Imagine meeting all the awesome people who live and breathe hospitality day in and day out. The Restaurant Unstoppable podcast does exactly that, telling and sharing the stories of successful hospitality professionals while providing expert advice from people within the industry.
Its host and founder, Eric Cacciatore, is equally passionate about hospitality and it's this passion that drove him to create Restaurant Unstoppable in 2013. We spoke to him about his interesting podcast and the insights he's picked up about the hospitality industry. Here's his story.
What drew you into the hospitality industry?
When I was 3 years old my parents opened a Mom & Pop restaurant in a small town called East Kingston, NH. They closed the restaurant when I was 13 and I continued to work in restaurants throughout high school, college, and after college while I was supplementing my income as a commercial pilot. Commercial Aviation wasn’t my lane. I resigned from aviation when I was 26.
So I guess the question isn’t what drew me to the hospitality industry, but rather, what kept me in it. To be honest I’m not necessarily drawn to the “industry” of hospitality. I’m more drawn to the essence of hospitality itself-- friendliness, reception, welcoming, helpfulness, neighborliness, warmth, kindness, congeniality, geniality, cordiality, courtesy, amenability, and generosity.
Beyond that, I’m drawn to the people of hospitality, because they embody the aforementioned qualities. How could you not be drawn to people with those qualities?
Because we love food, what’s your favorite dish?
I fantasize over calzones. They’re pockets of love and goodness. There is no better method of delivering food to your face then wrapping it in the baked goodness of bread.
In a nutshell, tell us about your podcast,
We’re in debt to those who came before us. Everything we are and have is a result of their blood, sweat, tears, and progress. We can’t pay that debt back to those who came before us, because they’re gone. The only way we can even our debt is by paying it forward to those who will replace us. It is our obligation to compound on that progress and share what we know to be true to the next generation.
Restaurant Unstoppable isn’t about me. It isn’t even about you. It's about US. If positive change in our industry is going to happen it, we need to share knowledge and wisdom. Restaurant Unstoppable is simply a stage to share the stories, advice, recommendations, and mentorship of those proven successful.
Who's been the most inspiring or memorable person you've interviewed on Restaurant Unstoppable and why?
There is no one person who comes to mind. Anyone who achieves success in this industry is outstanding.
Having met so many people through your podcast, what’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned about the hospitality industry?
You can’t do it alone. Your success in this industry is directly proportionate to your ability to attract onto yourself, inspire, and retain incredible people. It’s not about being the best, it's about seeing the best in others and leveraging the good in others to serve a common goal, mission, or purpose. The more of yourself you give to others, the more others will give to you.
"We’re in debt to those who came before us. Everything we are and have is a result of their blood, sweat, tears, and progress."
From all the stories featured on your podcast, what do you think are the biggest challenges hospitality professionals face now in the industry?
Recruiting and retaining outstanding people. The industry has always been transitional in nature. Over the past few years the bar on quality continues to be raised. Also, more and more restaurants are replacing retail space. The talent/hiring pool is staying the same, but the demand for skilled and passionate employees continues to rise.
We admire that you’ve established Restaurant Unstoppable on your own and just from pure passion, what's the best piece advice anyone gave you?
- You can achieve anything you want in life, if you help enough other people achieve what they want.
- Live with a definite purpose.
- The time will never be right to start. Start now. Start where you can.
At Typsy, Jamie Oliver is our ultimate hospitality idol. Who is your number one hospitality idol that you’d love to feature (but haven’t yet) on Restaurant Unstoppable and why?
Danny Meyer/Rick Bayless. These two guys are the living embodiment of what it means to create transformative operations. They’re constantly sharing their knowledge and providing opportunity for the next generation of professionals.
They're not only transforming the lives of the people who work for them, they’re also transforming the industry with the knowledge they openly share. That's the heart and sole of Restaurant Unstoppable. Sharing knowledge and making it about future generations.
What’s been the most popular episode for your listeners on your podcast?
To date episode 315: "Fundamental systems every restaurant needs" with Joe Erickson, it's the most popular with 5,066 downloads.
If a new listener just tuned in to your podcast, what’s the top episodes you would recommend?
Woof…. not fair. My episodes are like my children; I love them all equally. However, I did just record a pretty rad episode with Mario Del Pero from Mendocino Farms In Southern California. It was episode 414.
What does Restaurant Unstoppable look like in 2018?
I’m having a go at taking the podcast on the road! One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about success in the restaurant industry and about any industry for that matter, is that success isn’t dependant on your reach; its dependant on your impact. I feel like I’ll be able to make a larger impact on my listeners if I connect deeper with my guests. Recording in person will allow me to make the deeper connection and I’m confident that connection will come through on the audio.
Learn more about hospitality and take our online courses, led by expert hospitality professionals. Start now!
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