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657: Eric Skokan on Embracing Failure

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Release Date: 10/10/2019

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Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

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Born in San Diego, Eric Skokan was raised in Virginia and is a graduate of The University Virginia. Upon graduation Skokan traveled, working in some of the nation's greatest kitchens. In  2006, Skokan, and his wife, Jill, opened Black Cat Farm Table Bistro, which was following by the 130-acre, Certified Organic, Black Cat Farm, one year later. In 2012  the couple opened their second restaurant, Bramble & Hare. On top of all of this Skokan is the author of Farm, Fork, Food: A Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm.

 

Show notes…

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Hey what could possibly go wrong?" A lot. But you have to be okay with failure.

In today's episode with Eric Skokan we will discuss:

  • Every one fails before succeeding
  • Love of cooking
  • Ambition
  • Your mood has an impact on everyone you work with
  • Big lessons learned from working under 3 great chefs/owners
  • Health food v. healthy food
  • Work/life balance
  • Living intentionally
  • From restaurant to garden to farm
  • Finding your passion
  • Scaling into your dream restaurant (start small)
  • Aiming for no surprises in the kitchen
  • Give your team empowerment

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.

Gusto offers modern, easy payroll, benefits, and HR to small businesses across the country — they were even named best online payroll by PCMag. And as a listener, you’ll get three months free when you run your first payroll. Sign up and give it a try at Gusto.com/unstoppable

 
Wisetail’s user-friendly platform focuses on engaging, growing, and empowering your workforce while enabling your culture to thrive in multi-site businesses. It is easily configurable to an organization's brand and technical specifications. In addition, Wisetail provides a social community for their customers to share best practices and continuously improve the learning experience.

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Flexibility
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Too interested in change
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Level of excitement
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Recruiting staff
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Talk about what you need and listen intently to the needs of others
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Unconditional service
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's the one thing you feel restaurateurs don't do well enough or do often enough?
    • Mentor their staff
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your four walls restaurant and how has it influence operations?
  10. 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?
    • Become attached to success but not to the method of achieving it
    • Leave the world a better place than how you found
    • Force yourself to celebrate all the little successes

Contact info:

Email: ericskokan@aol.com

Come visit the farm

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 Eric Skokan 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!