Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Born and raised in New Orleans, Michael Gulotta began cooking in local restaurants at a young age. After graduating from the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, he joined the newly opened Restaurant August, where he was named Chef de Cuisine in 2007 and led the award-winning kitchen for 6 years. In 2014 Michael opened Mopho to rave reviews and accolades. Today, Michael has scaled the operation to include Maypop and a second Mopho located in the new Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

Check out The Last Days of Haute Cuisine by Patric Kuh as mentioned in today's episode.

Check out The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food by Ben Hewitt 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.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Please and thank you restaurants."

In today's episode with Michael Gulotta we will discuss:

  • Respect and disrespect
  • The importance of saying please and thank you even when the situation is stressful
  • Knowing you wanted to be a chef at 8 years old
  • There are too many restaurants
  • Restaurants with awards on the walls and unable to pay the bills
  • People expect high quality for less money - it isn't sustainable for the provider
  • Cooking in Italy and Germany
  • The right way to scale
  • Employees-first culture
  • Investors/partners
  • Getting your staff to take ownership
  • Building a great team - it takes time
  • The unique challenges of NOLA restaurants
  • Crippling stress and learning how to deal with it

Today's sponsor:

Toast - A POS built for restaurants by restaurant people Adapt fast with Toast's cloud-based restaurant POS system that updates to evolve your POS along with changing industry trends and guest expectations. Toast is built exclusively for restaurants of all shapes and sizes, with over 2/3 of our employees having restaurant experience to serve you better. Online Ordering - Let guests easily order directly from your restaurant for pickup or contactless delivery to keep revenue flowing during these uncertain times. Toast Delivery Services Dispatch local drivers through an on-demand network to keep your community fed and revenue coming in.


Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Bull-headedness
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Bull-headedness
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • The ability to hold a conversation. "I need to talk to my staff."
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • "Figure out what I still have and maintain it moving forward."
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Please and thank you
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Always put bullets in our staffs' guns, always have their back, especially if they've been with us for a long time.
  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?
    • Bigger is not better
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influenced 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?
    • Take the time to stop and look at your business and see how everyone within is operating
    • Make time for yourself
    • Be ok with the fact that to provide fully for your staff you will need to make sacrifices

Contact info:

Mopho Instagram: @mophonola

Personal Instagram: @michaelgulotta

Mopho 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 Michael Gulotta for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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Direct download: 732_Michael_Gulotta_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:04pm EDT