Competition in the restaurant industry is quite prevalent. A number of restaurants open and close every single day. In the hope of attracting new customers to their restaurant, restaurateurs are always looking for something unique. As an aware restaurateur, reading other people’s success stories, learning from the mistakes they made and keeping track of new creative ideas in the market should be on your to-do list. One great way to receive all of that information is through multiple restaurant podcasts.
A podcast is basically a talk show with an extremely wide variety of formats. It could be an online podcast, or a radio podcast or could even be available on various apps like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic and so on. Since a podcast is an entertaining way of providing useful information, it could be really fun listening to it while you’re commuting to work or even at the gym.
Out of hundreds of restaurant podcasts available out there, we have shortlisted some of the best that talk about the restaurant industry, and help you do better at your own restaurant.
Restaurant Podcasts Every Restaurateur Should Be Listening To Right Now
The idea of audio podcasts has been well received in the restaurant industry. Since the people of the restaurant industry almost never have enough time to read through stories or other forms of content, listening to an engaging podcast makes their life easier! Here are some of the most engaging restaurant podcasts that you should be listening to, and taking inspiration from!
One of the most engaging platforms for restaurateurs, Restaurant Unstoppable was started by Eric Cacciatore. In his podcasts, Eric talks to multiple restaurateurs, chefs and people from the F&B industry to understand their business tactics.
Some of the topics discussed recently included major problems such as staff attrition, staff training and customer satisfaction. In these episodes that we have picked for you, the guests talk about their failures, their struggles, their success stories, and basically everything they do in their day.
Episodes We Recommend:
Episode 101 : Chef Robert Sisca On Why Hiring Experience Is Not Always Best
Episode 285: How to attract new customers, turn them into raving fans and become unbeatable in any market
Episode 681: The Realness of food and labor costs
Episode 657: Eric Skokan on Embracing Failure
Most Liked Episode: Episode 657: Eric Skokan On Embracing Failure
Let’s start with my personal favorite, Embracing Failure by Chef Skokan.
Born in San Diego and raised in Virginia, Eric Skokan graduated from the University of Virginia. He now travels and works with some of the best restaurants across the world. In the podcast, he talks about the various times he embraced failure as if it were his companion, and moved on to something greater.
He mentions that working in the restaurant industry has its own pros and cons. Everyday is a new challenge, and a new opportunity.
Further, he says, “The constant change at a restaurant puts a lot of stress on the staff. We fight it by not sticking to routine, so we rewrite our menu almost every day, and start to think of schemes that make our restaurants more hospitable.”
Continuing on, he mentions how failures are a fundamental part of everything we do. “In fact, I’ve learned this now, that failure is a fundamentally necessary part of success. We all fail. For me, embracing failure and eventually teaching people that failures can be liberating was a challenge. Through that, we were able to analyze why we failed, and since none of us want to fail at the same thing twice, we made sure that we learned from our mistakes. And we learn everyday”, he adds.
He mentions that he always asks himself “ Hey, what could possibly go wrong?” A lot, but you have to be okay with failure. Every time something does not go well at the restaurant, he pulls his staff together for a meeting. Brainstorming together, the team thinks of a new plan, and tries working on it again.
“So it’s like, when you’re trying something for the first time, and you score a C minus. Next time, all you have to shoot for is a B plus. And then the third time, really getting an A should be on your list,” he says optimistically.
The next segment of the conversation is about his story. He mentions that he was only able to move forward with all the failures because cooking made him feel great as a person. As philosophical as this sounds, he gives the credit of his success entirely to his positive attitude and consistent focus.
“You know, when you’re cooking 16-17 tickets in a day, and you have all that stuff in your head – from trying to get the timing right to have complete focus – you have no space in your head for other things, like a test at your college, or that you have to cram some more for it. It really does not make sense when you’re doing what you have always wanted,” he mentions.
Things That Skokan’s Experience Taught Him:
- The major trait/characteristic that leads to overall success is flexibility.
- During an interview, the one question that is the deciding factor for me is the level of excitement of the interviewee.
- One code of conduct that I try to build within my team is the power to listen. Listening to the needs of others intently and talking about what you need solves a lot of problems.
- The one thing that other restaurateurs don’t do well enough is mentor their staff.
- Celebrating your little successes attracts bigger ones.
2. All In The Industry
All in The Industry is a part of the Heritage Radio Network which is a Brooklyn-based radio station. It has an attractive mixture of 35 different food radio shows. Hosted by Shari Beyer, the conversations in the restaurant podcasts are mostly about the ‘behind-the scenes talents in the hospitality industry’.
Episodes We Recommend:
Episode 229: Michael Anthony and Miro Uskosovic, Gramercy Tavern
Episode 231: Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana, Food For Soul
Episode 217: Tanya Steel, IACP
Episode 183: Florence Fabricant, The New York Times
This week we find out how the super famous chef, Massimo Bottura from the three Michelin star Osteria Francescana, Food For Soul went about building his business.
The chefs and owners of Food For Soul have been a part of the restaurant industry for more than a decade now. Massimo Bottura gave up law school to be a chef.
“I always found the kitchen at my home to be a safe place. During childhood, I used to hide in the kitchen because my elder brothers would want to kick me or tease me. Till now, I feel that a kitchen is the only place I can be safe. So, when I’m troubled in my mind, that is my go-to place where I used to clear up my head,” he adds.
Growing older, the chef started focusing his energy to create something unique in his safe place. In no time, his restaurant became the first ever in Australia to get three Michelin stars.
“Just 7 restaurants in the last 50 years have had three Michelin stars. It was a dream for me, and we made history the day we got those stars,” adds Bottura.
Things We Learnt From The Podcast:
- The secret mantra for success in the restaurant industry is passion and consistency.
- Keeping up with trends becomes really important when you’re in the food business.
- Your team plays a crucial role in your growth. So, you better learn to keep them straight.
3. Secret Sauce
Started by James Eling, Secret Sauce has been one of the top restaurant podcasts, talking about the success stories of the hospitality industry. Here are some of the most famous episodes of the podcast for your daily dose of inspiration!
Episodes We Recommend:
Episode 26: 9 Common Reasons Why Restaurants Fail
Episode 20: Your 90 Day Restaurant Marketing Plan Before Your Open Your Restaurant
Episode 5: Database Marketing For Restaurants – No More Quiet Nights
Episode 60: Lessons On Restaurant Innovation And Creativity With the Chef From Restaurant Lume
Starting with our favorite episode, which includes lessons on restaurant innovation and tips on how to be creative, we have quite a few insights from Chef Shaun Quade.
Having a successful brand story and being innovative go hand in hand. If your restaurant’s story is just like everyone else’s you don’t have a unique selling proposition to attract customers. A little bit of innovation and creativity is thus essential for growth. It helps to differentiate you from the rest , and makes customers want to come back to your place.
We’ve segregated our learning into three broad sections that contribute to Lume’s success- a lavish customer experience, consistently being creative and adopting the best restaurant technology there is.
a. Focusing On Overall Customer Experience
With the most creative menu and bars in Australia, Lume is reputed for its innovation and creativity. The restaurant wants to create an experience that their customers can never get anywhere else.
On a similar note, Chef Quade says, “It’s not just about the food that we do. I mean the food is quite innovative. But that’s just one part of the wheel so the service style and the way the restaurant looks and how we talk to the guests and that sort of thing. It all comes together to create this experience. It’s not just dinner, it’s the whole package as an experience that you can’t get anywhere else, so that’s what we do.”
b. Being Creative At Your Restaurant
Talking about creativity at a restaurant, Quade mentions that it’s always about the ingredients he uses. “We would never start with a technique, so we always start with the ingredient,” adds Quade. He also mentions that the most important thing while experimenting is the research. Researching about the ingredient, having complete knowledge about what goes with it, how it tastes with different ingredients, and lastly, how you would serve it in different ways is of key importance..
“I think 75% of everything that we eat like experience by our senses is olfactory so, we smell something before we say it or taste it,” says Quade. This is why presentation and creativity is pretty important for Lume.
c. Technology Bringing In A Change
One of the biggest changes that he made at his restaurant was the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to serve one of his desserts called The Meyer Lemon Tree. He believes it to be a game changing moment for him. His restaurant became the first one to use VR in the whole of Australia.
In an event called Taste Of Melbourne, the team set up the restaurant to look like its own mirror image placed in a shipping container. All the restaurant chairs, tables and cutlery were set accordingly. The set is pitch black and only allowed a group of four to step in at a time. Once the guests walk in, they are given a headset, a smoke machine is set at the back, and they are given a headset.
The absolutely out of the world experience starts with a two and a half minute video which basically takes customers to the Yarra Valley. The idea is to take people where the produce comes from. From there, the video morphs into a restaurant setting, and a chef would place a dish on their table. Here the video fades to an end, and the customers can take their goggles off. The dish that they saw is actually right there in front of them.
All of this required a team of people constantly making sure that the music was put on in time, the lights were switched on and off in time, the champagnes were poured, and the tables were set up properly.
He mentions,” For me, Virtual Reality is this amazing tool that we can use to transport people into a reality that we believe in. We don’t always use it. Based on the people, the moods and the setting, we keep switching our campaigns.”
Moreover, he also says that VR is one of the dozen technologies that he uses at his restaurant. All he does is create more opportunities to use the existing technology better for his team and the restaurant.
Things We Learnt From The Podcast:
- Creativity is the essence of growth.
- Innovation is not restricted to how you make a particular dish, but also how you present it.
- The world of technology has so much to offer, and you must take advantage of each one of the available tools!
- Keep up with your team and you would never face any losses.
Other Recommendations For Your Daily Dose!
- The Garnish
- Right At The Fork
- Social Restaurant Podcast
- Food Startups Podcast
- Profitable Hospitality
Especially for Marketing:
- Secret Sauce: The Restaurant Marketing Podcast
- Smart Pizza Marketing
Fun Insights For Restaurateurs
- The Sporkful
- Road Rash Podcast
- Restaurant Rockstars
All in all, we have tried to bring to you a few of the thousands of brilliant podcasts available out there. Listening to these restaurant podcasts helps you make better decisions in terms of managing your restaurant. Along with that, each one teaches you something distinct. In case you want to share your own success story, feel free to contact us!