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How do you create a restaurant culture that attracts staff and retains them?We asked someone who’s done it—the one and only Danny Meyer.Danny Meyer is the founder of Union Square Hospitality Group and Shake Shack, one of the most prolific restaurateurs of our time. Danny is also a founder of Enlightened Hospitality Investments, which invests in companies that serve the hospitality space.Danny joined 7shifts CEO, Jordan Boesch, for a talk hosted by Danny Klein of Food News Media. From what culture is, to how it’s built, and how to use servant leadership, a lot of ground was covered. The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
The restaurant business is notorious for being a tough one to work in. And for decades, it has been. But we’re at an inflection point—and restaurant leaders are rethinking what it means to be a part of this industry right now. A better work environment is here, and for guys like Adam Lamb, it’s a long time coming.Adam and I sat down to discuss his career as a chef, when he realized that things needed to change, and how he’s begun to do just that from his position as a leader. We also chat about what the new kitchen culture looks like, and how we can achieve it.The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
Zunzi’s has one promise: to make everyone walk away saying “Shit Yeah!” Chris Smith, alongside his role as CEO, is the protector of that promise. In this episode, we chat with Chris about the culture at Zunzi’s and Zunzibar: the why behind it, how they maintain it, and what they hope it will do for their guests, community, and most importantly, their team. The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
On the latest episode of the show, we are joined by Amelie Kang, the owner of MáLà Project in New York City.Amelie opened the first location of her restaurant at the young age of 23—and has learned a lot of lessons along the way. Amelie takes us through: How her role (and team!) has changed as they've expanded to three locationsHer team’s people-first approach to employee managementHopes for the future of the restaurant businessWhat to order in your Szechuan dry potAnd more!The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
Matt Plapp and his team have been to more restaurants than anyone. Since 2021, they’ve taken cross country to visit and document America’s best independent restaurants. And they’ve learned what separates successful restaurants from struggling ones. Matt joins us on the Restaurant Growth Podcast to chat about:His career in radio advertising to restaurant marketingWhat 90 to 95% or restaurant are not doing—but should beA ton of creative ways to collect customer data The importance of storytellingWhether or not Matt has taken his van to HawaiiAnd more!The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.Meet Matt PlappFirst, I’m a husband to Christy for the past 20 years, then a father to Paige & Cole. Next I’m an AVID marketer, CrossFitter, Author, Speaker, Consultant & Business Coach. I’ve owned my marketing firm since 2008 and since then we’ve helped hundreds of companies market with a purpose, that purpose is ROI! Since 2016 our main focus has been to help independent restaurants and today we help restaurants all over the country.I commonly get asked, “Matt what do you do”?#1 I’m the CEO of America’s Best Restaurants. We help independent restaurants tell their stories, acquire customers and build sales momentum.#2 I’ve written 3 books on restaurant marketing and my 4th is coming out late 2023#3 I’ve personally traveled to over 1,000 restaurants to understand what works and what doesn’t, when it comes to restaurant marketing. CLICK HERE to see what I learned on that path.#4 I’m the host of two podcasts. MPTV is my podcast talking to restaurant owners and fellow entrepreneurs. Restaurant Expert Roundup is the 2nd podcast where I interview authors and influencers in the restaurant business.At the end of the day, I exist to help independent restaurant owners WIN! And this didn’t start yesterday. It started in 1999 when I first started helping restaurants working for WGRR 103.5 with radio advertising. By 2008 I had become an accidental expert in digital marketing and turned my attention to consulting. Fast forward to 2015 and I’d created an online marketing strategy that helped restaurants FINALLY see results with their marketing and build their customer database like never before.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
Alex Canter is a fourth generation restaurateur at Canter’s, the famous Los Angeles deli. And he was very early on the delivery and virtual restaurant game. Now, he’s a leader in the space at Nextbite, creating virtual brands with celebrities and helping small restaurants maximize revenue in the process. We chat about:The early days of food delivery in LAThe growing pains of adding delivery to a decades-old brandAlex’s first virtual brand, Grilled Cheese HeavenThe creation of Ordermark, and later NextbiteHow to build a brand from nothingFax machinesAnd more!The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.Meet Alex CanterAlex is a restaurant industry innovator, in-demand speaker, and passionate advocate for restaurant operators and workers. He was raised in the kitchen of the world-famous Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles, where he and his team started work on what would become Nextbite. A fourth-generation restaurateur, the restaurant business has been in Alex’s blood for over 90 years. In addition to being the visionary and leader of Nextbite, Alex is active with the Techstars network and enjoys mentoring other restaurant technology entrepreneurs and occasional angel investing. He is a 2019 recipient of the Forbes 30 Under 30, Fast Casual Executive’s Top 25 and a recipient of Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2022 Top 50 Power List. Alex previously led several technology ventures and most recently, Nextbite announced the close of its $120M Series C funding round led by Softbank.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
Ghost kitchens are hot. But that doesn’t mean they’re for every operator.Kristen Barnett joins us on this episode of the Restaurant Growth Podcast. Kristen knows ghost kitchens well—and after a stint at Zuul, she went to found her own ghost kitchen, Hungry House. We get into:Ghost kitchen mythsWhen the ghost kitchen model is a good idea for an operatorWhat you need to know to be successful with this restaurant modelWhy Hungry House is called an “anti” ghost kitchenAnd more!The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.Meet Kristen BarnettKristen Barnett is the founder & CEO of Hungry House, a NYC-based startup that partners with digitally-native chefs to bring their culinary ideas into reality through the Hungry House platform. Kristen started her career in the New York City office of The Boston Consulting Group. She unfortunately soon began to struggle with her health after contracting Chronic Lyme disease and she became seriously ill. Desperate to feel better, she turned to dietary change to feel better and she had miraculous results. Determined to make a bigger impact, she left consulting to pursue a career in the food industry. Since then, she’s worked at DIG (formerly Dig Inn) where she was Director of Strategic Operations and led supply chain strategy, menu development and their food delivery and ghost kitchen business. Kristen then went on to join Zuul, a ghost kitchen tech startup where she served as Chief Operating Officer and led product strategy to develop a proprietary tech platform and multiple virtual brands. After Zuul was acquired by ghost kitchen competitor, Kitchen United in summer 2021, she went on to found Hungry House. Having borne witness to the explosive growth in the ghost kitchen industry, mainly with a commoditized and unhealthy product offering, she decided to found Hungry House in summer 2021 to create the first direct-to-consumer ghost kitchen company focusing on sustainability, diversity, quality & transparency.Kristen graduated from Cornell University magna cum laude and is passionate about plant-based eating and supporting other women in the food industry through a semiregular women-in-food dinner series.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
Customer loyalty has come a long way from the paper punch card. Now it seems like every restaurant has their own app, their own loyalty programs, and their own way to reward customers and keep them coming back.We’re joined on this episode by Phil Crawford, the chief technology officer of CKE brands, better known as the parent of Carl's Jr. & Hardees. And we’re talking all things customer loyalty tech. We get into:Why digital loyalty programs are so essential right nowWhat type of rewards programs are driving guest satisfactionHow to use tech to enhance the customer experience—without replacing the human elementThe tech that will be common for restaurants in 2032The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
How do you stay on the pulse of what customers want? By paying close attention. Mijo Alanis has found success in his career by staying ahead of the curve—opening a juice and smoothie shop long before they were as ubiquitous as they are now. Mijo tells the story of Beyond Juicery from the way beginning of his career, how they’ve grown through franchising, and the “bus tub” moments that have helped him give the people what they want.In this episode, we cover:The moment that Mijo Alanis and his wife, Pam Vivio, decided to start a juice barBeyond Juciery + Eatery’s early daysExpansion through franchisingHow to step away from the day to day as you growThe “bus tub” moments that give you customer insightsThe Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
As editor at Food News Media, Danny Klein has a 30,000-foot view of everything that's going on in our industry. So from curbside pickup to QR codes, to the labor shortage to loyalty, Danny has a ton of thoughts to share. It's an episode that's just packed with breakdowns, some hot takes, and knowledge bombs that you can take back to your teams.In this episode, we cover:The different challenges facing both major brands and independents after the pandemicWhat advantages that independents have right nowEmerging trends like the “next-gen casual” restaurant Pandemic trends that will last—and what won’t (hint: QR codes)The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.Meet Danny KleinDanny Klein is the Editorial Director at Food News Media, publisher of QSR and FSR magazines. A graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, Danny spent more than a decade covering high school, college, and professional sports throughout Florida before joining Food News Media as the associate editor of FSR magazine in 2015. Big Ideas There is a ton of opportunity for independent diners to leverage loyalty programs“How can you create a community of loyal diners, who you're giving them a reason to come back. And for independents, that opportunity is as big, or if not greater than it is for quick service, because you tend to have really loyal, guests, you have people who I've talked to, people who go to the same local place three or four times a week and have been doing it for years. It's generational and they've passed it down.Maybe it's a texting program, maybe it's an email program, but just what are ways that you can offer that person something to join where you're constantly communicating with them, letting them know what's happening, giving them options to support you. And so I think there's a there's a lot of white space there.”“Next-gen Casual” restaurants are an emerging trend“So what this essentially is, is a combination of those two worlds, because you have a section of chains, basically in the full service space.They operate in and live the world of being an independent restaurant and how they look inside the type of food that they offer yet. They are mid-size and they're growing. So they kind of are able to handle what's happening yet at the same time. Give the consumer what they want, and also deliver on some convenience and tech things that are out of reach for a lot of independence from a financial standpoint.”Examples of next-gen casual restaurants mentioned are Walk-On’s Sports Bistreax and Agave & Rye.The brands that make employee experience better will surge to the forefront“If you could tell [employees], ‘you can work, pick your hours, you could be flexible. You have the ability to work whatever shifts you want to work around whatever you're doing outside of working here.’ [Or,] ‘we understand it's a one-stop for you,’ or, ‘Hey, look, if you work here for a year, we'll give you this, and then you can become a GM, and you'd be making six figures.’ All that kind of stuff I think is sort of surging to the forefront.”About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
Brandon Poole spent his career building national restaurant brands at restaurants like Pita Pit, and now he’s using what he’s learned to help businesses do this same with his new venture, BrandGabs. In this episode, Brandon and DJ chat about the value in creating a brand that drives decisions, how to use it to create competitive advantage, and how to foster what Brandon calls “grounded certainty” in your business. The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
The hospitality industry doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to work-life balance. Monte Silva wants to change that. After a successful run as GM from Wolfgang Puck led to burnout, Silva is determined to figure out how to run profitable restaurants without sacrificing himself. Now, he teaches what he learned to restaurant owners through his coaching business, #Restauranteur. Monte joined us on the podcast to tell us his story and offer listeners tips on how to work “on” their business, not “in” their business.The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by DJ Costantino.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
This episode of the Restaurant Growth Podcast features David Scott Peters. He's a restaurant coach and speaker who teaches restaurant operators how to cut costs and increase profits with his restaurant prosperity formula.  We break down what a prosperous restaurant does. How to find and train managers that compliment you and go through new ways to tackle a few familiar labor cost scenarios.The Restaurant Growth Podcast is hosted by Dominick, “DJ” CostantinoAbout 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
The conventional methods of measuring restaurant labor cost—as a percentage of sales—are no longer enough to ensure success. One way to find success is to start measuring labor productivity—the number of customers your team can serve. We chat with Jim Taylor, founder of BenchmarkSixty, about why restaurants should be tracking labor productivity, the data you need how to do that and the huge impact it can have on your restaurant success.The Restaurant Growth Podcast is hosted by Dominick, “DJ” CostantinoAbout Jim TaylorBefore going into business for himself, Jim had a long and successful career with Cactus Club Cafe restaurants. Operating in multiple roles and several markets, Jim took a lead role in both the growth and financial strategies that helped make Cactus restaurants a household name in Canada.Jim is the creator of Benchmark Sixty - A one-of-a-kind restaurant financial optimization strategy designed for restaurateurs to dramatically increase their profit margins by understanding data, implementing benchmarks, and using metrics to improve productivity. This signature platform has helped hundreds of restaurants start on the right foot, land on their feet, or position for solid growth moving forward. It has also been battle-tested during the challenging Covid-19 restrictions.Using a proprietary strategy, Jim and his team work with restaurant operators to navigate the new normal of the restaurant industry where everything from wage structure to menu pricing and cost management have changed.       Jim's business goals are focused primarily on doing what he can to improve the overall state of the restaurant industry. Having grown up in it and witnessing firsthand the challenges it and the people working in its face, he aspires to make it better for the next generation of restaurateurs.Ultimately Jim aims to "Change the way the entire restaurant industry looks at labor costs in order to protect profit AND employee experience."
