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GM Noah Singerman of Leon's Fine Poultry & Oysters
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November 19, 2018 11:30 AM PST
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Noah is the new GM at Leon's, an extremely busy, successful, well-respected restaurant in the highly competitive Charleston market. Noah has a lot of experience in very well-run restaurants, and is very dialed into how to run a restaurant successfully and create an atmosphere where both his guests and his staff thrive. He's sharp, committed, motivated, and is absolutely on his game. Enjoy...
Fullsteam Brewery owner Sean Lilly Wilson shares his story
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November 18, 2018 06:51 PM PST
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In our second in-person podcast, I had the honor of speaking with Sean Lilly Wilson, who founded Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, N.C. Sean started Fullsteam to help craft the "Southern Beer Economy." Through the act of commerce, he and his team aim to foster community and agricultural pride, create wealth, and encourage entrepreneurship within the post-tobacco South. And though their mission is lofty, they aim to keep it all fun. It's beer, after all! This was a very wide-ranging conversation. I learned a lot from Sean, and could have easily spoken with him for a few hours. Enjoy...
Chef de Cuisine Amie Gehlert shares her story
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November 16, 2018 08:44 AM PST
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Amie is the Chef de Cuisine at Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes in Oklahoma City, OK. She started as a busser at age 16, went to culinary school, and has had lots of really cool experiences over the years. We talked about the chef quitting her first night as a busser and how she stepped onto the line to help, igniting her passion right away! We also covered "extreme hospitality," why being vulnerable is good, her biggest challenges, and more. Amie is a dedicated, intentional, thoughtful person who loves her craft. Enjoy...
The Common Market partner Graham Worth shares his story
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November 15, 2018 09:36 AM PST
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Two and a half years ago, Graham left the world of investment banking to become a partner at The Common Market. TCM has three locations in Charlotte, NC, each with it's own feel but all sharing the common thread of being a "neighborhood living room." I've been to one location, and that's exactly how it feels. Very welcoming, very relaxed, full of hospitality. I really enjoyed talking to Graham about everything from what he and his team hope to do with The Common Market, the transition from corporate America to entrepreneurship, and much more. Graham and his partners have an absolutely killer business, and you'll enjoy learning why it's working out so well...
Looking Glass Hospitality Group owner Scott Schmidt shares his story
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November 14, 2018 08:46 AM PST
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Scott has been in the business since he was a fifteen year old dishwasher, and it was fun hearing him talk about the importance of every role in a restaurant, including the dishwasher, who matters much more than you might think. This was wide-ranging interview, covering a lot of ground from the importance of strong employee benefits, to three things you need for your restaurant's first year, to the shift in our culture to consumers appreciating independent restaurants now more than ever. Scott left a long career in corporate restaurants three years ago, taking on a big risk with a wife and four kids at home, but he's found fulfillment and is working both smart and had as he builds a business he intends to be around for decades. I have tons of respect for Scott, and and soaked in a lot of wisdom while speaking with him. Enjoy...
AGM Jake Hunka of Jax Fish House (Boulder) shares his story
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November 09, 2018 10:43 AM PST
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When I asked Adam Reed, who runs the Jax Fish House locations for Big Red F, for some folks on his team who are great at what they do, love their work, and would enjoy sharing the passion for hospitality, he told me Jake Hunka, the AGM, has done every you can do and would be great on a podcast. He was right! Jake talks about hustle gaining respect, not putting on blinders, and the importance to him of working for an organization like Big Red F that cares so much about the communities they serve. Jake is fun and energetic and authentic in his love for his work. Enjoy...
Our first in-person episode: Kate Shields from Bida Manda
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November 07, 2018 12:21 PM PST
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Wow, this was a fun experience! Kate and I sat on a coach in Bida Manda while lunch service was winding down, and we had a great conversation about her story, what she loves about hospitality, what she has learned from Van and Vanvisa (the brother and sister who own Bida Manda), the challenge of learning to be the new GM, and much more. Sitting in person with Kate enable us to connect on a deeper level than we could have over the phone, and the conversation was much better for it. This went so well I'm now planning to start doing as many in-person interviews as possible. Enjoy...
MOFU Shoppe owner Sophia Woo goes from food truck celebrity to brick and mortar
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November 06, 2018 05:09 PM PST
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Sophia and her business partner Sunny Lin won season six of "The Great Food Truck Race" on The Food Network. Now they own the popular and highly-respected MOFU Shoppe in downtown Raleigh, N.C. Listen to Sophia tell the story of going from working for a Big Four accounting firm to food truck to brick-and-mortar, while also sharing why staff always come first, what we can all learn from Millenials, and more. Sophia is interesting, engaging, smart, caring, and fun to talk to and respect for her time is the only reason I didn't keep rolling with this chat for a couple of hours. Enjoy...
Ten Crows BBQ GM and Manager talk ridiculously over-the-top service
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November 05, 2018 12:59 PM PST
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Our first episode with two people features Jonathon (GM) and Casey (Manager) of Ten Crows BBQ in South Lake Tahoe, CA. We cover a lot of topics, but one really sticks out, which is the acronym they use within their group of restaurants: ROTS (Ridiculously Over-the-Top Service. I love the approach they take to hospitality, and they share some great examples. This is a fun interview. Enjoy...
The Rockefeller owner Chris Bredesen shares his story
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November 03, 2018 06:02 AM PDT
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Chris has been around the restaurant business in southern California his whole life (his father is a Burger King franchisee). He learned a lot about the business from his dad, but he loved surfing and considered turning pro. However, after college and then business school, he found himself interviewing in suit-and-tie, about to go down the path to corporate America. Fortunately, he realized that wasn't what he was meant to do, and The Rockefeller was born. Chris and his team have done a tremendous job building a group with several successful brands, and he talks about everything from learning to delegate, making his team members believers, choosing locations, leasing vs. owning, and much more. A wide-ranging conversation with a guy who has his finger on the pulse of what it takes to make it in the tough restaurant business. Enjoy...

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