Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore (general)


In this episode with Eric Soller, we discuss:

  • The significance of positive reinforcement.
  • Using systems to develop attention to detail.
  • Problems being meant for solving; not for getting in your way. 
  • Empowering your team so you can gain work-life-balance. 
  • How to leverage Pareto's Princle (aka the 80/20 rule). 
  • Relentless pursuit for improvement.
  • Not systematizing your restaurant at the expense of losing the human element.
  • How convertible notes work.
  • Controlling the flow of people at your register to pace your kitchen. 
  • How to get involved with your community. 

Eric Soller is a graduate fo the New England Culinary Institute. After graduation he served as operations manager for Solganik Food Group for six years until 2006. He'd go on to serve as Director of Marketing for Hobart, until 2016 which is when he opened Old Scratch Pizza along side wife, Stephanie Soller.

Direct download: 444_Eric_Sollar_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:34pm EDT

In this episode with Thad and Jessica Kittrell, we discuss:

  • How Thad and Jess got into the industry.
  • Leading by example.
  • Acknowledging your people when they are good at what they do. 
  • Knowing you're only as good as your people.
  • Focusing too much on the numbers and not enough on your people leading to failure. 
  • Taking jobs to learn specific skills. 
  • Using systems, and checklists to stay organized.
  • The power of delegation and using delegation to educate. 
  • Finding and communicating your brand.
  • The cons to taking on investors. 
  • Finding a partner that compliments you.
  • Getting outside help from those who are strong where you're weak. 
  • Opening more restaurants for the purpose of creating opportunity for your team. 
  • Constantly growing by teaching people how to do your job. 

Thad and Jessica Kittrell met in 2002 while working at the Capital Athletic Club, in Columbus, OH. Thad was the Executive Chef. Jessica was the Banquet Managers. From the time they met, they started envisioning what their future would look like as owners of their very own brew pub. In 2012, that vision materialized in the form of 101 Beer Kitchen. 6 years later they're operating three location around the Columbus, OH area.

Direct download: 443_Thad_and_Jessica_Kettrel_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Jeni Britten Bauer, we discuss:

  • Your name being more than just letters and sounds; your know is your reputation. 
  • Don't take no for an answer. Keep trying.
  • How Jeni got her start making Ice Cream.
  • Starting small. 
  • Collaborating with your community and cross branding products. 
  • Continuous improvement.
  • Why you need to be consistent to develop loyalty.  
  • Hand picking the people you want on your team. 
  • How trusting in others leads to them rising to the occasion.
  • Diversify with retail if possible. 
  • Small local community markets serving as incubators.
  • Understanding that your business is able the food; its all about the people. 
  • The influence of mail order.
  • The benefits of growing slowly and not taking outside investment. 
  • Have great communication skills. 

Jeni Britten Bauer has been making ice creams professionally for two decades. The first Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams opened in 2002. Her ahead-of-the-trend vision—using whole ingredients and dairy from grass-pastured cows—coupled with inspired flavors sparked the artisan ice cream movement more than a decade before it would become a top food trend. Jeni is a James Beard Award-winning author of two cookbooks and has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business.


Direct download: 442_jeni_britten_Baur_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Zach Weprin, we discuss: 

  • How growth comes from living in that place of discomfort. 
  • How Fusian came to be. 
  • The process of opening a restaurant with ZERO experience. 
  • Leveraging technology in place of skilled positions to streamline processes. 
  • Acting like a national brand; even if you're not. 
  • How giving your guest fewer options serve both the operation and the guest. 
  • Using your sales mix to determine what menu items to focus on. 
  • Educating your team and guest on your menu. 
  • Growing too fast and how to recover. 
  • Being careful to not promote people before they're ready. 
  • Getting the right people on your team with the skills you're lacking.  
  • The power of just starting and being comfortable being uncomfortable. 

Childhood friends Zach Weprin, Josh Weprin and Stephan Harman love sushi. It was during their college careers that they saw a need for a simple, fresh, and affordable sushi dining option. with this as their inspiration, they set out to create that experience. Fusian opened in may of 2010 as a place where discerning diners can customize sushi rolls in a fun, interactive, and energetic environment. 8 years later they're operating 10 locations throughout Ohio State.

Direct download: 441_Zach_Weprin_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Krystle Mobayeni, Co-Founder and CEO of BentoBox, we discuss:

  • Constant never-ending improvement.
  • Why Krystal went into business for herself.
  • What it was about the restaurant industry that drew Krystal in.
  • How restaurant websites and BentoBox, in particular, have evolved over the years.
  • How BentoBox makes it possible to invest in fewer 3rd party tools.
  • The importance of good photography on your website.
  • Why you do not want music playing on your website.
  • Why you need to look at your website as an extension of your brick and mortar property.
  • How a dynamic restaurant website can help you save time.
  • Using your website to complete transactions
  • What the Future of Restaurant Websites look like.
  • Not using technology to replace the human experience.
  • The time you save using a website platform like BentoBox.

Krystle Mobayeni is a graduate of Philadelphia University, and the Co-Founder and CEO of BentoBox. BentoBox offers restaurants beautiful, mobile friendly websites that drive revenue and customers — complete with a simple, hospitality-focused management system, hosting and exceptional customer support.

Direct download: 440_Krystal_Mobayeni_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Jeff Excell and Lauren Culley, we discuss:

  • Chasing happy.
  • Living with the intent to learn and grow.
  • Being mindful of being a "jerk barista".
  • Focusing less on the product and more on the people purchasing the product.
  • Asking for what you want.
  • Creating a culture of teamwork and pride in your work.
  • How to get
  • FOH and BOH to work together.
  • Setting the professional standard.
  • Creating a feeling of ownership for your team.
  • Keeping a visual catalog of design.
  • How to approach investors.
  • Staying lean, and growing slowly.
  • Building your team and growing internally.
  • Letting your customers decide what your restaurant becomes.
  • knowing you can't please everyone.

After experiencing a life altering moment while eating bread at a NYC flea market, Lauren Culley fell in love with baking as a volunteer. She would eventually leave her cushy desk job in editing to pursue baking. It was also around this time she met Partner, Jeff Excell. While in NY the Duo realized that wanted to bring the NY Cafe experience back to Columbus, OH. In 2014, along with Excell, they recreated that experience with Fox in the Snow Cafe. 4 years later they've grown the operation to 2 locations and a third on the horizon.

Direct download: 439_Jeff_Excell_Lauren_Culley_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Chris Doody, we discuss:

  • The significance of surrounding yourself the best.
  • Giving people a shot.
  • Having fun at work.
  • Success being contagious.
  • The power of recognizing your people by name.
  • Giving loyalty before receiving loyalty.
  • Having a partner that balances you well.
  • Tips for taking over a failing restaurant.
  • Letting cashflow determine you success.
  • The importance of staying in your lane.
  • What makes a successful fast-casual concept.
  • Being proactive with the pre-launch "leg work".
  • The best marketing being "internal".
  • Culture being what holds your business together during growth.
  • How your culture does not exist  until it is on paper.

Growing up in his mothers restaurant, and being mentored by one of the best family names in the industry, the Brennan's, Chris Doody spent most of his early years being groomed for greatness in hospitality. In 1992, with a degree in business, Doody, along side brother, Rick, started the Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, with remarkable success. 2008 Doody sold his share of the Bravo Brio restaurants and 2010 the first Piada Italian Street Food fast-casual concept was open. 8 years later they've grown the brand to 42 locations.


Direct download: 438_chris_doody1_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with David Scott Peters we discuss:

  • How your menu is like the heart of your business.
  • How menu engineerING all starts with menu costing cards.
  • What a yield test is.
  • Factoring in spice/consumable.
  • Using batch recipes.
  • Using software in place of continuing updating recipe cards.
  • What is meant by a weight average.
  • Why being great at a few things, is more impactful and profitable than trying to be all things to all people.
  • Making small incremental changes to your menu when raising prices.
  • Where your guests eyes go when they look at a menu.
  • The fonts you should be using on your menu.
  • Where to list the prices on your menu.
  • How to sell the largest margin items on your menu consistently.

Aside from being the founder of and serving as a Member coach, David Scott Peters is also a dynamic and engaging speaker. His specialized knowledge targets the independent restaurant owners, whether they own one location or a multi-unit chain.

Direct download: 437_David_Scott_Peters_20180201T105213.723156_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In my 2nd interview with Cameron (click her to listener to the first episode) we discuss:

  • How to create win-win situations.
  • How loyalty drives partnerships.
  • How building your reputation is continual work.
  • Serving your community by paying it forward with your knowledge.
  • Examples of how Cameron Mitchel is paying it forward.

Cameron Mitchell is CEO and founder of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. A lifelong entrepreneur, Mitchell is an accomplished businessman, culinary expert and nationally recognized restaurateur. With an entrepreneur’s energy, vision and passion, Mitchell’s sights are set on the development of new restaurant concepts, and the expansion of concepts currently in his company’s portfolio.

Direct download: 436_cameron_mitchell_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Troy Allen, we discuss: 

  • Putting yourself in uncomfortable positions. 
  • How marketing and branding starts with your audience.
  • How to deliver your personal brand to an audience. 
  • Getting clear about what your brand attributes are. 
  • Why Troy Allen developed the 16 Bit brand.
  • Finding concepts that exist in the world and doing them better. 
  • What makes for a successful bar-cade.
  • How Educating your employees on how the business works has a huge impact on the business. 
  • Building concepts that also do well with corporate events.  
  • The importance of getting your employees to buy into brand culture. 
  • Growing talent from the inside.  
  • Great people helping other great people. 
  • Letting your team members individual brand flourish. 
  • The value of being first to market.
  • The impact connecting influencers can have on your community. 

After leaving Kent State, Troy Allen started his career in marketing, specifically with design and branding. In 2013 Troy decided it was time to apply what he learned with a few of his own assets, and Rise Brands was formed. Today, Rise Brands currently has 3 concept in the market consisting of 6 location.

