The Garnish: A Podcast for Restaurant People
[Staff Series #7] Ryan Egozi Hires for Team Culture First (S2E6 Rebroadcast)

[Staff Series #7] Ryan Egozi Hires for Team Culture First (S2E6 Rebroadcast)

November 8, 2019

This episode is a rebroadcast of our June interview with Ryan Egozi, director of operations at SuViche restaurant group in Miami, FL. He told us about how he and his team realized that it’s best to hire people whose values align to that of your team, and then train them to do the work well. He also discussed the two different profit-sharing programs at SuViche and other ways they show appreciation to their staff.

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

[Staff Series #6] Logan Hostettler Uses Cross-Training and Communication to Keep Staff Happy

[Staff Series #6] Logan Hostettler Uses Cross-Training and Communication to Keep Staff Happy

November 8, 2019

Logan Hostettler is the owner of 1894 Lodge in New Washington, Indiana, a town of around 700 people. Hostettler heavily cross-trains his kitchen staff so that everyone knows how to do everything, which really helps on a small team. He also told me about how talking about mental health openly is crucial to the success of his team, and how he’s been able to watch a lot of young people on his staff rise to the occasion when given new responsibilities. 

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

[Staff Series #5] How Leslie Ciccone Retains Staff at (swah-rey) with Constant Kindness

[Staff Series #5] How Leslie Ciccone Retains Staff at (swah-rey) with Constant Kindness

November 8, 2019

Leslie Ciccone is the owner of (swah-rey), a two-location (soon to be four location) dessert bar in St Petersburg, Florida. Her whole business model is centered around kindness, and she aims to create a work environment for young women that’s supportive and challenging, and that sets a standard of how they should let themselves be treated by an employer.  

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

[Staff Series #4] When Hiring, Steven Darwin Goes With His Gut

[Staff Series #4] When Hiring, Steven Darwin Goes With His Gut

November 8, 2019

Steven Darwin is the co-founder of Darwin’s, a four-location cafe in Cambridge, MA. He opened the first location 27 years ago with his wife and co-founder, Isabel, and since then, Darwin and his team of managers have learned a lot about hiring. He says that you can train someone to do just about any job in a cafe, but you can’t train personality — and you can usually tell within a few minutes if someone is right for the job.

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

[Staff Series #3] Erin Wade on Creating a Safe, Inclusive Restaurant Work Environment (S2E2 Rebroadcast)

[Staff Series #3] Erin Wade on Creating a Safe, Inclusive Restaurant Work Environment (S2E2 Rebroadcast)

November 8, 2019

This episode is a rebroadcast of our February interview with Erin Wade, founder of Homeroom in Oakland, CA, interviewed by Allie Van Duyne and Tamara Portman. Wade got famous in the industry for how she and her staff created a system to deal with harassment, but Wade is also know for her  commitment to making Homeroom a truly diverse work environment: more than 70% of the company’s leaders are women and people of color.

The audio sounds a little different in this episode because it’s from before we upgraded our audio equipment, but bear with us, because it’s an amazing conversation. 

Heads up that this episode contains discussion of sexual harassment.

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

[Staff Series #2] How Ciro Fodera is Breaking Down the Front- and Back-of-House Divide

[Staff Series #2] How Ciro Fodera is Breaking Down the Front- and Back-of-House Divide

November 8, 2019

From the moment Ciro Fodera, chef de cuisine of Capo South Boston, joined the team as sous chef three years ago, he's been hell-bent on demolishing the front- and back-of-house divide, and on building a cohesive, happy team. Thanks to his efforts, he hasn’t had to replace a cook in over a year. 

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

[Staff Series #1] Irene Li Constantly Trains Her Staff, and They Stick Around

[Staff Series #1] Irene Li Constantly Trains Her Staff, and They Stick Around

November 8, 2019

Irene Li, the founder of Mei Mei in Boston, MA, incorporates constant training into the jobs at Mei Mei: staff learn the finances behind the restaurant thanks to open-book management, they run peer trainings on everything from herbs to pronouns, and they also get external trainings, like one on service for those with alzheimers and dementia. She invests in her staff by teaching them everything she knows, and encouraging them to teach each other, and it pays off — average employee tenure at Mei Mei is 2-3 years. 

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

TRAILER: The Garnish Staff Series

TRAILER: The Garnish Staff Series

October 31, 2019

How do you keep your staff happy? How do you create a work environment that your staff want to stay in? Is there a new way to hire, train, and retain your staff that works better than the status quo?

