#LocalBites

Craver

Starting and running a #local restaurant isn’t easy. With a big upfront investment, small margins, and lots of hard work required, you need to be a little bit crazy to run a successful restaurant. Yet, we all know amazing local entrepreneurs who take on this challenge every day. These people make our local economies stronger. Amin Yazdani, CEO & Co-Founder of Craver, hosts one of these amazing people each week. #LocalBites shares helpful strategies that you can use in your restaurant mixed with inspiring stories, and great conversation. read less
BusinessBusiness

Episodes

LocalBites Rewind: A Masterclass in Restaurant Branding
Sep 27 2023
LocalBites Rewind: A Masterclass in Restaurant Branding
Prepare to unlock the secrets of successful restaurant marketing with Aaron Young, the creative director of Cross Pizza Co. Promising a riveting conversation, we journey with Aaron as he navigates his unique shift from the non-profit sector to the unpredictable waters of the restaurant industry. We dissect the critical role of customer feedback and its impact on marketing strategies, as well as the challenges of maintaining a consistent brand image across multiple outlets. Not to be missed is Aaron’s expertise on regional messaging adjustments and the integration of franchisee needs into overarching corporate marketing strategies.Continuing our enlightening chat with Aaron, we pivot towards the digital realm of brand loyalty. Learn how loyalty programs act as a barometer for customer engagement and the subtle art of message tailoring to draw in clientele. Aaron generously shares Cross Pizza Co.'s approach to creating a harmonious brand identity across digital and physical spaces, and their nimble response to the COVID-19 disruption. Lastly, we delve into his insights on keeping pace with marketing trends, capitalizing on a restaurant's unique strengths, and the ingenious adaptation of ideas from other brands. Be ready to gather pearls of wisdom, whether you're an ambitious restaurant entrepreneur or a passionate foodie with a business bent!(0:00:02) - Local Restaurant Marketing Challenges(0:10:23) - Building Brand Loyalty in Digital Age(0:18:23) - Maximizing Marketing Impact for Restaurants
Caffeine Meets Community: Provisions' YMCA Coffee Shop Model
Sep 19 2023
Caffeine Meets Community: Provisions' YMCA Coffee Shop Model
Ever wondered how to successfully navigate the trials and triumphs of the restaurant business? Join us as we explore this challenging yet rewarding industry with our special guest, Vanessa Gantos, the brilliant mind behind Provisions. Vanessa shares her profound insights on everything from sourcing quality restaurant equipment, managing unexpected malfunctions, to the ins and outs of operating a food truck. She even sheds light on the unique benefits and challenges of setting up a coffee shop within a YMCA. Vanessa's wealth of experience and strategic approach to these issues is nothing short of inspiring, providing invaluable guidance for anyone dreaming of their own culinary venture. Looking beyond the practical aspects of running a restaurant or coffee shop, Vanessa and our hosts delve deep into the concept of flexible business models and the importance of self-care as a business owner. Listen as Vanessa divulges how aligning your business with your lifestyle and keeping up with personal commitments and relationships outside of work can create a perfect recipe for success. It's not just about running a successful business, it's about finding happiness and fulfillment in what you do. So, tune in and learn how to run a business that not only thrives but also nourishes your soul.(0:00:01) Challenges and Tips for Restaurant Equipment(0:11:41) Start Coffee Shop in YMCA(0:18:26) Flexible Business for Happiness and Success
LocalBites Rewind: Use Tips to Retain Employees
Sep 12 2023
LocalBites Rewind: Use Tips to Retain Employees
Unearth the secrets behind the success of a Seattle-based restaurant tech startup, Tip Haus, as we sit down for a riveting conversation with the COO, Kirk Grogan. Expect to walk away with a deep understanding of the challenges restaurant owners face, the importance of local entrepreneurship, and the highs and lows of launching a tech startup in the throes of a global pandemic. Kirk's insights into the intricacies of tip calculation and allocation, and the imperative nature of transparency in this process, will offer a fresh perspective on the inner workings of the hospitality industry.As we navigate this journey, you'll be introduced to the ways in which technology is revolutionizing the restaurant industry, making it more efficient and fair for both staff and customers. We'll be discussing how Tip Haus's innovative software simplifies the daunting task of tip calculation and allocation, fostering a transparent and motivational work environment. Moreover, you'll discover how this automated system can turn tips into powerful incentives, boosting your staff's income while enhancing the overall guest experience.Finally, adopt innovative digital marketing strategies tailored to the restaurant business. Kirk will illuminate how a robust online presence can effectively engage customers and the role of social media in creating a personalized dining experience. Gain insights on how to optimize tipping and get acquainted with tools that can augment your online presence. By the end of the episode, you'll have a clear roadmap on how to successfully navigate Tip haus and leverage its benefits. Your next big leap in the restaurant industry is just a listen away!