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807: Erick Williams Founder and Chef of Virtue Restaurant

Restaurant Unstoppable with Eric Cacciatore

Release Date: 06/21/2021

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Erick Williams Restaurant Unstoppable Podcast

With excitement allow me to introduce today's guest, owner and executive Chef of Virtue Restaurant, Erick Williams. A Chicago native with a formidable career, Williams’ foray and eventual establishment in the culinary scene began at mk The Restaurant working alongside admired chef Michael Kornick. His home for nearly two decades, Williams held the position of Executive Chef at mk, where he was extolled for his farm-to-fork, seasonal approach. During his tenure, the restaurant amassed fiercely loyal patronage while consistently receiving accolades from coast to coast. The expertise Williams built over the years is reflected at Virtue with his precise sense of timing, immaculate presentation, deeply considered menu and a mantra of leading every guest experience with kindness.

Show notes…

Calls to ACTION!!!

Favorite success quote or mantra:

  • "Every guest and team member who walks into the restaurant is walking into an extension of my home. Every farmer and product is intentionally and consciously sourced. These things help guests, staff, and the environment. All of these things equate to high moral standards in the restaurant."

In today's episode with Erick Williams we will discuss:

  • "Falling" into the industry
  • Specific costs that chefs don't naturally think about
  • Empower your people
  • Being "trainable"
  • Real Estate!
  • What Erick learned from MK
  • People often need reinsurance/reinforcement
  • Supporting team members who are stressed out
  • Closing MK/what did Erick learn?
  • Intricacies of owner/chef

Today's sponsor:

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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.

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Knowledge bombs

  1. Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
    • Commitment
  2. What is your biggest weakness?
    • Obsessive
  3. What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
    • Asking indirect questions looking for: trainability and loyalty.
  4. What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
    • Finding balance. Justifying the means.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
    • Honesty
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
    • Kindness
  7. What's one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
    • Catching people doing things right. Society would be better served
  8. 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?
    • Family first
    • Live with purpose
    • Have as much patience with you mate as you do with your friends

Contact info:

Instagram: @cheferickwilliams

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 Erick Williams 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!