Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

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