahead.

QuickBooks for Restaurants a Bookkeeping and Accounting Guide. The back-office restaurant accounting guide you’ve been searching for! Zac covers the accounting fundamentals, including sales tracking, purchasing, bill paying, invoicing, managing day-to-day liabilities, gift certificate tracking, cash management, detailed reporting, and more. Ultimately, Zac show owners and operators how to create the accurate financials and reporting that will enable them to make better informed, data-driven decisions.

Zachary Weiner Quickbooks for Restaurants Ad


Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Tenacity
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Impatience
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • "If I could drive to El Paso and back with the person and not want to throw them out of the car I think I could work with them on a daily basis."
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Maintaining the integrity of the brand
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Respect, honor, integrity
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Treat customers like family
  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?
    • Don't focus enough on the food
  9. Name one service you've hired.
    • T3 for marketing
  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?
    • Treat people with respect
    • Be the best you can be
    • Follow your dreams and your passion

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 Mike Rypka for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 728_Mike_Rypka_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT