Owner and Author & Executive Chef Worldwide!

Guests: Marnie Swedberg, Owner and Author & Barry Bennett, Executive Chef at Wyndham Worldwide, and Rachel Mathews of the GRA

Marnie Swedberg

Marnie Swedberg

Marnie Swedberg -  Owner of M & K Takeouts and Over Coffee Espresso Cafe, Best Selling Author of Marnie’s Kitchen Shortcuts

Marnie is a blast! As a speaker, author, trainer, consultant & online mentor to thousands, she still finds time to run 2 restaurants! The author of 12 books, hostess of sites generating millions of hits per year, and a frequent guest at expos and conferences, her story and strategies have been shared on CBS,  ABC and CNBC, in the Chicago Times, Houston Chronicle and USA Today. In addition to her international presence, Marnie manages the two Swedberg family restaurants, a take-out restaurant plus a 12,000 square foot store with fifteen departments including an espresso cafe and Christian bookstore. She and husband Dave enjoy life from a cedar-sided rambler situated in northern Minnesota.

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Barry Bennett

Barry Bennett

Barry Bennett - Executive Chef at Wyndham Worldwide

Chef Barry has an amazing resume and has cooked at some of the coolest places in the world. He was Executive Chef at Majestic America Line and Windstar Cruises, Executive Chef on SeaChefs Cruises, and was featured on The Martha Stewart Show for ” Chef Barry’s Gourmet recipe of the Day” for 125 episodes featuring upscale recipes for the viewers. He served as Burt Reynolds Executive Chef in Jupiter, Florida and President Bush’s 5000 inaugural dinner in Washington, DC, as well as many other political dinners.  He has worked for several celebrities including movie stars, sports figures, politicians, convention centers, 5 star restaurants, music industry stars, hotels, catering companies, and NFL and MLB stadiums.  Barry graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1984.

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Rachel Mathews

Rachel Mathews

Rachel Mathews, Marketing Director of the Georgia Restaurant Association  

Rachel is back with another GRA update!  Great stuff as always from the GRA.

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CanUStart & Le Cirque

 

Tamar Lucien - Founder & CEO at CanUStart  

Tamar Lucien

Tamar Lucien

Tamar Lucien has built a site to help match jobs and bosses in the restaurant and hospitality industries. Her mission is to simplify the process for employers and job seekers to find each other. CanUStart guides candidates on making an awesome first impression and employers get quality pre-screened applicants. The platform makes the whole experience virtually search free. Tamar has been in the recruiting space since college and has a passion for motivating and helping others become successful.

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Ivo Angelov

Ivo Angelov

 

Ivo Angelov, General Manager of Le Cirque at Bellagio

AAA Five Diamond AwardLe Cirque was recently ranked the #3 Restaurant in North America! The restaurant itself is designed in the style of a circus tent and it has a lovely intimate atmosphere inside. This timeless sensation was created by charismatic Restaurateur Sirio Maccioni. Le Cirque’s thirteenth consecutive year AAA Five Diamond rating speaks of exquisite, bold, and transcendent cuisine. With brilliant color and  adorning this famed lakeside destination designed by Adam D. Tihany, Le Cirque’s opulent dining room is enhanced with coveted wines and attentive service. Leading that service is Ivo Angelov. Ivo is one of those rare individuals you come across your professional life that exude Old World manners and attention to every detail. Ivo makes sure the exceptional service is unparalleled. His knowledge of wines and spirits is remarkable as well as his fluency in five languages!

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Atlanta Stars Ryan Turner & Todd Rushing

 

Ryan Turner

Ryan Turner

Ryan Turner - Founder & CEO at Unsukay Community of Businesses (Muss & Turner’sLocal ThreeCommon Quarter)

Ryan Turner is founding partner of the Unsukay Community of Businesses. He opened Muss & Turner’s in February of 2005, Local Three in late 2010, Eleanor’s in 2012 and in October 2013 launched Common Quarter. in 2011, Ryan and his partners won Restaurateurs of the Year from the Georgia Restaurant Association. His foundation, The Giving Kitchen Initiative, serves those in the restaurant community facing hardship and crisis. He was recently named the 2014 Business Person of the Year by the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC).


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Todd Rushing, Managing Partner of Concentrics Restaurants 

Todd Rushing

Todd Rushing

Todd is a partner in the nationally acclaimed Concentrics Restaurants. He is responsible for creating an acclaimed wine programs which have received numerous awards and mentions in Wine SpectatorWine EnthusiastWine & SpritsThe Wine ReportBon AppetitGourmetCondé Nast TravelerNational Geographic TravelerRestaurant BusinessThe Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionAtlanta Business Chronicle and Jezebel magazine. In 1998, he joined Bob Amick to open the highly-acclaimed Killer Creek. Today, Concentrics boasts 12 properties in Atlanta, Georgia, St Louis, Birmingham, and Winter Park, Florida. Todd tells his story in this great interview.

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Chef Marcus Guiliano, Fan Jake Middleton, and Menu Carlo Cisco

 

Marcus Guiliano

Marcus Guiliano

Chef Marcus Guiliano – Owner of Aroma Thyme Bistro, Truth in Menu advocate, Food Activist, Eco-Lectic Restauranteur, Health Nut, Restaurant Consultant, Ultra-Marathoner, Raw Food Lover, Craft Beer & Wine Snob

Chef Marcus Guiliano is the “chef on a mission.” He owns the Aroma Thyme Bistro, located in the bountiful Hudson Valley of New York. For 12 years, Chef Guiliano has been an advocate for healthy, sustainable, local & real food. He found his mission in cooking after reversing a handful of medical conditions,  including asthma. Chef Marcus also loves to mentor and coach other restauranteurs. And he is a nationally known Truth in Menu advocate, coming from his driving passion for truth labeling of food. His sites are huge resources of all restaurant owners and operators!

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Carlo Cisco

Carlo Cisco

Carlo Cisco Of FoodFan and Select 

Carlo is Founder & CEO of FoodFan & Select. Select provides members savings of 15-30% off the full bill at over 70 restaurants in NYC. There are no black out dates or times, and no reservations required. The site works with premiere global brands and top local merchants to provide a truly unparalleled collection of benefits and savings. FoodFan is a restaurant search and recommendation engine that brings together listings, menus, reviews and the ability to order or reserve. Its truly a one-stop-shop for restaurant information.

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Jake Middleton

Jake Middleton

Jake Middleton, CEO at MmmenuPal

MmmenuPal is a powerful electronic tabletop promotion display designed for restaurants. It replaces old cardboard displays with sleek new electronic ones. The goal was to design a simple yet elegant display, that boosts at-table sales and profits and at the same time enhances the guest dining experience. Jake Middleton and his team’s solution is 100% cloud-based, so you can control your entire operation from anywhere in the world. Ads change to display different breakfast, lunch, or dinner adverts automatically, and guests are able to give their feedback through a powerful e-survey feature. Survey results are automatically uploaded each night! Jake shares the history and outlook of this super cool product.

 

Ryan Costigan

Ryan Costigan

Ryan Costigan of the Georgia Restaurant Association and Co-host

The Voice for Georgia’s Restaurants and the GRA Membership Manager, we are excited as always to have Ryan Costigan back on with us. Today, he has a GRA update, including details for free Food Expo tickets and how to handle e-Verify being down. Great stuff, thanks Ryan!

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Chef Patrick Albert, Linda Scheele, & John Kunkel

 

Chef Patrick Albert

Chef Patrick Albert

Chef Patrick Albert - Executive Chef at Remy at Disney Cruise Line

Chef Patrick Albert is Executive Chef at Remy, a Disney Cruise gourmet restaurant. He is charged to recreate and serve menus set by Chef Scott Hunnel (5 Diamond winner) of Victoria & Albert and Chef Arnaud Lallement (2 michelin stars) of L’Assiette Champenoise. He contributes creative and culinary expertise on the Disney Wonder and Magic, 85,000-ton cruise ships with 2,650 passengers and 1,000 crew. Chef Patrick oversees a weekly food budget of $300,000 with nine food outlets serving just under 10,000 meals per day! Working with 120 chefs, 55 Kitchen Stewards and 12 Hotel Store Keepers, Chef Patrick keeps this fast-paced, high volume environment moving and profitable. We are super-excited to welcome another Disney Chef to the show! See more of Chef Patrick…

 

Linda Scheele

Linda Scheele

Linda Scheele – Owner of Organic Cellar Plus

Linda Scheele is an organic wine expert. She has an extensive background in the food and beverage industry and she is very well versed on the organic wine offerings in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Linda owned a food brokerage company for over 20 years and knew that organic wine was unmatched in quality, taste, and affordability. Her company, Organic Cellar Plus, was launched in 2011. Linda sells organic wine from France, Italy, and Spain. Sounds like some great info for all us wine drinkers!

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John Kunkel

John Kunkel

John Kunkel - CEO at 50 Eggs  

John Kunkel’s story is an amazing one; one of the best I’ve ever heard on this show. Starting at 15 and working every job in the industry, his chains grow and thrive and he is a recent James Beard nominee.  But most importantly, his restaurants are very profitable. He even learned how to bring fast service type margins to fine dining. He started with a bakery and quickly added a Mexican place (Lime Fresh Mexican Grill), which grew to 13 units and was sold to Ruby Tuesday’s. His next place, Yardbird Southern Table, was nominated for the James Beard Best New Restaurant in the US! And then, if that wasn’t enough, he decided to bring all his marketing in-house, so he bought Miami’s top branding and marketing agency, with clients such as The Miami HEAT, Motorola, Verizon, Adidas, Couples Resorts, and Muhammad Ali Enterprises. John also runs Khong River House, Swine Southern Table and Bar and the soon to open Khongfuzi and Test Kitchen. Wow. Learn more here….

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Hilltop 1892 and Forbes Island, Brandon Ippolito, Bob Frazier

 

Erick Hendricks

Erick Hendricks

Erick Hendricks - President, Landmark Restaurant Group - Hilltop 1892 and Forbes Island Restaurants

Erick Hendericks started as a professional financial consultant for some top brands like Levi’s and Wells Fargo. But in early 1999, he opened Forbes Island in the San Francisco Bay. It has now world famous, in all the guides books, and one of the most picturesque restaurants in the world. In 2010, he opened Hilltop 1892 in Novato, California. Both restaurants are area icons, are open to the public daily, and can handle private events. Erick prides himself in his loyal employee relationships and effective management team. His chefs continually rework the menu and wine list continually to be at the forefront of local sourced, San Francisco cuisine.

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Brandon Ippolito

Brandon Ippolito

Brandon Ippolito - Owner at Ippolito’s & Ipp’s Pastaria 

Brandon Ippolito now runs the Atlanta chain of authentic Italian restaurant’s named for his parents George and Toni Ippolito. When they moved to Atlanta, they saw a need in the area for a comfortable neighborhood place with great service and great food. The first restaurant opened in 1989, using old family recipes. The famous homemade garlic rolls are made fresh daily. The name Ippolito’s has become synonymous with great food and happy times throughout the Atlanta area. The Ippolito family especially Brandon, is excited about their new venture, Ipp’s Pastaria & Bar. If in Atlanta, the rolls alone are worth a visit!

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Mother’s day w Tom Nahas & Geordy Murphy

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Tom Nahas of  Twisted Taco & Big Kahuna 

Twisted Taco

Twisted Taco

Tom Nahas joined us to talk about Twisted Taco, which was established in 2002.  It quickly became one of the hottest places in midtown, and tested the concept in the suburbs, where it thrived.  Twisted Taco is a cross between an old West saloon and a sports bar, featuring top shelf Tex-Mex cuisine including California style burritos, sizzling fajitas, homemade salsas and of course, their famous “Twisted” tacos.  There are now 8 locations across the area, and growing.

Tom also introduced his new concept,  Big Kahuna. Big Kahuna will be an innovative and exciting flex casual concept, offering a fast casual lunch and full service dining in the evening. It will feature a 30-foot bar, multiple 50-inch flat screens, and outdoor patio seating.  The first location is across from Morton’s Downtown location and will have a surf theme with whitewashed wood. Sounds great.

Tom shared his insights into location selection, themes, menus, marketing and finance.  You are sure to learn from his great insight.

 

Geordy Murphy

Geordy Murphy

Geordy Murphy - Owner/Operator of Cypress Hospitality Group

Geordy Murphy is President and Owner Operator of Cypress Hospitality Group, an executive search firm that recruits for restaurants, clubs, bars and hotels. His clients include The Cheese Cake Factory, Kimpton Hotels, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Buffalo Wild Wings, David Bouley, Pat Kuleto, Wolfgang Puck, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Bradley Ogden. Geordy has served in every facet of business. He was with Club Corporation of America where he opened the Plaza Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, and later, the Canyon Creek Country Club in Richardson, TX. Geordy then was Director of Marketing and Management for Studebaker’s of America, the phenomenally popular ‘50s, rock‘n’roll-themed bar. Wolfgang Puck selected him to build and open Postrio in San Francisco. In 1992, Murphy created his own concept, Geordy’s Restaurant on San Francisco’s Union Square. Esquire magazine recognized it as one of the “Ten Best New Restaurants of America” in 1994 and the NYT  named it one of the “Four Best Restaurants in San Francisco.” From 1996 until 2000, Murphy was COO and co-founder of Long Life Noodle Company, another highly rated restaurant concept. One of his most memorable experiences was helping Russell Siu from 3660 On The Rise, one of Honolulu’s top restaurants, cook at the prestigious James Beard House.

CEO of Big Boy Restaurants & Omar Shaikh of SURG

Omar Shaikh

Omar Shaikh

Omar Shaikh, Co-owner of the SURG group

This is the quintessential Restaurant Owner Radio story, the story we love to hear the most. Omar was a bouncer just 9 years ago, and today he is Co-founder of one of the premier restaurant groups in the US. We get the whole story, how he got started, how he moved to the top, and his plans to the future.

 

 

 

Keith Sirois

Keith Sirois

Keith Sirois, CEO of Big Boy Restaurants International

Keith Sirois serves as the CEO at Big Boy Restaurants International, one fo the most iconic brands in the US. Previously, Keith served as President and CEO of Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc. When Keith took over Big Boy, it was retrenching from some tough years. His job was to sure up the foundation and prepare the company for growth. Keith is also building a outsource brewery in downtown Detroit. And some Boy Big fun…..

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Genghis Grill Al Bhatka & Restaurant Writer Misty Young

 

Al Bhatka

Al Bhatka

Al Bhakta, CEO of Genghis Grill and The Chalak Group

This is one of the coolest stories ever! Four college boys buy a pool hall, grow it, sell it, use the money to buy a franchise, grow it, buy out the franchisor, and explode it! Al and 3 college buddies now own over 270 restaurants around the US. And they grew Genghis Grill from 6 units to over 110 units in 23 states! According to legend, 12th century Mongol armies heated their shields over open fires to grill food in the fields of battle. At Genghis Grill, diners build their own meals from a selection of fresh meats, vegetables, sauces, and spices. The  Grill Masters cook it on a large, round grill in a matter of moments. Barely out of college, these college friends had little life experience and even less restaurant experience. On the night they opened, not a single customer stopped by to eat! Now, even Genghis Khan himself would be proud of their empire!

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Misty Young Author of From Rags to Restaurants and Owner of Squeeze In

Misty owns a chain of family restaurants with four locations. And she wrote a book about her experience and throws down the rules for restaurant ownership. Ever wondered what your ROI should be? Ask Misty. Ever wonder how to knock 8% of costs? Ask Misty. She had been a VP/Partner in a marketing firm, had served as a deputy press secretary for the Governor and Press Secretary to the Attorney General. And a mom! And a grandmom to 3 year old twins and a new granddaughter due in 6 weeks! All those great experiences combine to serve independent restaurant owners, to help end independent restaurant failure, and to allow some of the hardest working people in the country get a well deserved vacation! Learn more from Misty here….

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Adam Goldstein of Hipmunk & Joe Snell of Viableware

 

Adam Goldstein

Adam Goldstein

Adam Goldstein - Co-founder of Hipmunk 

Adam Goldstein is a self-admitted travel nerd. Just weeks after his graduation from MIT, he co-founded a travel company designed to give travelers better choices. Instead of just hotels, you can book AirB2B rooms too! And lots of other add-ons that other sites don’t have. Adam was the North American Debating Champion and also co-founded BookTour with Wired’s Chris Anderson. If that is not enough, he is the youngest author ever at O’Reilly Publishing; he wrote ‘AppleScript: The Missing Manual’ when he was 16. Ouch, makes me feel really old, and lazy!

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Joe Snell

Joe Snell

Joe Snell, Founder and CEO of Viableware

Joe Snell has started several success VC funded businesses. The restaurant industry is lucky is current venture is designed to help them. I think it will change the industry. Joe gives us an update on his newest venture, Viableware, THE solution to POS problems in the food and beverage industry. See more of Joe Snell here…