Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore (general)

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

In 1994 Mary Allen Lindemann and Allen Spear opened their first Coffee By Design coffeehouse in Portland, Maine. 23 years later, what started as a humble coffeehouse with a part-time barista has grown into a sustainable business that currently employs 60 individuals in its 5 coffeehouses and its sustainably sourced roastery. Their growth is attributed to their fantastic employees, exceptional coffee, and strong underlying belief that what we do can make a difference.

In this episode we discuss: Doing what is right for YOU! Community. How do you define success? Making sure your job is right for you. Proving your doubters wrong. Choosing the right market for your concept. What it means to truly be an entrepreneur. How politics can come into play when opening a business. Honoring your mistakes. Staying true to who you are. Slow growth. Good communication with your team. Doing good for your community and getting your name out there in other ways. Don't be afraid to be you. Knowing your numbers.

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

Originally from Malden, MA Chef TJ LaRosa is a two-time transplant. He first moved to San Francisco where he got his start working in the kitchen of the historic Alioto's at Fisherman's Wharf. In 1998 he would relocate again, this time to Texas. In 2012 he opened Fulbelli's Restaurant, located in Sherman, Texas.

In this episode we discuss: the joy of taking on a challenge. The importance of mentors. The importance of asking questions. Patience in the kitchen. The importance of being a hands-on owner. Passion in the industry. Saying yes to customers. Pitching restaurant ideas to get investor interest. Taking a leap of faith. The importance of saving money. Word-of-mouth marketing. Lead by example.


Direct download: 343_TJ_LaRosa_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Tommaso Bunker has over 20 years of outstanding experience in operations, finance, human resources, marketing, & Corporate Officer-level management for both stable & turn-around corporations and independents. During his tenure as Director of Operations at Sushi Ran, the restaurant earned a Michelin Star. He would then go on to share his knowledge by helping restaurant operators turn things in their own business around. Today he is the Director of Business Development of Mr. Esspresso located in Oakland, CA.

In this episode we will discuss: There's always a solution, you just have to find it. Taking the initiative and where that gets you. Getting involved with your team as much as possible. The business side of running a restaurant. Working in a vast array of restaurant styles and what you learn from that. Staying calm in stressful situations. The importance of mentors. Sympathy. Empathy. Culture-clashing in the kitchen. Conflict resolution. Repetition and communication are keys to success. Discipline. A smile costs nothing but means a lot. Being willing to learn.

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

Chris Schultz spent 15 years with the Starbucks Management and Leadership team before joininging MOD Pizza, aka the MOD Squad in 2009. Since then the MOD Pizza has gone from 1 location to 100 locations in 2016. Since the beginning the driving force behind MOD has their philosophy of putting their people first. Today Schultz holds the title of Senior Vice President of Operations.

In this episode we will discuss: Team importance. Everyone on your team is equally important to getting the job done: no star players. Not worrying about who gets the credit and just focusing on getting the job done. You have to believe in your team. Culture-driven organizations. Failure is not an option. Growing big while remaining small. Move slowly. Make sure you have the confidence to go being before you try to grow. The customers need to want to go back to your restaurant. Customers need to feel comfortable. Being a part of a company that stands for more than just profits. Everyone deserves a second chance.

Direct download: 341_chris_schultz_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Tracy Chang is from Cambridge, MA where she first experienced the restaurant industry while observing her Grandmother, a multi-unit restaurant owner. She would go on to study finance at Boston College. After college and a short stint in a kitchen, she would continue on to travel the world learning about food, marketing, media, and public relations. Today, Tracy is the Chef, Owner at PAGU, in Cambridge, MA.

In this episode we discuss: Living intentionally. Drive and determination and where it gets you. The early days of opening a restaurant. Being passionate about what you do for work. The importance of learning how every job is done properly under your management. Being self-made. Informal training is not a deal-breaker; we can learn the skills we need from anywhere. A willingness to do anything to get what you want. The willingness to contribute fully to your team. Looking at your situation and attempting to add value. The importance of family in your life no matter your profession. Serve your community and your community will serve you. Ramen. Starting small and scaling up. Staying local. You need to care and be intentional. Thew importance of having endurance in this industry. This is a "people" business as much as a "restaurant" business. The importance of treating your staff like family.

Direct download: 340_Tracy_Chang_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Chef Edward Mendoza comes from Augusta, GA and has a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Agusta State and a Culinary Degree he earned in Vail, CO. He would go on to cook all around the country and world and has garnered countless accolades along the way. Today he is the owner of Cucina 503 and serves as corporate chef at major events like the Masters, U.S. Open, Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, and the Salt Lake City Olympics.

In this episode we discuss: Tweaking the system to make it your own. Looking at cooking in a restaurant as hosting a party every single night. For every one dollar you spend, you need to make three dollars to make that dollar back. Standards are very important. Your partners can't follow your vision if you don't clearly lay it out for you. How to operate when failure is not an option. Location and dependable events near your restaurant are guaranteed money made and guests served. The importance of earning a good reputation in your community. The importance of being prepared. The importance and ease of having a payroll company. There's no room for error in catering. There is no such thing as being too prepared for a catering event.

Direct download: Untitled_Sessio339_Edward_Mendoza_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Lisandra Pagan is the founder of Deliberate Plan Consulting LLC. She helps restaurant owners prepare for business interruptions such as natural events, day to day crisis, or anything that can prevent them from doing their job. Then she helps develop strategies to bounce back quickly and prevent permanent business closures.

RJ Joyce, is a past guest of Restaurant Unstoppable, episode 299. In 2015 he partnered with James Woodhouse to open his second restaurant Louie’s, located in Portsmouth, NH. Two months ago they were forced to close indefinitely.

In this episode we discuss: The importance of planning. Planning for a catastrophe at your business. Planning for a fire in your building. The emotional response to tragedy. The strength of keeping things positive in the face of disaster. No matter how loved and successful your business is nobody is natural disaster-proof. Picking yourself up after tragedy. Planning during peace time. Contingency planning. Time is of the essence in disaster response. How insurance comes into play.

Direct download: 338_Lisandra_Pagan_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Originating from Boston MA area, Debi Saltzberg holds a degree in hotel and restaurant management from UMass Amherst and has spent the last 15 years working in the San Diego restaurant industry. Today, she is the founder and host of Just Forking Around: The podcast show for Restaurateurs, Creative Chefs, Kick-Ass Servers, Wicked Cool Winemakers, Fresh Farmers and frankly, anyone who plays a pivotal part in this beautifully insane sexy world of Food and Beverage.

In this episode we discuss: Perspective and how it determines your outlook on what's positive. The importance of your team! The feeling of making your guests happy. The choice to move from bartender to manager. Wanting to be part of a team. Picking yourself up when you fall down. The important part of failing is the recovery. Viewing your restaurant in the "macro." The desire to be the best! The feeling of being worthy of rewards. Hard work and what it earns you. Being a mentor. The joy of inspiring your employees. LEADERSHIP! The importance of looking up. Your employees want to be great so it's YOUR JOB to foster that. Don't freak out; find the solution! Filling your mind with positivity through podcasts.

Direct download: 337_Debi_Saltzberg_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss: The power of journaling. The power of positivity. Setting the stage at your restaurant. The history of food. The importance of having goals. the importance of mentors. Living intentionally! The importance of time management. Time delegation. Time-blocking. The nitty-gritty of opening a restaurant. Making sure your restaurant concept is good for it's geographical location. Making your brand known. getting your name out there with pre-opening marketing! Operating a business "lean." Do the research to get the best prices and quality. Negotiating with vendors. Increase your bottom line without just increasing prices for guests. Budgeting your work employee Labor management. Track your data. 

