Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Kate McGrath originates from Newfields, NH, and is a graduate from the University of New Hampshire where she majored in Liberal Arts, Political Science, and Communications. In 2003 she joined the Jumpin' Jays Fish Cafe team as a host and eventually became GM. In 2016 she partnered Jay McSharry (the "Jay" from Jumpin Jay's) and Andrew Wilson to open The Rail Penny Tavern.  In 2020 The Rail Penny Tavern was recognized by NH magazine as one of the best overall dining experiences in NH. 

Check out Resy 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:

  • "Take your chance."

In today's episode with Kate McGrath we will discuss:

  • Take chances
  • Where do you wan to be in the future and what are you willing to do to get there?
  • Work ethic
  • Kitchen work provides work everywhere in the world
  • Travel
  • Motivated by money when you’re young
  • Stepping up professionalism
  • Working at a restaurant is like throwing a party
  • The host position and its importance
  • Hosts are unappreciated and underused during most services
  • Wine as a language
  • Pooling tips?
  • Making regulars
  • Pivoting during COVID-19
  • “Aha” moments
  • Giving up the responsibilities to move on to more
  • Investments and what’s right for you
  • Money management/time management
  • Markting
  • Opening challenges
  • Staffing challenges
  • Shift your messages based on the team members you are working with, not everyone is the same
  • Ditching intolerance with age
  • Training
  • The restaurant industry has its own language and you need to learn it and teach it
  • Challenges of creating regulars
  • Knowing what the guest needs before they know what they need
  • Constant growth and betterment
  • Tracking growth

Today's sponsor:

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7shifts is a modern labor management platform, designed by restaurateurs, for restaurateurs. Effectively labor management is more important than ever to ensure profitability and restaurant success. Trusted by over 400,000 restaurant professionals, 7shifts gives you the tools you need to streamline labor operations, communicate with your team, and retain your talent. Best of all 7shifts integrates with the POS and Payroll systems you already use and trust (like Toast!) turning labor into a competitive advantage for your business. Restaurant Unstoppable members get 3 months, absolutely free.

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?
    • Hard work
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • "I'm Irish so I hold a grudge."
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Why are you here?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Besides COVID-19, staffing
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Calm on the service but busy underneath
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Cleanliness of tables and knowing what the guest wants before he/she does
  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?
    • Show appreciation for staff and team members
  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?
  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?
    • Hard work
    • Find a balance
    • Love your people

Contact info:

Instagram: @therailpenny


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 Kate McGrath 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: 764_kate_mcgrath_PODCAST_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:25pm EDT