Direct download: 435_Troy_Allen_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

 In this episode with Jonathan Plowright, we discuss:

  • The power behind knowing you can choose how you respond to the world around you.
  • Typsy's mission to empower restaurant owners, operators and professionals.
  • The story behind Typsy.
  • The increasing trend of sharing knowledge online.
  • How younger generation learn better with multimedia versus the traditional operations handbook.
  • The impact and benefits of using multi-media learning platforms.
  • The impact of having mass access to information is having on traditional education.
  • Where to learn more about

Jonathan Plowright is the founder and  CEO of Typsy, which specializes in providing online video training from the world's best hospitality instructors. They recorded over 300 short skills training videos. Typsy’s mission to empower you with access to insider tips and knowledge so you and your teams can skill up, serve the world better and make every hospitality moment exceptional.

Direct download: 434_Jonathan_Plowright_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Joe Deloss, we discuss: 

  • Creating Social change with your business.
  • The concept that your idea is bigger than any one person on the team.
  • How the idea for Hot Chicken Takeover came into frame.
  • The benefits of hiring people with a criminal record. 
  • Starting with the end experience you want to create and working back from there when developing your brand.
  • Starting where you can. Dinner parties with friends- Dinner parties with friends of friends- popups- brick and mortar. 
  • Creating brand awareness along the way.
  • Getting clarity on your brand. 
  • Owning your mistakes, and listening to the feedback on how you can improve. 
  • How creating a brand that focuses on doing good will result in getting more support from your community. Especially when getting started. 
  • When its time to grow- grow your team and team infrastructure, first. 
  • The benefits of hiring people with a criminal record, providing them with opportunity, and investing in their needs. 
  • Laying down clear paths for growth for your team members; d on't offer your people a job, offer them a career. 

Joe Deloss is a graduated from Capital University. After graduating he took the path of investment baker turned entrepreneur. In 2013 Deloss discovered Nashville Hot Chicken, and it was instant love. By 2014 his entrepreneurial spirit had take full grasp, and he, along with his wife, opened Hot Chicken Takeover. 4 years later they've expanded to 3 locations.


Direct download: 433_Joe_Deloss_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Chef Brian Pekarcik, we discuss:

  • How the team dynamic of a kitchen filled the void after Pekarcik's baseball dreams ended.
  • Making your employees feel valued.
  • If you want to be the best you need to work for the best.
  • Taking a step back in position, if it means being on a better team.
  • Planning each day out to increase productivity.
  • Being the standard you want your team to live up to.
  • How working under a corporate umbrella can limit the creative freedom of a chef.
  • Using your experience, knowledge, and expertise as leverage when finding partners.
  • Taking time to get to know your partners and to create the SAME visions.
  • The dynamics of Chef Pekarcik and Rick Stern partnership.
  • Pushing through your fear.
  • Building a team of strong mangers around you by teaching them how to think.
  • Why now it is more important than every to not burn bridges in this industry.
  • Dialing back scheduled hours to 50-55 a week.

Raised in Pittsburgh, Chef Brian Pekarcik is a graduate of John Carroll University in 1997. Pekarcik then moved out to, CA to fine tune his craft while working in some of the most well know kitchen at the time. In 2007 he moved back to PA and would eventually team up with Rick Stern in 2009 to open S + P Restaurant Group. To S+P restaurant Group consist of Spoon, Brgr, G&G Noodle Bar and Willow.

Direct download: 432_Brian_Pekarcik_20180127T191939.174839_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Don't forget to check out Part 1

In this episode with Chef Justin Severino we discuss:

  • What it was like for Severino owning is first restaurant, Cure.
  • What Severino meant by "opening his restaurant for himself" during the Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown Feature.
  • The process of evolving Cure's physical space.
  • The process of evolving Cure's people. 
  • Not lowering the standard for the people you hire. 
  • Growing your people to ultimately replace yourself. 
  • Checking your ego at the door. 
  • What was different about opening Morcilla, Severino's second restaurant. 

Justin Severino is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. Severino made his move west to Santa Cruz, CA where he worked for many staples in the industry and opened Severino's Community Butcher. He would go on to serve as executive chef at Element Cuisine and Sous Chef to at Eleven Restaurant in Pittsburgh. In 2011 opened Cure with national recognition and accolades. In 2015 he opened Morcilla with the same result.

Direct download: 431_Justin_Serverino_2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Chef Justin Severino we discuss: 

  • The power of a team working to serve the same mission.
  • Speaking up if you need help.
  • How school helped Severino stay on one path.
  • Taking a job for what you're going to learn. 
  • Pushing your driven team members to their limit, for the sake of their personal growth. 
  • Being Fair. 
  • Food values. 
  • How being good doesn't mean shit... if you can't make money while you do it. 
  • How the most important thing in a restaurant is how you make your people feel. 
  • What led Severino to open Cure. 
  • How to open a restaurant with no money of your own. 
  • Awakening the creative part of your mind with a can do attitude.

Justin Severino is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. Severino made his move west to Santa Cruz, CA where he worked for many staples in the industry and opened Severino's Community Butcher. He would go on to serve as executive chef at Element Cuisine and Sous Chef to at Eleven Restaurant in Pittsburgh. In 2011 opened Cure with national recognition and accolades. In 2015 he opened Morcilla with the same result.

Direct download: 430_Justin_Serverino_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Raji Sankar, we discuss:

  • Freedom by way of discipline. 
  • Anything being possible.
  • The story behind Choolaah.
  • Creating jobs where people meet their full potential.
  • Buying into a franchise model to learn the business.
  • What Raji learned from operating a 5 Guys Burgers and Fries franchise.
  • The result of growing too fast and desperately.
  • Not sacrificing your values.
  • Growing slowly outward. 
  • Growth from within.
  • Using competency charts with monetary incentives.
  • Never ending learning. 
  • Outsourcing and surrounding yourself with the best. 
  • Getting people aligned with the same cause.
  • Creating systems and tracks for training.
  • Educating your guest especially when you're doing something strange or unfamiliar. 
  • Educating your team. 
  • The importance of everyone buying into your mission, vision, and values when scaling.
  • Using success stories from your team to grow your brand. 

Raji Sankar left a life of science, tech, and consulting to pursue the life of a restaurateur. In 2004 they started Wholesome International, the business entity that would start opening 5 Guys Burgers and Fries throughout PA, and Oh. It didn't take long before her own vision for Choolaah began to sprout. Today, Wholesome International operates a total of 20 5 Guys locations and they're opening their 5 Choolaah Indian BBQ Location.


Direct download: 429_Raji_Sankar_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Chef Keith Fuller, we discuss

  • how the people of this industry are what drew him in,
  • establishing a culture of continuous work,
  • never saying no to your guest,
  • getting rid of the friends who pull you in the wrong direction,
  • how being a dick gets you nowhere,
  • properly pricing menus,
  • being careful with media,
  • the depression that comes with closing a restaurant,
  • what makes a good partnership, and
  • getting the ball rolling on permits and inspections as soon as possible. 

After working in kitchens such as the award-winning L’Auberge in Dayton, Ohio and Jake’s in Manayunk, Pennsylvania, Fuller settled down in Pittsburgh, opening up his first restaurant, Root 174, in 2011. Today, with over 20 years of experience, Keith Fuller is the Chef/Owner of Pork & Beans, a new concept in collaboration with Chef Richard DeShantz.


Direct download: 428_Keith_Fuller_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Chef Bill Fuller, we discuss:

  • how Chef Fuller got his start in the industry,
  • where the culture of being "hard" in the restaurant industry comes from,
  • correcting the behavior, not the person,
  • as sous, how to handle an executive chef that is less qualified than you, 
  • being mindful of your mood and how you influence those around you, 
  • the impact of promoting from within,
  • transitioning from working on the business to in the business,
  • hiring people who are better than you at things, 
  • the value of annually self-reviews,
  • and the result of limiting hours worked to 40-45 hrs for line staff and 5-55 hrs for management. 

Hitchhiking his way from his hometown of Dubois at 18 to venture the country, Bill settled in D.C. as a line cook while studying for his B.S. in Chemistry at GMU. He abandoned his scientific pursuits, trading his lab coat for a chef's jacket. Bill eventually made his way back to Pittsburgh and into the kitchens of Big Burrito Restaurants, and has served as the Corporate Chef since 1997. Today Chef Fuller has garnered the additional title of partner of the Big Burrito Restaurant Group and oversees a total of 19 locations. 


Direct download: 427_Bill_Fuller_1.19_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Mikey Sorboro, we discuss how he got his start in hospitality with a pedicab service; building momentum with low-cost/low-risk opportunities, using youtube to learn; the dynamics of a 3-way partnership; why trust and common goals are the glue to any partnership; how systems and processes are critical to your freedom and expansion; diversifying with bar kitchens, corporate venues, concert venues, and food trucks; recreating yourself with core values, visions, and missions; why he decided not to go the franchise route; how to pull off a fast-casual, full liquore model; using video with social media to share the story behind your restaurant and to make people laugh.

Mikey Sorboro is the "Mikey" in Mikey's Late Night Slice. Mikey had an epiphany one night gallivanting about town. With a grumble in his belly and nothing to choose from but gyros and hot dogs, he realized there was a pizza slice shaped hole in the heart of downtown Columbus, OH. It was enormous, and he intended to fill it. By the time Late Night Slice celebrated its five year anniversary, the company consisted of 9 locations and 2 award-winning trucks. On top of these locations and trucks, Mikey is also the owner of Oddfellows Liquor Bar, Located right next to the original Late Night Slice, and Joes Corner tavern.

Direct download: 426_Mikey_Sorboro_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Joe Fontana, we discuss the power of small daily improvements, how it all begins with making the choice to start, what Joe loves about the industry, advice on recruiting/staffing team members, finding and following your why, finding a mentor, how to start a business plan, going to experts for help, testing your concept with popups, setting up a successful Kickstarter campaign, hiring on values, not promoting your opening, starting as lean as possible with low monthly cost, and focusing on cash flow.

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 FryTheCoop. 

Direct download: 425_Joe_Fontana_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Brian and Brad Wasik, we discuss the history of Wasik's Cheese Shop, what growing up in a family cheese shop was like, never "aim an unloaded gun", the results of treating the assistants, secretaries, and truck drivers of the world well, changing and evolving with time, improving with every day, taking care of your people being the most important thing, having the same common goal within an organization, the struggles that come along with owning a family business, the importance of location, creating value added experiences, and being great without being pretentious. 