Rafe is an exceptional leader with more than 20 years in the restaurant business. With outstanding relationship building, training and presentation skills, Rafe is a results-orientated business professional with proven abilities in strategic planning, managing projects, improving the efficiency of operations and team building. With both Sommelier and Cicerone certifications, Rafe is a vital asset to the Puccini Group, where he serves as Vice President of Restaurant Operations.

Direct download: 336_Rafe_Gabel_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Hailing from India, Chef Jehangir Mehta is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating in the mid-90’s Chef Mehta got busy working in and opening some of the finest restaurants in New York City. Today Chef Mehta is an author and restaurateur at Graffiti, Graffiti Earth, and Me and You.

In this episode we discuss: Not following the crowd. Sustainability. Sociology and how it applies to the restaurant environment. The right way to speak to guests. The importance of working under difficult managers early in your career.Taking something positive from bad experiences. The importance of maintaining integrity. The importance of teaching our youth the process of cooking and where their food comes from. The most important part of your endeavors is that you tried. The importance of carefully choosing your team! Mentors are key to success. Learn from your mentor’s mistakes so that you don’t have to make them. Sustainability and how easy it is to improve in your business.


Direct download: 335_Jehangir_Mehta_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss: Focusing on and enjoying the work you do, living purpose and intention, surrounding yourself with people who are better than you, the evolution of a good manager, treating others the way you would want your children to be treated, how to build a team, the importance of good communication, making yourself obsolete, storytelling, adding more to the world than you take out, and not being afraid to ask for help. 

Hailing from Montana, Chuck Samuelson is a high school dropout turned award-winning chef and restaurateur. In 2004 he sold his restaurant, the Bird Rock Café, to head food services for Stone Brewery. Today he is the Founder and President of Kitchens For Good, a social enterprise that is designed to break the cycles of food waste, poverty, and hunger in the San Diego community.

Direct download: Chuck_Samuelson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm EDT

In this episode we discuss: Food as a central aspect of life. The science of food. The emotional response to food. The importance of choosing the proper location for your dream restaurant. Why do fancy restaurants have white table clothes? Anything is possible as long as it obeys the laws of physics. The struggles of building a restaurant. Bars should work like restaurants. Fixing inefficiency. The business side of owning and operating a restaurant. 

After graduating with a degree in philosophy and a successful 10-year stint as an independent derivatives trader, Nick Kokonas partnered with Chef Grant Achatz to open Alinea Restaurant in 2005. In the 123 years to follow, Nick would go on to co-find Next, The Aviary, and Roisters. In addition, Kokonas is the Founder and CEO of Tock, a cloud-based comprehensive booking system for restaurants, events, and pop-ups around the world.

Direct download: finalized_NK.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:41pm EDT

Restaurant Unstoppable's first every LIVE episode! In this episode, we discuss what to do after you've accomplished what you set out to do, needing a symbiotic relationship with landlords, how to sell the dream to your investors, focusing on doing a few things really well, why opening a restaurant is an equation, attracting the right talent, why sharing the profit upfront pays in the long run, starting small and scaling up, the benefits of operating a fast-casual vs a full-service restaurant, and how to maintain your essence as you grow.

We first had Chef Matthew Gaudet on the show over 2 years ago! That was episode 106. In that episode, we found out how Chef Gaudet came to be the chef and partner of one Boston's most well know restaurants, The West Bridge.

Much has changed since then! Today, Chef Gaudet is a Partner at the fast-casual Superfine Food, located at Manchester by Sea, The Chef at Freepoint Hotel, plus he has numerous other projects in the works.

Direct download: 332_Chef_Gaudet_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss why we live in a world dominated by a disengaged workforce, how to find your passion, why branding should be a reflection of culture, why there is a shift in people choosing to work for purpose over profit, how your passion comes from finding your purpose, the age of manipulation and decent coming to an end, how to create your product once you've found your purpose, and using story to deliver your brand. 

Adam Fridman is a seasoned entrepreneur who enjoys the challenges and excitement of startup companies. He founded AdvisorTV, a Chicago-based advice and mentorship community for entrepreneurs, and Mabbly, a digital marketing agency. In addition, Adam is a contributor at Inc. Magazine where he writes on topics related to storytelling from a place of purpose.

Direct download: 331_Adam_fridman_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss what can happen once you understand your job as a restaurant owner is to make it about everyone BUT yourself, why you should view neighboring restaurants as comrades; not competitors, knowing your strengths, finding the right partner to offset your weaknesses, staying in your lane, the power of masterminding,

The name, La Finca Chiquita- or The Little Farmhouse- has been a part of Oscar Cavazos's life since childhood, as it was the name of the family restaurant his parents opened decades prior in Gilmer, TX. Today, Along with his wife, Ashley, Oscar is the Owner and Operator of La Finca Chiquita in Allen, TX. The restaurant has become a staple in the community, and it is safe to say Oscar's making his parents proud.

I met Oscar through the mastermind I'm hosting. I've just been so impressed with who Oscar is as a person. He shows up to every meeting with such positivity, He always hits his goals. He even lost 30 pounds last month! I just really like Oscar and felt the need to make an example of him. When I asked Oscar to join me as a guest on the podcast he said, "Eric, are you sure you want to dilute the quality of your guest?" HA! Oh yeah. He's also humble. 

Direct download: 330_Oscas_Cavazos_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss growing your company by distributing loyalty and allegiance to your team, providing feedback to your team members, why you should have  scorecard for all your managers and team members, how success comes from hiring good people then developing them into amazing coaches and leaders, surrounding yourself with specialist, why servant leaders make the best managers, why bad experiences can be learning opportunities too, the power of thinking outside the box and diversify your business, the role of market research during expansion, the benefits of the entrepreneurial approach VS the corporate approach, why fast-casual is the way of the future, and the benefits of fast-casual to an operator.

With over approximately 40 years of experience in hospitality, Bill Post got his humbles start at Levy Restaurants back in 1978. Today and multiple businesses later, Bill is the founder and CEO of WJP Restaurant Group a multi-dimensional restaurant company with locations scattered about the country and Founder of WJPost Restaurant Advisors, offering consultancy to forward-thinking owners and entrepreneurs of small to medium sized restaurant companies.

Direct download: 329_Bill_Post_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, Nick Fosberg reveals new marketing strategies that are bringing him and his clients the highest ROI out of any marketing strategies they've used. Discover how they are using the e-mail address to NOT e-mail them, but connect with their customers in other platforms for pennies on the dollar and how they get them back in the door. Nick also reveals why he's giving away over $3,000 worth of new training that will help you take 10 hours a week off your plate and allow you to put automated new customer and existing customer marketing systems in place to keep sales coming in, even during traditionally slow times.

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: 328_Nick_Fosberg_Direct_Response_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss: how to scale from a dinner club to a brick and mortar operation, why they chose Tock to handle reservations with their dinner club, treating growth like a marathon, why you should invest in system and culture training before you open your restaurant, implementing bottom line change, managing work-life balance, and being clear about expectations.

Joshua Kulp and Christine Cikowski are the chef partners behind Honey Butter Fried Chicken located in Chicago, IL. What started as a Sunday Night Dinner Club has evolved into something truly amazing. Since 2013, Honey Butter Fried Chicken has believed in awesome ingredients, stellar service, and strong community, They also believe that you should feel good about your food—where it comes from, how it’s prepared, how it is served and by whom.

Direct download: 327_Joshual_Kulp__Christine_Cikowski_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:57am EDT

In this episode, we'll discuss: Marketing. Great food is not the only way to make money and be successful in the restaurant industry. Direct marketing. Direct response marketing. Small business marketing. Highly-targeted marketing. Royalty Rewards. Cost-effective marketing. You need to have a birthday club! The most important thing is a good online presence. Making it easy and encouraging to have customers leave positive reviews online. Constantly be in contact with your customers about incentives to come be your guest. The importance of taking action.

