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The Open Pantry Podcast

Author: Shaun de Vries

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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.
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 cultureAlan is all over the internet, but the easiest way to find him is through his website here: always I love your feedback so please feel free to reach out at:
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 profitableI 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 nextWe hope you really enjoy this episode and please make sure you check out the Cargo Crew brand in the following places: 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 StrategyIn 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, SydneySince 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: Plantation: KittyHawk: Poppa's: 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 everydayI 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 @superfinepizzaWebsite:         always please reach out with any feedback on twitter check out our YouTube Channel to watch this episode as well:
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'sJosef Neumier - Former Head of Retail at SonomaJosh 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 sitesI 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: please take a look at their website: always please reach out with any feedback on twitter 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 yearsPlease make sure you check out on of Hooked's locations in Melbourne.  Search for them here @ 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 siteI hope you really enjoy this episode and please make sure you follow Frank on twitter @thefrankreportFeedback is always welcome at
Episode 21 - How to make social media work for your food venue with Paul Zervos from Project EatsIt 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 venuesPaul from Projects Eats can found hope you really enjoy this podcast and found it valuable.As always please let me know your feedback
Episode 20 - Jane Kou from ‘Bring Me Home’ AppJane 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:
Episode 19 - How Shaun built his career in hospitality.I definitely flipped the script on this one and got someone I truly respect and trust, Jason Titus, to interview me on my career in the hospitality industry. The wins and losses and how my experiences have shaped what is important to me.
Episode 17-Sustainability is growing in momentum in the hospitality industry. Sustainability is critical to the success of talented people and to the supply chain which delivers the amazing product.In the latest episode of the Open Pantry Podcast powered by Kounta, we chatted to three ladies leading very different initiatives, with one common goal - a more sustainable future for hospitality.Kaitlin from @_reground explored the possibilities of recycling waste that we didn’t previously know could be repurposed. Demelza from @samecup chatted about the sustainability of people within our industry and what we can do to ensure a more diverse, fair and successful future for hospitality. Bringing it all together, Claire from @industrybeans explained how a business can successfully implement these types of initiatives without becoming distracted from their core vision and purpose.We hope you enjoy this great episode
Episode 16 - 100 Burgers GroupDaragh Kan, founder of 100 burgers group, and Jackie Doran, their pubs & bars marketing manager took us to the roots of the 100 burgers empire.The 100 Burgers journey started with a venue that couldn’t prepare food, to a burger truck that didn’t fit in the door, to now, 17 sites, and a handful of viral Australian brands. Here are a few of the secrets to their success we chatted about:How to be a trendsetter when connecting with your audience.The impact social media has on the success of a hospitality business.How to build a loyal customer base.How to capture a following.
In our second season, we've partnered with Kounta to bring the industry's top authority's together to chat, shred, and jam on hot topics set to move the industry forward.In this episode, we set our sites on the future of tipping. Are the conditions ripe for tipping in Australian to become the new norm? Or will we stay the current course.To answer these questions, we assembled a panel of experts with work experience both in North America and Australia to shed light on what tipping trends we might soon see in Australia's future.Guests include:Adam Miles - Head Waiter at PorteñoTristan Rosier - Chef, Waiter, and Owner of Arthur restaurantEdward Randow-Stone - Chef D’Experience at Kounta
Episode 13 - This is another great episode, this time with the hospitality gentleman and legend Frank Wilden.Frank is a 'serial restauranteur'. He has owned highly acclaimed restaurants in both Melbourne and Sydney and also works with some great food and entertainment brands. He now goes by the title of 'Retail Food Strategist', which in simple terms means that he advises brands on thinking differently about their concepts by always bringing it back to the best customer interaction possible.Please make sure you follow Frank as you won't be disappointed by the content that he shares and writes:LinkedIn:
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