The Garnish Staff Series is (almost!) here to answer those pressing questions. It's made up of seven 15-20 minute episodes, each an interview with a restaurateur, owner, or chef who’s going above and beyond for the happiness of their staff. Every episode is packed with great stories and actionable advice, and I can't wait to share them with you.

The series is coming out next week, so get excited, and subscribe to our listener newsletter at bit.ly/thegarnish to be the first to hear when it's out. 

Thanks for listening!

Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

 
Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable [S2E9]

Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable [S2E9]

September 20, 2019

Today on The Garnish, we sat down with Eric Cacciatore, host of Restaurant Unstoppable. He grew up in his parents’ restaurant, worked in a few more, and then spent some time as a commercial pilot and a winemaker’s assistant. Since 2014, he’s produced over 600 episodes of Restaurant Unstoppable. He aims to find out what makes a restaurant - and a restaurateur - successful. He’s interviewed over 600 restaurant professionals, and he’s learned a thing or two about the business.

In this interview, we discuss the power of relationships in the restaurant industry, the impact of trends like food halls and delivery, the importance of taking care of employees first, and much more. 

You can find Restaurant Unstoppable wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

Joanne Chang, Charles Bililies, and Emiliana Puyana on Funding a Restaurant [S2E8]

Joanne Chang, Charles Bililies, and Emiliana Puyana on Funding a Restaurant [S2E8]

August 15, 2019

Nowadays, it seems like everyone wants to open a restaurant. It’s fun to daydream about what you’d put on your menu, how you’d decorate the space, what kind of boss you’d be, and how you’d assemble your dream team.

One big question that people love to ignore when daydreaming is “how will I fund my restaurant?”

When it comes to funding a restaurant, there are many, many different ways to go about procuring capital. In this episode of The Garnish, we spoke with Joanne Chang – whose bakery, Flour, has expanded to eight locations across Boston – and Charles Bililies – CEO of Souvla, a four-location Greek-American restaurant in San Francisco – about how they gained funding for their now very successful restaurants. 

We also spoke with Emiliana Puyana, a program manager at La Cocina, a culinary business incubator that helps women and immigrants start businesses through mentorship, training, connections to funding, and subsidized use of a commercial kitchen. She told us about alternative paths to funding that are available to just about anyone.  

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

Parenthood in Restaurants [S2E7]

Parenthood in Restaurants [S2E7]

July 15, 2019

Today on The Garnish we’ve got an episode about being a parent in the restaurant industry. In this episode, three moms and two dads from all over the restaurant industry give their perspectives on one of the greatest challenges to modern work-life balance: restaurant work and parenthood. 

We discuss the toughest parts of being a restaurant industry parent, as well as the unexpected joys that come with it.

Meet our guests:

  • Katie Rosengren, who you may remember from our episode about gratuity-free restaurants, who is a general manager at Juliet Restaurant and has a one year old son.
  • Matt Titter, chef/owner of Max’s Eatery, and father to a nine year old son, Max.
  • Kyleen Atonson, a fine dining pastry chef at two Michelin Star restaurant Acadia in Chicago and mom of a five-month old son.
  • Baljinder Nijjar, a restaurant manager with two grown children.
  • Natalie Larson, sous chef at Mamaleh’s and single mother of a 7 year old son. 

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

Restaurant Architect Justin Alpert on Accessibility and Hospitality [S2E5]

Restaurant Architect Justin Alpert on Accessibility and Hospitality [S2E5]

May 28, 2019

When designing a restaurant, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of choices to make. All these choices, large and small, contribute to your overall vibe – but some of the decisions you make may be ruining the guest experience for your customers with disabilities.

Today we’ve got an interview with Justin Alpert, a restaurant architect who is passionate about making restaurants more accessible to all customers. His twin brother, and frequent dining companion, is blind, so Alpert has learned all about the design elements that make or break the experience of a guest with a disability. 

We cover:

  • The difference between designing a restaurant to code and designing a restaurant that's welcoming and hospitable for all your guests
  • What restaurateurs should consider when looking at a new (or upcycled) space for a restaurant
  • Simple ways that any restaurateur with any budget can help improve the dining experience for customers with disabilities
  • How to train waitstaff to enhance the experience of guests with disabilities   

Further Reading: 

Justin's Instagram

Justin's Twitter

Dear Restaurants, Your Inaccessibility Is the Opposite of Hospitality

For Larger Customers, Eating Out Is Still a Daunting Experience

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro. 

Gratuity-Free Restaurants [S2E4]

Gratuity-Free Restaurants [S2E4]

May 21, 2019

Today we’ve got an episode about gratuity-free restaurants.