Direct download: 326_Rory_Fatt_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31am EDT

In this episode we discuss, being sincere, creating impacting relationships with both guest & team members, being genuine & authentic to yourself, starting small & scaling up, and getting experience before opening your own restaurant.

Originally from the Northeast, Michael Pazdon started sinking his teeth into the hospitality industry after moving to New York City in 1999. It was his time in NYC when he fell in love with food and drink. After 11 years in New York, he moved to Napa Valley and ended up staying there for over 5 years. Around 2015, it was time to head back home to the Northeast where today, Michael is the Founder and Mixologist of the Wallingford Dram in Kittery, ME.

Direct download: 325_Michael_Pazdon_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am EDT

An Arkansas native coming from a family of incredibly rich and interesting food-related history, Scott McGehee trained at the California Culinary Academy and cut his teeth at Chez Panisse working under Alice Waters for many years. Today Scott is a rabid advocate of treating people and contemporaries in the industry with absolute kindness, dignity, and respect. He exercises this advocacy as Executive Chef/Partner at Yellow Rocket Concepts, a Little Rock restaurant partnership, which is known as Central Arkansas's culinary juggernaut.
In this episode we discuss: Never giving up. If you want something you need to chase it. You need to be consistently positive. learn to communicate effectively. Utilize the path of least resistance to get things done. Lift struggling coworkers up, don't put them down for their mistakes. Paying your dues in the kitchen to learn and become better. Cooking is about more than food. Food is about human relationships, not just sustenance and taste. Be calm and kind. Baby steps are key to expansion. If you're not improving and growing every day, you're dying.If you don't know something just ask. You should be continually reinventing your restaurant.
Direct download: Scott_McGehee_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss: Customer service IS THE BOTTOM LINE! Learning how to gain skills with face-to-face interactions. Transformative relationships. Training your staff. How do people learn and how do we successfully implement tactics for learning. When a restaurant closes it affects a large community, not just the owners. Being supportive of your co-workers even beyond work-related issues. Must succeed in your personal life to succeed in your professional life. Don't go to work just for the paycheck. Your training tactics should be flexible to the kind of learning your staff is more apt to succeed at. All problems in a restaurant start at the top. Managers shouldn't just be putting out fires but preventing them. Bringing people up to your level will empower them and you. Make yourself better to make others better. Don't just accept mediocrity. Keep moving forward.

Andrew Carlson is a restaurant consultant and coach with focused knowledge on personal growth, leadership, training, customers service and social media marketing and he writes on these topics at . As of recently, he is also an author and just published his first book Customer Service is the Bottom Line.

Direct download: 323_Andrew_Carlson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss: surrounding yourself with people who want to make a difference in the world, who aren't just out to benefit themselves. Hard work and believing in yourself pays off. Providing employees with metro cards to get to and from work. at the end of the day if you don't support your community your community won't support you. being a "people person" helps in this industry. Have someone to hold you accountable because you need someone to push you and guide you when you need it. You can't teach hospitality. Increasing staff productivity. Believing in the core values of the company you work for. There is a place out there for you but it will take an effort to find it. Don't tackle a problem right away; be patient and formulate a plan first. Service and hospitality are completely different things. You should want your co-workers to move on and do better things if they want it. If you screw something up just fix it! Don't expect people to come to your restaurant just because you open the doors.

Patrick Patterson has always been drawn to people and their stories. After a stint documenting Texas Death Row for publications such as Playboy, Patterson's career took a different path, restaurants. Patterson, who as a kid, had standard rolls of washing dishes, cleaning spuds, bussing tables, and getting fired for eating croutons and dressing in the walk-in cooler! In 2008, Patterson landed on the steps of the Food Fight Restaurant Group in Madison, WI where he quickly rose from part-time bartender to first time GM & owner. In 2015, Patterson and his family relocated to the NH Seacoast. Today, Patterson is the GM of Block Six, the restaurant at 3S Artspace, a local arts non-profit in Portsmouth.

Direct download: 322_Patrick_Patterson__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss the importance of human resources, the core of HR being genuinely caring, why there isn't a problem with finding good people but instead it is a problem with good people finding good employment, going beyond transactional relationships to transformative relationships, and living a life that is true and transparent. 

As a human resource professional with more than 15 years’ experience, Carrie has dedicated her entire career to helping restaurant owners and operators navigate the complexities of HR policy. For more than a decade, Carrie served as the Director of Human Resources for Potbelly Sandwich Works where she was a key player in the ten-year expansion of Potbelly, which included growing the chain from three restaurants in one market to more than 200 restaurants in ten markets. With her success at Potbelly Sandwich Works, she founded Restaurant HR Group in 2010.

Direct download: 321_Carrie_Luxem_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18pm EDT

In this episode, we discuss: treating your restaurant job like you own it, open-book management, not just showing up to work to fill a role but being proactive in helping the business grow and be more successful. Lead by example, be able to do what you ask others to do. Treat the business as if it was your own. Dreams are just dreams until you put them into action. Internal growth-spurt. Every day you come to work you should be learning something. Create a mission statement that is ingrained with your personal values and your communities values. Servant leadership. Mentor not manager. Better to make one thing that are incredible and beautiful than it is to make ten things that are mediocre.  Your biggest strength flows into and feeds your greatest weakness.

Dimitri is the founder and Owner Dimo's exists as a for-profit hospitality organization that champions unity, development, and justice for our guests, our team and our communities in order to lead the charge in creating a positive, long-lasting impact.

Direct download: 320_Dimitris_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss, the influence our culture has over us, first training culture to our people, training as an investment and how investing in your people leads to the ultimate competitive advantage, the 5 basic elements of training your staff, training technologies, how to train those 16 of years and older, and why the training and learning process is never ending! 

A graduate of Texas A&M, Dr. Anton Villado holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. During his career, Dr. Villado has worked with organizations in various industries, but most recently the restaurant industry. In 2016, Anton joined to become their Chief People Officer. His work has been presented at national conferences and published in various scientific journals and book.

Direct download: 319_Anton_Villado_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss, entangled organizations, discretionary discipline, transactional relationship VS transformative relationship, creating a company of leaders, and how to create self-efficacy in your employees.

This is Tom's Second time on the show. Tom first joined me in Episode 107. If you want to learn more about Tom's story and what makes him great, I suggest you start there. Today we're here to discuss tom's It's My Company Too!: How Entangled Companies Move Beyond Employee Engagement for Remarkable Results

Tom Walters is a "serial entrepreneur", author, speaker, and principal in numerous companies, he is best known as the Chief Culture Officer of Chicago-area Tasty Catering, a suburban corporate caterer and event planner that was recently named a Forbes Best Small Company in America.

Direct download: 318_Tom_Walter_book_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

We have Bruce Irving from the Smart Pizza Marketing Podcast back on the show for the 4th time! We'll be discussing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat: what works now, what doesn't work anymore, and what to expect in the future.  Plus Bruce shares one tip for each platform.

Direct download: 317_Bruce_Irving_4_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:14am EDT

Bonus Episode: Technology is improving and become more affordable than ever before. With upcoming regulations, now may be the best time to update your POS. In this episode I interview 5 of the most recommended POS companies on the show. They share with us what they believe makes them unique and the less obvious assets the offer. I hope this content helps you make an easier decision on your next or first POS! At the very least, I hope it narrows down your options! Please support Restaurant Unstoppable by using my links! Head over to for details. 

Direct download: BonusPOS_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:38am EDT

Listen to this episode and discover why NOW is the best time to updated your POS to a cloud-based tablet or mobile system. We also discuss best practices in regard to Payment Card Industry (PCI) Compliance.