Wasik’s Cheese Shop in Wellesley is a family business that has specialized in selecting and maturing cheeses since it was established by the late Stephen Wasik in 1979. Now run by Carol Wasik and her sons, Brad and Brian, the shop offers cut-to-order cheeses, wines, charcuterie, specialty foods, and other gourmet items.


Direct download: 424_wasiks_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Dave Allred, we discuss how he got his start in the industry, always growing, creating habits, listening to your employees, the importance of standards, not standardizing personality, making sure your managers care, how franchises and corporations limit creativity, becoming an expert, empowering your team with system, the 10 steps of customer service, the difference between running a business versus a bar, why you can't make your people wait, a culture of teamwork, keeping processes as simple as possible, creating a complete experience, finding the best way to do something, giving away free stuff strategically, the rule of 3, spot checking, and selling your most proffitable items.

When he was 16 years old, Dave Allred got his start bussing tables at a Chinese restaurant. He continued working in restaurants during and after college, and before long he was immersed in the world of bartending. After 15 plus years of industry work, Allred decided it was time to move in the direction of management and teaching. Today, in addition to being the author of 5 bar industry books, Allred is the founder and CEO of Bar Patrol, which helps owners and managers run more profitable bars.


Direct download: 423_David_Allred_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Juliette Gust, we discuss how the moral and behavioral standards trickle from the top down, how employees should handle being sexual harassed, how employers should handle sexual harassment, what NOT to do when someone reports sexual harassment or fraudulent behavior, using the platform to report these fraudulent reports, and the benefits of documenting these reports.

Juliette Gust has led over 1,300 investigations spanning 74 countries and advised on close to 10,000 whistleblower reports. She is a former PwC Regulatory, Forensics and Hospitality & Leisure Advisory Services manager, and later developed and served as the Director of the global Fraud & Investigations team and Project Manager of the Anti-Corruption Compliance Program for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Juliette also spent 15 years in industry operations from line positions to operations manager and general manager in high-volume hotels, casino hotels, convention centers and restaurants in top U.S. tourism destinations. On top of all this, she is the Co-Founder of

Direct download: 422_Jullette_Gust_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Bobby Marcotte and Bobby Buivid,  we discuss how both Bobbys got into the industry, being original, changing the game, creating something from nothing, immersing yourself in the industry to get ahead, living in the moment, planning your next move, existing to care for your team, hiring people who care, how shared desires lead to partnerships, treating it like you own it, focusing on the experiences, knowing your story, and living to love the process.


Marcotte, Buivid crossed paths a few years back. At the time, Marcotte was at the helm of the highly success Tuckaway Tavern serving as Executive Chef (which he continues to do), while Buivid was in Chicago consulting on restaurant design. About a year an a half ago they decided to join forces and began collaborating on a new vision that would "change the game". That vision would become Hop and Grind located in Durham, NH.

Direct download: 421_Bobby_Marcotte_and_Bobby_Buivid_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Maria Campbell, we discuss focusing less on titles and more on "just being", the story behind Cooks Who Care, adaptability, sharing knowledge, putting yourself out there, why connecting people is important, knowing that you're not alone, the culture within the industry changing to support better quality of life, redefining what success looks like, and how to get involved with Cooks Who Care. 

Maria Campbell is the founder of Cooks Who Care. Cooks Who Care offers the food industry a new way to connect! With their unique digital platform, they provide management and staff with a way to meet others in the same field and to share leadership learning through online resources.



Direct download: 420_Maria_Campbell_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:22pm EDT

In this episode with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, we discuss the inspiration for their eleven books, following your curiosity, common habits of successful chefs and restaurateurs, the significance of listening, how creativity is the #1 skill or strength people attribute their success to, how creativity leads to competitive advantage, the 3 stages to the creative process, the 5 inner senses that guide the best chefs, and how meditation, yoga, and reading impact the creative process.  

Karen Page along with husband, Andrew Dornenburg, are James Beard Award-winning authors of numerous culinary and restaurant industry themed books including Becoming a Chef, Culinary Artistry, Dining Out, Chef's Night Out, The New American Chef, What to Drink With What You Eat, The Flavor Bible, The Food Lover's Guide to Wine, and The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. This past year, Karen and Andrew published their latest book, Kitchen Creativity where they shine a light on the creative process. 

Direct download: 419_Karen_Page_Andrew_Dornenburg_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Kate Edwards, we discuss 1) The unaware customer service rep: folks in open kitchens who are now customer-facing and have to deliver some sort of customer service. 2) How being decent to your fellow man is more powerful and actionable than trying to be amazing. 3) #metoo in the restaurant business and how to handle being sexually... harassed. 

Throughout her 30 years in the service industry, Kate has learned first-hand how to manage high volume and high standards, as well as how to fix operations that were poorly managed or on their way out. With the mission to bring excellent service to patrons of the service industry, Kate launched her full-service hospitality consulting business in 2007. In addition to being an instructor and writing for many publications, Kate is the author of Hello: and Every Little Thing That Matters.

Direct download: 418_Kate_Edwards_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Jonathan Blakeslee, we discuss doing something better every day, being patient when waiting for good things to happen, how Blakeslee got his start, calmness, focus, presence, following your passion, selling your passion, starting where you can, scaling from wholesale to retail, choosing transformative relationships over transactional relationships, knowing who you are, focusing on who you are, letting your team weigh in on the decision making and creative processes, becoming a person of value, and using small business centers.

After serving in the United States Coast Gaurd, Jonathan Blakeslee fell in love with Japnese culture and tea. Upon finishing his service, Blakeslee attended the Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregan, and would eventually find himself working at the Toa of Tea also located in Portland, OR. Homesickness slowly crept in, and Blakeslee moved bake to the east coast where he would start his own wholesale tea operation, White Heron. Today he has scaled that operation to include 40 seat cafe and White Herons own house-roasted organic coffee.

Direct download: 417_Jonathan_Blakeslee_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT


In this episode with repeat guest Anese Cavanaugh, we discuss how to create a positive holiday experience for yourself and those you love, how taking care of others starts with taking care of yourself, the 5 steps of intentional impact, how to close out the old year, and start the new year on the right foot. 

Anese Cavanaugh is devoted to helping people show up and bring their best selves to the table in order to create significant positive impact in their lives. She is the creator of the IEP or (Intentional Energetic Presence®) method, an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations around the world, and author of Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives 

Direct download: 416_Anese_Cavanaugh_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, Richard Celler dives deep into the topic of common wage violations. Specifically, how tip crediting works, why you need to track your employee's tips, qualifying factors of paying someone a tip credit, the amount of non-tip credit work your employees are allowed to do (20%), tip pooling, whos allowed to share in the tip a pool, and what you need to know about off the clock and pre/post shift work.   

Richard Celler is the Managing Partner of Richard Celler Legal, P.A.,  a/k/a the Florida Overtime Lawyer. Mr. Celler’s practice focuses on all areas of the employment context from discrimination, harassment, Title VII, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other employment-related statutes. Additionally, Mr. Celler represents individuals in whistleblower and wage and hour litigation.

Direct download: 415_Richard_Celler_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with guest, Mario Del Pero we discuss how you need to get better every day, starting with the core customer when opening a restaurant, being a student of the business, creating systems around "wow" experiences, owning your brand, finding a business partner that balances you, selling happy, scaling culture, recruiting/filtering the right people, coaching culture, creating process around R & D, and doing what you already do better. 

Mario Del Pero grew up in his family's meat processing business. He would go on to study International Relations at the University of Southern California and was on the path to becoming a career lawyer. Instead, he took a job at a Mexican grill where he started as a barback's back. He eventually became the Director of Operations. In 2005, Mario, along with wife, Ellen Chen, opened Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market in Southern California. 12 year later they've grown their business to 17 locations.

Direct download: 414_Mario_Del_Pero_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Roger Beaudoin, we discuss building your dream team staff, the three key elements of service, how to get your customers to be your best marketers, educating customers, informing customers, entertaining customers, using your "A" players to attract more "A" players, Using "A" players to bring up your "B" players, what types of questions you can ask during the interview process to get more "A" players, doing things for someone VS to someone, conditioning fun behavior into your staff, never asking your guest yes-no questions, giving your guest options, and providing the same level of quality with counter service as with full-service.

Roger Beaudoin’s 18 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry is backed with a business degree from Bryant College and an MBA from Babson College. He has headed four restaurant and hospitality operations in all. His most recent restaurant, The Matterhorn Ski Bar, a seasonal, 4-month restaurant and bar, which generated 1 million dollars in annual sales. Today, with all of his knowledge and experience at

Direct download: 413_roger_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In Today's episode, we're joined by repeat guest, Jennifer Desrosiers. Jennifer and I discuss controlling your focus and energy, hiring good people, putting good people in the right place, getting clear on your mission, writing your mission down, code of ethics VS core values, the transition from working on the business VS working in the business, implementation of a checklist, going from me to we, the mindset of "working with what you got.", knowing when to expand your business, the ripple effect, some tools and services Jen recommends, and making time in your life to recover.

Jennifer Desrosiers founded Laney & Lu in September 2015 inspired by her own journey to holistic health and wellness and commitment to living her soul's purpose. Jennifer wants to live in a world filled with french press coffee, luxurious car camping, and effortless handstands. As a holistic wellness and lifestyle coach, yoga teacher, and self-proclaimed real food junkie, Jennifer believes great health is a synergistic balance of a healthy diet, tons of self-love, passionate relationships, and powerful movement.

Direct download: 412_Jennifer_Desrosiers_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Chef Tim Boyd, we discuss what drew him to the industry, following passion not paychecks, not sacrificing quality, greatness attracting greatness, the dilution of passion with bigger operations, not letting your ego get the best of you, staying focused, having a balance of skill between FOH and BOH, being someones exit strategy, becoming a part of the community, having too many big egos under one roof, defining roles, getting sober, being the average of those you surround yourself with, and picking yourself up when you fall down. 

Chef Tim Boyd got his start at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After moving to South Florida and meeting his wife Lara, Tim’s resume went from Executive Chef to owner of the well-known Upper Crust.  Tim would go on to create Milk & Honey Cafe. Today Tim is the Executive Chef of The Mustard Seed Bistro with wife and owner Lara Boyd.

