This is a FUN episode.
I’m speaking with a food writer, podcast/ television host and all-around colorful guy Chef Joe Ricchio. He is a big personality around the food scene in the state of Maine, as well as in the culinary world at large.
Joe has written for Bon Appetit, The Food Network, The New York Times and has appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”. He is all about food trends, new and favorite restaurants, critiques, up and coming chefs and more.
Listen on as Joe Shares:
- The most important restaurant experiences to deliver (from the guest perspective)
- What attracts him to a restaurant to review, and what he looks for when dining at a new restaurant
- The current state of restaurant Quality, Service & Price
- How he worked in 45 restaurants over 25 years
- Personal Cheffing, chef gigs and what it takes to build a clientele
- What he cooks for himself and the most bizarre thing he’s eaten
And more fun, crazy restaurant stories and experiences!
Watch or Listen and then go out there and Rock YOUR Restaurant!
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The experience could end after they finish their last entree or whatever or I could sell them five $20 glasses dessert wine that they could have while I get you know, sell them all desserts. And then I sold them all cappuccino they asked for copies, but I sell them on like $5 americanos instead of $2 coffees, you know, and then I’ve added like $120 on my, under my check average or under my check. Yep. When a lot of people service just like oh, okay, guys, anything else
thanks again, everyone for tuning in with me today is a chef, an acclaimed food and travel writer who’s written for Bon appetit. The Food Network, the New York Times, he’s appeared on the TV show Anthony Bourdain, no reservations. He’s also an in home chef. We’re going to talk all about what it takes to be an in house personal chef, if you’re not a celebrity, or a well known chef, we’re going to talk about when he goes out to eat, what does he look for in a restaurant to make that selection? What is he seeing out there in the marketplace in terms of quality, and pricing and service? All relevant information that you need in your restaurant? Okay, when an objective third party or a food writer shows up, this is what they look for. We’re also going to talk about the craziest thing he’s ever eaten, and what he likes to eat when he’s not working. So stay tuned. This can be a fun episode.
You’re tuned in to the restaurant rockstars podcast, powerful ideas to rock your restaurant, here’s your host Roger Beaudoin.
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I am great, you know, food coma could work. I mean, it’s just a slight hesitation. You know, it’s it’s, it’s just a hesitation.
You got to think about you know, what you’re going to listen to and what and the sounds and the sights and the experiences. So food of course is the universal language. It’s a passion in this business. I mean, if you don’t have a passion for food and flavors and bringing people together and delivering amazing dining experiences and experiencing amazing dining experiences you can’t consider yourself a food person but you are clearly that. What where did it all begin for you, Joe, take us back. Tell us you know what were your early influences. How did you start cooking? How do you develop such a passion for food in this business and everyone’s got their own story? What’s yours?
Yeah, well, mine I guess. It’s funny, it goes back. I mean, all my early food memories, the really amazing ones always revolve around like Sunday at my Italian grandmother’s house. You know, spaghetti meatballs, manicotti, whatever, just that sauce grows, like, everyplace else, like go any like Italian restaurants because like never that good. I was like, you know, that was the best though sort of the gold standard for me. But other than that, it was funny because like I grew up with pretty much like, you know, Shake and Bake. And like, you know, well, medium well steaks, baked haddock chowder, it was like, I didn’t really know what was out there. It was funny. It’s like the first time I ever had like a medium rare steak. I was like, Oh, I get now why people like steak. You don’t have to chew. It’s many times you go spit in toilet after you know. It’s like, yeah, it was always revelations I started having in my late teens, that had kind of opened my eyes to everything. You know, I mean, I knew I’ve always been into, you know, a fat kid. So I’m always into eating. But as far as like refining what I eat, that happened to probably my late teens. And I actually started out with the intention of going being in the fashion business. I was working for a high end clothing store in Portland called Josef’s in high school. And then I worked for Cole Haan back when I was a main company. I worked for them and Freeport. And I thought that I was going to be a buyer for a you know, or a Saks or Neiman’s or whatever. That was what that was the scene I kind of got involved in. And so I finished high school, I moved directly to Chicago, and I had them transferred me to Michigan Avenue from Freeport and I had actually gone for like a quarter to the Illinois Institute of Art for fashion merchandising, but I was like, I don’t like college at all. I don’t like classes. I don’t like classrooms. The attention span for that so awesome. Yeah, daughter like that. Yeah, it’s just, you know, I just start, I just everything just kind of starts melding together and I get lost in my own thoughts, you know, but um, it was really it was in Chicago, so I was helped. I helped open the Ralph Lauren store there, the one on Michigan Avenue, which is like, modeled after the mansion in New York. It’s
an amazing store. Yeah. The New York mansion, by the way. Yeah, so
that’s Chicago one is like a built from scratch, you know, okay version of that. It’s incredible. It’s like, you know, the artwork alone costs like $7 million, literally for the inside of the store. And they opened a restaurant called RL right next door. And this was like, you know, they brought in like, Oprah’s Favorite chef from New York that Nino Esposito. I decided to go ahead and get a job there. And you know, I didn’t really I my first job ever actually was I helped open Bredesen, Freeport. I was a, they hired me, they I was 15. But they thought I was 27. And they hired me to be a bartender. Literally, I got to like two interviews. And I was telling all my friends a sophomore in high school, like, Yeah, I’m gonna be bartending this summer, it’s gonna be amazing. And then inevitably, I, during bar training, I actually showed up to bar training. And at one point, something came up about ages. And I kind of had to, like, you know, raise my hand and be like, I’m not actually of age yet. They’re like, well, how old are you? I’m like, Well, I’m almost 16. Like, what? So I had to be a busser in a dishwasher. And then my second, my entire professional kitchen career, as far as in a restaurant, lasted two days, it was at gritties. The second day, I let a bunch of silverware get into the new garbage disposal, and broke it. And I was told I could be a busser. So I just cut. Yeah, that was that. So I hadn’t worked in restaurants since then. And working in RL in Chicago. I just immediately fell in love with this lifestyle. Because coming from like retail, and it’s like, you know, commission driven retail. So it’s aggressive. And it’s like, the money’s good. But yeah, restaurants. I was like this is back in, you know, 1999 when we still got cash, you know, like nobody really paid attention to how much you made back then. She didn’t necessarily declare it was just like, I was making so much money there because I was like, and they and they like, because when you work for the store, they do all these wardrobing sessions where they outfit you all these different looks. And then I got all these other like purple label suits and everything for working as a host in the restaurant. So you’re like wardrobe. And the restaurant itself also like $3 million with artwork, like all the tea lights are like Elsa Peretti like Tiffany silver ashtrays back and you could smoke in restaurants and yeah, Ralph Lauren, people found out about restaurants because all of those things were still All in like a month. Like everybody was like, oh, Dell stuff ready to light this going right in my purse?
Oh yeah, I could see that happening. I mean, still toilet paper in restaurants out of the employee bathroom. It’s like pepper shakers and ketchup and everything you need in your apartment, it comes out of the rest of the perfect.
And here are the guests. So I must be able to you know, actually remember once I’m eating at White barn, and they have eaten a white barn, but they’ve got in Kennebunkport. But they’ve got these, like, sculptures on the table that are made of like silver flour. And they’re all like different birds. And they, you can buy them but they’re like, nine or $10,000. But they had a guest literally just assumed that they could just have one. Unbelievable and like took it and they had to call them to get to bring that back. Like oh, I thought this came with my table like the sense of entitlement.
Yes, that was the word that came to mind. So for those audience members, white barn is one of these nationally acclaimed restaurants where they have choreograph service where you walk in and every single person that interacts with you is part of the dining experience. Amazing food, amazing wine list amazing ambiance in a historic property. And yeah, it’s a dining experience for sure. So thanks for taking us there. Keep going,
ya know, that picture window with a constantly changing the flowers and everything. And then it’s like one of those, like the art of service, especially since the pandemic has really, I think been lost, like when I get really great service. It was like such a shock, you know, but um, yeah, so the idea of working in this restaurant, like I would literally work doubles every day, because I just loved being there. Like, I made so much money, like, they like I’d hang out with managers after hours and drink really expensive scotch. And it was like, the staff meal was amazing. It was like being part of this like new world. That was also like a lawless town for me, because I was like, the more I kind of applied myself I can kind of I was like, oh, yeah, I’ll be a host to make hourly. I started a little cocktailing I’d like do the coat check. And like, it’s like mafia guys coming in and giving you like, $100 to get their coat. So I’m like, leaving. They’re like 70 100 bucks. And I’m 19 back.
Behind him money.
Yeah, yeah, I wasn’t supposed to be serving alcohol, because Chicago is 21. Yep. But again, I was like, really old. So nobody ever pays attention, which is fine. But I was hooked at that point. And I started working in restaurants there and nightclubs in Chicago. So I’d be working till four or five in the morning. And that, you know, sort of gives way to a certain lifestyle, you know what I mean? And then I kind of settled into these like high end steakhouse basically was always like, sort of drawing from, for me restaurants were about, like getting into wine and everything. Were based on selling
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I was like, the more I know about wine. And the more I’m into it, you know, like the more I can sell to these tables, the more money I make, it was just like that commission mentality. So thank you
for mentioning that. Because I’m a huge believer in hospitality. I’m a huge believer in exemplary service, and building relationships with the guests. When you’re a front of house person, like this is what you’re there for. It’s like there’s so many opportunities in restaurants and you clearly connected the dots where if I’m super knowledgeable product and restaurant knowledge, I can then suggest things that I know that guests will enjoy. It’ll double the check average, it’ll get more money in my pocket, and best of all, the guests will have a better experience. You know, we are huge advocates of that. And unfortunately restaurants that you I really want to get into what you said earlier about service is a lost art. So we’re going to table that for now. Because we’re still talking about your story. We’re gonna go there, but service really is a lost art. And I just have to emphasize the fact that so many restaurants now it is more important than ever to maximize every sale every person coming into your restaurant because prices are rising. And you know, there’s so many issues that we’re facing post pandemic as we come out of the pandemic. You know, labor shortages, we have to pay people more money. It’s like rising costs of food supply chain shortages. It’s like you can’t afford to miss any sales opportunity, you can have order takers on the floor. And you have to deliver amazing experiences to set yourself apart from the competition. And I’ve always thought of a Joe, as you know, a server, a bartender, anyone you know, that’s in that position, literally has an opportunity to have their own small business within the business. And it
was like renting a space. Thank you. For instance, chair,
right, and the restaurant owner is taking all the risk if they own that property, or if they’re leasing that space, and they’re paying the cost of goods and the payroll and the insurance and you know, all these things, they’re sticking their neck out. And why then wouldn’t they empower and train the staff to recognize opportunity to suggestive sell to know the menu inside and out, and to maximize opportunities for that restaurant and for that person? So I’m a huge believer in that. Sorry to take away so
I will touch on all of these elements with unit and extensively because I’m into it. Yeah, and this was the kind of place that’s great because like, you know, this is a restaurant called Nine steakhouse used to be one in Vegas, the original one is in Chicago, and I worked okay, when Chicago and it was kind of placed for this, like 13 servers, each server has its own busser and, you know, you like tipping out like 50% Yeah, like bussers, polishers, food runners service bars as a separate service departments for the floor. But having your own Buster why, like developed a relationship with one in particular, who we always work together. And like, I taught him basically, essentially the way tables so it’s like, we just worked in this. And also, if I didn’t like somebody, like you WAIT on Him, I don’t want to talk to him anymore. Which worked out for me, but it’s the kind of restaurant where you know, you sell like a big bottle and you do like the the extra, you know, run through the dining room holding the bottle so everybody can see what you sold kind of rubbish
show and attainment showbiz. Yep, exactly. It’s
like, you’re, you’re so that I was just so hooked on that. I mean, of course, I was in my early 20s. So it was like, you know, I was able to, you know, asleep, I guess you could say and like, really, you know, I was like, caught up in this lifestyle. I was definitely partying a lot, too. You know, it was like, a last turn of the game. Yeah, yeah, I would I have strong believer in just like, making a lot of cash and, and putting it all back into the pool after my shift. And then starting over the next day. And it was a it was a blast. And I got to work with some really amazing chefs. And that was when I started really rough, because I worked in a couple places that are really strong emphasis on Caviar. And I started in with wine Academy, and I started tasting all these things side by side and learning gastic about them, you know, being turned on to things like flatiron and truffles, all that typical high and stuff, differentiate between dry aged beef and, and you know, different different cuts. And just opening my mind I lived in like little Vietnam. So just going to all those restaurants on that strip on Argyle Street. I would just try everything and anything. And I mean my appreciation for it. Now as my background was just like I just like all different kinds of food. Now it’s more depth and more into it just because over the years, but Chicago was an amazing experience for me in restaurants. And then I was up there for about six years. And then I came back to Maine started working. I was always front of the house. I just always looked at it as like, I want to make money like I don’t want I don’t want cooking to feel like work. And I want to make the most money. And that’s just the way it is. And so I worked at like Chico Terra. Back in the old days.
I remember that place. Yes, I went to I had an anniversary dinner with my wife there had to be 10 years
ago. Yeah, it was, it was great. Back then it was like they were doing things like in November, like truffle month, really good, fresh white truffle shaved all your entrees. And it was like, it was like doing the five courses and, and but you know, spending a lot of time explaining to people who had kind of fight you on it, like I’m just gonna order to you like, that’s really not a lot of food. I know what you’re trying to do. And the whole thing is like, you don’t want to be condescending, and we’ll talk about that with service. We talked about service, but you’re also like, I’m doing you a favor. You know, I’m trying to I know that you’re going to see what you ordered. Not seeing like a lot of food. I just don’t want you to think it’s my fault. So I worked in and then I started while working in restaurants. In 2005 I started working in the wholesale wine business, selling wine to restaurants and stores so I did that for about 10 years. And I always had my route I would have like two or three restaurant jobs and you know two or three days each I’ve actually worked in 45 restaurants and unreal 25 years Yeah, I retired in 2017 but
yeah I just cocoa is great because if you work if you work two shifts a week someplace you’re there just enough that you friends that everybody everybody likes you but you’re not there enough. Do you have to go to things like staff meetings, like you don’t have to if you really don’t like you can just leave and you have two other jobs. It’s like it just don’t have to get so involved in the drama I’m working at one restaurant full time, because I’ve always thought restaurant years are like cat years where it’s like, you know, one year a restaurant it’s like five years at another job you know, just by the way it feels this fact that it’s not that way anymore. I don’t think it’s much but there’s more that pirate ship mentality. You know, like I even work at places like diamonds edge and you know, you’d like going out there it’s like taking the one o’clock boat from Portland out there and you’re coming back on like the 11 o’clock and it’s like you’re in it like male female we’re all changing the same place together in the attic. Everybody it’s like everybody has kind of like their island girlfriend and boyfriend. Everything happens on the island kind of is what it is. I got something to add to that.
Okay, so so the the restaurant great diamond beautiful experience, right? It it is an experience because like you said, you take the ferry from Portland, you land on this island, you walk up the hill. And here’s this restaurant, right? So my wife used to be a pharmaceutical sales rep and choose to wine and dine Doctor clients back in the day when you try to sell people the weight on. That’s, that’s over. Now. You know, the whole industry has changed, but back in the expense account days. So we had this doctor, she had this doctor who had a very nice power boat, it was probably like 40 feet long. And so she invites this guy out to dinner, and he invites a bunch of people. And he’s like, Oh, why don’t we take the boat kind of thing. So we essentially charted his boat to go from Portland to a diet break diamond and all that kind of stuff. So we walk in, we’re in this big table, there’s probably 15 of us having dinner. And they they left it up to me to order the wine and I’m scanning the wine list. And we are mostly having seafood. So I’m like, Okay, I’m gonna order a nice white. And I’m looking down and the only label I recognized was Greg Norman, who was one of my favorite golfers right. So Greg Norman had a winery. So I ordered the Greg Norman Chardonnay. So the server was this high. No, I’m sorry. He’s a college aged kid had a great personality. And he said in front of the table in this nice upscale restaurant when I ordered the Greg Norman Chardonnay, he, in all honesty, looked at the table and he’s like, you know, I wouldn’t recommend that wine. The last table that ordered it said he tasted like cat piss. And this is exactly what he said. He was totally honest. Well, we all erupted in laughter and I’m just like, that’s a memory from that restaurant.
And also, that cat pet is actually a very commonly used flavor description for a lot of white wine. So it’s even he realized he was on Yeah, it’s amazing. It was like, Yeah, you know, get a party like that. And like the surfing trip was like 80 bucks or something. So he just like I saw everybody a surf and turf beautiful. I’m just gonna sit down, we’re gonna have a bunch advertise while you guys look at the menu and just kind of like,
yeah, you could read the table and to sort of take them on a journey. I call it the magical experience, right? You take them on the magical journey and tell them everything about what’s great. And people just start spending money on ordering stuff.
Yeah. And it’s just and you know, that a lot of our conscious was but like, but at the gratuity then nobody even sees when they double tip you on top of that. You’re like, Oh, I just need 550 bucks off. It’s one table. And my nice good. Um,
and you had fun doing it? Right? Oh, yeah. Working with like minded people.
Absolutely. Yeah. Because nobody’s just everybody’s in it to have a good time. And then you start having a good time, because that’s the whole there’s nothing worse than when both parties are not having a good time. You aren’t, they aren’t. And you’re just like, what’s the point of this, you know, like, when you be happier at home.
And this mantra, it’s like, when staff are having more fun and making more money, the guests are having more fun and spending more money, you know, and that’s funny because beautiful thing.
And there’s a certain profile of guests who that I’ve encountered many times in my life they get like, they get like upset if they see you having more fun with one table than then like actually upset, like not even being like kidding. Like they they’re like What Why are you talking to us as much? And you’re kind of like, I mean, I don’t know. I’m trying now. But yeah, it doesn’t mean that you’d be comfortable saying that to somebody let alone you know even think it but um, but anyway, yeah, so I did damage the wine business. I was working for small distributors kind of actually being part of the beginning of a few of them. So getting to really see what it’s like to build a portfolio and work with suppliers and have all the free wine you could drink when I say just never ending ocean of wine and and that coupled with the restaurant business, I mean, I was also a buyer for a retail store. And so that was all like my career. Then we started doing these deathmatch parties back in 2007, which were live with this guy, John Dietz, and that were over on Ocean Avenue and there was these huge dinner parties essentially revolving around a theme. The first one was flogger. It was like 10 chefs 10 courses of lager or 30 people and they eventually evolved into like, the last ones theme was like the last meal on Earth and I was like 80 people 16 chefs like and these guys got on like Andrew Zimmern show like they caught the attention like Anthony Bourdain. Have like we started getting a lot national press for these things. And that was what kind of I started writing in 2009. I started my blog, Portland food coma. Based on I was like all these spaces like, if any of these things kill me, I want to have a story to leave behind because this is getting pretty excessive. So it’s all based around access and, and consumption and but hedonism, yes, hedonism, and it took off and that was in March, but I started that blog. And in August, I was approached by Susan Grisanti. Magazine. I know Susan. Yep, yep. Susan Kelly. And she offered me a job like so I just kind of started this blog. And then I have this professional writing gig. Just based on that it was really wild. And I just started a magazine for a while I was doing my own thing still. I started my show food coma TV in 2011. We sort of took the blog to video format, and we had you know, we got Anthony Bourdain on that with Eric prepare at one point as guests on that show went really well. And I wrote for us food editor for townies magazine for four or five years may magazine was five years. I actually worked for Susan again for a year at decor main writing through stuff I freelance for bon appetit and The Guardian and The Ritz Carlton and large hotel group and
it’s been a fun ride. It sounds Yeah, and it’s not over yet.
Yeah, no, it’s, it’s just entering. I just got into my 40s So you know,
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My favorite food to cook for myself? I think definitely mapo tofu is up there so it’s gonna change tofu yeah me dish and just I love making any kind of like one pot like rice dishes you know something I can just take vegetables toast the rice add some kind of sauces whatever add really good stock you know and okay, that’s my cat is yeah,
you know it’s funny because I locked my cat out of the studio because it likes to do the same thing it’s black cat sits right behind me all the time. But you know what, it would have been colorful if I let my cat in on this episode because we both have cat mascots on our chair. So my my mistake yeah, that’s cool.
I love cats tend to get in the way of the audio right Tony? You’re gonna be quiet.
No worries. Adding color to the to the show. So lover I see you got multiple cats running around. Just this one, but runs around a lot. Oh, I thought I saw a great Tiger running back and forth. This orange Tiger, that blur of Tiger. That makes sense. Okay, it’s cotton. All right. All right. Keep going.
So yeah, I like to make those kind of boots myself as far as Yep, food. I like other people to make for me. I mean, there’s really anything better than when somebody makes you a grilled cheese sandwich. I mean, it just tastes different than when you make it for yourself.
I don’t know what it is good. All American comfort food. It goes back to childhood, right? Yeah,
that’s what I want. When I want. I want to like go into somebody’s kitchen and it smells like tomato sauce and olive oil. And like onions being cooked in olive oil. You know, like that kind of just warmth of like even like there’s old school quote unquote, like family Italian restaurants that don’t really exist anymore here. I don’t think but just that there’s such a warmth to them, right? Oh,
yeah. The Kiante bottles on the table with the wax dripping down the
straw on the red and white striped tablecloth? Yeah, straight out of a Billy Joel song. Exactly. Yeah,
or a little Sinatra thrown in. So you dine out regularly as well. Now some of this has been on assignment because obviously you’re a food and travel writer. We talk a lot about the assignments that you’ve had. Now, when you dine out now what attracts you to a restaurant what makes you select a restaurant? Obviously you travel the state of Maine you find obscure restaurants you find famous restaurants, well known ones whatever Portland. I don’t need to mention Portland because we’ve talked about it a bunch but as a Food City, they say Portland like ranks, second per capita number of restaurants. But it’s a real food city like they’ve compared it to San Francisco. And you’re best to talk about that. Of course the food scene in Portland has exploded along with the craft beer scene along with distilleries along with I mean it is a real food wine and cocktail paradise. If you come to Portland, Maine, right
It is and people tend to they come here and they definitely fall in love with it. And it’s, it’s changed a lot. Not all for the best. I mean, some of it has definitely become a little hyped up. It’s just when you look at the build up. I mean, you asked what restaurant what makes me go into a restaurant? i Please answer. It’s, it’s consistency. Just knowing that every time I’m going to have the same experience that like I mean, I, when I was working, when I was writing, I was going to a lot of different places. But on my own, I really there’s like three restaurants I go to and like rotations like to to Gibson, Kohl’s, and tan, tan Vietnamese place up the street. For me, it’s like, I’m definitely a creature of habit. Yeah. When I just like to know, I know exactly what I want. I’m the kind of person that goes to a restaurant and like, looks at the menu online beforehand, or decides what they want to order before they get there. Unless there’s specials, but like, I just don’t, I mean, I think it’s also my just aging process is like, I don’t get that excited, about, you know, being out. And I really don’t care about trying new, like places when they’re new, like, I’ll usually go there like 789 months after they’ve opened. I’m not the guy there on opening night. And, and when I am, it’s like, back in the day when I people invite me to, like, you know, friends and family stopped opening. And it’s just like, that’s really generous. But, I mean, honestly, it doesn’t matter. Whether I’m paying for food or whatever, it’s just like, my impression of the foods. If it’s not that great that night. I’m not gonna come back for a long time, just because I’m just gonna have that kind of tight. You know, it’s like, I want to try it when you had some time to like, work things out and, you know, run smoothly, and you kind of get the menu locked down rather than the first night where I mean, everything goes wrong the first time. That’s just the way it is. Yeah, that’s fine. But either.
We had a soft opening for a Mexican place I opened a decade ago and everything went wrong. And there were avocado pits in the guacamole. Like what the heck is going on here.
No hidden avocado pit in the guacamole. Like, even if your best friend knows the restaurant, and you’re going to be wary of ordering the guacamole ever again. There. Yeah, just you can’t open because you have that memory feel like what is this? What’s happening?
The show must go on though, you know, again, it is show business. So the shows go on? And
it’s like, like, do I am I like, oh, that’s I don’t judge people for their mistakes. But I also just can’t help what I feel about. Certainly, if I have, there have been restaurants that I’ve gone to, because I’ve known the people that have opened them and I went to the first night. And I’ve had certain foods that I was just like, I don’t know, this is so wrong, that I don’t think I’m going to come back here, you know, and it’s like, I really wish I just waited.
So with that in mind, I’ve always believed there are three important attributes to any successful restaurant not in any order. But food service and ambiance, right. That’s a simple thing. If you were to pick one, what’s most important to you?
You know, it’s changed over the years, I think there was a time that I would have said food. Yeah, that’s just not the case anymore. Because there’s some places that like I’m so over it with the service there, that even if I love the food, I will not go back like, and to me, it’s almost to the point that we’re ambiance and service sort of combined, in a way because the service creates the ambiance for me. Because he unless you’re talking like a really high end place where it’s like, there’s a lot going into the design and the flow, like for your average sort of everyday restaurant, like the service is part of the ambience. So you know, that’s why go to a place like Kohl’s or, or Judy Gibson, for instance, it’s like I know, every time it’s like, SAS a certain way, Everybody’s cool. It’s not like, it’s just, I want to feel relaxed when I go out. You know, and I want to know that I’m gonna get something delicious, and
that people treat you differently. Because, again, you’re a personality, especially in the state of Maine, you’re easily recognizable. You walk into a restaurant, everybody has seen you on TV, they know who you are. Do they treat you like you’re a celebrity? Do they just see you like any other guests? I mean, do they give you a special treatment? How does that work? Does it vary in restaurants?
It can vary it? Yeah, it definitely happens. I mean, yeah. And honestly, I mean, sometimes like I get kind of a I definitely get like social anxiety. I’m actually really shy. I think a lot of people think I’m really precarious, but like, we’d never know that, ya know, I’ve actually really shy when it comes down to it. And so, I will actually avoid going to a place because I don’t want to talk to people or run into anybody I know. And I’ll just go replace from like, I go enough. That’s not a big deal that I’m there. You know, which is just that’s something going on in my own head. But I do. I do prefer I mean, it’s like obviously like to be recognized and say hi to everybody. Like I don’t want to but it’s like I don’t ever watch everything. Never expect special treatment at all. When I get it. It’s wonderful. And it’s always appreciated. But I mean, if I like again, that’s the kind of thing if I wanted to you know, I love Anestis in Portland fluid map and if I wanted to, to read that and always be at the openings and and all these events and stuff like yes, I’m sure I could get a lot of attention, but that’s just not what I want anymore.
So we’re gonna get in No service is a lost art. But the point that you just sort of triggered in my mind is it’s that cheers formula. People want to go where everyone knows their name, right. And that means that as an owner, a general manager, you really have to touch every customer in a personal way and make them feel like they’re the most important customer, you need to touch new customers as if they’re a regular Are they an old friend, you know, that was always my philosophy, running restaurants. It’s like, it was not uncommon if I had, you know, 15 servers on the floor, and eight buzzers and I had a lot of employees in my biggest restaurant. But I made it a point to train people, that if any guests crosses your path, you thank them for coming in. So if you were a guest in my restaurant, it was not uncommon for you to get up and go to the bathroom and be thanked by eight people on the way to the bathroom. And when you got up to leave, you’re thanked by 12 people on the way out the door. You were you felt special? Like, you know what I mean? So yeah, I’m sure you know, that happens to you. Let’s talk about service as a lost art. Because if you were to go back the 40s, the 50s, the golden age of restaurants that were Maitre D’s that new everybody greeted at the door would seat you at your favorite table would pull the chair out for the lady all that, you know, take care of that. You’d go to a gas station, they check your oil, they wash your windshield, you know, all that kind of stuff. None of this happens anymore in this in this industry, in this business in this economy. So where did it all go? And granted pandemic threw things sideways. But even before the pandemic service is a lost art, like why didn’t the restaurant industry as a whole embrace the fact that hospitality, hospitality is absent when something happens to you hospitality is present when something happens for you? And that’s the most basic thing in this business. But what happened? Like, why is why decades change? And Millennials are now working in restaurants? And, you know, it’s like, Tom, tell me what your thoughts are on that.
Please, no, I think that, well, I will say, I think the blame lies on both sides of the table, I think that, you know, I think it’s a lot harder to be really hospitable. When people are being really aggressive about things like masks and whatnot, you’re setting the tone, right from beginning holding things against you, you’re less likely to really give those people an amazing experience, if they you’re already sensing, you know, attitude or aggression, or, you know, it’s just your I think, and I also think that there’s a lot of people in the world now that just they don’t even appreciate, like, you could go out all out for somebody, like the more you give them, it’s almost like give an inch, take a mile, they’re just like, very entitled. And it’s like, they don’t necessarily appreciate the service experience. But they’re the first ones to like write a Yelp review of like, one thing, there’s one thing they don’t like, the color of your tie, or whatever it’s like they’re, you know, the yellow has changed a lot of that, like the, the, the, everybody’s a critic, you know, everybody feels that their opinion is extremely valid. And it’s just not, I mean, to them.
That’s an interesting perspective, because the internet has both been a blessing and a curse for restaurants. Because on one side, you can promote the hell out of your restaurant for very little or no money at all. Social media has become huge. So it’s a benefit to restaurants. But then like you say, everybody’s suddenly a food critic. And the customer’s always right in their mind, and suddenly you get slammed for something that you didn’t do wasn’t your fault wasn’t a realistic truth story. And now your restaurant reviews plunge. And it all is based on reviews. It’s like whenever you’re gonna go out to eat, you look at the phone, you look at the reviews, you look at the menu, and that’s how you decide in so many cases where you’re gonna go, and 40s
and 50s Nobody in the 40s and 50s customers can anonymously attack you know, in public
just word of mouth having any friends don’t go to that place because,
right it’s all word of mouth. And I think that now the service that it’s almost like you have to go to it has to you have to spend a lot of money and go to a high end place not even necessarily in Portland, I mean, in Portland, and that’s always been the case like I’ve never there’s never been a place in Portland, for instance, that’s on the level of like, white barn, or on the level of like, Liberty like where you go, like the really high end place where you really just like they make you feel like you like you know, like, you go to like, per se and they like Google you before you go no matter who you are. And like, know a little thing about you when you show up. Like that kind of stuff is like it’s mind blowing, and it’s amazing, and it’s memorable. But I think a lot of places in Portland are they’re expensive, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into into service. It’s really because I mean, nobody is saying it’s nobody’s really trained, but nobody really even cares. I don’t think I agree. Nobody. I can’t think of one restaurant with a staff who wants to know anything about French service or anything about or anybody knows how to fillet a fish tableside or, or anything or sell a bottle of wine properly or, you know, you get people come up, plunk it on the table, put it on the table, like it’s just feels very like you can order like, you know, a really nice bottle of champagne. If Depop and be treated the same as if you ordered a ball like yellowtail, Shiraz, it’s just like it. Nobody really nobody offers to the campings.
Like now, it’s just the whole,
it’s and once you lose, you start losing the elements, its identity feels really piecemeal. Because the whole thing has, as you said, it’s a show, it has to flow as one big thing. And when you start subtracting all these elements, you just lose the whole. I mean, people can be nice, and that’s great. And they are always nice. Sometimes you get that people wait on you, and they treat you like, it’s your privilege to have to be there and have it which is like, Yeah, I’m not saying that. I’m better than anybody. But it’s also like, no, that doesn’t work that way, either. Like, I don’t have to be extra sensitive. Because you came into work. Like, we’re all doing this. I mean, here, you’re working here. It’s not rocket science. Also, I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but I was a really great server. One thing I will say that if you are gonna get attitude to people, which I certainly have in my lifetime, plenty, you have to not make mistakes. If you’re going to be that kind of personality, then you better be flawless. And you better not give somebody a reason and actual reason to to prove you wrong, and then you look extra stupid, but it’s just don’t know. All the last few years. I mean, it’s been a little while since I’ve worked in a high end place. I’ve worked in plenty of them. But it’s just I don’t know, I think it’s the personnel is definitely there. But you just you don’t ever go to a place and you’re like, wow, like, all my needs were like, anticipated. You know, I think one of the last places that did that really well was back big grill. Yeah, and they’re gone now. But they had a good run, for sure. But like the courts have a really good match for you, Adrian, they’re like a man facilitating dining and everybody who likes people who care, like who want to be there who want to be better at their job who like, are part of the team. And as a result, you know, are there to make money, I’m not saying you should. It’s not a charity, but like, I know some people, it’s just like, well, I just show up and I make my money and I leave. And if I don’t like that now, it’s like five other places, I could just go work in whatever
anticipate needs, that jumps out at me, because, okay, so here’s, here’s something for restaurant owners and managers to really think about and ponder. And it’s a paradigm shift, because most restaurants anywhere have delineated job positions, your front of house, okay, you got a host. And they greet people at the door. And they give them a menu and they walk them to the table, and they seat them in that kind of thing. And then the bussers, obviously clear the tables and reset the tables and wipe the tables and the servers, obviously take the orders deliver the food bring check and the bartenders make the drinks. That’s a typical full serve restaurant, right. So we cross trained our staff, and we train them all in product and restaurant knowledge. So that literally a server could be a bartender and a host could be a busser. And a busser could be a host. And they were all trained to that. And in the point of sale system. So we had choreographed service where anyone could back anyone else up. And we had this sort of rule where, well, in the weeds is a common term in this business, when servers suddenly get out of control, then they don’t have time to engage their tables and interact with them and sell them things. They’re just surviving, you know, and people are always looking for them. But everyone is in a section at a given time, a host a busser server there on the set in the sections. Therefore, keep your eyes open, anticipate needs. Notice that the lady’s glass of wine is almost empty. Notice that someone dropped their fork on the floor, every table is your table, and everyone is part of that service oriented team. And if everyone was trained in product knowledge, and everyone is trained to sell, it was not uncommon for a busser to notice that the glass of wine is empty and ask the lady did you enjoy that glass of wine? Would you like another? Or is there something else that you might like better that pairs with whatever. And the person was so well trained that you’d go to the point of sale system and make the sale while the server was in the kitchen? Getting someone else’s food? It was like choreograph service, right?
As it should be in it’s like, yeah, once it starts going wrong, it’s like a chain reaction. It’s like, right when all the best service because a it’s like, okay, you come in the host is very inexperienced doesn’t understand what he or she is doing. So they go and they triple See, one of the servers would know the other servers have tables. So you get this one server running around. Everybody else, like there’s nothing worse than not not being able to find your server and having all these other servers just staring at you. And you’re like, I mean, I know that we’re not specifically to you know, most places probably cool now anyway, but it’s like, pool tips, but it’s like, you know, that’s just that whole mentality, not my service, not my job or not my section not my job, not my responsibility. I’m only have to be aware of my tables because that’s what I was, you know, that’s just what is supposed to happen and then it’s like, and then you gotta you know, and then it’s like all sudden the kitchen is like, having a problem because one server is so busy and then they’re they they’re fine. During everything are radically are they you know, they’re, they’re piling on one station. And it’s just like the whole thing. And yet there’s all these people, there’s all this set of hands that are doing nothing to prevent or make any of this to ease this transition at all. And it’s just like, like I said, it starts from the minute people get sad and the way that you want and like as a server, sometimes I have to resist the urge to go scream at the host. Like, what are you doing? Like, look at the seating chart. Like, why, why do I have four tables, and everybody else has one right now that you give me like a once and they just that deer in the headlights so much. There’s so much deer in the headlights in the front of the house these days? It’s like, Yeah, I mean, you just feel like you’re like the order you the term order taker. Yeah, clerking earlier, it’s
a huge pet peeve of mine.
It’s just the Hey, yeah. Would you like so how are you guys doing? Like? How are how is everything?
Exactly? Can I get you anything else? Yeah, you know?
That’s and that’s it. And it’s like you were talking earlier about, you know, talking about service. And it’s like, back when I did it when I worked in those places like yeah, it yes, the the experience could end after they finish their last entree or whatever. Or I could sell them five $20 glasses dessert wine that they can have, while I get you know, sell them all desserts. And then I sell them all cappuccino. They asked her poppies, but I sell them all, like $5 americanos instead of $2 coffees, you know, and I’ve added like $120 on my, on my check average are under my check. Yep. When a lot of people servers just like well, okay, guys, anything else? Like, say also the term you guys I just it’s like thinking, right?
I know, right?
I know, guys. So you guys look at it’s like, yeah, it’s fine when you were like interacting people, but it’s like a table. It’s like, you can’t think of any way to speak more eloquently than than that. Like, I don’t know it. It doesn’t anger me any more. Because I just gave up on it. I’m just like, Whatever, I’m gonna eat my food. And if I need something I’m going to express that need. And I’m not like, you know, what do you like, I’m not like, I don’t drink anymore. But I was like, when I did, it’s like, I’m not going to ask for help with wine list. Because chances are, if you know if they know any wine at all, it’s the one that maybe they featured this week that the rep came in and talked about it they know about but it’s like nobody has like a nobody has a mastery of the whole wine list. Yep. And sometimes if they do, it goes the other way where they like, almost get very arrogant with it. And it’s so esoteric, that you want to be like, you know, you’re spending a lot more time at the table trying to explain to somebody why they can’t have a California Chardonnay, when it’s really just put one on the menu, is it going to kill you. And then you don’t have to have this dialogue with the one person who’s uncomfortable that you want to sell DNA, or muskie day or you know, it’s like you sell the wine people those wines, but you have to have something. It’s like whatever have Budweiser just because so the one person that you tend to up, maybe nine of them want to drink, like, you know, Talquin or sour beers that maybe one person wants to buy Wasn’t it just want to have to be uncomfortable, just let them have their bud while everybody else has their things. It’s like why do we have to have this confrontation unnecessarily and make them feel stupid, and then they get defensive. And once people start getting defensive.
Now like that’s, things go out the window. You know, another interesting point, we had a mantra where we talked about having a strategy, having a game plan before you approach the tables and knowing when to sell and when not to sell. So the mantra was, you know, another table turn beats dessert and coffee because we in some restaurants, you know, people come in, they take up a table for an hour and a half, two hours, and they’re just sipping their coffee while there’s a line out the door and the restaurant is losing money the staff is losing money. So it’s like cable you know what I mean? Read the tables. Thank you so that’s
around it like Chateau Kim. Yeah, let’s let them camp out for a little bit if they’re gonna keep you know, but they’re just having a sanka then like maybe it’s time for them to go maybe they go to their st got home like yeah, it’s real estate. It’s actually real estate in your sec. Yes, you’re an independent contractor. I mean, it doesn’t feel I mean, there’s so many things about it now it’s not because you can’t put the blame of any of this on any one aspect of the you know, the servers the customers the kitchen, because it’s all these things and all of them I mean even the whole concept of like everybody being ugly had to tip off the kitchen all this money now it’s like my mentality Oh, right. Well, you know, that’s your job. See, I work for tips so you don’t have to pay me but you have to pay the kitchen like that’s why you got to pay me so you just pay them I don’t want to pay them like how come I have to pay them now? Because it’s that whole I hate that mentality people were like you make too much money it’s like that’s not really your any your business like too much too. Yeah. You know, like I’ll let you know what I make too much money which will be never,
but that that was always a sticking point in restaurants too. We always told people it’s no one else’s business how much money you made and we they have server For a server, a bartender walks on a Saturday with $1,000 in their pocket. Meanwhile, the line cooks that are making back then 15 bucks an hour under 900 degree kitchens for like 10 hours on their feet. There’s a disparity there. And it’s like, you don’t want to, like throw that in their face, you know. And that happens in a lot of restaurants. And then I’m also sure you’ve seen the conflict between front of house and back in house in certain restaurants where of staff person has a problem, because a customer’s meal was undercooked or overcooked, and something needs to be redone. And then they go, they approach the line. And now the tickets are on the floor. And those guys are like, sweating. And it’s like, they’re just trying to get through the night. And, excuse me, this isn’t right, and I need to blah, blah, blah, and how to communicate. You know what I mean? That’s
yeah, there’s a certain way to say that. And I think the key sometimes is you have to work and if you’ve worked in it for a few chefs or screamers. Yeah, you walk on eggshells. In those cases, we deal with those fear. These are people that literally like I’ve had, I’ve worked people that have been able to make me cry. That just so brutal, but I like that, like I think that makes you better. That would never fly anymore. But like I enjoyed being afraid. And it made me do things. And if you think about what I said, rather just barging you’re like, I have to be like, Okay, I’m gonna wait here quietly for somebody to acknowledge me that I have to respectfully tell them what’s going on. And you’re seeing you can expect the same thing from them, too. It’s like, you know, if you have something to say to me, don’t don’t just randomly screw me as I’m walking by. The communication has to go both ways. It does.
Yeah. And that teamwork can’t be forgotten. You know, it’s not about this team working on its own in a bubble. It’s like okay, front of house, back of house,
we got the end result is you got to please the guest and the customer needs a great experience, whatever that takes, you know, whatever it takes, that’s everyone should approach their job leave your problem is very me me oriented. Yeah, for sure. For sure. And that’s, that’s just the nature of the world, social media, and everything is very narcissistic. And I’m the center of attention that I’m not happy, nobody’s going to be happy. And you should care if I’m happy. And you should care if this offends me, because my feelings are the most important thing in the world. Like, that’s how everybody feels now, and that had no place in late 90s. Restaurants, that mentality you didn’t last very long. If you were have that mentality, you know, like, and again, it’s like, that’s why don’t do it anymore. Rather than fight it and try to like work in a restaurant, or a show about what used to be I just, I left them. And I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to be part of the restaurant world. Now. You know, I have no interest.
Well, you’ve had 45 restaurants over 25 years and a lot of different views. You’ve seen it all? Because what’s the most craziest experience that ever happened while working in a restaurant? For you? Can you recall any really just just I can’t believe this is happening moments.
Yeah, a whole bunch of them, sometimes whole portions of my careers or places I you know, the things. I mean, they’re all I mean, they’re all involve a lot of drugs now, so I don’t have to. There’s been a lot of interaction, I don’t mind talking about either, but my interactions with customers and getting crazy with them and getting, you know, I’m trying to think of like the thing I’ve had to think about in advance, I’m like, I’m sure like, the minute that we stopped talking, I’ll think of 10 things that are like, there’s been a lot of a lot of crazy things that that’s why I again, why I’m so drawn to the was so drawn to the business was the unpredictability of the pirate ship. And you know, you’re at the mercy of so many factors, and you know, I can, it’s like, you take the whole thing, and then no matter how well you think you orchestrate it, like people’s personalities can throw that all off, like the customers come in, and that they’re a certain way, how you want it to go. It’s not going to go that way. So it’s like you gotta be able to pivot and be comfortable pivoting rather than fighting the tide, you know, but as far as crazy things that was just let’s just assume there was always, a lot of times they involve me being really drunk. So
97 If you were to go back to 1997, I opened a new Steakhouse, okay, and this was not opening night, but it was a couple nights after we opened this place. And the very first thing that happened was the POS system crashed at a full dining room and back then it wasn’t easy to troubleshoot a POS system. And so orders got double ordered and the tickets got spit out twice and duplicated orders and customers waited an hour and a half for food that never came and people got up and walked out without paying and you know, all this is happening. We used to have these big family style tables where okay, sure, you could put a 14 top there if it was a party or something. But you could also put two here and four in the middle and six on the end and they’d be all unrelated and we thought it was family style dining. That was great. So we had a full table of 14 And the ambiance was it was kind of this rustic Steakhouse in Maine being what it is. We had this giant stuffed moose head on the wall. You know it was the circus was up at Sunday river ski resort. It was called The Great grizzly bar and Steakhouse. So this moose was literally right over the big table. And somehow it let go, it fell off the wall and landed in the middle of this 14 top and the food and the plates got broken and the wind went flying and people got food on their clothes. And here’s this, you know, the big antlers are like right on the table. Thank God, it didn’t hit anybody because that could have been a lawsuit waiting to happen. Yes, the next thing that happens is one of the guests somehow locked their keys in the car. And so what you know, we called AAA for them, and they waited like an hour for AAA to get there. And then AAA shows up and they go to open the door with one of those Slim Jim things. And the guy looks at and he’s like, I’m sorry, I can’t help you. This car has side impact airbags. And if I do that, it’s going to explode and blah, blah, blah. So the guy can’t he’s from Boston, he’s three hours away. He’s keys are locked in the car, he can’t get in the car. It’s like 10 o’clock at night. He gets so angry. There’s a beer bottle in the parking lot. He goes up and he just throws it across the parking lot. It ends up smashing the windshield and one of my servers cars. And then there was a bar fight that was there was a famous defensive lineman from the from the Patriots, you know, and this person, we didn’t have a coat room back then. And there was a pinball machine. And in the bar people just stuck their coats up kind of thing on the pinball machine. And there was one of our customers that was rifling through the coats and stole this patriots wallet. And the guy caught him. And that guy opened up this customer’s face right in the middle of the dining room. It was just carnage. Right? So that person had to go to the emergency room and all this stuff is going down in the very same night. And I’m thinking to myself, how are we possibly going to deal with this and how are we going to get through the night? And that’s the restaurant business. Right? The unexpected is around the corner, the dishwashers gonna break down you can’t wash the dishes porta Hell’s gonna come in close you down. It’s like, wow.
Yeah, so well orchestrated, hopefully well orchestrated circuits met. Yeah, that kind of thing. I mean, it you never know. And it’s funny. I thought of another like, the thing about Pete and people just view like that, from a customer’s point of a few restaurants is a different thing. Like, when do you ever go to like a bank or a library or, and now open yet you’re like, Well, can I come inside and sit? People do that. They’re like, yeah, we’re not open yet. Like, okay, I’m just gonna sit here while you wait. It’s like no, this is my time. Like when we’re open. Yes, you can come in and sit like people just think because it’s a restaurant. They’re just entitled to like, well, we have to or are we supposed to go? And it’s like, well, if the other stores are closed us out, you say to like Hannaford? Good. Well, we are open. Yeah, where am I supposed to go? I can I just come in. And like, like, why is it different in a restaurant? That you feel the need, that I’m supposed to accommodate? This? It’s just like that mentality. It’s like, everything changes. It’s true. And it’s it’s amazing. It never ceases to amaze me.
Let’s talk about my 70s kitchen. What’s that all
about? Yeah, so my 70s kitchen. So I when I up. I live in Portland now. But for five years, I was living in Yarmouth, up until last year, and that I had so my my director, producer, Chris Lachlan does all the filming, recording and everything I do. We’ve worked together since we met Boston back in 2013. And he was always like, because he says, I want to shoot a cooking show I want to do like, it’s called a standard stir is this little format when you do like you’re averaging encryption. And he’s always like, once you get it, I’m always like, application stupid. It’s like, it’s stupid. Finally, one day, because he was living in Salem at the time it was in Maine now, he was like, can you just send me a picture of your kitchen? And so I sent it to him. And he’s like, Oh my God, he’s like, we’re just gonna get this steel filled table, we’re gonna get burners and put it on that. And so he’s like, I’ve been so busy since kitchen up into like, a TV studio. And I started and I basically just started calling in 70s kitchen the first day cuz it’s so like, wood panels, like, like, the formica countertops like it’s, yeah, you know, I just embraced it, you know, because it’s just a typical like old apartment kitchen. And then it just yeah, it just made sense to really have that be the theme because I mean, it was it was really funny. It is like it doing the show for the first time and learning a lot about it. Even little things like oh, we filmed the whole segment I didn’t realize that I still had like the dish soap was on top of the sink behind me with like the spine which I think is like that you don’t know if they’re gonna professional set you don’t see these little minutia things but like, but it works for the kept showing up or whatever. And we just kind of we went with it. Yep. Yeah, I think I think it worked. I think we still have two episodes to release of that one with Krista Desjarlais from purple house. We do. Purple episodes. We did like a seven day theme. So we did Baked Alaska with her and then Jordan Rubin, Mr. Tuna. We did California rolls. with him, so we want to click the retro thing so those two are have yet to be released and then we’re going to my new kitchen he says we’re going to film here so we’ll say
Oh fun so far. So what’s next for Joe Riccio? What do you see down the road?
Oh, well, I think that you know where I’m still just kind of one of them was like throwing things at the wall. It’s not quite that random but it’s like, I’m still just learning like for this I just got back last week and we’re in Miami shooting by a do of our more extensive travel shows called the hell out of dodge. We did the ghost episodes, our episodes, which is like for two people that produce half hour episode that the it takes us usually have like 10 people on that endeavor, you know, so we just shot in Miami last weekend, and we were focusing on like, neighborhood he places and love it. Fish Out of Water with me and yeah, but it’s just like, I’m still learning about what works for me, like when you watch a lot of the other shows that like everybody has a kind of a style that they fall into that’s, that’s comfortable for them. And, like, I feel like I’m still always kind of working towards finding that like, perfect formula. You know, it’s, it’s interesting, it’s like, getting used to, especially going to a place like Miami, we don’t know anybody like we had like a fixer like fell through we had like another guy who was great, but it wasn’t there the whole time. So it’s like, going around with the big camera. And even like filming in restaurants and having to do things like ask them to turn the music down or off. And even though they’re hosting you, it’s like, now that like everybody’s just staring at you always have that. That suspicion that everybody’s looking at you. And usually it’s not true, but when you have the camera. Oh yeah, of course looking at you. Yep. Yeah. Especially like the music goes off. And like why is the music off? And it’s like, like, just like trying to give a good show and utilize your personality while you’re so goddamn embarrassed. Just like just just just want to crawl under a rock somewhere. But you’re like, Okay, I gotta do this. I have to do it up here is what it is so
fantastic. You know, Joe, you’ve been such a great guest, and you’ve provided so many nuggets of information. You’ve taken us on a fun ride of your 25 Plus year journey at 45 restaurants plus, you know, the TV personality thing and the food and travel writing. You’re truly passionate food guy and we’ve been super happy to have you on on the podcast.
It has been a pleasure. Thank you. I can’t believe the times already gone by that was the time just fly. I said the golf five minutes.
We could go for two hours.
But we tried to keep it to an hour. Yeah.
Well, thanks so much to our audience for tuning in. That again is the restaurant rockstars podcast. We’ll see everyone in the next episode. Stay with us. Thanks again, Joe, for being on the show. And being a great guest. You’re certainly a big personality leading a colorful life. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Let’s talk about profit restaurant profits specifically. These are crazy times of course, and prices are rising and things are just nuts in an already low margin business. I don’t need to tell anyone that so what do you have to do? You literally have to maximize every sale coming through the door and more importantly, maximize profit on every sale. Well, how do you do that? I’m giving away three ways you are killing your restaurants profits, absolutely free at restaurant rockstars.com Plus, a restaurant assessment thought provoking questions that will lead you through are you doing this? Have you thought about that? And these are all designed to make your restaurant more efficient, more productive and more profitable. It’s free. It’s at restaurant rockstars.com I want to thank this week’s episode sponsors Davao pop menu. Smithfield culinary and serve. Thanks again. We’ll see you guys all in the next episode. Stay tuned.
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