Yeah, I know. It is not exciting, but you need to know this stuff!

If you're not paying attention to the regulations, things will get very expensive, really fast. Now do I have your attention? That's what I thought.

Linda Hancock is involved in the Federal HIPAA compliance program working with local government and businesses. She became interested in the credit card processing arena while working with larger companies, and shifted career gears to start Dezba Credit Card Payment Solutions in 2003. Dezba's mission is to serve its clients by offering competitive and affordable prices, as well as provide up to the minute information on changing laws and products. Linda is one 100 original Certified Payment Professionals in the nation. Today she's here to educate us on what we MUST know to stay compliant in the upcoming year.


Direct download: 316_Linda_Hancock_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00pm EDT

Today we're going to be discussing Restaurant Fundamentals with Joe Erickson from Joe has put together a checklist of basic systems every restaurant should have. We'll be covering systems for Management, FOH, and BOH.

Joe Erickson is a leading contributor and Vice-President of and a feature writer for Restaurant Startup & Growth magazine. As a thirty-plus year veteran of the restaurant industry, Joe has created and developed several successful foodservice concepts as manager, owner, and consultant. In 2004, Joe teamed up with long-time friend and business associate, Jim Laube, founder of Together they have developed hundreds of articles, tools, and resources to help independent operators compete with the chains and become more profitable.


Direct download: 315_Joe_Erickson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss setting goals, applying a time limit to goals, taking jobs that help you learn and grow as a professional, putting in the work before you expect to reap the benefits, taking car of your team, and living with integrity.

Chef Michael Ferraro graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2002. He would go on to spend the next 6 years developing his craft. In 2008, Ferraro took over the kitchen at the recently-opened, NYC SoHo restaurant, Delicatessen. In 2009, Ferraro open Macbar, a restaurant fully dedicated to gourmet macaroni & che

Direct download: 314_Michael_Ferraro3_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss why running a business using a P&L is like driving a car looking through the rear-view mirror, how to set and control your spending with a budget, why daily tracking increases your situational awareness, and how sharing what you've tracked gets your team more involved. Also, we get a little off topic and discuss the significance of developing a "playbook" or protocols. 

Ryan Gromfin is also known as The Restaurant Boss. After years of working in the kitchen at numerous restaurants, 5-star hotels, with James Beard Award-winning chefs, and the best hotelier in the world, he is now using his experience to serve as an industry consultant at Authentic Restaurant Concepts. Today he helps restaurant owners reduce cost and increase profit with efficient strategies and you can find his work at

Direct download: 313_Ryan_Gromfin_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss living in the moment, the value of having a vision, putting in the time and not bypassing experience, how the secret lies within the "human factor", how to grant approval of your guest, why granting approval of your guest starts with granting approval of yourself, how being in the zone is about removing the inner dialog and existing to serve the others, the invaluable skillset of finding and working with partners, what happens when our emotions get the best of us

Ater arriving in New York with a Degree from the University of Belgrade, Dushan Zaric eventually broke into the industry as a Doorman. But this was only the beginning for Dushan. He found his passion for developing innovative cocktails while working behind the bar and has since established himself as one of the industry’s most celebrated advisors and mentors. 

In 2012, Dushan was listed as a Forbes Top 50 Tastemakers and co-founded The 86 Co. In 2014, he was awarded the Best Bar Mentor Award at Tales of the Cocktail. A notable author, entrepreneur, and influencer, Dushan continues to serve the industry and inspire the new generation of bartenders as Co-Owner of Employees Only, located in New York City

Direct download: 312_Dushan_Zaric_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss becoming a person of value by learning a unique skill that can serve someone else, why Kevin took the pay cut to transition to a management role, the approach Kevin took to becoming a bar owner, catering to what your customers want, how you can create a promotion out of anything, staying clean, functional and relevant, how to market a modern day restaurant or pub.

Artist. Bar Owner. Comic Book Shop Owner. Entrepreneur. Hustler. Husband & Father. Bednarz wears a lot of hats, but the one thing that he always manages to accomplish in all of his passions is having fun. Kevin is the Owner / Operator of The Ashburn Pub, Northern Virginia's original neighborhood pub. With over 20 years in business, the Pub is a landmark restaurant that features amazing food, a full bar, craft beers, 11 TVs and exciting monthly events.

Direct download: 311_Kevin_Bednarz_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, Jon shares why you need to constantly strive to be the smartest person in the room, how knowledge is nothing if you can't exercise it through people, how you need to always leave room for humor, and why you need to embrace change and accepting new technologies. 
With nearly three decades of hands-on experience, Jon Taffer is an award-winning hospitality expert, best-selling author, highly respected management guru and top-rated television personality.  His renowned method of management has become the industry gold standard, saving literally thousands of bars and restaurants as proven weekly on his Spike TV series “Bar Rescue.” Taffer is one of only six inductees into the Nightclub Hall of Fame, and also holds such distinctions as “Pub Master” in the United Kingdom with multiple honors as “Operator of the Year” and “Property of the Year.” In addition, Taffer is a coveted keynote speaker at major industry conventions and events.
Direct download: 310_Jon_Taffer2_mixdown_copy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss how open book management works, how open book management leads to a better society, how open book management is about the game, creating a company of owners, giving your team equity in your business, what is meant to be great instead of big, and then we make an example of two small giants: Union Square Hospitality & Zingermans Community of business.

Bo Burlingham is an editor-at-large of Inc. magazine and the author of five books, the most recent beingFinish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit Their Companies on Top. Today we'll be discussing two of his previous books: Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, 10th-Anniversary Edition which was one of five finalists for the 2006 Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award. and The Great Game of Business, Expanded and Updated: The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company introduced the concept of open-book management, has sold more than 300,000 copies and was named one of “the 100 best business books of all time.

Direct download: 309_Bo_Burlingham_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss how to approach a negative customer, why it is always best to take the human approach, how to identify when it is time to "fire" a guest, How to go about firing a guest, why you need to hold your business partners to the same standards as someone you'd be willing to marry, how to protect yourself opening under an LLC, implementing an operations agreement taking time to develop your team and business plan, and how even being a little distracted can cause you to fail. 

Chef Dave Query got his start in the restaurant industry at the age of 15 working at a hotdog stand. He would go on to graduate from the CIA in 1985. by 1988, at the age of 25, he was a restaurant owner. In 1994 Chef Dave founded the Big Red F Restaurant Group. 22 years later Big Red F is operating a total of 12 restaurants which consist of 6 unique concepts.

Direct download: 308_dave_query.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss how to approach mentors, living intentionally, being selfless by purchasing from local and independent suppliers, making your restaurant an extension of your personal brand and believes, how to gather data and emails, training your staff, and delegating.

Chef Marcus Guiliano is an award-winning chef, green restaurateur, real food activist, professional speaker, restaurant consultant & ultra-marathoner. In addition to successfully owning and operating the first Green Certified restaurant in the Hudson Valley, Aroma Thyme Bistro, Chef Marcus has begun to devote his time consulting and troubleshooting for other restaurants. Chef Marcus has launched activist/watchdog-oriented sites including, & the controversial You also need to check out, where Chef Marcus shares 50 common mistakes restaurant owners make. 


Direct download: 307Chef_Marcus_Guiliano1_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

The purpose of this episode is to introduce you to the concept of a MASTERMIND GROUP. We'll start off with a brief history of masterminds and then I'll dive into some of the finer details behind the theory of a mastermind group. The explanation I give came directly from the man himself, Napolean Hill and his book, Think and Grow Rich, where the concept of a mastermind was first expounded upon. 

After we all understand what a mastermind is and how it works, you'll join the members of the first every mastermind group I hosted and they'll share with you the benefits and value they extracted from the experience. 