Direct download: 411_Tim_Boyd_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Mark Chase, we discuss where to start when deciding whether to lease or buy a restaurant, the pros, and cons of leasing and buying, things to consider when negotiating a lease, first right of refusal, leasing with option to buy, how to give yourself control if your leasing, vetting your landlord before signing a legal document, what to consider if using a consultant to find a location, zoning, parking, and licencing. 

Mark Chase is the President of Restaurant Real Estate Advisors. He specializes in providing site selection and real estate advice to restaurateurs. He works directly with growing brands and provides coaching, consulting and training to first-time restaurateurs. Mark is also the author of How to Open a Restaurant at a Great Location at a Great Price. Today we're here to discuss the ins and outs of leasing VS Buying a space for your restaurant. 

Direct download: 410_Mark_Chase_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Dan Margolis, we discuss why Dan fell in love with the industry, the importance of having a mentor, setting goals, humility, controlling your anger, recognizing your staff, the threat in redefining your brand too often, staying fresh, trusting your managers when transistioning to the role of Director of Operations, what to do when you get complacent, transitioning from DO to CEO, the responsibilites of a CEO, how to turn a struggling restaurant around, leveraging technology, leveraging data, and the importance of being a  mentor to someone else. 

Dan Margolis earned a Bachelors Degree in Hotel and Administration from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and an MBA from California Lutheran University. Over the past 11 years, Dan has held the title of Assistant GM, GM, and Director of Operations, for a number of restaurant groups. Today Dan holds serves as of CEO for  Brendan's Irish Pub & Restaurant in Ventura County California.


Direct download: 409_Dan_Margolis_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Sandra Arnerich we discuss, how she got her start in the industry, the power of surrounding yourself with the influence of great people, never accepting that your dream is not possible, discipline, getting everyone to believe in your culture, having fun at work, having your team established before your restaurant opens, the challenges Nick and Sandra went through in opening their first restaurant, determination, patience, hope,  the difficulties of having a scratch kitchen, having a common vision, the challenges of having your name tied to the french laundry, and how hard it was to be named the best restaurant in Oregon after just opening. 

Sandra Arnerich sharpened her teeth in some of the industries most well-known restaurants, Thomas Keller's, The French Laundry and Corey Lee's Benu. It was at The French Laundry where Sandra met her future husband Nick Arnerich, (episode 403). In 2013 discussion of opening their own restaurant began to reverberate. Shortly after Renata was born. Today Sandra and her husbands are the owner/operators of two restaurants with the addition of Figlia.

Direct download: 408_Sandra_Arnerich_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Sean McGrath, we'll shine a light on what should be considered when trying to get our products on retail shelves. What are the pros? What are the cons? We'll also be discussing the trends you should be aware and how you can take advantage of these trends. 

Sean McGrath holds a Food Science degree from Virginia Tech, and a Culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu. Sean managed the Sara Lee Culinary Department for 10 years and then started his own company after realizing there was a need for fellow chefs, restaurants, and food companies to extend their product lines.

Direct download: 407_Sean_Mcgrath_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Ouita Michel, we discuss how she got into the industry, cooking for people you know and love, the meaning of hospitality, manifesting destiny by letting your intentions be known, visioning your goals, creating a solid business plan, knowing your numbers, being financially stable, the impact of a great mission statement, not being so blinded by the numbers that you lose sight of the mission, Living your mission every day, when its time to call it quits on a concept thats not working, implenting systems, creating opportunity for your team, and openbook managemnt.

Growing up in both Louisiana and Kentucky, Chef Ouita Michel is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Wanting to cook food for those she knew and loved, combined with a desire to be more assessable, Ouita returned to Kentucky where she would start her career as a chef & restaurateur. Today, Ouita, alongside her husband, Chris, is the Chef-Owner of 7 restaurants located in and around Lexington, KY.

Direct download: 406_Ouita_Michel_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Gail Hopps-Page, we discuss getting out of your comfort zone, how gail got her start in the restaurant business, being the best you can be in any given moment, building on your experience if you have no formal culinary education, why people burn out in the restaurant industry, identifying key employees, investing in key employees, embracing food values, keeping it simple, not taking short cuts, always moving forward, teaching what you know, replacing yourself, regulations limiting small farmers, subsidies, certain etiquette when sourcing from local farms, and the importance of food culture. 

Gail Hobbs-Page spent 26 years as a professional cook, working in restaurants including Magnolia Grill and the Fearrington House, both in North Carolina, and Hamiltons’ at First & Main, in Charlottesville. Eventually, the restaurant business burned her out. Today Gail is the Owner, Farmer, and Cheesemaker at Carmont Farm located just outside of Charlottesville, NC.

Direct download: 405_Gail_Hobbs-page_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with James Eling, we discuss the death of facebook for business, discovering your unique selling proposition,  using your USP to create unique experiences/impact, Facebook live, and Facebook ads. 

James Eling is the Founder and Host of Secret Sauce: The Restaurant Marketing Podcast, where they discuss marketing ideas, strategies and tactics with restaurant marketing experts. In addition, James is the founder of where he helps restaurant owners master all things online.

Direct download: 404_James_eling__20171120T212513.655630_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:19pm EDT

In this episode with Nick Arnerich, we discuss how he got into the industry, creating opportunity for those on your team, discipline, never stop believing, surrounding yourself with people that will encourage you to grow, humility, visioning, planning, learning the culture of a restaurant no matter how good you are, Nick's biggest lessons learned from Thomas Keller, the importance of knowing and breaking down the numbers, challendges of transitioning from a GM to a Direct of Ops, asking questions before jumping to conclusions, the benefits of starting as a pop-up, how to create an "impactful" restaurant, the challenges of running a scatch kitchen, the importance of hanging onto your "core" employees, supporting your community with your restaurant, and advice on openign a restaurnat with a significant other. 

Nick grew up in Portland, Oregon and spent most of his first years at his parent’s restaurant Delevan’s. Over the last 15 years, Nick has worked in some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country including The French Laundry. Most recently Nick was Director of Operations for the Delfina Restaurant Group in San Francisco. In 2013 Nick relocated to Portland to pursue his dream of owning his own restaurant, and the Renata was born. In addition to the Renata, Nick and his wife, Sandra, also own the Figlia.

Direct download: 403_Nick_Arnerich_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss how Chef Jeff Deloff got his start in the industry, why you need to follow your heart and "go for it", the importance of finding a mentor, hard work paying off, every role in a restaurant being critical, how being young, inexperienced, and hungry can hinder and help you, how to handle people, not taking a closing restaurant personally if you're a young executive chef, the impact of running a sustainable restaurant, emotional sustainability, knowing when you're wrong, and trusting in your employees.

Born and raised in Oswego, NY, Jeff Deloff,  at 16 Jeff took a job as a dishwasher and has never left the restaurant business.  He enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in 2005.  After graduating he worked in several restaurants in NY, the most recent as Executive Chef at Bistro 197 in Oswego.  In the fall of 2015, Jeff left for Charlottesville to take the position of Executive Chef at Threepenny Cafe.  Jeff is committed to developing relationships with area producers and to spearheading Threepenny's mission to source locally, sustainably, humanely and healthfully.


Direct download: 402_chef_Jeff_Deloff_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Seth Worby we discuss what makes Seth an authority on SEO and internet marketing, what SEO is, the 3 core things to focus on when increasing your search ranking, what effects the searchability of your website, what a "keyword" is, using "natural" or "organic" keywords within your website, getting "authoritative" sites to link to you, providing value instead of self-promoting with content on your website, how analytics play into SEO, making data drivin' decisions, the role social media plays on SEO, and the "cirlce of trust".

Backed by a decade of experience in the SEM and SEO fields, Seth Worby founded Champ Internet Solutions in March 2009. A pioneering SEO strategist and web marketer, Seth’s breadth of technical and business knowledge help drive results in terms of SEO, e-commerce, marketing and integrated solutions for Champ’s clients, including many prominent restaurants and bars in Boston, MA

Direct download: 401_seth_worby_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Chef Jason Alley, we discuss working for the best- even if it means taking a lower ranked or position, getting experience to find your voice, doing work that fulfils you, finding your business partner, the pros of leasing VS owning, benefits in hiring close friends, helping open other people's restaurants before opening your own, being undercapitalized, asking "what am I really doing?", paying attention to guest needs and requests, leaning on trust to extend your operation, sharing a vision, molding your employees into partners, how to stay humble, how to stay humble after failure 

It is said that Chef Jason Alley started cooking at the young age of 4. After a few short stink at Hardee's, a Quaker-owned orchard and country club, Chef Alley started to find his passion. Fast forward multiple Sous and Executive chef positions later, in early 2000's Chef met his Business partner Chris Chandler and by 2003 the pair were opening their first restaurant. Today, Alley is the chef/partner of 3 restaurants Comfort Pasture and Flora.

Direct download: 400_Jason_alley_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Salvador Sanchez and Allen Warford, we discuss saving and investing 10% of your income, visioning,  planning, location selection, being lean, starting where you can and scaling up, being people focused, leaning on your community to get started, staying honest and transparent, forgiveness, going from working IN to working ON your business, the hiring process, planning your work, managing your ego, selecting a partner, creating culture, and creating structure. 

Salvador Sanchez always wanted own his own business. So... he started saving and getting clarity on what that business would be. In 2013, After getting some experience in the world of coffee and cafes, Sanchez opened A Cup of Commonwealth. In 2016 Sanchez acquired magic bean roasters. At the end of 2016, Allen Warford joined the team as a partner and they have since expanded again with the opening of Chocolate Holler.

Direct download: 399_Salvador_and_Allen_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with restaurant marketing expert, Nick Fosberg we discuss if this is the death of Facebook for small business. Facebook is breaking up the newsfeed into two separate segments; public(what you, your friends and family see) and business (the posts you create on your business pages). If you want your business page posts to get seen, you'll have to "pay to play." Nick also takes us through how to get the most ROI from your social media marketing. 

Nick Fosberg has become a leading authority on restaurant and bar marketing and promotions. He has helped hundreds of bar owners all over the US and Canada take their business to the next level by applying radically different direct response marketing strategies.

