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You know a really great restaurant the minute you walk in the door. It’s attention to detail, the way you’re greeted and made to feel comfortable, the ambiance, service provided and of course the food & drinks.Hitting all these marks is a continual challenge, but my guests today aren’t missing a beat!In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podc…
 
Pride and passion run deep in the restaurant business no matter the size of the organization. Some may be fulfilled running a single independent restaurant while others aim to grow their concepts to multiple locations. In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I speak with Anthony Ackil who co-founded and grew a 70+ unit restaurant chain…
 
Everyone is searching for solutions to today’s restaurant “big issues” ie: labor, prices, shortages…In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Sam Zeitz, CEO of www.grubbrr.com Grubbrr offers one such solution with their self-ordering technology and digital restaurant kiosks.Listen on as Sam tells us:- What the “restaura…
 
To build a great business, it takes not only a clear vision but a relentless pursuit to stay ahead of your competition. As restaurateurs, we are competitive by nature, and to play our best game, we need to always strive to stay fresh, innovate and dazzle our guests. In this week’s episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Mark …
 
A 20+ year run in this business holds hard-won experience and many stories! In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Eric Scheffer ofwww.thescheffergroup.com. Eric is a true industry leader, visionary, and builder of five dynamic concepts in Asheville, NC.Listen as Eric shares with us:- The “secret sauce” of a truly gr…
 
I had great success by incentivizing my entire team to strive for maximum performance and guest service. You might say it was my “secret weapon” for over 20 years running restaurants. Now, it’s more important than ever to keep your good people happy and create a culture that attracts new team-players.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podc…
 
These are crazy times for all of us, and now more than ever it’s up to you to deliver dining experiences that WOW your guest, make them forget their daily routine and give them a memorable escape. This is the “key” to loyalty, repeat business and the pride that comes from making guests happy.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m …
 
Imagine the know-how and experience you would have after building 1,500 restaurants. Would you then have the Golden Touch?In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I speak with Kevin King, President of www.donatos.com, Kevin’s long career has taken him some of the most successful franchises in the business including Dominos, Papa Murphys…
 
An “A-Player” is someone with great personality, stellar product knowledge, a true understanding of service and a strong desire to please the guest. Imagine if your entire team took this approach!In this week’s episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Zaylan Jacobsen. Zaylan is a veteran server, bartender and team leader who s…
 
This is a FUN episode. I’m speaking with a food writer, podcast/ television host and all-around colorful guy Chef Joe Ricchio. He is a big personality around the food scene in the state of Maine, as well as in the culinary world at large. Joe has written for Bon Appetit, The Food Network, The New York Times and has appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s “N…
 
As a restaurant leader, your employees need confidence in your post-pandemic plan and to know what their role is in it.During these challenging times, it’s more important than ever to be cognizant of the difference between managing and leading. It’s also critical that you empower your staff versus delegate to them. In this episode of the Restaurant…
 
Chefs are the “Heart” of the Heart of the House. They run our kitchens, nurture, and develop the skills of prep and line cooks, and most important create and deliver the cuisines that bring guests to our restaurants.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Brandon Boudet, Co-owner and Executive Chef of Little Dom’s of …
 
Hospitality defines our business and delivering amazing guest experiences is the name of the game. It’s about leveraging a true competitive advantage.Why? Because you’re passionate and proud of your operation, your people and the products you serve.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Chris Adams, CEO and Founder o…
 
Chefs are the heart of our kitchens. They work with passion under the most challenging of conditions, heat, and pressure. They certainly deserve our thanks and our recognition.This episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast is all about the James Beard Foundation and most importantly, the famous awards each year. Our guests are Dawn Padmore and Ta…
 
Pride and passion run deep for all of us in this business. but rising from a deep personal tragedy to open multiple successful concepts takes something more.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Lisa Dahl, the CEO and Executive Chef of www.dahlrestaurantgroup.com Lisa found Sedona, Arizona to be an especially healin…
 
I’ll bet restaurants spend and lose billions of dollars on marketing that just doesn’t work. They try this campaign and try that, all on a hope and a prayer. Unless you can track where your business is coming from, you’re wasting your time and precious marketing dollars.Have you tried Direct Mail?I know what you might be thinking... “that’s so old …
 
I’m always impressed by visionary leaders who innovate and transform our industry.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with T.K. Pillan Founder and Executive Chairman of the largest, most influential vegan/vegetarian restaurant company in the U.S. His restaurants include The Veggie Grill, Mas Veggies Vegan Taqueria, and…
 