Direct download: 306_Mastermind_Groups_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss why you need to tackle your passion full on once you discover it, incorporating learning and sharing knowledge into your culture, how to exceed expectation, why the experience is more important that the food or drink, and when you boil it down its really just about making people happy. 

Initially treating the restaurant industry as means to financially sustain plenty of other creative endeavors, Bobby Burns is now 24 years in. What got him hooked is the raw transparency and intimacy between the bartender-guest interaction. Bobby has had experience in all genres of the industry from corporate restaurants and fine dining venues to nightclubs and dives. Today he is the General Manager of Forest Hills Station house, in Forest Hills, New York.

Direct download: 305_Bobby_Burns_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we discuss developing relationships, always learning and asking why, how giving can help you get, understanding your numbers, knowing the vision you're setting out to achieve, moving on why you've achieved you goal, spending time on your business and not in your business, the power of staying optimistic and positive.

New Zealander Dean Brettschneider, a.k.a. the Global Baker, has earned many accolades dedicating his life to the craft of baking. Author of 13 cookbooks, columnist, TV personality, judge, teacher, student, and restaurateur... this guy does a little bit of everything. In 2012 Dean open opened the first two of what is now 7 Baker and Cook location, in 2015 he open Singapore's first gourmet sourdough pizza restaurant Plank sourdough pizza and in January of 2017 he opened the first Baker & Cook and Plank Sourdough Pizza in Manila. in April 2016 Dean Opened Brettschneider's Baking and cooking school.

Direct download: 304_Dean_Brettschneider_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss how Shila's family went from rags to riches by opening a restaurant, how systems can create harmony in your restaurant, what it was like to go from host to CEO and President of the family business in 13 years, and how to obtain work-life balance in a family business. 

In 2004, when Shila Morris was 18 years of age, her parents, Misty and Gary Young, purchased the original Squeeze In, located in Truckee, CA. During the next 13 years, Shila went from earning a little extra cash at her parent's restaurant to becoming the President and CEO of 7 Squeeze In locations with franchise opportunities on the table.

Direct download: 303_Shila_Morris_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am EDT

Highlights in this episode: why your first priority needs to be discovering your strengths, creating leaders, never blaming anyone but yourself for shortcomings, and the importance of becoming some who inspires.
Randy Caparoso was a founding partner of the James Beard Award-winning  Roy’s Family of Restaurants, where he was VP & Corporate Wine Director, opening 28 restaurants from Hawaii to New York. Presently, Randy is a restaurant consultant, multi-award winning wine journalist, Editor-at-Large and the Bottom Line columnist for The SOMM Journal, and currently blogs and does social media work for Lodi Winegrape Commission’s
Direct download: 302_Randy_Caparoso_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Jim Laube is joining us to discuss the most important numbers we need to consider when opening and running a restaurant. Sales to investment ratio, sales per square foot, prime cost, running inventory report, and open book management, what are these things and how can they impact our restaurant for the better?

Jim has served our industry for decades as a CPA and advisor to independent restaurants throughout the U.S. regarding operational, financial, cost control, and profitability issues. Today,  Jim serves as Founder and Publisher at is an incredible resource consisting of business plan templates, operating systems & procedures, checklist, training manuals, and webinars.

Direct download: 301_Jim_Laube_2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

In this episode Chef John Toulze discusses: Worth ethic; having an infectious positive energy; treat a business like a business from day 1; why you should treat the business like you own it, even if you don't; embracing technology; listening to your restaurant; putting your ego aside; and being authentic.
Chef Toulze started his career in hospitality at Viansa Winery in Sonoma in 1994. After several years of cooking and wine sales, John left Viansa winery to help Sondra Bernstein open The Girl & The Fig restaurant in Glen Ellen. Twenty years later, John is not only the Executive Chef but also the Managing Partner. John has been critical to the opening of the original restaurants and every project that followed.
Direct download: 300_John_Toulze_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:40am EDT

In this episode we discuss: what RJ loves about this work; what can come from surrounding yourself with successful people, why you need to keep an eye out for those who share the passion, and how success can be as simple as centering the salt shaker. RJ Joyce is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire where his focus was Business Administration, Management, and Operations. He spent the next 13 years further developing and fine tuning his management and operations skills until 2013 when he became a partner of his first restaurant GiGi's Italian food and Drink. In 2015 he partnered with James Woodhouse to open his second restaurant Louie's, located in Portsmouth, NH.


Direct download: 299_RJ_Joyce__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06pm EDT

In this episode, we tackle an issue that every restaurant owner seems to be up against. Turnover. 

I ask all of my guest mentors: Currently, what is your biggest challenge and how are you overcoming it? 

By far, the most common answer: finding and keeping quality employees. In other words, preventing turnover. 

So... What did I do? I brought in the big guns; Tom Henschel.

Tom Henschel is the president and founder of the executive development firm Essential Communications and the host of The Look and Sound of Leadership podcast

Tom expertise as a communications coach has taken him into executive offices at companies such as Amgen, BP Indonesia, CitiGroup, Ernst & Young, Lockheed Martin, Symantec, and Toyota. 

Direct download: 298_Tom_Henschel_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15am EDT

In this episode, we discuss creating a restaurant that is an extension of who you are, what can happen when you surround yourself with the right people, embracing technology, and why you just need to keep doing the work!

In 2015, a terrace house in South Melbourne that was formerly home to a burlesque club was overtaken by Shaun Quade and Mr. Harry.They set about creating a venue with the bones and soul of a restaurant but with a theatrical and multisensory approach. With a deep respect for produce and technique, Lume's team share an unrelenting desire to experiment.  They honor tradition, yet at the same time are hell-bent on building their own. Over the past 6 months, things have accelerated rapidly. In November they were named go-me-o Gault Millau Australian Restaurant of the Year and received their second Hat. They also headlined Taste of Melbourne festival, Good Food Month and Melbourne Food and Wine Festival; the quote "big three in Australia." 

Direct download: 297_Shaun_Q_Veronic_F.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am EDT

In this episode, we discuss the differences between successful and unsuccessful restaurants, why you should focus on doing few things extraordinarily well versus many things ok, why you should over complicate your restaurant, and how technology, specifically technology that mines data is leveling the playing field.  Paul Hadfield is the founder of and has been involved in helping small businesses for more than 14 years. Starting from a commission-only sales position at the age of 20 to growing multiple start-up organizations, he is as passionate about his client's ventures as he is his own. allows Paul to use his extensive knowledge of payment technology while applying his love for restaurants and hospitality.

Direct download: 296_Paul_Hadfield__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:52pm EDT

In this episode, we're learning on how to better understand and persuade people. Ross Jeffries has been described as someone who not only knows more than anyone in the world about how persuasion and seduction works, but more than anyone ever SHOULD know about these topics.For over 25 years, Ross Jeffries has taught 60,000 men how to use their language to tap deep into the unconscious processes for human connection, emotion, and decisions to find the women of their dreams.