On two opposite corners of the US, two neighborhood restaurants are currently thriving on a gratuity-free, profit-sharing model. In this episode, we’ll hear all about what it’s like to work at Juliet, in Somerville, MA, and at barcito, in Los Angeles. We’ll dive into the challenges of implementing this model, as well as the joys of gratuity-free work, including stable income and benefits like health insurance, the motivation of profit-sharing, and a smaller front and back of house divide.

Our guests this week:

Andrea Borgen is the owner of barcito, a bar and restaurant in LA that has been gratuity-free for three years. She made waves when her restaurant made the switch, and then last year, she posted an article on Medium (linked below) about everything she’s learned, the challenges she faced, and why she’s not giving up.

Katie Rosengren is a general manager at Juliet, a gratuity-free restaurant in Somerville, MA, just outside of Boston. In her 13 years in the industry, she’s worked for tips and worked without them, and she is a passionate advocate for change in the restaurant world.

Lauren Leland is a bartender at barcito. She worked in bars and restaurants in New York City before moving to LA.

Sam Mangino has been a server at Juliet for two years. She started at Juliet when she was in college, and now works there full-time.

Amanda McNamara worked front of house in three different restaurants for five years, largely living off of tips, and is now a content marketing manager at Toast, where she writes and reads about the restaurant industry all day long.

Gabrielle Grant started in the restaurant industry as a clam-shucker, and in ten years,  she worked almost every job in the restaurant industry, front and back of house. She’s lived off of tips for much of her career, and is wary of the gratuity-free model.

Links, Studies, Further Reading

Juliet

Barcito

Danny Meyer On Eliminating Tipping: 'It Takes A Year To Get The Math Right'

Why I Haven’t Given Up on the “Hospitality Included” No-Tipping Model

Seven facts about tipped workers and the tipped minimum wage

Consumer Racial Discrimination in Tipping: A Replication and Extension

Black Restaurant Servers Get Smaller Tips

Should US Restaurants Abandon Tipping? A Review of the Issues and Evidence

Does Tipping Help to Attract and Retain Better Service Workers?

Is It Time to Rethink the Rules of Tipping?

How Hard Is Your Server Working To Earn Minimum Wage?

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

Addiction in the Restaurant Industry [S2E3]

Addiction in the Restaurant Industry [S2E3]

April 29, 2019

Content warning: this episode contains discussions about addiction, substance abuse disorder, alcoholism, and drug use.

Today we’ve got an episode about addiction in the restaurant industry. While alcoholism affects people in every line of work, it’s particularly prevalent in the restaurant world, and the surging opioid crisis has also made its way into the kitchens and dining rooms of our industry.

We spoke to three people who each have a different experience with these issues, and we learned about the barriers restaurant workers face in getting treatment and living sober. We also got some perspectives on what restaurant owners and managers can do to create safer environments and help employees struggling with addiction.

Get to know our guests:

Carrie Neal Walden is a former server who has been sober since 2016 and now works for Ben’s Friends, a support group for restaurant workers who struggle with addiction. She’s also a sponsor to many newly-sober restaurant industry workers. She shares her story of recovery on her blog, A Life Filled with Pink.

Shaaren Pine is a former server, bartender, and manager who started the NGO Restaurant Recovery after watching her now ex-husband, a lifelong restaurant worker, struggle with alcoholism. Restaurant Recovery connects those in the industry who struggle with addiction with resources like support groups, family support, and help with the financial and insurance aspect of getting treatment. 

Brandi Estrada is a social worker and restaurant and beverage industry lifer who started the NGO Bar Harm. Through Bar Harm, she teaches workshops on substance abuse and administering Narcan to restaurant staff and management, and provides many more community resources. 

Further reading:

Addiction in the Restaurant Industry and How We Can Build a Culture of Support

Substance Use and Substance Use Disorder by Industry (Report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

PJ Neumann’s restaurant, Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey, made the news for its decision to stock Narcan in-house.

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

Danny Meyer and the Value of Emotional Intelligence in Restaurants [S2E1]

Danny Meyer and the Value of Emotional Intelligence in Restaurants [S2E1]

April 1, 2019

Danny Meyer came to Boston to give a keynote speech at Toast's company kickoff, and on the same day, Toast CEO Chris Comparato interviewed him for our first episode of Season 2 of The Garnish.

Danny talked about the importance of focusing on how you make your guests feel, why Union Square Hospitality Group hires for empathy, the future of the restaurant industry, the necessary combination of tech and touch, and how his restaurants are working to combat the industry's systemic problems. 

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Our theme song is Leopard, from Filmstro.

