Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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