(0:00:02) - Exploring Challenges Faced by Local Restaurants(0:07:59) - Restaurant Tip Calculations and Transparency(0:15:56) - Improve Tips and Incentives for Employees(0:23:10) - Optimizing Restaurant Tipping and Marketing(0:28:32) - Marketing and Sales for Restaurants(0:35:26) - Learn About Tiphouse at Tiphousecom
LocalBites Rewind: How to Use Influencers to Increase Sales
Aug 22 2023
LocalBites Rewind: How to Use Influencers to Increase Sales
Join us for an insightful episode of #localbites as we dive into the captivating journey of Alexandra Scott within the restaurant industry for an impressive 13 years. Starting from the humble role of a server, she hustled her way up to management stardom and eventually found herself rubbing shoulders in the corporate realm. Currently, Alex is the secret sauce behind Tableside Restaurant Group's marketing wizardry.Drawing from her front-line experience, Alex brings a fresh and distinctive twist to the world of marketing, sharing valuable lessons she's gathered along her path. Tune in to catch the exclusive scoop on her riveting ride. Tableside Restaurant Group, masters of managing multiple restaurant brands, isn't just about great food – they're all about community engagement. Alex spills the beans on some of their community-captivation strategies, with a spotlight on a game-changer: influencer partnerships. Learn how they sprinkle that influencer magic to not only draw the crowd but also shine a spotlight on their eateries.And here's the golden question: You've got a full house after the influencer cameo, but how do you make sure they keep coming back for seconds? Alex breaks it down – turning those one-time diners into beloved regulars.Hungry for insights? Eager to discover how the restaurant game really works? Join us on this episode as we unravel the mysteries behind the scenes, learning from the best in the biz. It's all served up fresh on #localbites![00:00] Show intro [01:17] Alex and her story[06:30] How Alex learned to keep ego out of things [08:03] Engaging different brands and the community[12:14] Picking influencers to work with  [15:12] Measuring the success of campaigns [17:01] Turning one time customers into loyal ones[18:51] Campaigns that succeeded (and the ones that didn’t)[22:28] Marketing advice for aspiring restaurateurs[24:29] Closing out
LocalBites Rewind: Community Involvement Benefits All
Aug 15 2023
LocalBites Rewind: Community Involvement Benefits All
Welcome to another delightful episode of #localbites! Today, we're thrilled to host Gordon Davis, the co-founder of the enchanting Whimsy Tea Company, a community-driven venture that thrives on the magic of saying "yes." Tune in as Gordon takes us on a journey through the heartwarming story of how Whimsy Tea Company blossomed from the roots of its vibrant community.With more than 600 exquisite tea flavors to choose from, the company has danced with the challenges of a dynamic supply chain. Amidst these trials, their robust and supportive customer base has been a guiding light, allowing the team to embrace the philosophy of radical acceptance. While a mere 120 tea varieties adorn the shelves, Gordon and his team have mastered the art of aiding each customer in discovering their perfect cup of tea.Join us as we delve into Gordon's insights on the remarkable power of community building and the transformative effects of wholeheartedly embracing the whimsical path to growth. Learn how, in the world of Whimsy Tea Company, every "yes" fosters an intricate tapestry of connection and progress, reminding us all that in unity, we find the sweetest blends of success.[00:00] Show intro [01:22] Gordon Davis’ background[01:56] Why is community important and how do you foster it?[04:46] What is a label artist and how does it work?[09:02] From the beginnings to 24 venues and a brick and mortar store[11:13] Getting involved in a local group[12:05] Why is local trending?[14:43] Getting involved in local groups[18:33] Why don’t corporations value community?[21:31] The biggest challenge of 600 teas and 24 venues[28:35] Why such a long menu?[30:50] How do you train the team?[34:01] One piece of advice for an aspiring tea shop owner
LocalBites Rewind: Why More Double Shifts Can Lead to Better Service
Aug 8 2023
LocalBites Rewind: Why More Double Shifts Can Lead to Better Service
In this episode of #localbites, join us as Doug Matthieux, the visionary behind Artesano, delves into his journey of venturing from an unrelated field to running two restaurants. With invaluable insights, Doug sheds light on staffing and exceptional customer service. The prevailing challenge of a labor shortage is met with Doug's ingenious approach: implementing double shifts to alleviate strain on employees and curbing turnover. This innovative strategy not only benefits his staff but also fortifies the foundation of his establishments. At the heart of Doug's business philosophy lies experimental thinking, a driving force behind his success. His adaptive model has proven remarkably effective, reflecting in his culinary havens. On the customer-centric front, Doug's mantra revolves around authenticity and attentive listening. He underscores the significance of genuinely connecting with patrons and valuing their feedback. For aspiring restaurateurs, Doug's sage advice resonates profoundly: cultivating a robust team forms the bedrock of triumph. Whether you're contemplating the leap into restaurant ownership or seeking ways to invigorate your culinary enterprise, this episode imparts indispensable wisdom. Tune in to glean from Doug's experience and glean insights that could redefine your approach to the hospitality realm.[00:00] Show intro [01:18] Doug Mattieux and his background [02:36] Creating a kid friendly restaurant[05:09] Figuring out how crazy idea will work [08:03] The beginnings of Artesano and running two restaurants at once[10:42] The balance between family and uniqueness[12:10] Biggest lessons learned [14:55] Combatting worker shortages[20:43] Experimental thinking[30:00] The customer side of the business[36:56] Outro
LocalBitesRewind: Transitioning Your Business Model
Aug 1 2023
LocalBitesRewind: Transitioning Your Business Model
In this episode, we are joined by Quentin Meloff, the Operations Manager for Aloette Go, a quick service model born from an established fine dining brand in response to the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Quentin sheds light on the unique set of challenges faced when transforming a renowned fine dining restaurant into a successful takeout venture.One of the secrets behind Aloette Go's success lies in their approach to hiring and training. Emphasizing attitude and a teachable spirit, they take risks with their hires, recognizing that a solid system can turn anyone into a skilled team member.Discover how Aloette Go prioritizes customer feedback to create an exceptional dining experience. By coming to customers first, they have built a loyal following, ensuring that the offerings resonate with the clientele. Quentin discusses how supplier innovations play a crucial role in quick service dining improvements, showcasing the restaurant's adaptability and willingness to embrace new ideas.Tune in to gain insights into the ever-evolving restaurant industry, as Quentin Meloff shares the inspiring journey of Aloette Go and its quest to deliver quality food and service in the face of unprecedented challenges.[00:00] Show intro [01:23] Aloette Go’s background [02:02] The differences between fine dining vs. quick service model[05:55] How did you learn about the takeout model?[07:29] The customer side of creating a quick service model[10:32] Considering going from one location to two [12:34] Systems for the different models[14:50] FInding the right suppliers[16:34] The unexpected hurdles in a year and a half of Aloette Go [19:10] Employment at Aloette Go[21:33] Third party delivery providers[24:30] Advice for someone who wants to transition their business model
LocalBites Rewind: Tips for Multiple Locations
Jul 25 2023
LocalBites Rewind: Tips for Multiple Locations
In this week's #localbites episode, John Pickerel, founder of Buckhorn BBQ Grill, shared his inspiring journey from farmer's markets to eight thriving brick and mortar locations. Buckhorn's success is attributed to their unique cut of meat, drawing long lines. To build loyalty, they pioneered a data-driven loyalty program ahead of Starbucks.Consistency and predictability have been vital to Buckhorn's triumph. By offering top-notch food and service, they gained customers' trust, becoming a go-to choice. John stressed the high cost of empty chairs, reinforcing their commitment to maintaining high standards across all outlets. As a seasoned restaurateur, John's insights are invaluable for aspiring entrepreneurs. Standing out, fostering loyalty, data utilization, and consistency are key takeaways from Buckhorn BBQ Grill's remarkable journey.In conclusion, #localbites' episode with John Pickerel is a must-listen for those seeking inspiration in the competitive food industry. John's success story motivates listeners to embrace innovation, prioritize customer relationships, and strive for excellence in their own ventures.[00:00] Show intro[01:23] Welcome to John: his background and restaurant[03:57] Why tri tip and how was the menu built around it?[05:49] From one to eight locations[07:25] How do you get repeat customers?[10:03] What has changed in John’s loyalty programs?[12:42] Using data to figure out growth[15:13] Has the process of opening new locations gotten easier?[16:50] The biggest challenges in eight locations[19:21] From unknown to brand awareness[21:54] One piece of advice who is about to start building a restaurant brand[23:31] Wrapping it up