Now, you're probably thinking "Eric's official fallen off his rocker! What's this have to with the restaurant biz?" Just trust me! I promise this all ties into entrepreneurship, sales, and marketing in the restaurant business

Direct download: 295_Ross_Jefferies_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36pm EDT

In this episode we talk about: Why you just need to start now and do the work; finding the right partners; the importance of getting clear on your vision; why your story has so much impact and making sure your values align with your partners.
Jared Truby and Chris Baca first met at the Western Regional Barista Competition in 2006.Years later they each had a light bulb go off in their head realizing that life is short, and the best way to live it was by doing the things you're most passionate about, with the people who bring out the best version of you and sharing that passion and positive energy with the communities around you...and the best time to start this journey was now. Thus, Cat & Cloud was born.
Direct download: 294_Jared_Truby_Chris_Baca_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50am EDT

Today Dave Stachowiak is here to share with 5 ways you can empower the people you lead.Dave Stachowiak is the founder and host of Coaching for Leaders a top 10 careers podcast on iTunes. He was named in Forbes as one of the 25 Professional Networking Experts to Watch in 2015 and has also been featured in U.S. News & World Report.Dave has been recognized multiple times with international business awards by Dale Carnegie Training. His credentials include a doctoral degree in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University, senior instructor certification with Dale Carnegie Training, and a Coach U graduate.Dave has taught years of graduate courses in leadership and education at Vanguard University and serves on the board of the Global Center for Women & Justice

Direct download: 293_Dave_Stachowiak_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27pm EDT

Going on 20 years now Sandra Bernstein had been Owner of The Girl and the Fig. Today, Sondra has expanded her operations with The Fig Cafe & winebar in Glen Ellen, as well as a unique event space in Sonoma Known as Suite D. She is also the author of two books: The Girl and the Fig Cookbook, and Plats Du Jour.

Direct download: 292_Sondra_Bernstein_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm EDT

In this episode we talk about leading from where you are, staying in touch with what fascinates you about this industry, how to overcome the lens through which a manager is seen, and representing the product and the story behind it. 16 years of experience as a barista, trainer, USBC competitor, competition creator, writer, consultant, and manager have been good to Chris Deferio. Along the way he has picked up key tips and insights into the foundational elements of what it takes to run a thriving and successful cafe. Today, Chris serves as Shop Operations Manager for Sunergos Coffee in Louisville, KY and when he's not in the cafe he's sharing what he's learned about that business with his podcast

Direct download: 291_Chris_Deferio_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Kathleen is the founder of Kathleen Wood Partners, LLC, an innovative growth strategy firm specializing in shifting leaders and businesses to new levels of success. Kathleen Wood Partners consults with clients to identify and clarify their purpose and competitive differentials to accelerate their growth and profitability. Kathleen Wood Partners collaborate with managers, leaders, and companies ranging from startups to large multinationals on how to optimize company and employee performance to build sales and increase profitability in any economy! Kathleen doesn't only talk the talk she practicing what she preaches at Suzy's Swirl, where she is co-owner of two locations.

Direct download: 290_Kathleen_wood__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:45pm EDT

This is a two-part interview starting with Chef Dustin Vallette and ending with his Brother Aaron Garzini. Dustin Vallette and Aaron Garzini are the co-owners of Valette Healdsburg. The vision for their restaurant came into the frame over 15 years ago while at their farther's house enjoying a glass of wine. They both went on their own way, Dustin learning the back of the house, Aaron learning the front of the house, only to reunite and bring their vision to reality. Since opening Valette in 2015 they have received incredible accolades from around the industry.
Direct download: 289_Dustin_Valette_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we talk about doing something great instead of something big, extending trust before receiving it, surrounding yourself with great people, and hiring people that make you laugh. Scott Wise is the President & CEO of a Pots & Pans Production, the parent management company for Scotty’s Brewhouse, Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Company, Scotty’s Brew Club and Scotty’s Dawghouse. With 15 restaurants in Indiana, 4 more being built in Florida, Illinois, Ohio and Plainfield, Indiana, the Brewhouse team has been busy. Scotty is well known as a community philanthropist, consistently committing his time and effort along with monetary and food donations to causes in every city in which his restaurants reside.

Direct download: 288_Scott_Wise_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

NYU graduate and former venture capitalist, Ron Shah is the founder and CEO of Bizly. Bizly is an on-demand, web and APP based platform for booking meeting rooms in luxury hotels and space in restaurant private dining rooms by the hour. Featuring a curated selection of hotels/restaurants across a variety of styles, Bizly focuses on spaces that boost productivity, connectivity and inspiration for an increasingly mobile workforce. Bizly is the only platform partnering exclusively with hotels to serve seamless and autonomous workspace solutions with all the amenities and technologies for corporate needs.


Direct download: 287_Ron_Shah_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode we talk about: Cooking without the ego and giving the guest what they want, the power of goal setting, the importance of consistency, being great instead of big, and taking the time to develop yourself and find the right opportunity. Upon Graduating the University of Virginia Chef Brendan Vesey found himself serving as an officer in the US Navy. Since finishing service in 2005, his nose has been to the grindstone growing and developing as a professional Chef. In 2014, he opened his second restaurant, The Joinery, located in Newmarket NH. When he's not leading his team at the Joinery he serves as an adjunct hospitality professor at Great Bay Community College and serves as a local leader for chefs collaborative. 

Direct download: 286_Brendan_Vesey_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we're providing an overview of Nick Fosberg's newly published book, Bar and Restaurant Success. This book will show you the RIGHT way to market and promote your restaurant by using new age technology, techniques, and insight. Nick 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 his Loyal Regular Value Optimize (LRVO) Marketing & Promotional Formula into their business. 

Direct download: 285_Nick_Fosberg_LRVO_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

In this episode, we discuss: why it is so important to just start; how the universe will present the path to success after you start; why you need to listen to your gut to find clarity in your mission and vision; and why it is ok to have an evolving vision. Joseph and Jenna Cuccia are the brother and sister team behind 17 Summer Street, located in Lodi, New Jersey. Starting as a Catering company in 2012, 17 Summer street has scaled and evolved over time and now serves as a full-service restaurant which is garnering accolades from around the industry including Joseph's recent accomplishment of being nominated as a semi-finalist for James Beard: Rising Star Chef Award

Direct download: 284_Joseph_and_Jenna_Cuccia_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Jim Rowe hails from White Center Washington and is the Founder, CEO, and Owner of Wing Central which opened in 2003. Since then he has gone on to open four additional restaurants, which include: The Roadhouse Grill, Brooklyn's Pizzeria, Creekside West, and Blue Rock Saloon.  In this episode, Jim shares with us his biggest lesson: grow your people before you grow your business. Additionally, Jim touches on the value of never ending learning and joining a mastermind.

Direct download: 283_Jim_Rowe___mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

McEnery earned his bachelor’s degree in Restaurant and Hotel Management from Purdue University and honed his skills at Aramark’s specialty restaurant division and Lynfred Winery. McEnery was able to bring Cooper’s Hawk Winery to life at the age of 29, opening the first restaurant in Orland Park, IL in 2005. Eleven years and 25 locations later Tim is CRUSHING IT! In this episode Tim talks to use about: what can happen if you're persistent; how to switch from a working in your business to working on your business mentality; finding people who are as good or better than us to join our team; and why we never can stop learning.
Direct download: 282_Tim_McEnery_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Committing his professional life to the hospitality industry, Jerrett Young had a 15-year tenure with top Canadian restaurant organization Oliver & Bonacini. As Vice President of Operations, he was responsible for the Toronto restaurant portfolio which included 7 unique restaurants, totaling sales of approximately 45 million in revenue. With an MBA in Hospitality Management specializing in organizational behavior, he helped the O&B team navigate successfully through a period of intense growth, innovation, and new partnerships. Currently, he is now Co-founder and owner of two companies: Blue Print Hospitality and Pineapple.

Direct download: 281_jerrett_young_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55am EDT

Hari was born and raised in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, India. He came to the United States in 1987 to pursue graduate studies in Mathematics. Today, Hari is a classically trained James Beard nominated Chef as well as an active tenured Associate Professor of Mathematics at Stetson University. Hari teaches full-time at Stetson University during the day and returns to his kitchen at Cress Restaurant at night where he is co-owner and executive chef.