Restaurant Trends from NYC [S1E12]

Restaurant Trends from NYC [S1E12]

September 7, 2018

Live from Food for Thought in New York City, this episode of The Garnish features Bareburger's Paul Zarmati, Tacombi's Luis Berenbau, Mulberry & Vine's Luis Reyes, 16 Handles' Roman Gorbach, and Stephen Van Note of Sarabeth's, Dock's, and Jane Restaurant. These prolific New York restaurateurs speak to the biggest trends they have noticed in the NYC area and how they are spilling out to the rest of the country.

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Eric Papachristos of Porto, Trade, & Saloniki [S1E11]

Eric Papachristos of Porto, Trade, & Saloniki [S1E11]

July 24, 2018

In this episode, I sit down with renowned restaurant owner Eric Papachristos. Eric has built a career around his love of food, his pride in his Greek heritage, and his education and skilled approach in business. Eric speaks about how his childhood growing up in Greece shaped his passions and how he's able to focus on three unique restaurant concepts to find success.

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Michael Farid of Spyce on Robots in Restaurants [S1E10]

Michael Farid of Spyce on Robots in Restaurants [S1E10]

June 26, 2018

Robots in restaurants?! Michael Farid, Co-Founder & CEO of Spyce, talks about a new and exciting reality: a robotic restaurant kitchen. Farid speaks of how he and his 3 MIT classmates went from basement inventors to restaurateurs. Find out how he maintains an environment of warm hospitality when half his staff is made up of robots.

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Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli of Alcove [S1E9]

Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli of Alcove [S1E9]

May 21, 2018

Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli is one of the most noted names in New England’s culinary scene. After an early start at his family’s East Coast Grill and working at The Back Eddy, he spent more than five years as general manager of Island Creek Oyster Bar, worked at Eastern Standard and Craigie on Main, and has since shifted into consulting on various Boston restaurant openings, including The Automatic, Pagu, and the reimagined Cafe ArtScience.

Currently, he’s in the process of opening a new restaurant, the highly-anticipated Alcove. Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli has been featured in Eater, Boston Magazine, NECN, and The Boston Globe.

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Kyle Anderson of Rappahannock Oyster Bar on Seafood & Charleston [S1E8]

Kyle Anderson of Rappahannock Oyster Bar on Seafood & Charleston [S1E8]

April 27, 2018

Dive into some of the freshest seafood trends for the summer! Rappahannock Oyster Bar's Kyle Anderson highlights the biggest trends in the seafood industry, like new ingredients, different fish, and broader taste pallets of guests. Plus, Kyle recounts his journey to restaurant success, from summer jobs on Cape Cod to managing one of Charleston's hottest restaurants.

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Sam Treadway of backbar on How to Become a Bartender [S1E7]

Sam Treadway of backbar on How to Become a Bartender [S1E7]

March 23, 2018

Sam Treadway, named Boston's Best Bartender in 2013, tells his career story and explains what it means to become a great bartender. Subscribe to The Garnish for monthly stories on restaurant success!

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Jon Gillespie of BDG Hospitality on Bar & Nightclub Trends [S1E6]

Jon Gillespie of BDG Hospitality on Bar & Nightclub Trends [S1E6]

February 20, 2018

Jon Gillespie – restaurateur and investor from BDG Hospitality – sits down with AJ Beltis and Juan Ong to serve up the freshest bar and nightclub industry trends for 2018. Listen to learn more about experiential dining, multifaceted nightlife, and the decline of bottle service.

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Adam Silsby of Pagu [S1E5]

Adam Silsby of Pagu [S1E5]

January 12, 2018

AJ Beltis and Cassy Lee sit down with Adam Silsby, whose decade of restaurant experience has taken him around the country before landing here in Boston. Adam dishes tips on beverage programs, staff training, craft beer, and more!

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Jeff Pond of Area Four Pizza [S1E4]

Jeff Pond of Area Four Pizza [S1E4]

November 15, 2017

Let's talk pizza. Area Four's Executive Chef Jeff Pond talks about how he achieved success in the restaurant industry and later became one of Boston's best pizza cooks. Hear how Pond developed from waiter at a retirement home to the culinary mind behind Boston's Area Four group.

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Ming Tsai of Blue Dragon & PBS [S1E3]

Ming Tsai of Blue Dragon & PBS [S1E3]

October 10, 2017

AJ Beltis and Karen DeVincent interview celebrity chef, restaurateur, and food TV star Ming Tsai. Ming talks about his upbringing in the restaurant business, his bold switch from Yale Engineering student to chef, and how his son's allergies made him rethink his whole career.

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