Restaurant growth is the sum of getting a lot of things right: company culture, real estate, SOPs, and more. Lauren Fernandez has done it as a franchisee at Chicken Salad Chick, and now at Full Course, where she and her team invest in and help single-unit restaurateurs grow their brands at scale. In this episode, we chat about:making the right real estate decisionssystematizing as you scale your brandoffering the right benefits in a changing labor marketThe Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by Dominick “D.J.” Costantino.About Lauren FernandezLauren Fernandez is the CEO and founder of Full Course, a non-traditional restaurant investment and development firm created for operators by operators that is changing the way new businesses grow their brands. The company partners with restaurants in the early stages of development to optimize existing operations, develop strategies for sustainable growth and bring the right investors or franchise partners to the table. Fernandez is a restaurant industry veteran with two decades of experience. She previously served as General Counsel and Head of Franchise Administration for FOCUS Brands and was Co-Founder, President and Operating Partner for multi-unit franchise developer Origin Development Group, acting as a strategic growth partner for brands such as Chicken Salad Chick.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team is comprised of people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
ClusterTruck is not your average restaurant. They have no front of house staff, no dining rooms, and a menu with 80+ items, delivered within 10 minutes of being boxed up. How do they do it? With a combination of cutting-edge software, savvy menu engineering, and a commitment to great hospitality. We chat with Charles Wright, ClusterTruck’s VP of Operations, about staffing a delivery-only restaurant, the logistics of huge menus, and more on this episode of the Restaurant Growth Podcast.The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by Dominick “D.J.” Costantino.About Charles WrightCharles has spent a majority of their professional career working in the restaurant industry in operations. His time was split between Panera Bread, YUM! Brands, and most recently Chipotle. In 2020, Charles made the leap and began working for startup companies in Indianapolis, and he currently serve as the Vice President Of Operations at ClusterTruck.
\What helps set your restaurant apart as an employer? Is it wages, benefits, or how you treat your team? At &pizza, it’s all of it, and they’re growing at a rapid pace despite what many are calling a labor shortage. Learn from &pizza’s President, Andy Hooper about how they’ve been able to lead the charge when it comes to employee experience, how to offer creative benefits and why they haven’t had much trouble hiring these past two years.The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by Dominick “D.J.” Costantino.About Andy HooperAndy Hooper is a restaurant industry veteran with over 15 years of people, operations, brand and technology leadership experience. He has led diverse multi-unit teams for both domestic and international brands, responsible for shaping culture, product and culinary innovation, talent development and guest satisfaction and engagement.Andy currently serves as President for &pizza, having previously served as Chief People Officer and Chief Operating Officer, since joining the brand in 2018. Prior to &pizza, Andy served as the Chief Innovation Officer and Chief People Officer for Cafe Rio Mexican Grill. In his early career, Andy held a variety of leadership roles in human resources for Burger King Corporation, both domestically and internationally. Andy earned a degree in marketing and human resources from the University of Miami Business School. He and his family live on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.About 7shiftsSince 2014, 7shifts has helped restaurant managers schedule, evaluate, and communicate with their workforce. Our team comprises people who live and breathe restaurant culture and strive to help our customers simplify team management, every single day.
The Restaurant Growth Podcast by 7shifts brings together restaurant leaders from all corners of our industry: full-service, quick-service, tech, and everyone who helps push hospitality forward. In short, 15- to 20-minute episodes, you’ll come away with practical tips, new insight, and tactics to help your restaurant grow.
How do you beat the restaurant industry labor shortage? By focusing on the people already working for you. In this employment landscape, team member retention is more important than ever before. We chat with Dan Simpson, CEO of Taziki's, which with nearly 100 locations and 3000 employees, manage to retain staff at a rate higher than the industry average. How? By developing a keen understanding of who works for them and what they can do to provide them with a career that is reflective of that. The Restaurant Growth Podcast is presented by 7shifts and hosted by Dominick "D.J." Costantino
Restaurant Marketing doesn’t begin and end—it’s ever moving. We sit down with Chip Klose, founder of Restaurant Strategy to chat though the restaurant marketing flywheel of attract, retain, evangelize, with strategies for how to win at each. The best part? The marketing flywheel applies both to customers and your own team. The 7shifts' Restaurant Growth Podcast is hosted by Dominick "D.J." CostantinoAbout 7shifts7shifts is a team management platform designed for restaurants. We  help managers and operators spend less time and effort scheduling their  staff, reduce their monthly labor costs and streamline team  communication. The result is simplified labor management, one shift at a  time.
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