Direct download: 398_Nick_fosberg_5_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08am EDT

In this episode with Michael and Heather Harrell, we discuss how Michael and Heather got there start in the industry, why they love the work they do, having a well balanced partnership, staying in your lane, having a daily regimen or routine, not losing the human element as you expand your business, working for a chain or franchise to learn operations, the transition from a corporate operation to mom and pop, where to get help with your business plan, testing your menu, never under-valuing your knowledge, treating everyone with respect (they could be your future investor), and much more!

Michael Heather Harrell got his start in the restaurant industry working in and opening Outback Steakhouses and Carraba's. As Carraba's grill started expanding and cutting corners, Michael began to lose interest and passion for the brand. The Harrell's decided to break out on their own and in 2014 they founded 11th and Bay Located in Columbus, GA.

Direct download: 397_Michael_and_Heather_harrell_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with David Fafara, we discuss keeping it simple stupid, giving back to the community, being a hustler, starting small and scaling up, giving before you get, continuous learning, doing one thing really well, educating your staff and guests, scaling a business, and being someone's exit strategy. 

Chicago native, David Fafara is a graduate of North Park and West Virginia where he focused on physical education and counseling. In 1993 Fafara started a small coffee roaster called Shenandoah Joe. Almost 25 years later, this little specialty coffee roaster has expanded to 4 locations and is a staple in the Charlottesville community.

Direct download: 396_Dave_Fafara_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we're joined by business, leadership, and culture consultant, Rudy Miick. We're discussing harassment- what it is, why you can't afford it, how to prevent it from happening, and what to do when it does happen. Also, we discuss how to make your restaurant a "safe space".

This is Rudy Miick's 3rd appearance on the show. Check out episode 181 and episode 358. Miick began working in the restaurant industry at the age of 15, was a partner of a restaurant by the age of 24, and has been consulting for the last 40 years. Miick’s work has pivoted to focus on successful start-ups, performance improvement, and the growth of restaurants, resorts, and other foodservice operations. You can learn more about Rudy at

Direct download: 395_Rudy_Miick_3_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18am EDT

In this episode with Jenée Libby we discuss, why she started her podcast (edacious), how to get out of your own head when starting a scary project, your brand as an extension of who you are,  using technology to bring people together and promote the truly talented and passionate people in our industry,  common threads and characteristics of successful food and beverage people, being generous with your knowledge, not focusing on money, focusing on becoming a person of value, how the Charlottesville community pulled together after the attacks, how to respond to hate, harassment in the workplace, and why you should consider hosting your own podcast.

Jenée Libby is a writer of food, fiction, travel, and essay. A struggling photographer, a frustrated novelist, and a lover of diner ephemera. She’s obsessed with vintage cookbooks and sells them in her Etsy shop, edacious (cook)booksellers. She’s written for C-Ville Weekly, the 2015 Virginia Travel Guide, and UNITE Virginia magazine, Her most recent passion is the Edacious Podcast. Edacious is all about getting people to stop talking ABOUT people in food and to get them talking WITH people in food in an attempt to create connection and strengthen Community.

Direct download: 394_Jenee_Libby_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm EDT

In this episode, we discuss how Chef Kyle Lee Mcknight got his start in the industry, why he does the work he does, when getting started- how cooking was a vehicle for travel, how cooking to make people change has changed his career, finding sobriety, how life changes once sobriety is found, being emotionally sound, developing emotional intelligence, how to deal with confrontation, training, culture, side hustling your passion, how to get a product to retail, growing and leveraging your network, and why buying food from friends is chef Mcknights mantra.

Chef McKnight got his start washing dishes for a par of Adidas. 25 years later he has made a name for himself as a premier chef in the south. He's won multiple accolades for his work and has been invited to cook at the James Beard House. Today he's the founder of Nena's Meats and Provisions and serves as Executive Chef at Full Steam Brewery.

Direct download: 393_Kyle_Mcknight_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT

In this episode we invite Bruce Irving back on the shout to answer some Listener questions. The questions answered: Should you let your Facebook followers know when it is not you who is responding on your business page... if it is not actually you reponding? Should you feel obligated to like and respond to guest comments and reviews? Should you allow reviews on your business page? Should we allow our guest to post on our business page? Do we need to claim our business on EVERY platform? Should we respond to reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google, Facebook? 

Bruce Irving is the marketing visionary behind and host of the weekly Smart Pizza Marketing podcast. On his podcasts, he interviews the leading minds of the pizza restaurant industry. Irving, a top marketing consultant and former pizzeria owner, also hosts PizzaTV’s Marketing Insights livestream program, which streams at 8 p.m. (ET) every Tuesday on Facebook. You can listen to his Smart Pizza Marketing podcast at In addition, Irving speaks at conferences about how to better use social media in your restaurant or small business

Direct download: 392_Bruce_Irving_Qs_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Howard Solomon, we discuss what made him fall in love with hospitality,  the impact of great culture in your business, the "all for one mentality", paying attention to the details, the importance of listening, what Solomon learned from Wolfgang Puck, trying things outside of your comfort zone, how to be a great listener, how empathy is the soul of listening, how to gain trust, how to empower your people

A graduate of the University of Iowa and Illinois State University, Solomon served Wolf Gang Puck as Director of Culinary Administration before starting his own Hospitality Consulting Firm, The Solomon Group. During this time Solomon was also an educator, teaching Restaurant Managementment at San Diego State University. Today, Soloman serves as Founder of Solomon 2.0 where his mission is to open the eyes of good leaders and give them a “great leader make-over.”


Direct download: 391howard_solomon_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

This is the second part of a two-part series! In part two, Chef Scott Crawford and I discuss why shutting the door on opportunity is sometimes the best way to open doors to more opportunities, building a reputation by doing the right things for the right reasons, why you need to pay it forward once you've "figured it out", Keeping it simple, not spending too much money, investing in your people, how to handle the negative energy of a nasty critic, what happens when you have your team's back, why chef has a chiropractor and masseuse come in for his staff once a month

Originally from PA, Chef Scott Crawford got his start in the industry as a server and bartender and would accidentally work his way into the kitchen. He built his career working in some of the finest luxury hotels around the nation earning 5 James Beard Semi-finalist awards in the process. In 2016 Chef Crawford open his first restaurant Crawford and Son located in Raleigh, NC.

Direct download: 390_Scott_Crawford2_20171012T152007.284084_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

This is the first of a two-part series! In part one Chef Scott Crawford and I discuss focusing on results, how Chef Crawford found his lane, how to find your passion, working for the best possible people, how to build relationships, giving before you get, what real commitment looks like, building reputations not resumes, blending life and work, how valuing the intangible in life gets you the tangible, the right way to enter a partnership, why you need to be principle in your business, the process for finding your right investors. 

Originally from PA, Chef Scott Crawford got his start in the industry as a server and bartender and would accidentally work his way into the kitchen. He built his career working in some of the finest luxury hotels around the nation earning 5 James Beard Semi-finalist awards in the process. In 2016 Chef Crawford open his first restaurant Crawford and Son located in Raleigh, NC.

Direct download: 389_Scott_Crawford_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Chef Marc Jacksina, we discuss what attracted Chef Jacksina to this industry, why you need to "remember where the fence is", why a clean workspace is more than just a clean workspace, paying attention to your numbers, how to go about making change, the value of incredible service, the customers need is acknowledgement, carving out your niche, how Chef Jacksina found his niche, how to know when you've found your niche, counting inventory, taking the thing you don't know and doing it, what percentage you should take as a partner, why making money is the restaurant business is about volume, being properly capitalized, making the initial leap into ownership, not buying into your own success, how there is a time an place for play and it's not at 5 pm on a Friday, why you need great PR and story, why getting respect from your peers is more important to getting respect from those who hand out rewards, and why the blame game never works. 

Hailing from NY, where he got his start running neighborhood trattorias, multi-unit corporate restaurants, and a five star Adirondack inn, Marc Jacksina relocated to Charlotte with his wife Lauren, and two sons, Lucas and Ian, in 2004. It was there, where he opened multiple Best New Restaurant award winners including Nan & Byron's, Halcyon, and Lulu. Chef Jacksina is now Executive Chef at Earl’s Grocery, an urban provisions larder and cafe serving inspired street food, grab and go dinners, and some of the city’s tastiest fried chicken. In addition, Marc hosts the online video series, OrderFire where he interviews leading culinarians, mixologists, restaurateurs, purveyors, and farmers to paint them in a more multidimensional light.

Direct download: 388_Marc_Jacksina_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with Chef Charles Carroll, we discuss the power in building your team, the inspiration behind his new book, and we share "Chef's Seven Rules of Greatness". 

Chef Carroll is an award-winning chef who travels the world speaking on championship thinking and personal greatness. For his work with US troops abroad, he was personally commended by five U.S. presidents. Chef Carroll current serves as Executive Chef and Houstons Prestigious River Oaks country club.  Additionally, Chef Carroll is the Co-author of The Recipe: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Ingredients of Greatness

Direct download: 387_Chef_Charles_Carroll_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode with guest, Pablo Fuentes we discuss how success starts with discipline, how to use your team to get inspiration for writing a good job post, the elements of a perfect job post, common mistakes to avoid when writing a job post and ultimately, how to write job posts that convert. Be sure to join us for the LIVE webinar on November 6th! 

Pablo is the Founder and CEO of Proven, a software company that helps small businesses hire.  He is also the host and producer of Small Business War Stories, a podcast where he drives thousands of miles around the country interviewing small business owners and operators and learning about their stories. Today Pablo is here to cover elements of a perfect job post and he'll also share some of the most common mistakes.
Direct download: 386_Pablo_Fuentes2_20171002T162331.991891_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, with Master Sommelier, Alex Lapratt, we discuss hiring those who are persistent about working for you, being positive and humble, knowing your stuff- if you don't know don't make it up, hard work making the difference between the successful and unsuccessful, surrounding yourself with the best, extreme attention to detail, making massive sacrifice to move your career forward, providing opportunity to your team, when you know to break out on your own, intricacies of selecting your partners, how to go from one to two locations, growing people before growing restaurants, and why you should buy instead of lease.

Growing up in Detroit, Alex's love for wine came at the young age of 19 years old. His passion for wine provided him with the opportunity to work in some of the finest restaurants the industry has to offer including Michael Mina, The French Laundry, Daniel, Atera, Le Bernardin, and Jean-Georges. Today Alex serves as the Principal and Beverage Director at Atrium DUMBO, and Beasts and Bottles located in Brooklyn, NY.