Success in the Hospitality industry requires passion, drive, commitment, and innovation. To stay relevant, you must also have a forward-thinking strategy.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with James J. King, the Founder, and CEO of Titan Hospitality. He has built a world-class operation that includes multiple concept…
 
There are things you love about your restaurant, but I’ll bet Sales Tax is not one of them. It’s one of those things you must do each month, but if you forget, there are penalties. In these crazy times, your restaurant might not even have the cash to pay it when it's due.What’s a restaurant to do?Well in this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Pod…
 
What do a classically trained chef, entertainer and Wall Street trader have in common? A fast-growing restaurant concept born from humble beginnings, and a consistent commitment to simple high-quality ingredients that taste like a warm hug feels…In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast I'm speaking with Pace Webb & Chris Georgalas the fo…
 
The industry continues its struggle with the labor crisis. Good people come and good people go, but maybe we’re looking in the wrong place.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Chef D. Brandon Walker (better known as Chef D) creator and owner of growing Los Angeles concepts. Before we get into that, let me tell you …
 
This is perhaps the most revolutionary time in the restaurant world. With more available ready-to-go spaces and the food truck opportunity exploding, now may be the time to start your own business, to go boldly ahead with a dream, a strong vision, and people you may already know with talents to help make your vision a reality.This episode of the Re…
 
Staying ahead of the curve and your competition is critical. As an independent restaurant, you need every advantage!Today now more than ever, the focus is on guest convenience and safety. What if you could add a virtual Drive-Thru to your business without adding an actual drive-thru lane and window? You Can!In this episode of the Restaurant Rocksta…
 
I love talking shop with “in the trenches” operators. So much to learn, so much in common.We’ve covered quite a few fast-moving franchises lately, but this one stands out as my guest is not only a 20-year veteran operator of this concept, she’s also the C.E.O.Sit down with us in this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast as I speak with MJ Ri…
 
Few restaurant operators are marketing geniuses. We think we’ve got it covered, but, we sometimes make poor decisions when it comes to marketing. We try this and try that, throw money out the window, and hope for the best, but the results are rarely there.Why? Because the bottom line is unless you can rock-solid track every ad and campaign you run,…
 
With the continuing labor crisis, chances are you’re still struggling to staff your place, serve guests and keep the lights on! Costs are rising, the supply chain has limited your products and competition is heating up.With all this going on you’ve probably had to pivot more than once. Well, here’s a new idea. What if you could expand your restaura…
 
I am constantly amazed at what I learn from my guests, and the insights and knowledge they share with our audience. As a veteran operator myself, I believe it’s critical to keep your eye out for hooks that catch the public’s attention, as well as competitive advantages to set your place apart from the rest.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstar…
 
I meet a lot of Rockstars on this podcast, but it’s rare to meet someone who rose from dishwasher to the founder of a fast-growing franchise. In this week’s episode of The Restaurant Rockstars Podcast my guest is Shawn Lalehzarian of The Red Chickz. He arrived in the US not speaking a word of English and rose through the ranks from dishwasher to se…
 
The last two years have been a roller coaster ride and pushed us all to our limit but – better days are ahead and fear not, 2022 may be your best year yet! During this most challenging labor crisis, now is more important than ever that you watch or listen to this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast. Some of our industry’s leading experts an…
 
We’re all suffering from the Labor Shortage. Now that business is booming, your staff is exhausted and getting burnt out from picking up the slack. What’s the answer?Well, you might consider hiring a restaurant robot!In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast I’m speaking with Juan Higueros Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Bear Ro…
 
The last two years have pushed us all to our limit, but know this – better days are ahead and fear not, 2022 may be your best year yet!Our biggest challenge as operators remains the labor crisis. Operating with restrictions, operating short-staffed, and keeping our operations OPEN has proven trying for even the best out there.Now it is more importa…
 
Any restaurant that increased sales 40% when the pandemic first hit, and then broke their all-time sales record for year-end 2020, deserves our attention! What are they doing? What can WE learn from them to be more successful in our own place?Give a listen to this week’s Restaurant Rockstar’s Podcast. I’m speaking with Mark Finnegan of WaBa Grill, …
 
Supply chain shortages and rising costs are on everyone’s mind, and its critical to find solutions to maintain already slim margins.One of the biggest cost increases is for fryer oil, something most restaurants can’t operate without. Over the past few months, we’ve seen oil prices double and even triple!What to do?Well in this week’s episode of the…
 