LocalBites Rewind: How to Create Your Own Private-Label Coffee Brand
Jul 20 2023
LocalBites Rewind: How to Create Your Own Private-Label Coffee Brand
In this heartwarming episode, we delve into the inspiring journey of Cristina Dias and Mogiana Coffee, a brand that embodies her cherished childhood memories and hospitality experiences. Growing up on her grandfather's coffee farm, Cristina's passion for coffee took root early on. After 11 years in the hospitality industry, she ventured into roasting coffee beans, starting with her family's farm and gradually expanding to source beans from farms across the globe. Quality is at the core of Cristina's mission, from bean to cup, as she walks us through the meticulous importing, roasting, and selling processes.But Mogiana Coffee is more than just a business; it's a commitment to sustainability. Cristina passionately shares their environmentally-conscious practices, ensuring every step of the journey leaves a positive impact. She introduces us to the art of cupping, the indispensable process for coffee roasters, and sheds light on its significance in maintaining the highest standards of flavor and quality.Not only does Mogiana Coffee roast for its own brand, but they also cater to private labels, spreading their passion for excellent coffee far and wide. Rooted in her upbringing, Cristina reveals the various environmental initiatives supported on their farms, showcasing a deep dedication to preserving the natural world.However, the story doesn't end there—Cristina and her family actively engage in social initiatives, supporting and caring for their workers, making Mogiana Coffee not just a successful brand but also an agent of positive change. With every sip, customers become part of Cristina's journey, relishing in the fusion of her past and present, and embracing the bright future that lies ahead for Mogiana Coffee.[01:24] What is Mogiana Coffee?[03:23] The roles Cristina worked in before roasting coffee [04:25] Sources for Mogiana Coffee[05:36] Who does Mogiana Coffee sell to?[08:38] Setting up a chain of care [12:31] What does cupping mean?[14:42] COVID throwing things off [16:06] Coffee roasting for selling private label [18:48] Sustainability from farm to cup[23:01] Advice for someone who wants to start a private label
Healthy Customers, Healthy Profits: The Cocktail-Inspired Juice Bar That's Transforming its Community
Jul 11 2023
Healthy Customers, Healthy Profits: The Cocktail-Inspired Juice Bar That's Transforming its Community
Welcome to a refreshing episode of #localbites! Today, we have the pleasure of welcoming Josh Rolnick, the visionary owner of Immunity Juice Bar, where health, wellness, and creativity come together in a unique blend. Drawing inspiration from his diverse experiences in the bar industry, ranging from high-end speakeasies to cocktail bars, Josh noticed the negative effects of alcohol on people's well-being. Driven by his passion for health and wellness, he embarked on a mission to combine the vibrant world of cocktails with the goodness of fresh-pressed juices. And so, Immunity Juice Bar was born.What sets Immunity Juice Bar apart is its innovative concept. During the afternoon and evening, it operates as a juice bar, serving refreshing and nutrient-packed concoctions. But as the sun sets, it seamlessly transitions into a cocktail bar, ensuring that patrons still get that bar experience without the alcohol. It's a place where health-conscious individuals can delight in both indulgence and vitality.With every new drink creation, Josh has nostalgia in mind. He pays meticulous attention to the little details that make everyone smile, striving to impress even the most discerning palates. Quality is of utmost importance to Immunity Juice Bar, which is why they source all their ingredients from local suppliers within a fifty-mile radius of their store. This commitment to local sourcing not only ensures the freshest ingredients but also supports the community.Josh's dedication to his craft is evident in the countless hours he spends perfecting his creations. Recently, he even surpassed the impressive milestone of 1,000 hours invested in his passion. It's a testament to his unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional experiences to his customers. Join us in this tantalizing episode as we delve into the world of Immunity Juice Bar. Discover how Josh's passion for health and wellness intertwines with his creative flair, resulting in a one-of-a-kind destination where delicious drinks and well-being collide. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted by the captivating story behind Immunity Juice Bar.[00:00] Show intro [00:35] The inspiration for Immunity Juice Bar [05:04] Partnership [07:36] The Cheers experience but healthy [11:10] Strategies to create a memorable experience[13:22] Influencing the community in a healthy way[16:07] Locally sourcing ingredients [20:11] Obstacles Josh faced while trying to open [25:12] Finding and retaining employees [28:02] A word of wisdom for an aspiring entrepreneur [29:18] Wrapping it up
