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746: Matt Jennings on Homegrown Vision

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Release Date: 09/07/2020

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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 clients at Full Heart Hospitality, and works on executing his vision for Red Barn Kitchen.

Check out Matt's book Homegrown: Cooking From My New England Roots

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Head down, full heart"
In today's episode with Matt Jennings we will discuss:
  • Culinary school
  • New England Culinary Institute
  • The D.I.S.K. method
  • Starting small
  • Buying/operating a cheese shop as a starting point
  • Budgeting
  • Buying a business with established roots
  • A partnership is a marriage
  • Farmers markets
  • Visioning - write it down
  • Knowing when to say "No"
  • Regrets
  • Self-care
  • Public Relations - do you need it?
  • Chasing accolades

Today's sponsor:

Toast - A POS built for restaurants by restaurant people Adapt fast with Toast's cloud-based restaurant POS system that updates to evolve your POS along with changing industry trends and guest expectations. Toast is built exclusively for restaurants of all shapes and sizes, with over 2/3 of our employees having restaurant experience to serve you better. Online Ordering - Let guests easily order directly from your restaurant for pickup or contactless delivery to keep revenue flowing during these uncertain times. Toast Delivery Services Dispatch local drivers through an on-demand network to keep your community fed and revenue coming in.

 

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Sense of urgency
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Over-thinking
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • The fire in their eyes
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Shifting a culture to a new philosophy on food
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Respect
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Empathy
  7. What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
  8. What's one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • Listen
  9. Name one service you've hired.
    • PR
  10. What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influenced operations?
  11. 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?
    • Be good to other people
    • Believe in your own ability
    • Love hard

Contact info:

Instagram: @matthewjennings

Twitter: @matthewjennings

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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And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.

Huge thanks to Matthew Jennings 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!