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

In this episode, we bring back past guest, Business Manager of Bar Mezzana, Jefferson Macklin, and business partner, Executive Chef, Colin Lynch. When Jefferson first came on the show (episode 228) he and his partners, Colin and Heather Lynch, were in the build-out stage of opening their restaurant, Bar Mezzana. Jefferson, Colin, and Heather all worked with the Barbara Lynch Gruppo, out of Boston, MA.  In 2015 they decided to break out and pave their own path. 

We discuss what Jefferson, Colin, and Heather did that made the opening go well, getting experts to take care of the details, how to resign gracefully when breaking out on your own, why this location stood out to Chef Lynch, how they raised the money, the importance of practicing your pitch, what being a servant leaders looks like during an opening, how to keep your team as motivated as they were on day one, removing those who bring the rest of your team down, the impact of having a tight partnership, sharing your financials with the team, and educating the guest on the cost of serving them right.  

At the Helm with a combined 30 years of experience in the hospitality business, Colin and Heather Lynch, along with Jefferson Macklin worked together at Barbara Lynch Gruppo for eight years before realizing their dream of opening a restaurant of their own. All three share a passion for creating an amazing dining experience rooted in exceptional hospitality. Most recently, Colin was the Executive Chef for Barbara Lynch Gruppo, while Jefferson served as the President and Chief Operating Officer. Today, Colin, Heather, and Jefferson are the Co-Owners of Bar Mezzana location in Boston's South End.

In this episode, we discuss what makes Erik Shellenberger an authority on the topic of marketing, and we cover the 5 areas you're most likely to find your next NEW customer: word-of-mouth, reviews, search engine optimization, social media, and others. We also discuss the power in paying for a mentor and spending money to make money. 

Erik Shellenberger is the founder of Bar Marketing Basics where he teaches bar and restaurant owners how to improve their online presence and bring in new customers.

Direct download: 383_Erik_Shellenberger_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

 In this episode with Donnie Madia, we discuss the power of collaboration, knowing your strengths, attracting onto yourself those who are strong where you're weak, taking the ideas of others and tweaking them to make them your own, no one person being greater than the whole, having a will to succeed, How Madia and his business partners got the money to start Blackbird, how to attract greatness onto yourself, What makes a successful partnership, the importance of finding the right real estate deal, opening restaurant close to each other, and the power of masterminding.

Chicago-born, Donnie Madia got his first lessons in hospitality by observing his mother and aunt caring for and serving guests in their home. It is said that Donnie has mastered the art of collaboration, and is gifted with the ability to see and connect talent. Today, Madia serves as co-founder of One Off Hospitality Group In Chicago IL and has received 5 James Beard Awards acknowledge his work.

Direct download: 382_Donnie_Madia_20170929T152538.079586_20170930T132824.171403_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss how Jen Pelka got her start in the industry, how you got to "fake it till you make it", how to create opportunity for yourself by creating positions, the power of side hustles, having great connections, networking, how to get people to like you,  summarizing your brand, picking one thing and being the best at it, focusing on what you're good at, surrounding yourself with those who are good at what you're bad at, using a cause to appeal to investors, hiring with the same vision, and using branded visuals.

After a decade of experience leading branded events, influencer marketing, content strategy, and media relations in-house at OpenTable, Gilt Taste, Tumblr, Chef Daniel Boulud's iconic Restaurant DANIEL,m Jen Pelka launched Magnum PR in 2015. This past January, Jen took all of her experience helping other restaurants succeed and put it into opening her own restaurant and champagne bar, The Riddler, located in San Francisco, CA.

Direct download: 381_Jen_Pelka_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT


In this episode with Ian Boden, we discuss the power of gathering and sharing knowledge, how this industry is filled with misfits- which makes it awesome, why abusing your mind and body needs to be a way of the past, correcting processes not people, taking ownership of your people falling short, why Chef Boden needed time away from the kitchen, what brought Chef Boden back to the kitchen, why you need to learn the entire business before opening your restaurant, why Chef Boden's first restaurant failed, knowing the #'s, the importance of your reputation, getting everyone in your restaurant aligned, how to get your people to "drink the Kool-Aid", leading by example, the value of intent, doing what you say you're going to do, learning from your failures, doing market research, and how to set yourself up for financial success

Originating from Northern Virginia, Chef Ian Boden got his start at the early age of 13 working in a local French restaurant. He would continue his culinary education at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont before making his way to New York City, where he stayed until 2007. Back in his home state, Ian made a go at a number of ventures earning national acclaim and 2 James Beard Nomination for "Best Chef Mid-Atlantic" in the process. In 2013, Boden opened his community focused, casual dining restaurant The Shack, and has been crushing it ever since.

Direct download: 380_Ian_Boden_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am EDT

In this episode, how Jenny Peterson got her start as a baker, getting work experience before opening your own restaurant, learning what not to do from previous experiences, being a strategic/calculated risk taker, making it fun, honesty, values, trusting your gut, make the most of the slow time, scaling into your vision by taking it slow and steady, the impact colors have on your brand imaging, knowing your lane, asking "are you willing before making all decisions, checking your ego at the door, not correcting people; correcting processes, the impact of doing what you love, knowing and sharing your why.  

It all began with an Easy Bake Oven. From an early age, Jenny had her hand in whatever her mother was baking.  she graduated from the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, then interned in one of the most successful bakeries in Paris, “Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Lohezic.” Upon arriving back to Charlottesville, Jenny worked at the Boar's Head Inn, then soon after she continued to pursue her pastry dreams. Today she is the Chef-Owner of Paradox Pastry Cafe located in Charlottesville, VA. 

Direct download: 379_Jenny_Peterson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss the path Charles Bililies took to get to where he is today, the value of working both FOH and BOH to get the "big picture", how Charles landed a job for Thomas Keller straight out of college, creating your own luck,  getting out what you put in, the power of your network, lessons learned from Thomas Keller and Michael Mina, attention to detail, open book finances, creating a company of leaders, doing one thing and doing it well, why planning a restaurant is a full-time job, how Charles raised the money for Souvla, the importance of being scrappy, clarity in identity, doing few things really well, promoting from within, how to motivate your team, when you know it is time to scale, valueing your people, and promoting from within. 

Charles Bililies attended Johnson and Wales University and Cornell University where he studied Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management. After finishing his formal education he continued to learn under restaurant masters such as Thomas Keller and Michael Mina. In 2014 Bililies opened Souvla- a fine-casual Greek restaurant and wine bar located in Originating in San Francisco, CA, which today has a total of 3 locations.

Direct download: 378_Charles_Bililies_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31am EDT


In this episode, we discuss how Kirk Kelewae got his start in hospitality, never-ending transitional moments, rewarding ambition, taking initiative, creating opportunities for yourself, creating a culture where people feel they can contribute and grow, why mentoring is a "two way street",  how to make special experiences, establishing trust with your guest, the transition to management, why being management means you have to work even harder, how to critique a best friend, the importance of opening yourself up to feedback, how to management managers, why you should never higher someone just to "fill a role" and transitioning from fine-dining to fast-casual.


Kirk Kelewae is a graduate of Cornell University where he studied Hospitality Administration and Management. In 2008 he joined the team at the Eleven Madison Park as a food runner, which lead to becoming Dining Room Manager, which lead to becoming service director, which eventually lead to becoming General Manager. In 2017 Eleven Madison Park earned the #1 spot on the San Pellegrino Worlds 50 Best Restaurants. Today, Kirk GM at Made Nice.

Direct download: 377_Kirk_Kelewae_20170922T143131.015204_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:49pm EDT

In this episode, we discuss why you need to "make it exciting", how there is job security in hospitality, how turning your life around is as simple as making the choice to, showing up to work with enthusiasm, using enthusiastic energy lifts those around you, how doing the work opens up doors and creates opportunity, scaling into a high volume restaurant, why choosing the right partner can make all the difference, and why you need to make your operation foolproof.

While in high school, Chef Tristan Wraight got his start as a dishwasher at a bakery. He continued to work hard and climbed the ladder to become sous chef at Parson's Chicken & Fish in Chicago. Along the way, he had a few stints as touring Guitarist but eventually found his way back to the kitchen. At some point he found himself in Charlottesville, VA and in 2014 he opened Oakhart Social, which has since been one of the hottest spots in Charlottesville restaurant scene.

Direct download: 376_Tristan_Wraight_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss the Canlis family history, what mark has learned from his family history, highering people who inspire, the difference between being a "what" and a "who", The biggest lessons Mark learned working under Danny Meyer, how Mark almost got fired from Union Square Hospitality Group, how being honest and earnest saved his job,  the role humility plays, the importance of having a company mission, why it's worth putting other people first, a lesson on humility, giving others the benefit of the doubt, being empathetic, the true meaning of hospitality

hailing from Seattle, WA Mark Canlis is a graduate of Cornell University and served as a Captain in Air Force Special Operations. After his service, Marked helped open famed restaurateur Danny Meyer’s fifth restaurant, Blue Smoke, in Manhattan.He returned back to Seattle in 2003, as a 4th generation co-owner of the family restaurant, Canlis. Canlis is nationally acclaim as one of the finest restaurants in America.

Direct download: 375_Mark_Canlis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we're creating awareness about the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Program Developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the American Hotel & Lodging Association. Whether you're looking to become an apprentice or you're a practitioner looking for an apprentice, after listening you'll know where to start. 

Enlightening us about this new program, we're joined by John Shortt. Shortt is the Director Of Program Development at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and is heading the restaurant industry’s first Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Program.

Direct download: 374_John_Shortt_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:46pm EDT

In this episode, I'm going to solo and sharing the books I most often recommend to learn about systems, culture, finances and more.

People often ask me what books I have to suggest. So, in this episode, I'm sharing the biggest "aha moments" I've had since recording episode #1 along with the books I recommend to support said aha moments. Pretty straight forward, right?

Direct download: 373_What_I_know_to_be_true__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27am EDT

In this episode, we discuss the value of getting work experience before attending hospitality or culinary school, getting experience working for others before opening your own restaurant, the definition of service, how to motivate your staff, overcoming the fear of failure, showing your staff you care with family meal, training your staff to the change you want to see in the industry, developing your brand and concept, and how dedication to success can be both a strength and weakness. 