The pandemic has permanently changed the restaurant landscape and the way we must do business in the future.As restaurateurs, we must stay relevant to our consumer and consistently deliver convenience, value, quality and service. Countless businesses and successful companies that once dominated their industries and didn’t evolve, no longer exist. D…
 
There are many legendary restaurateurs in our business, and we can learn from each and every one of their stories.Rarely do I find a man still working his restaurants 50 years on with the same energy, passion and creativity that led to 26 different locations. Imagine building these brands, developing the concepts, leading the teams and fostering th…
 
We can all learn from a true restaurant magician…In my book, anyone who can rise from fry cook to creator of a 95 location taco concept has industry magic.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast I speak with Mike Rypka, Founder of Torchy’s Tacos. He started with a single food trailer in Austin riding a red Vespa scooter passing out “Dam…
 
Sooner or perhaps later you will think about selling your restaurant. Maybe you want to retire, start another business, spend more time with family or just get out from under your operation.On the flip side, the pandemic has created lots of opportunity for new and existing operators. There are lots of restaurant spaces for lease, many with fit-ups …
 
The menu, vibe, store design and service of this juice concept makes it a winning restaurant formula. Doing all of this in one location is hard…duplicating this into a fast-growing franchise, that's another ballgame! Furthermore…Chris & Ed take it a step further having more than one franchise concept! That really takes them into the big leagues of …
 
Talk about a great sports story! Take 2 Walk-Ons for the Louisiana State University Basketball Squad, one bench, one napkin and a pen. What do you get?A Sports Bar/Bistreaux concept on its way to 150+ locations. The idea for this winning concept was brainstormed on the bench of the basketball court. Good thing the founders weren’t starters for the …
 
This pandemic has absolutely required your restaurant to adapt to the times and adopt new customer safe, friendly conveniences. This is more important now than ever as we emerge from the crisis. The good news is, these guest-friendly conveniences actually increase Sales and Profits. In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking …
 
Most restaurateurs are great at food, but Marketing is not their strong point. Is it any wonder, I constantly see restaurants throwing Tens of Thousands of Dollars $$$ away on everyday advertising costs.A radio sales guy calls you up and promises to deliver 200,000 impressions a week to your restaurant. Bingo, that just cost you $500. You think “My…
 
Big or small; chain or indie, we can all learn from true success. The magic restaurant formula is all about service excellence, on point marketing, dialed in finance and a consistency. But don’t forget that social responsibility and giving back can also be a business builder.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Co-…
 
We love the word FREE don’t we? Usually that comes with strings attached or means little to no value. In this case, you’ll want to stick around and hear about something to make running your restaurant easier, less labor intensive and YES, its Free. You even get you cash back!I don’t need to tell you that in most restaurants, the typical order and r…
 
I believe that anyone can delegate and tell someone what to do. Instead, it’s a rare thing entirely to nurture, develop and “Empower” your team to achieve greatness! Nothing in this business is more important than laying a sold staff foundation, as your team represent both your brand and ultimate guest experiences.In this episode of the Restaurant …
 
Face it, not every restaurant is busy 24/7. There are times, we need new business and more business. What if you could turn a switch on your slow times, and suddenly be driving sales and putting out significantly more food? Well, it’s now possible. In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast I’m speaking with Alex Canter; a serial entrepren…
 
I believe that operators should relentlessly build their brand and run a strong business, not a restaurant. This approach led me to dominate my competition for over two decades.It was not about dumping buckets of money out the window on traditional advertising or experimenting with this marketing idea and that. Do this and you’ll never know what re…
 
Finding a lifestyle balance in the craziness of the restaurant business is one elusive challenge. Keeping our restaurants and ourselves free from substance abuse is an even greater one.It’s no secret this business is ripe for misuse. Chefs selling steaks out the back door to feed cocaine habits, bartenders dealing drugs, alcoholic beverages at arm’…
 
How many ways has your business shifted during the pandemic? Are you proud of what you and your team has accomplished? Do you see a bright future ahead?If you’re still standing, it’s time to stoke that fire, get re-inspired and rock your restaurant.I have to say, for our place the way forward was “Online Ordering” and the ability to instantly chang…
 
What can you offer your guests that they would eat literally any time of day? The answer is Gourmet Pie and Organic Coffee. That’s right, any time of day comfort food that will put a smile on anyone’s face.This might be the “key” to repeat business and this concept’s fast growth and success.In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m s…
 
During this crazy pandemic, as a fellow restaurateur, I’ve gone through every bit of the challenge as you have. The biggest challenge continues to be labor.How do you find, motivate, keep and get the best performance from your team?In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with fellow industry pro and friend Jaime Oikle of w…
 
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