Restaurant Owners Uncorked - by Schedulefly
Wooden Robot GM Zena Irving shares her story
March 20, 2019 04:50 AM PDTZena is awesome. She has been in hospitality for 16 years, and grew up with a family background at Disney. She's been at the very popular Wooden Robot Brewery in Charlotte, NC since day one, four years ago. Owners Dan and Josh needed somebody with hospitality experience when they started, an Zena stepped up and has clearly done a tremendous job. We talked about the team's core values, how they stay on their game with such high volume (they've already brewed over 600 batches), the importance of effective and constant communication, their philosophy of working with a shared fate, working out of humility and teachability, making things look easy when they aren't, why Wooden Robot doesn't have high turnover, the collaborative nature of the beer community, and getting ready for their second location that's opening this May. Zena is sharp, focused, authentic, humble, and definitely one her game. Enjoy... The amazing Cheetie Kumar joins the podcast
March 14, 2019 03:16 PM PDT3-time James Beard award nominee (2017, 2081, 2019) Cheetie Kumar, chef/owner of Garland, Neptune's Parlour, and Kings in Raleigh, NC was recently profiled in the New York Times and was named as one of the 25 Southerners of the Year by Southern Living Magazine in 2018. She's as humble as she is brilliant at her craft, and was so kind to sit down with us. We talked about everything from "imposter syndrome" to therapy to southern food culture. A fun, thoughtful, highly educational conversation with an inspiring lady who we admire greatly. Enjoy... Prohibition's Ray Burns & Alexa Pavloski share their stories
March 04, 2019 11:37 AM PSTWe were lucky to have a chance to sit down with both Ray Burns (co-owner) and Alexa Pavloski (Events Director) to learn the story of Prohibition, which has very successful, popular locations in Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA. We talked about everything from the New York bar scene (where Ray got his start), the many costs of running a bar, the importance of empowering your staff, why Alexa applied for a job at Prohibition the day after she first visited as a customer, how Alexa was able to manage all of the events at Prohibition remotely from Australia for three months recently, the many, many hats an owner wears, Ray and Alexa playing "good cop/bad cop" during employment interviews, and much more. Ray and Alexa and the team at Prohibition have found a great balance of hard work and a fun culture, and it was an honor to have the chance to interview them. Enjoy... Bohemian Bull owner Chad Biel shares his story
February 28, 2019 12:34 PM PSTLike so many successful restaurant owners, Chad Biel grew up cooking and started working in restaurants at age 16 as a dishwasher. Since then he's had years of corporate experience with Carrabba's and Chick-fil-A where he learned about having great systems and organization, but also learned he wanted to be a part of something with less bureaucracy. He had been the GM at Bohemian Bull Tavern & Beer Garden in Charleston, SC for a few years when he purchased the business last year. We talked about his focus on bar food done well (food made from scratch, fresh, local ingredients, etc.), his focus on his community and monthly fund raising events, his efforts to reduce his and his managers' hours slightly to enable more focused time while at work, trying to determine the right amount of growth to avoid large company bureaucracy, and the four things you need to get right to make a restaurant work. The Story of Vicious Biscuit
February 27, 2019 10:52 AM PSTJosh Lambert co-owns Vicious Biscuit, which has been extremely successful right out of the gate in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and has very aggressive growth plans. We had a great interview with Josh, and discussed everything from the initial idea, research, planning, timing, biscuits being the new burgers in the U.S., farm-to-table fresh products, employees coming first, leading by example, social media/PR, and making sure every customer leaves with a smile. Tons to learn from Josh, we could have talked for another couple of hours! Enjoy... "I fell in love with food and service and never looked back"
February 26, 2019 10:21 AM PSTNick Barr, chef and kitchen manager at Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville, NC, is a thoughtful, passionate person who cares deeply about hospitality. He's been in the industry since he started working at age 15, and has a great story to tell of learning about himself and what matters to him while working at a large chain for a decade, and how he came to appreciate the importance of local ingredients and the intention and care that goes into serving food that has a greater purpose than profit. He cares deeply about what he puts on his customers' plates, where it came from, how it was prepared, and every aspect of the experience Buxton Hall guests have each time they walk into the door. Nick is a deep thinker who truly cares about his craft. It's inspiring to hear him share his story and his vision for what could one day happen with the local food movement. Enjoy... Meherwan Irani joins us again!
February 14, 2019 10:17 AM PSTIt's hard to put into words how much respect I have for Meherwan Irani. The 3x James Beard Award nominee has been so generous with his time with us over the years, including being featured in our second Restaurant Owners Uncorked book. We caught up with him this week after interviewing a few of the team members Chai Pani recently sent to India for twelve days, to learn at a deep, intimate level about the inspiration for Chai Pani. We talked about why it was important for that trip to happen, and much more about the restaurant business, Meherwan's goals, and the legacy he hopes to leave. This is a can't-miss episode. Enjoy! Chai Pani team visits India!
February 13, 2019 11:33 AM PSTChai Pani Restaurant Group recently sent five team members to India for twelve days, to get a true, deep understanding of the inspiration for Chai Pani, Indian street food. Three of the team members, Isaac, Andy and Gavin sat down with me to share why they went, what they learned, and how the trip impacted each of them both professionally and personally. In over a decade of serving restaurants, this is one of the coolest investments I've ever seen a restaurant make. This is such an incredible story, and we're so proud at Schedulefly to have the opportunity to share it. Enjoy... Ben Garbee of Lewis Barbecue in Charleston, SC
February 11, 2019 11:45 AM PSTWow, this was fun! I sat down with Ben at Lewis Barbecue and we talked about everything from what he learned about hiring staff when he as a delivery boy at a Chinese restaurant as a teenager, to what he loves most about hospitality, to Detroit-style pizza. Ben is engaging, thoughtful, sincere, humble, hard-working, and has built an incredible culture at Lewis. Ben is the kind of guy I'd want my kids to work for one day if they work in a restaurant. Tons of respect for him! Enjoy...
Quick update from Wil
February 11, 2019 11:40 AM PSTAfter a break in recording episodes, we are back at it!
Successful independent restaurant owners share their stories, advice, wisdom, lessons learned and more.
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