Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

David Sloan is a Managing Partner at Venture Kitchen. He is also the former CEO and Founder of Naf Naf Grill. David started a financial career soon after school and built it up for 10 years. One day around 2010, while driving through Chicago, David saw a restaurant specializing in shawarma falafel, a food he had enjoyed with his family while living and traveling in Paris as a kid. It was the best shawarma he had ever tasted, so he asked the owner if he wanted a partnership, and a partnership was formed. The restaurant was called Naf Naf and it was in a "hole in the wall" location. With the newfound partnership, David and his partners built out a new location for Naf Naf, changed the name to Naf Naf grill, and opened 6-7 months after leaving the old location. Naf Naf Grill was instantly popular and a second location opened roughly a year after the first. a third location followed just a few months later. Today, Naf Naf Grill has 38 locations. David also opened Taqueria Invicto, a Mexican restaurant. He also started a charity organization looking to solve child hunger, called One Feeds Two, which has provided now over 20 million meals to hungry kids.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favor success quote/mantra:

  • "I like to live my life knowing I'm going to die."

In this episode with David Sloan we will discuss:

  • Passion
  • Buying an existing restaurant
  • Location
  • Building a chain restaurant
  • Franchising
  • Growing very fast
  • Creating brands
  • Assembly line operations
  • Restaurants in the MetaVerse

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Tenacity
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Myself
  3. What's one thing you ask or look for when interviewing/growing your team?
    • Love and passion
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Real estate in the suburbs
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Be a good person
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Delicious food
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influence operations?
  9. What is one thing you feel restaurateurs don't do well enough or often enough?
    • Get inside the restaurant and work with the staff in the physical space
  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?
    • Love your family
    • Find your passion
    • Never give up


Venture Kitchen website:

Thanks for listening!

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Huge thanks to David Sloan for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!

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