Originating from upstate New York, since the age of six, Chef Christopher Bates knew he wanted a career the Hospitality Industry. He would go onto attend Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in NY. Today Chef Bates is the Co- of FLX Hospitality Family which includes of FLX Table and FLX Wienery, and Element Winery, all three located in upstate NY.

Direct download: 372_Christopher_Bates_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss how a "chip on the shoulder" can serve you, working in the industry before opening your own restaurant, how a partnership can work, starting lean and bootstrapping, leveraging your network and community for help, having a presence in your community before opening a restaurant, how to get your team to "buy in", continually improving operations, how to implement a "hybrid system", The pros and cons of said hybrid system, knowing your destination and finding your own path to get there. 

In 2006 University of New Hampshire Graduates,--SaraTebbetts and Jack O'Sullivan--took over ownership of the Big Bean Cafe, located in Downtown Newmarket, NH. 11 years later The Big Bean is still going strong and racking in accolades like New Hampshire "best of" Awards. As of the past year O'sullivan has opened his second restaurant, the Oak House, and from what I can tell it seems to be going pretty well!


Direct download: 371_Jack_Osullivan_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm EDT

In this episode, we discuss working with the best to become the best, profit sharing, how being small allows you to be unique, motivating and encouraging your people, being selective with who you allow on your team, having personal high-touch relationships with each of your guest, how your team is a reflection of who you are, and tieing good old fashioned manners and courtesy into your culture.

It was over a half century ago when founders Jack and Linda Williams got hitched and began their lifetime dedication to the food industry. Along the way, they helped develop the concept for a well-known steakhouse chain and built 34 restaurants in two decades, becoming their largest and most successful franchisee. In 1989 Jack and Linda Williams would open the first Richie's Diner established in Temecula, California. Today there are a total of 3 Richies Diners and it continues to be a family owned and operated concept.

Direct download: 370_Jack_Williams__20170831T132914.311122_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Alan Silverman hails from Brooklyn and has experienced a lifetime of loving and making a living from food. Alan comes from old school fine dining and has worked in some of the greatest restaurants in New York, Chicago, and LA. Today, Alan has settled in Seattle, where he serves as founder and CFO of Festivals, Inc.

In this episode we will discuss: Avoiding mediocrity. Innovation. You're going to have to prove yourself to certain people. Making connections with your customers. You have to impress EVERYONE who comes into your restaurant. Start small and expand slowly. You have to be on a mission to learn. As an owner you need to be physically involved in your kitchen and food service.

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

Gabriela Vilar is the Chef Owner of Quintana Restaurant, located in Curitiba, Brazil. Vilar has found a way to create a business around her passion of respecting the environment, art, culture, tradition, and food. She isn't only surviving, she's thriving going into her 9th year of business.

In this episode we will discuss: If you want to see change you need to enact change yourself. Finding your lane in the industry and sticking to it. The importance of serving others. Art, culture, traditions, food. Thew road that leads you to hospitality. Exhaustion in the restaurant industry. Seeing failures and successes that you learn from. The importance of educating your guests.

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

In this episode, we discuss the value of finding a mentor, creating system depending restaurants, putting great people in system dependent restaurants, staying lean when opening your first restaurant, being a good listener, living to serve others, and the meaning of hospitality. 

Kyle Itani spent most of his life around food being raised in a farming family. It wasn't until he was in college when trying to recreate what he was seeing on the food network channel, that he fell in love with cooking. Before long he would find his mentor, Showtaro Kamio and his interest in Japanese cuisine took off. Today He is the Chef/Owner of Hopscotch Restaurant,  Itani Ramen, and Thistle Meats- all of which are located in CA. 


Direct download: 367_Kyle_Itani_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Chef Trigg Brown is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he studied English Literature. It was while in college he met his mentor,  Pei Jen Chang, who helped him develop his interest in Taiwanese food. Brown would go on to work for both the Crafted Hospitality and Starr Restaurants, where he further developed his skills. Today Brown is the Chef/Partner of Win Son, a Taiwanese American restaurant located in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

In this episode we will discuss: As a leader you need to do the right thing always. The importance of mentors. Finding the RIGHT mentor. Quiet leaders. Hold yourself to a high standard. Sacrifice your time, money, and energy to get what you want and need in this industry. You will get the knowledge you need from the great mind you surround yourself with. Partnerships. The importance of owning your property. Running a successful Kickstarter campaign. Attract good people with good systems.

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

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Craig Hartman spent 37 years building his career around fine dining, hotels and educating others. In 2010 he deiced it was time to change it up and made a go at fulfilling a lifelong dream to open a BBQ Joint. Today he serves as the chef owner of The BBQ Exchange, located in Gordonville, VA. In this episode we will discuss: Learning from your mistakes. Make yourself better each and every day. Never being satisfied. Being a chef means making people happy. The best path for successfully open a restaurant. Don't lease: buy. Building equity with the building you buy. Very few chefs can do whatever they want in their restaurants and still make enough people happy. Service is key. Partnerships. Being married to your partner. Tell the truth. Catering.

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

In this episode, we discuss why we need to show up each day to live intentionally. Then we show you how to show up using the IEP Method (Intentional Energetic Presence). 

Anese Cavanaugh is devoted to helping people show up and bring their best selves to the table in order to create significant positive impact in their lives. She is the creator of the IEP Method®, an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations around the world, and author of Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives

Direct download: 364_Anese_Cavanaugh_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Xavier (“X”) Mariezcurrena, aka Mr. FOH hospitality, and Chef Tony Aiazzi are restaurant dudes and longtime compatriots. Together they have over 32 years experience in hospitality and have worked under names such as Bobby Flay and Charlie Palmer. Today they serve as Co-Founders of ChouxBox, the industry's first web-based "point of purchase" service that helps everyone organize their paperwork, understand purchases, and save time.

In this episode we will discuss: Helping people. Partnerships. Don't try to do too much too fast. Blame yourself if your staff can't succeed. You need to able to see yourself married to your potential partners. The restaurant industry as less effort and more reward. Work-life balance. The importance of time management.

Direct download: 363_xavier_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Brett Schulman graduated from the Universtiy of Maryland College Park in 1995. He would go on to pursue a career in finance as an equity trader. After losing his passion for finance, Brett changed paths to help his wife run Snikiddy Snacks- a natural snack food company-as their COO. Brett found a new passion - changing the way people think about eating, the way they are eating, and their accessibility to fresh food. Not too long after, he discovered the full-service restaurant, Cava Mezzay. Fast forward almost a decade and Brett serves as CEO of Cava, which includes not only the full-service Cava Messay but also their rapidly growing fast format version of Cava Mezzay, and the line of consumer packaged goods.

In this episode we will discuss: Making a big change in your career. Feeling unfulfilled in your work and how to adjust that. Passion is the key to success in your work. If you're not happy, it's up to you to change your life/situation. making BIG transitions. Grocery industry vs. restaurant industry. Numbers. Marketing. Staying true to who you are during growth. CULTURE! Keep it simple. Labor costs. Real-estate. Maintaining culture during expansion.

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

In this episode, we discuss why online reviews matter more today than ever before, The biggest mistakes restaurant owner make when it comes to online reviews, when the best times are to ask for a review, and the 5 step process to handling online reviews.

Matt Hayman is a digital marketing expert based in the UK with over 8 years experience in Search Engine Optimisation and Paid Traffic. He's the founder of and helps businesses large and small grow by harnessing the power of customer reviews.

Direct download: 361_Matt_Hayman_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Chef Brooks Tanner Studied at Cornell University. Brooks is known for his underlining team building abilities and fiscal awareness. His passion is building concrete infrastructures to support high-quality services and educate those on how to waste less, be sustainable and eat well while financially building for their future. Today Chef Tanners serves as Executive Chef at Rockhill located in Cherry Hill, NJ.

In this episode we will discuss: You have to expect the unexpected in the kitchen. Going from the dishwasher to the manager/owner. The value of mentors. You need to just "jump in" to learn the most. You need to create the change you want to see. If you don't fail you're not growing. Create a strong support group around you and what you do. Tanner can't stress the importance of forming lasting social relationships with people in your industry. BIG emphasis on CULTURE. Foster the good in your staff and they will become amazing workings and great people. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. 

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

Raised in Simsbury, CT, Jeff Lizotte is a Cornell graduate whose culinary résumé includes experience at David Bouley's Danube and Eric Ripert's Le Bernardin in New York City. During two years in France, he worked for Bordeaux's La Tupina and the Michelin-starred La Bastide St. Antoine in Grasse. This past year Chef Jeff Lizotte was a semifinalist nomini for James Beard Best Chef Northeast for his work as the Executive Chef and Partner at Present Company, CT

In this episode we will discuss: It's OK to make mistakes. Culinary theory. Competitive spirit in the kitchen. Starting very young in the restaurant industry. Getting started in the restaurant industry in the heart of NYC. Doing your best to keep your staff happy and stress-free. Learning the culinary arts in France. The importance of mentoring with the right people. Stamina in the kitchen.

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

Want access to my network of consultants? Email or direct message me your Q's and I'll get an expert on the show to answer them! or @ericcacciatore 

I've never claimed to have all the answer, but after 350 + interviews I guarantee you I know someone who does know the answer to your question. This episode is the first of many to come, where I lean on my network of experts to answer listener questions.

Today, Rudy Miick, who first joined me in episode 181 is back to be the question answer-er. Miick began working in the restaurant industry at the age of 15, was a partner of a restaurant by the age of 24, and has been consulting for the last 40 years. Miick’s work has pivoted to focus on successful start-ups, performance improvement, and the growth of restaurants, resorts, and other foodservice operations. You can learn more about rudy at 

Direct download: 358_Rudy_Miick_QA_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Bryan Gibb is the founder of Bolt Coffee Co. Over 4 years ago Bolt Coffee Co. carved out a niche by starting as a mobile coffee catering cart which focused on weddings and other events. They have since scaled into their first brick and mortar location at The Dean Hotel in Providence, RI. Bolt Coffee Co. is A COFFEE COMPANY SEEKING TO CREATE MEANINGFUL IMPACT IN THE PLACE they find themselves. They BELIEVE THAT GOOD COFFEE IS BEST ENJOYED WITH FRIENDS.

