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The Open Pantry Podcast
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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.
30 Episodes
Episode 28 - How to make your restaurant the 'comeback story'In this episode I talk with the amazing restaurant owner Sylvie Gabriele of Love and Salt LA.Since the opening in late 2014, Love & Salt has garnered critical attention for the reinvention, as well as the restaurant’s SoCal interpretation of Italian cuisine, including recognition as one of Los Angeles Magazine's top ten new restaurants of 2015. That same year Forbes described the evolution as "L.A.'s Best Restaurant Comeback Story.”Sylvie’s fastidious approach to managing all aspects of the restaurant — from the warm service to the branding and creative marketing — have contributed to Love & Salt’s continued growth and success as a mainstay not solely in Manhattan Beach, but in Los Angeles proper.We talk about how Sylvie has managed to take a venue that was famous for what her father Guy Gabriele did with Cafe Pierre, and make it a powerhouse venue on Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles.The best way to find out about Love and Salt LA is in the following links: Open Pantry Podcast is brought to you by Open Pantry Consulting.  Please make sure you check us out and leave your feedback here:
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:
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 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 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.
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