DiscoverThe Open Pantry Podcast
The Open Pantry Podcast
Claim Ownership

The Open Pantry Podcast

Author: Shaun de Vries

Subscribed: 4Played: 69


The Open Pantry Podcast is a hospitality podcast where I interview people within the hospitality industry about their lives both in and outside the industry.
Our podcast aims to show that the thing that links all people in hospitality is a want to be creative, support each other and always do better. We hope you enjoy the episodes.
48 Episodes
Episode 43 - How to develop a leadership culture with Mark Wright from Wham Consulting. Mark lives and works in the UK, Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the cold North East! His tale is that of a 16 year-old glass collector in a city centre bar that goes on to be Operations Director at one of the country’s most loved Independent cinemas and in the space in between managed for local and national private companies both at venue and multi-site level, and now he runs his own hospitality and leisure specific consultancy company. In this podcast we have a great conversation about hospitality teams and how you can grow them and make them stronger and more resilient
Episode 42 - How to pivot your career in the hospitality industry with David J Burns David’s passion for food started as a young entrepreneurial 12 year old on the south coast of England where he would spend the Summer months catching prawns and selling them to the local fish monger and assisting his late father selling the garden produce at the local Summer markets. David dedicated the first decade of his career to the hospitality industry enjoying diverse experience in London, France and Portugal before landing on Australian shores in 1988. In 2016 David established DJB Food Group with offices in Melbourne and London. David has since partnered with numerous entrepreneurs, small to medium sized businesses both in Australia and internationally including success stories such as Remedy Kombucha who recently accepted a minority investment from Lion dairy and drinks. David has also recently collaborated with Price Waterhouse Coopers assisting their food / agricultural and international trade teams. This is a great conversation with someone who has done a whole lot in the hospitality industry and if you are thinking about changing pathways in your career then this will add a lot of value David's Website: Open Pantry Podcast feedback:
Episode 40 - Elaine Batho In this episode I talk about the importance of mental happiness in the hospitality industry with Elaine Batho. Her 30 years in the hospitality industry covers hotels, restaurants, contract corporate dining, and the London 2012 Olympics just to name a few. Today she host retreats working as a life and wellness coach and helping other people create and host retreats. As well as coaching women in the hospitality sector to improve their health and happiness. She followed this path after transforming herself after many years of chronic stress, anxiety and burning out. As we know the culture of work hard play hard, drinking, late nights and erratic diet is a massive contributing factor to poor health. The RSPH (UK) research states that 1 in 5 hospitality workers suffer from work related severe mental health issues, and 1/4 of hospitality staff have reported seeking psychological support or medication. We share with you on this podcast how you can stay well whilst working in hospitality. I know Elaine’s story will help others identify what to do before it becomes a problem. Please connect with Elaine here: As always please reach out on Instagram or LinkedIn, just search @open_pantry_consulting
Episode 39 - Robert Phelps the President of Silverchef Canada and how the circular economy will shape the hospitality industry. In this episode we talk about: -How SilverChef supports restauranteurs in scaling their business -How the ‘Circular Economy’ is impacting Canada’s hospitality sector -How tech innovations are changing the hospitality sector -How the principles of the ‘Sharing Economy’ are influencing how hospitality operators do business (e.g. commissary kitchens) -Consumer appetite - and demand - for hospitality operators to become more sustainable Please make sure you also check out the Canadian hospitality awards that Robert talked about in this episode
EPISODE 38 - Chronic Tacos and the plans for growth with the CEO Michael Mohammad and Founder Randy Wynner  Chronic Tacos is a California-inspired Mexican grill that celebrates authenticity and the individuality of its customers.  The fast-casual franchise is known for its fresh Mexican cuisine that is customized for each guest’s distinctive taste.  Founded in 2002, the Aliso Viejo, California-based company has more than 30 locations operating across North America and is committed to serving only the highest quality ingredients and all-natural meats.  Chronic Tacos offers traditional Mexican items such as tortas, taquitos, flautas and tacos as well as burritos, tostada bowls and salads, including a breakfast menu all day.  With 70 current locations open across the country and a plan to open 100 new locations, it is difficult to imagine that Chronic Tacos had small beginnings. What began as a small local taqueria in Newport Beach has evolved into an international fast-casual franchise. In this episode we talk about: -How the brand started in 2002 -How they have made Chronic Tacos different from their competitors -If a strategy or emotional is more important in scaling a brand -What trends they are seeing in the American food environment -Where to next for the Chronic Tacos brand Please make sure you reach out to them here: As always please reach out to us and give us any feedback on the podcast:
EPISODE 37 - DARREN FROM PERFORMHR ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING SURE STAFF ARE PAID CORRECTLY. PerformHR bring innovative thinking and hands-on assistance to your organisation to help you get the best out of your people – and your business. Their HR outsourcing offerings enable businesses to access best-practice people strategy, where and when they need it. In this episode I talk to Darren Fogarty, Head of Partnerships at PerformHR and we discuss the following questions: -What are the most important documents to have in someone's HR pack when they start work? -Whats the best way to understand the most appropriate hospitality award? -What's the big change in moving to STP? -How do you balance full time, part time and casual staff in order to be more profitable I know if you are trying to navigate the minefield that is HR at the moment, especially in an industry like hospitality, then you will find this very valuable. Please connect with them here:
Episode 36 - Cargo Crew  Led by originality and fashion design heritage, Cargo Crew have taken a fresh approach to uniform design that delivers style together with functionality. Cargo Crew believes good design puts functionality at its heart, which is why they obsess over every detail, every button, every seam, to ensure our uniforms not only look the part, but are high-performing. Led by their "Performance with Passion" approach, Cargo Crew are committed to delivering value through design and style that can't be defined purely as uniform. In this episode I talk to the founder of Cargo Crew, Felicity Rodgers and we discuss: -What made her start the Cargo Crew brand -Why Cargo crew was made for hospitality  -Why was the range scaled overseas and what successes have they had -Where she made the move to a bigger HQ and where she wants to take the brand next We hope you really enjoy this episode and please make sure you check out the Cargo Crew brand in the following places: As always please send us your feedback on the podcast here:
In this episode we catch up with Jemma from the burger truck Notorious E.A.T again after 18 months and see how she has developed her food truck business in the Gold Coast, Australia. We cover how she has built it since, how catering has played a major role in her growth, her thoughts on the food truck and craft brewery scene and most importantly how she remains happy every. I hope you enjoy the episode.
Episode 31 - Doug Koob from Circle Alliances: How to build a strong hospitality brand with Starbucks Strategy In this episode I talk with Doug Koob, the founder of hospitality consulting brand Circle Alliances in the USA.  They help clients build brands, create memorable experiences and deliver on outstanding financial results. Doug has been in the hospitality industry from an early age, starting with Starbucks in the very early days, at about 75-100 cafes.  He subsequently saw the development and evolution of this brand as it became one of the biggest brands in the world.   He has worked with Starbucks both in North America and Europe which has given him many experiences and lessons that we deconstruct over this 40 minute conversation. We talk about how Starbucks used their mission statement to build its team culture, why strategy is so important as you build your hospitality brand, the power of connections in your industry, and how and why the hospitality industry is changing and how to stay ahead of the curve. Doug is such an easy person to talk to and not only does he talk common sense in this podcast, but he also gives great points which will make you think and develop ideas for your hospitality business. I highly recommend that you reach out to Doug if you are developing your hospitality brand in North America, and no doubt Open Pantry Co. and Circle Alliances will do some work together in the future as we share excellent concepts in each others markets. Please find the details to contact Doug below and the link to this great conversation:
Episode 30 - Adriano Zumbo

Episode 30 - Adriano Zumbo


In this episode I am lucky to talk to the ‘Sweet Assassin’, Adriano Zumbo. We talk about how he got his start in the industry, how he developed his first bakery in Balmain, Sydney, the story behind his first appearance on Masterchef and he talks openly about his challenges of the last few years. In this very honest interview we discuss where the industry could go next and what he hopes to do next in his career.
Episode 29 - Jared Merlino from Bartolo, Surry Hills, Sydney Since opening in November 2018, it was always Jared’s vision to create a venue where patrons could feel at home, whilst settling in to enjoy the incredible food and drinks on offer. During this time an application was submitted for a PSA (Primary Service Authorisation), which would allow guests to drink without dining. With the approval of Bartolo’s PSA and the opportunity to offer later night trading, Jared’s vision is finally being realised and he is excited to be able to provide customers with more of what he does best, alongside the wonderful Grazia di Franco, who is responsible for Bartolo’s innovative seasonal cocktail menu.  In this episode we talk about Jared's journey from working as a kitchen hand in a gentleman's club, to working with Merivale group in Sydney for 6 years and running Ivy, one of the best bars in Sydney. If you are scaling a hospitality brand and want to make sure that it stays authentic, then I know this podcast is going to offer you a lot of value. Please check out Jared's venues below to see what his group is about: Bartolo: Lobo Plantation: The KittyHawk: Big Poppa's: As always please reach out to me with any feedback on the podcast on to nominate a guest I should talk to:
Episode 27 - How to build the best restaurant staff culture and pay them correctly to enhance productivity   How do you recruit and train the right people into your business?  And when you hire them into your brand how do you make sure they are paid correctly so that they are satisfied and you are making money as the business owner? All these topics are covered in this week's great podcast with my good friend Chris Firinauskas. Chris has had an amazing career in leading both the HR and Training, Learning, Development pathway of some of the biggest Australian and international brands.   If you need to know about how to develop great talent then this is the podcast to listen to. Please let us know your feedback via Twitter @OpenPantryCo or reach out to me through LinkedIn
Episode 26 - How to develop of restaurant culture of humility and care  Episode 26 - In this episode we start the first of many conversations with great international brands carving a path in the world of hospitality. Today I talk to Dina Samson and Hans Luttman from San Julian Hospitality which has the portfolio of Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza in Downtown L.A. Hans Luttmann is the Managing Partner and Director of Hospitality at Rossoblu restaurant and has been working in the restaurant business since the age of fifteen. Hans captained Michelin starred teams at Hatfield’s, Osteria Mozza and Providence. He is known as a creative, results-oriented leader who loves to build teams and empower his staff.   Dina Samson has adeptly assumed the role of “accidental restaurateur” having opened her first restaurant, Sotto, alongside husband/chef Steve Samson in 2011, quickly learning the ropes as the opening general manager.   When her husband, Steve, sought her expertise in financing his first restaurant, she soon became integral to the nascent restaurant’s daily operation, taking on all marketing and finance responsibilities. They have expanded their brand of hospitality through San Julian Hospitality with Rossoblu, their acclaimed ode to Bologna, and Superfine Pizza, which is widely considered the first “LA” pizza, melding the best traits from Neapolitan traditions and New York style. Samson also miraculously finds time to raise young twins, Luca and Gaia. In todays episode we cover: -How they focus on bringing customers back with great customer service -The best way to balance a busy work life and family -How the atmosphere of a restaurant can really add to the customer experience -The simple things you can do to give a positive mindset to the team you lead everyday I really enjoyed today’s episode and I hope you do too, it will give you a great understanding of how to develop great teams by bringing in the elements of care for your staff, great product and atmosphere, and the ability to look forward positively to new challenges. Please follow Rossoblu and Superfine Pizza here. As you will hear they are amazing brands and well worth a visit: Insta: @rossoblula @superfinepizza Website:          As always please reach out with any feedback on twitter And check out our YouTube Channel to watch this episode as well:
Episode 24 - How to develop leadership within your restaurant teams with Alan Borges  It was great to catch up with Alan for the second time on the podcast to talk about all things restaurant leadership.  Alan has a very successful restaurant coaching business and in the 18 months since we have last talked to him he has developed even more insights. In this episode we discuss: -Is leadership or team culture more important -Who the best leader he has worked under and why -How he believes automation will change restaurant leadership -What's the number one thing that venue owners can do to change their team culture Alan is all over the internet, but the easiest way to find him is through his website here: As always I love your feedback so please feel free to reach out at:
Continuing in our second season of the Open Pantry Podcast, I have partnered with Kounta to bring the industry's top authority's together to chat and give honest opinions on hot topics set to move the industry forward. In this episode, episode 15, we talk about the landscape of emerging technologies are shaping the customer experience. Will we know our customers even more? Will it make the customer experience even better? To answer these questions, we assembled a panel of experts with work experience both in Europe and Australia to shed light on what tech trends we might soon see in Australia. Guests include: Chris Tate - Ops Manager at Pablo & Rusty's Josef Neumier - Former Head of Retail at Sonoma Josh Harrison - COO and Founding Member at Kounta
Episode 25 finds me talking to Matt Hale and Braden Johnston from Rising Tide Financial. They are based in Melbourne and have great experience in financial lending and planning. They have been in the business for over 10 years and really know the hospitality industry well. In todays episode we cover: -What the biggest mistakes people make when they start their first hospitality business -The maximum number of investors you should have for your venue -How automation will shape the financial services industry -The best financial process from going from one site to two sites I really enjoyed today’s episode and I hope you do too, it will give you a good foundation of financial acumen so you can go into your food venture with confidence. If you’d like to set up a time to talk to Matt from Rising Tide Financial then please reach out to him here: Otherwise please take a look at their website: As always please reach out with any feedback on twitter And check out our YouTube Channel to watch this episode as well:
Episode 23 - How to grow an established food brand with Daniel Grundmann from Hooked Fish and Chipper. In this episode we talk with my great friend Daniel Grundmann who is a co-owner of Hooked Fish and Chipper which has three locations in Melbourne. I ask him about: -How he started out in the hospitality industry in the UK -Why he bought an established brand and how they evolved it -Why Fish and Chips are still a relevant section of the QSR industry -The food trends he is picking up on whilst he travels overseas -How he feels health brands will grow and evolve over the coming years Please make sure you check out on of Hooked's locations in Melbourne.  Search for them here @ As always I value your feedback on Instagram @open_pantry_consulting
Episode 22- How to understand your lease and not over capitalise with Frank Wilden. It was great to catch up with my good friend Frank Wilden and discuss leasing in the hospitality industry. On this podcast we discuss: -Why the people get into bad leasing deals -How much to spend on a lease as a percentage -Whether high street or shopping centres are better for branding -Why some venues look profitable but go out of business -How to do your due diligence on your next site I hope you really enjoy this episode and please make sure you follow Frank on twitter @thefrankreport Feedback is always welcome at
Episode 21 - How to make social media work for your food venue with Paul Zervos from Project Eats It was great to have Paul on this episode because he really understands both the marketing and hospitality industry.  He grew up with his mother owning a cafe and realising how great the hospitality industry is.   Now he owns the up-and-coming graphic design and digital hospitality-focused agency Project Eats. In this episode we cover: -Does print media still play a role in marketing today -What the biggest mistakes in marketing are for venues  -Why should you use an agency rather than using internal staff for social media -What social platforms work with what type of venues Paul from Projects Eats can found at: Insta-@projecteats_ I hope you really enjoy this podcast and found it valuable. As always please let me know your feedback at:
Episode 20 - Jane Kou from ‘Bring Me Home’ App Jane Kou is a young entrepreneur who wanted to do something to change the amount of food that is thrown out of food venues across the country.   1 in 5 meals gets binned just because it's unsold. Bring Me Home's app lets you buy and pick up discounted surplus food from cafes and restaurants, which would otherwise be binned. Since mid 2018 the Bring Me Home app has rescued over 1000 meals that would have otherwise been thrown out. It is a win-win-win scenario for both the Bring me Home business, food vendors and customers of the app. In this episode we talk about: -How Jane came to build the app around this concept -How food waste is contributing to environmental damage -The venture capital environment and how it is different in the U.S. opposed to Australia. -Her targets for the brand and how she plans for it to scale. If you want to connect with Jane from ‘Bring Me Home’ then the best way is to firstly download the app and reach out to her on LinkedIn under ‘Jane Kou’ As always I love feedback so please reach out at:
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store