Direct download: 280_Hari_Pulapaka.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33am EDT

A Training & Development veteran for 30+ years, Jim Knight grew as a professional under The Hard Rock Cafe brand, where he took lead on all things learning and development. Today, he facilitates on a variety of interactive topics, including sessions around organizational culture, world-class service, building rock star teams, employee branding, performance management, philanthropy and facilitation training. Jim authored, "Culture that Rocks", which in 2015, was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine as a "top 5 books to help you transform your business". If you want continued influence from Jim and his thoughts, check out his sight

Direct download: 279_Jim_Knight_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:13am EDT

Chef Jay McCarthy was born in New York, and raised in Jamaica. Always accelerating in math and science he found himself at Texas A and M where he studied Aerospace Engineering. Somewhere along the line cooking became his life.
McCarthy has traveled to numerous countries offering insights to chefs and sharing ideas as a consultant for the Texas Beef Council, the Nebraska Beef Council, and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. He spends much of his time consulting, teaching, and lecturing overseas as well as domestically. Most recently McCarthy filled the position of Corporate Chef for all Group970's restaurants, located in Colorado’s Vail Valley.
Direct download: 278_Jay_McCarthy_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Erik Oberholtzer is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University and has worked in some of the best restaurant around the world. Today, he is a social entrepreneur and Co-founder of Tender Greens. Founded in 2006, Tender Greens is a fine casual restaurant that serves healthy, high quality food at an affordable price, or in other words, slow food done fast. In this episode, Erik teaches us about: achieving mindfulness through meditation; why it is important you know your why and to be able to communicate it to others; The power of combining partnerships with "knowing your lane". 

Direct download: 277_Erik_Oberholtzer_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Chef Fabio Viviani has been involved in the restaurant industry since childhood, growing up in Florence, Italy. His career started at the age of 11. By the time he was 27, Viviani owned and operated five restaurants in Florence, a Farm House and two nightclubs! Shortly after, he moved to CA where he opened Café Firenze. He would continue on to open an additional 12 restaurants and his own wine collection.  He's authored 3 successful cook books with a fourth on its way. Recently, Viviani started the Know-How Leadership Academy, where he shares tips and advice to young entrepreneurs and also connects with them through his own digital magazine, Know-How Magazine.

Direct download: 276_Fabio_Viviani_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

At the end of every episode you're always hearing me ask for you to connect with me on facebook, or to shoot me an email and the following is why. I received a Facebook message that read:

"I'd like to hear some episodes with podcast listeners. People who started listening to Restaurant Unstoppable and have a success story from applying the things they learn."

So I found three listeners, all at different points in their career, who in my opinion are doing things right, and asked them to share how Restaurant Unstoppable has impacted their lives and decisions.

Before we dive in I want to be clear about something. Success is relative, and is dependent on a specific aim or purpose. I've found that the most successful people in this industry had an over arching definition of success, or an ultimate goal. However, they reach that ultimate goal by focusing on smaller attainable goals along the way.

The following is that discussion. Hope you enjoy! 

Direct download: 275_Listeners_Round_Table_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Ted Hawkins got his start in hospitality working summers in various restaurants on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. Soon after graduating Boston University's School of Hospitality Administration, Ted was hired at Chef Barbara Lynch’s Menton restaurant, as a kitchen server and quickly moved to a front server role. Over the next 4 years Ted climbed the ranks within the Barbra Lynch Gruppo to serve as Assistant General Manager of Lynch’s, No. 9 Park. Today, Ted serves SRV, a Coda Group restaurant, as the General Manager and Wine Director.

Direct download: 274_Ted_Hawkins_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:45am EDT

Jerry Posner is an accomplished training specialist, conference speaker, author and ukulele player! For more than 25 years, he's presented engaging and entertaining workshops and programs for the restaurant and hospitality industries, as well as a variety of conferences and motivational speaking engagements! We are excited for Jerry to share his 6 Keys to building empathetic staff, management that is engaged with their employees, and customers that want to come back again and again!

Direct download: 273_Jerry_Posner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05am EDT

In this episode we're discussing the two things that need to happen before you can become a master of your busines: self mastering, and becoming an inspiring leader. Adam Lamb is an Author and Speaker who has spent the last 25 years as an Executive Chef running high profile restaurants, hotels and multi entertainment complexes. He leverages his passion and experience in his Coaching practice with Culinary Professionals, Business Owners & Thought Leaders all around the world. He is also the host of the only radio show for chefs by chefs, Chef Life Radio, and the founder of

Direct download: 271_Adam_Lamb_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:11pm EDT

Shawn Wenner is entrepreneur who is passionate about helping others succeed in life and business. He has an eclectic background that includes everything from working in culinary education, to competitive fighting, being a musician and more. He speaks, writes, coaches, and recently founded Entrepreneurial Chef, which is a resource specifically for entrepreneurs in the culinary industry.Today we are hear to discuss how to reverse engineering Entrepreneurial Success. Shawn is going to share with us 6 Keys or Steps to help us with this process.

Direct download: 270_Shawn_Wenner_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Kevin attended Johnson and Wales Culinary Institute and sharpened his culinary edge working at restaurants like Ristorante Zeppelin in Orvieto, Italy, Castle Hill Inn, in Rhode Island, and Del Posto, in New York City. His first role as Executive Chef was served at Restaurant L'Office in Paris, France. In 2012, Kevin arrived in Boston and took an opportunity with owners Michael Moxley and Jim Cochener at The Salty Pig as Executive Chef. Today he remains with the same partners and with addition of Chef Michael Lombardi and serves as Co-Executive Chef/Partner at SRV restaurant.

Direct download: 269_kevin_ODonnell_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:43pm EDT

Today we're speaking with someone who was one of my earliest guest, Chef Patrick Soucy.  I had the pleasure of working with and learning from Chef Soucy, when he was opening Applecrest Bistro as Executive Chef. From day one of being on his team, I was taken back by his ability to lead, and garner respect. I've been wanting to have a conversation to reflect on this time spent working with him, and learning through observation. 

There was a ton I learned through this experience, but what sticks with me the most is how much Chef Soucy's team respected him. Respect is at the core of todays conversation. To be successful you need a team, and a team is no good unless there is mutual respect.

In this episode Chef Soucy shares what it was like to tackle such a massive operation, and what he knows about gaining respect.  

Direct download: 268_Pat_Soucy_Respect__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm EDT

As a restaurant consultant and trainer, Mike Ganino helps restaurants create better team cultures and teaches managers how to be more effective leaders. He is a regular keynote speaker and inspires hospitality leaders around the world to engage their staff and create stronger brands.

Direct download: 267_Mike_Ganino_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Jillian Rocco is a Massachusetts native, and a graduate of Boston University. She got her start in the restaurant industry as a hostess at Eastern Standard Restaurant. She has grown to Director of Operations at Row 34 and Island Creek Oyster Bar. Driven by the desire to learn more about the wine collection at Eastern Standard, Jillian did the work to create herself a job as a wine connoisseur and General Manager at Row 34.

Direct download: 266_Jillian_Rocco_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:02pm EDT

Today I have Donald Burns on the show to discussing the #1 challenge for restaurants today; hiring and developing staff. Donald is the Founder & CEO of Off The Range Ventures, LLC we he currently has 7 brands in his portfolio including: The Restaurant Coach, BadChef Good Chef Apparel Co, Restaurant Social+, Chef Branding Academy, and The Restaurant Coach University. Donald is a leading authority, author and international coach helping  restaurant owners, operators and culinary professionals go from just good to becoming exceptional.

Direct download: 265_Donald_Burns_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm EDT

In this episode we've got the one... the only... Bruce Irving back on the show not for the first time, not for the second time, but for the THIRD TIME! Bruce is the Founder and Host of Smart Pizza Marking Podcast, and he's one of our authorities on marketing for restaurants. Bruce is chatting with us about whats new with Facebook. Specifically, we'll be discussing: Facebook Video; Facebook Live; and Facebook's unpublished posts.