In this episode we will discuss: COFFEE. Bringing people together around a cup of coffee. Coffee catering. Moving from having a boss to being your boss. Start small and grow. Starting a restaurant with minimal capital. Growing while maintaining culture. Recognize what makes you special and retain it. Changing the normal interactions in the hospitality industry. Using body language to sell coffee. Changing the way you're greeted at a coffee shop. Defying expectations!

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

Today we're sitting at the Paddle Inn, Josh Childs, Beau Sturm, and Suzi Maitland's newest restaurant, located in Newburyport, MA. In addition to the Paddle Inn, the restaurant group also operates Trina's Starlite Lounge, Parlor Sports, and Audubon. This Restaurant Group is most well known for craft cocktails and high-quality comfort food.

In this episode we will discuss: The power of good partnerships. Collaboration! Find your lane and stay in it. Atmosphere can be more impactful than food. Make the effort to take the next step. Going out of your way to make guests happy. Bartending culture. Opening on a shoestring budget. You HAVE TO believe in your restaurant to make it a success. Neighborhood bars.

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

Michael Krupp is an eclectic, impassioned businessman with a proven history of pushing Boston’s restaurant and retail boundaries, he co-owns and oversees business development at Area Four’s three locations including an Arcade plus a mobile wood fire catering business. He tackled the Area Four project with the same unrelenting drive to set trends that he has carried throughout his career.

In this episode we will discuss: Boston pizza! Getting ahead in this business because people like what you do. Do ONE THING really well in your business! Opening a restaurant in the middle of a economic depression. Partnerships and how to best navigate them. Let the product ride the success, not the other way around. Evolution is a good thing! Know your lane and stay in it. Quality of product. You need sufficient capital to start a restaurant and sustain it. Reinvesting in your company. Surround yourself with the right people. Find mentors and learn everything you can from them! 

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


In this episode we discuss: How experience helps you find your niche and clarity in your "why". Giving at least one year to each job you take. Building relationships and loyalty among other professionals. How to know when you're ready to go all in on opening your own restaurant. Having the right partner. The reality that things will get hard and when times do get hard, you need to take care of yourself, first. H0w establishing culture can help you transition from working in your business to working on your business. 

What started as a romantic pizza dinner on the floor of a college dorm room in RI, has blossemed into a what is probably one of the best known pizza and hamburger joints in NY City, Pizza Loves Emily. 3 years later they have a total of three locations: Emily Brooklyn, Emmy Squared, and most recently Emily West Village. They've garnered ton attention and have been featured in media outlets such as Vogue, Thrillist, Grub Street, and Travel and Leisure to name of a few.

Direct download: 354_Matt_and_Emily__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

It was in Boston, MA where David Kennedy got his start in the restaurant industry, as a part-time bartending while working towards his MBA. Today, David is the founder of The Holy Grail, located in Epping, NH, which has been nominated as NH's #1 Irish Pub 7 years running.

In this episode we will discuss: Making guests feel special. The host and the dishwasher are the most important part of your restaurant. The importance of saying good-bye and thank you when guests leave. Make guests and team members feel like they matter. Turn your restaurant into a learning experience for your staff. The importance of passion. Looking for the perfect location for your concept. The importance of researching the market that you're trying to break into. Start small. Proper promotion. Creating a really creative loyalty program.

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

To Nandu's FREE "GET BACK YOUR TIME COURSE" --> (limited time) 

To Nandu's "Profit Accelerator Master Course" --->

Nandku Awatramani (Nandu) is back on the show for the 2nd time consecutively. We just interviewed him yesterday, but we ran out of time. There was still something we didn't get to discuss; why time management is the first step to taking back your restaurant and life. 

In this episode, Nandu teaches us WHY you need a STRATEGY to get back time in your life. It is not enough to just delegate, you need a proven system.  

Here is the link to the course Nandu created that teach you the same exact strategy he used to regain time in his life. HE'S GIVING IT TO YOU FOR FREE!

Direct download: 352_Nandkumar_Awatramani__2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Nandu is a third generation Hospitality Entrepreneur with 18 years in the hospitality industry. He is based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA and helps restaurateurs and other F&B business owners make more money, get their time back, and grow their businesses beyond what they could have thought was possible.

In this episode we will discuss: reach out and find the right education. Improving revenues by working less. Taking over managing a restaurant unexpectedly. Daily meetings with your staff are essential. Take a minute to say hello and ask how each member of your staff is doing every day. Cultural challenges. Learning another language on the job! Show your employees that you appreciate them. Bringing Italian food to India. Imprint your drive and passion on your employees. Bad business and how to avoid it. Making pizzas for a movie theater! High volume in a small space. Branding and messaging is so important! Knowing when to go for professional help and when not to. Growing your company. Learning to be strategic. Have a plan! Systems, processes, and procedures. Step outside the box. Getting the people who like your restaurant to come back more often rather than only trying to attract new customers. Leading a balanced life of profits and happiness. Hard work is important BUT SO IS SMART WORK!

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

David Mazur is considered the renaissance man of hospitality. I have had the pleasure of interacting with him as a hospitality professor, general manager, and mentor. His career has spanned over 25 years in hotels restaurants, clubs, consulting and coaching. He has been involved in a half-dozen startups and continues to grow his success.

In this episode we will discuss: Teaching business in a college setting. Bartending in New England. Experience equals knowledge. The REAL YOU is not the FACEBOOK YOU! Communicating with the consumer. The conception of Restaurant Unstoppable. The importance of mentors in any aspect off life. Putting yourself out there and the benefits it earns you. Money will come with skills. Don't do it for the money. Restaurant consultancy.

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

Chef Johnny Ray Zone, an LA native, has worked professionally under some of the best chefs in the world, including Thomas Keller, Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Mat Sue He Sa. In 2014, during a stage at Sean Brock’s Husk in Nashville, TN, a local chef introduced Johnny to Nashville Hot Chicken. It was instantaneous love. It is safe to say in the years to follow, Chef Johnny has dedicated is life to mastering the perfect piece of hot fried chicken. You can find his chicken at Howlin' Ray's Nashville Hot Chicken, located in Los Angeles, CA.

In this episode we will discuss: Striving for perfection. Hiring customers. The decision to go or not go to culinary school. Mentors in the restaurant industry. The different mindset of someone leaving culinary school with massive debt. The cost of training an employee. Integrity in the restaurant industry. Transitioning from food truck to restaurant. Do one thing well instead of many things well enough. Making guests happy (and encouraging them to come back) is more important than watching the numbers.

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

A native of Detroit Michigan, Chef Kate Williams studied Food Science at Michigan State University and would later transfer to the French Culinary Institute in NYC. Kate has served under Wolfgang Puck as Sous Chef, and served Detroit's Republic Tavern as Executive Chef. She's received the title of "Top Chef" Detroit and Eater Detroit "Chef of the Year - Semi-finalist." This summer Kate is opening Lady of the House which has already stirred up talk including Eater National's "Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings 2017" and Tasting Table's "Most Anticipated Opening 2017."

In this episode we will discuss: Creating a restaurant that emulates your guests dining room. Questioning why you got yourself into the restaurant industry. Making your restaurant more like a home dining room. Serving a community that you love. Finding the "right money" for investment in your restaurant. Creating a business plan for your restaurant concept. Molding your business to serve its surroundings. Making guests feel special.

Direct download: Untitled_Session_1_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

The idea for The Holy Donut grew out of a craving. Leigh Kellis wanted a donut made with fresh ingredients that she could feel good about eating. Since she couldn’t find what she was looking for, she decided to create it herself. Thus, The Holy Donut was born in 2011. Six years later Leigh has scaled The Holy Donut from an apartment kitchen wholesale shop to a 3 locations operation with 80 employees.

In this episode we will discuss: creating what you think is missing in your community. The anti-Dunkin' Donuts come to life. Everything's better with potatoes. Making donuts with potatoes. Starting a business with no overhead. The importance of testing the market BEFORE you sink too much money into your idea. Taking the risk of quitting your job to devote yourself to your idea. Welcoming change while staying true to your mission. Take your time before you grow and expand. Working with family. Spreading happiness through food and drink. Food as more than calories to keep you alive.

Direct download: 347_Leigh_Kellis_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In 2004, Moses Sabina joined his brother, Alec, and they embarked on a gastronomic tour, eating their way across America’s finest diners, barbecue fests, soul food joints, and fish frys.  Their goal was to learn how a good neighborhood restaurant becomes a food institution. Today, Moses and his brother have spent the past decade practicing what they've learned  with their restaurant, Hot Suppa, located in Portland, ME.

In this episode we will discuss: Always trying to make things better for guests and employees. Running a "neighborhood restaurant." The desire to work for the independent restaurants. Independent v. Corporate company mentality. People-dependant businesses v. Systems-dependant businesses. Working with family. Owning real estate is important for building equity. Taking the time to establish your concept before you put its in motion. The importance of choosing the right market for your concept. Not having financial room for error can help you take your time in establishing a business. You need to be at your restaurant, especially in the beginning. Finding your life-balence. Making people happy through hospitality everyday.

Direct download: 346_Moses_Sabina_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In 2008, After traveling the world learning how to brew and distil alcohol, Eric Michaud, opened Novare Res Bier Cafe, which has nestled itself comfortably on multiple national best beer bar list. In 2013 Eric Opened Liquid Riots Bottle Company to satisfy his need to create. Their spirits have been winning awards ever since. Today, Liquid Riots Bottle Company consist of a Brewery, Distillery, and Rest0-Bar.

In this episode, we talk about living to embrace the work we do, following your passion and living intentionally from an early age, what Eric learned about hospitality from living with Buddhist Monks, learning the business on someone else's dollar, treating the business you work in like you own it, the steps Eric took in opening his first bar, how to take initiative, listening to the advice of your future customers and the locals when opening a restaurant or bar, the impact of being a hands-on owner who teaches his/her staff first hand, leading by example, stepping back and trusting your people, sharing your business's equity with your best employees, and how being interesting can help you attract great people. 


Direct download: 345_Eric_Michaud_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT