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647: Ben Poremba on Transforming Communities One Block at a Time

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Release Date: 09/05/2019

749: Zaid Ayoub on Converting Commissary into Direct-To-Consumer Kitchen show art 749: Zaid Ayoub on Converting Commissary into Direct-To-Consumer Kitchen

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Zaid Ayoub is the founder and CEO of the Bay Area-headquartered, rapidly expanding fast-casual concept . A Jordan native, Ayoub frequented a local falafel shop while in college in the U.S. studying engineering and noticed that it often had a line out the door. He wondered if Mediterranean food could blend great flavors with streamlined operations, there was a market (full of hungry people) eager to eat it. After a few years in tech startups, a friend of his mentioned his Mediterranean fast-casual concept idea, and Ayoub took the plunge, opening the first SAJJ...

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Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Chef Hennessey is an award-winning chef and Dover, NH native. He graduated from at the Atlantic Culinary Academy in 2001. He has had experiences cooking alongside some of the best chef’s in the country including: Chef Charlie Palmer at New York City’sn , Chef Grant Achatz at Trio in Chicago, Andrew Carmellini at , Thomas Rice and Ken Oringer at Clio, Eli Kaimeh and Thomas Keller at . Chef Hennessey has worked as the Executive Chef of 43 Degrees North, and , as well as Chef de Partie of , all in Portsmouth, NH. Chef Hennessey is trained in classical French techniques and methods and...

747: Workshop-Anarchism is Business with Ari Weinzweig show art 747: Workshop-Anarchism is Business with Ari Weinzweig

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

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746: Matt Jennings on Homegrown Vision show art 746: Matt Jennings on Homegrown Vision

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Matthew Jennings grew up in Boston, MA. During his summer teen years, Jennings got his start as a prep cook in Nantucket, MA. He went on to study at the New England Culinary Institute, and to work as a cheesemonger before opening his first business, Farmstead, in Providence, RI. After 10 years of successfully running and scaling Farmstead restaurant, Jennings followed his gut and made the move to his hometown of Boston to open Townsman. Jennings received countless awards and accolades for both restaurants. Yet, in 2018 he walked away from it all. Today, Jennings shares his knowledge with...

745: Workshop- Knowing with It's Time to Scale with Chris Schultz show art 745: Workshop- Knowing with It's Time to Scale with Chris Schultz

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Chris Schultz spent 15 years with the Starbucks management and leadership team before joining , aka the MOD Squad in 2009.  Schultz helped MOD Pizza go from 1 location to 100 locations in 2016 as Senior Vice President of Operations. Today, Chris serves as their CEO. You can see, Chris Schultz has developed a track recording of helping great brands scale. That's what we're here to talk about today: When You Know You're Ready To Scale.  Show notes… Calls to ACTION!!! Subscribe to the  Join the private  Join the email list! (Scroll Down to get the Vendor List!) Favorite...

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Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

BONUS Episode!!! we're connecting with our most recent guest, Jamie Bissonnette, to reflect on his episode, pull back a few extra layers, and ask the questions you wish I did. These recordings are happening weekly at . Join the network and be a part of the she transformation.

744: Jamie Bissonnette on How to Network Like a Boss show art 744: Jamie Bissonnette on How to Network Like a Boss

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Collinsville, CT native, Jamie Bissonnette is a graduate of the . After cooking and eating around the nation and overseas, Bissonnette landed in Boston in 1999. After working around Boston, Bissonnette was recruited to help Garrett Hawker open . Two years later Jamie was recruited by Ken Oringer to open KO Prime.  Oringer and Bissonnette partnered to develop Boston favorites , Coppa, and . Check out the first time Jamie joined RU back on ! Visit to help save local restaurants. Tell congress to NOW! Show notes… Calls to ACTION!!! Subscribe to the  Join the private  Join the...

743: Rudy Miick on Core Values as Decision-Making Tools show art 743: Rudy Miick on Core Values as Decision-Making Tools

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Repeat guest and friend, Rudy Miick, is joining us to discuss Core Values. Rudy is the founder of , where his clients run 3-5x the industry average. While others have been writing books about the ability to shift business culture, he's been doing this work successfully in real-time… defining, refining, and implementing what has, in recent years, been called Conscious Capitalism, Conscious Leadership, and Trust and Track management techniques. Thirty years and more than 1,600 successful projects later, Rudy's work still builds on purpose and is guided by clearly defined values that...

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Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

At the age of 15, Keith Sarasin started working at a local sub shop washing dishes and making subs. By 2012 he held titles from Sous Chef to Executive Chef, and eventually private chef before founding . concept came about from Keith’s time working with local farms in the New England area. He wanted a way to support local farms while sharing the stories he learned from his time with various farmers. Since 2012, has hosted over 81 farms to table events across New England and fed more than 20,000 customers raising over $140,000 for local farms. In addition to his time in the kitchen,...

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Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Gene Colley, a former operator of heavy river equipment, and Anthony Cruz, former fine-dining trained line-cook turned healthcare professional, joined forces in 2016 to tackle food market/event/festival gigs with their pop-up fish taco concept, Gulf Tacos. After making a name for themselves by winning a few local food competitions, the duo saw an opportunity to ride the Nashville Hot Chicken wave in 2018. With this seen opportunity, Southerns Food was created and they've been selling out of sandwiches, daily, ever since.       Show notes… Calls to ACTION!!! Subscribe to...

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Israeli native, Ben Poremba moved to St. Louis to earn a BA in philosophy from the University of Missouri. He also attended University of Gastronomic Studies in Parma, Italy. Today Poremba is  Chef/Owner of Bengelina Hospitality Group, the St. Louis-based, award-winning operator of Nixta and Bar Limón, Elaia, Olio, La Patisserie Chouquette, and The Benevolent King. Poremba is a three-time James Beard Award semifinalist in the category of Best Chef-Midwest, and he continues taking the St. Louis dining scene by storm.

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • “Food of love for the love of food.”

In this episode with Ben Poremba we will discuss:

  • Show Notes
  • Think of every customer as family
  • Restaurant as a social hub
  • Learning from your parents
  • Not following conventional restaurant rules
  • The history of food
  • The philosophy of food
  • Failures
  • Catering
  • Networking
  • Living and being intentional
  • Finesse in the industry
  • Long-term gain vs. short-term gain
  • Political motives in building a restaurant
  • Strong community roots and growth
  • Finding the balance between caring enough without losing sight of “it’s just food”
  • The importance of an identity
  • Remove yourself from the restaurant

Today's sponsor:

BentoBox empowers restaurants to own their presence, profits and relationships. The hospitality platform disrupts third-party services that come between the restaurant and the guest. BentoBox puts the restaurant first and offers tools that drive high-margin revenue directly through the restaurant’s website. BentoBox is trusted and loved by over 5,000 restaurants worldwide including Union Square Hospitality Group, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Lilia and more.


CAKE provides an easy-to-use integrated software and hardware solution to build better dining experiences for restaurant operators and their guests. With mobile marketing and waitlist management to point of sale payment processing, the CAKErestaurant management system helps you grow your business.  Learn more at trycake.com/unstoppable

Restaurant365 is a cloud-based, all-in-one, restaurant-specific accounting and back-office platform that seamlessly integrates with POS systems, payroll providers, food and beverage vendors. It generates accurate real-time reporting and analysis in user-friendly dashboards, facilitating immediate, data-driven decision making. Restaurant365 eliminates manual, error-prone processes and is designed to help restaurant businesses grow with functionality that helps optimize labor costs, reduce food costs and increase revenue.


Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Words
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Words
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • What do you want to do or be?
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Having to physically be back in the kitchen.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Do things with intention.
  6. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  7. What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • Authentic community outreach.
  8. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
    • Human Resources!
  9. If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?
    • Commitment to people and NOT processes
    • Stay committed to a place
    • Creativity

Contact info:

Email: ben@bengelina.com

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Huge thanks to Ben Poremba for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


Restaurant Unstoppable is a free podcast. One of the ways I'm able to make it free is by earning a commission when sharing certain products with you. I've made it a core value to only share tools, resources, and services my guest mentors have recommend, first. If you're finding value in my podcast, please use my links!