Direct download: 264_Bruce_Irving_facebook_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

Chicago Born, John Buchanan, is a psychology graduate of Northern Illinois University. His career at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. (LEYE) began at Evanston's Fritz, That's It, in 1978.  When Rich Melman, LEYE founder and Chairman of the Board, realized the need for a Human Resources Department, he selected Buchanan to head up the project. He currently holds the title of Senior Vice President of LEYE and His ability to teach and motivate has led to the position of President of Lettuce Consulting Group.

Direct download: 263_John_Buchanan_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:44pm EDT

Molly Hopper Sandrof hails from Norther California and is a graduate of Boston University with a focus on Communication and Marketing. Today she is the Director of People and Staff Development for the Hawthorn, Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar and two Row 34 locations.

Direct download: 262_molly_hopper_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:27pm EDT

Andrew and Claire Bowen opened their first coffee shop in 2007, after leaving senior roles in retail and healthcare. Within eighteen months they had opened three outlets and had over 1m pounds turnover. In 2011 they developed their own independent format, which they continue to run. They support coffee shop owners worldwide as founders of The Cafe Success Hub. Together they authored The Daily Grind: How to open and run a coffee shop that makes money.

Direct download: 261_Andrew_Bowen_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36pm EDT

Peter Jude Ricciardi is a creative consultant, and brand strategist executive producer with 15 plus years of experience working for The Walt Disney Company. He has since moved beyond the castle gates and the house of mouse and Today he is considered the Chief Storyteller and Brand Development Director for 2020 Brand Image. 2020 Brand Image is a full service consulting agency that specifically serves the hospitality industry. 

In this episode we discuss the significance of developing your story and how to deliver that story through brand imaging. 

Direct download: 260_Peter_Jude_Ricciardi__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:58pm EDT

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. His prominence in the industry increased exponentially in early 2008, when he guided the sale of two of his most popular concepts, a total of 22 restaurants - to Ruth's Hospitality Group for $92 million. 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: 259_Cameron_Mitchell_2_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

Paul Barron is the go-to guy in digital, social and media for restaurant and hospitality industries. He's the founder of,,,, and In addition Paul is the author of The Chipotle Effect; an award winning book on the social consumer and the retail and restaurant business. In his book, he shares an equation to help us master the chipotle effect. It is this equation, which we discuss in this episode. Also, Paul shines light on what he believes the future of our industry looks like, based on today's current trends. 

Direct download: 258_Paul_Barron__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:10pm EDT

Kathy Chaffee Groff has nearly 5 decades experience in the restaurant industry. she has worked from the bottom up working nearly every conceivable position along the way.  Kathy has opened a long list of restaurants in many cities and prides herself on being the "keeper of the concept development punchlist".  Her strengths are profit building and cost accounting, developing people through coaching and training guidelines, strategic planning and operational analysis, as well as measurement tools for tracking results in every area of business. You can discover more about her work at


Direct download: 257_Kathy_Groff_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm EDT

Ryan Gromfin is also known as The Restaurant Boss. After years of working in the kitchen at numerous restaurants, 5 start hotels, with James Beard Award winning chefs, and the best hotelier in the world, he is now using his experience to serve as an industry consultant at Authentic Restaurant Concepts. Today he helps restaurant owners reduce cost and increase profit with efficient strategies and you can find his work at

Direct download: 256_Ryan_gromfin_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

David Hayden was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri.  He has held both hourly and salaried positions at independent and corporate restaurants.  He has waited on over 100,000 guests, trained hundreds of servers and has been named Kansas City's best server. He is the author of Tips2: Tips for Improving Your Tips.   Additionally, David launched The Hospitality Formula Network, a series of sites designed to address a variety of topics related to the restaurant industry.

Direct download: David_Hayden__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06pm EDT

Mike Gibbons got his start in the industry as a waiter while attending Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Upon graduation, Gibbons transferred to Michigan accepting a position as an assistant manager, and quickly advancing to general manager, regional manager and later director of training before embarking as a restaurateur. In 1979, Gibbons joined forces with Dennis Serras and in 1981, along with Dieter Boehm, founded Mainstreet Ventures Inc. fast forward 36 years and Gibbons is a successful restaurateur operating businesses in five states as the President and CEO of Mainstreet Ventures Inc.

Direct download: 254_Mike_Gibbons_3_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15am EDT

Petra Polakovicova moved to San Francisco from Slovakia, Europe, when she was 18 years old. She had her first taste of American restaurants while working as a food runner at the illustrious Palace Hotel. Working with great Sommeliers and their award winning wine lists has always been a great source of education and inspiration for her. Her desires to be formally accomplished in the wine profession eventually lead her to attend the Professional Culinary Institute and become a Certified Sommelier in 2007. Following her certification, she joined EPIC Steak’s opening team, as an Assistant Sommelier and since June 2009 she been the Wine Director at EPIC Steak.

Direct download: 253_Petra_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

Today's guest, Aman Narang is a graduate of MIT and the C0-Founder of Toast, Inc. Toast is an all-in-one restaurant technology platform. Built specifically for restaurants, Toast brings together many solutions from integrated online ordering to gift card and loyalty programs to labor and sales reporting all on a mobile, cloud-based POS system. Thousands of restaurants across the US are using Toast - from fine dining to fast casual, local businesses to national chains. Aman and I will be discussing the future of POS systems and how they impacts restaurant operations and human relations in years to come.  

Direct download: 252_Aman_Narang_Toast_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:51pm EDT

Nashville native, Chef Tandy Wilson, got his start in the restaurant business during the late 9o's as a dishwasher and quickly transitioned to line cook. By 2002 he had both a Administration and culinary degree. After 5 years of working on the west coast, traveling to Italy, and re0settling roots in Nashville, Tandy opened City House in 2007.
He has been recognized as "Best New Chef in the Southeast" by Food and Wine magazine and After nine semifinalist nominations and Three consecutive finalist nominations chef Wilson Finally took the title of James Beard's "Best Chef Southeast".
Direct download: 251_Tandy_wilson_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:03pm EDT

In the heart of Miami, restaurateur John Kunkel, founder of 50 Eggs, Inc., focuses his unwavering passion for food into a diverse group of culinary concepts. In just under two decades, Kunkel has built 50 Eggs into an award winning restaurant group, demonstrating his talents with brand ideation, menu development and operational excellence for a broad range of hospitality concepts. Today, the group is comprised of beloved restaurants Yardbird Southern Table and Bar, Swine Southern Table and Bar and Spring Chicken.

Direct download: 250_John_Kunkel__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Peter Kirwan (PK), is the Director of Marketing for Wisetail LMS and has been with the company for nearly 5 years.  In that time, he has seen Wisetail LMS grow into a multi-million dollar company with more than one million users and over 50 restaurant clients. Wisetail LMS was founded in 2009 in Bozeman, Montana, and has grown 100% per year for the past 5 years becoming both a rising star and a disruptive force in the fields of eLearning, learning management systems, and employee engagement.

Wisetail LMS serves an elite group of discerning restaurant and hospitality clients – from The Cheesecake Factory, to Chopt, to Shake Shack, and The ThinkFoodGroup. Today we discuss how Wisetail's service can help your restaurant improve it's training while strengthening it's brand, communication, and culture. 

Direct download: 249_PK_Wisetail__mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT

Shore Gregory grew up just south of Boston, MA. While in college, he started working in the oyster business. Today, Shore is the founder and Owner Island Creek Oyster bar, Row 34 Boston, Row 34 Portsmouth, and has a few more projects in the works. In addition to being founder of some of Boston's premiere seafood restaurants,  in 2014 Shore was named one of "Forbes Magazines  30 under 30" in food and wine. 

Direct download: 248_shore_gregory_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am EDT