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688: Justin Turner on Scaling a Scratch Kitchen

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Release Date: 01/27/2020

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More Episodes

A Chicago native, Justin Turner got his start in fine dining serving for years as a private chef to NBA star Shane Battier. When Shane was traded to the Rockets, Justin followed to Houston, but when the baller moved on again, the chef stayed, converting a yellow school bus into one of Houston’s first food trucks and naming it after his grandfather: Bernie’s Burger Bus. His gourmet burgers and fries were wildly popular and led to a fleet of buses, a spot at NRG Park and now 4 brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "If you feed the masses you will eat with the classes, but if you feed the classes you will eat with the masses."

In today's episode with Justin Turner we will discuss:

  • Fine dining vs. casual
  • The importance of organization in the kitchen
  • Listening to mentors who believe in you
  • Don't ask for money; learn the trade and the money will come
  • Kitchen efficiency
  • Working as a personal chef
  • The insanity of truly driven people
  • Operating a food truck (or bus in this case)
  • Transition from bus to brick and mortar
  • How to take on partners
  • Branding and marketing
  • Importance of testing the market with farmers markets/Pop-ups
  • How to scale
  • Hiring passion over skill
  • Selling product in stores

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

MarginEdge is the only restaurant management system to combine automatic invoice processing with POS and accounting integrations, improving financial performance, visibility, and efficiency. It all starts with snapping a photo of invoices with your smartphone. We take it from there – every line item and every handwritten note is captured. We then integrate with your POS, so each day you know everything you bought and everything you sold. We create a rolling P&L with drill-down capability and it flows effortlessly to your Accounting System of choice. For 50% off your first year. Go to me.marginedge.com/unstoppable

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

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Passion
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • My heart
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • What do you love? What makes you excited to wake up everyday?
  4. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Teach them about our MVP
  5. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Make people feel special
  6. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  7. What's one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • Take the time to get to know your staff
  8. Name one service you've hired
    • Robert and Jeremy Levine Lawyers
    • Jeff Garcia - Food CPA
  9. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influence operations?
    • Chowly - Streamline and integrate third-party delivery orders into your POS
  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?
    • Hire slow and fire fast
    • If you can't change people, change people
    • Bone it like you own it, drive it like you stole it

Contact info:

Website: www.berniesburgerbus.com

Instagram: @berniesburgerbus

Twitter: @BerniesBurgers

Facebook: @berniesburgerbus

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 Justin Turner 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!