Breaking the Turnover Cycle: Empowering Employees through Training and Progression
Jun 27 2023
Breaking the Turnover Cycle: Empowering Employees through Training and Progression
In this episode of #localbites, we speak with Gina Ratliff, Managing Director of Foxy Loxy Cafe. Gina's journey from Manhattan to Saloma led her to discover her passion for bartending and crafting cocktails. Now overseeing a cafe chain with six unique locations, Gina shares the challenges and strategies behind managing multiple cafes while maintaining their distinct identities and common thread of craft coffee. We explore the complexities of managing six cafes, focusing on branding and customer experience. Gina emphasizes the importance of prioritizing employee satisfaction and training, resulting in reduced turnover and a team that aligns with the cafes' values. Cross training plays a vital role in delegation and flexibility within the team. Gina also discusses empowering employees, fostering trust, and creating a culture of accountability across different levels of management. She provides insights into the recruitment process and measuring candidate potential. In conclusion, this episode offers an inside look at managing a multi-location cafe chain. Gina's expertise in building unique identities for each location provides valuable lessons for entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry. Tune in to gain insights into effective team management, employee training, and more, and learn how to cultivate a successful cafe chain without compromising individuality.[00:00] Show intro [00:35] Intro to Gina at Foxy Loxy [01:19] Six cafes, six identities, six branding strategies [06:02] The challenges of managing six cafes[09:24] Why did Gina start with the employees instead of the customers?[11:24] Using staff training to avoid high turnover[20:35] Cross training to delegate roles: positive and negative [25:22] Effective communication among the team members[29:57] Delegating responsibility and ensuring trust through the levels[35:16] Attracting and measuring potential employees[39:11] The impact on the customer side [41:54] The best lesson Gina has learned[43:27] Wrapping it up
Sales After Dark: Convert 10x More Customers
Jun 20 2023
Sales After Dark: Convert 10x More Customers
Tune in to Learn How to Convert More Customers 🫵👉 Learn more about Tyler and Business:➡️ https://www.threesmallscoops.com/about_usJoin us in this delightful episode of #localbites as we dive into the inspiring journey of Tyler Small, a serial entrepreneur and the proud owner of Three Small Scoops. Guided by his supportive wife and accompanied by an adorable puppy, Tyler's entrepreneurial story began when he faced a setback—losing his job during the recent tech layoffs. Undeterred, he swiftly turned to his childhood passion for making ice cream, embarking on a remarkable journey of resilience and creativity.Tyler's path to success encountered an unexpected hurdle when he realized that Illinois' outdated food laws limited his options for selling his ice cream creations. Ever resourceful, Tyler embarked on an exploration that led him to discover an array of delectable products he could craft straight from his kitchen. This revelation gave birth to Three Small Scoops, a venture that now offers not only mouthwatering vegan ice cream—technically known as frozen desserts—but also an assortment of delicious baked goods and desserts. Today, Tyler shares his scrumptious creations with the local community, delighting customers at cafes, events, and markets. Moreover, he has harnessed the power of digital platforms, utilizing his website and social media channels to connect directly with ice cream enthusiasts and dessert lovers alike. From his kitchen to your doorstep, Tyler's commitment to quality and innovation shines through each delectable treat he offers.In this episode, we'll explore Tyler's journey of perseverance, adaptability, and culinary passion. Discover how he transformed a challenging situation into an opportunity to create a business centered around his childhood love for ice cream. Tyler's story serves as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, highlighting the importance of creativity, resourcefulness, and a willingness to pivot in the face of adversity. Tune in and indulge in the tale of Three Small Scoops as Tyler shares some of the valuable lessons that he has learned along his journey. Get ready for a tantalizing episode filled with entrepreneurial insights, delicious treats, and the sweet taste of success.[00:00] Show intro [00:35] Introduction to the show’s guest: Tyler Small [01:37] Tyler’s criteria in finding creations to sell [06:21] How did Tyler choose the locations to sell at?[09:45] Hitting the ground running before perfection [11:02] Direct customer feedback [11:45] Advice for entrepreneurs who are hesitant to sell before a product is perfect[13:59] The biggest challenge [15:18] What kept Tyler motivated?[16:27] Where do you go to find reliable info about food laws?[20:40] Higher sales at bars vs. farmer’s markets [24:32] Patterns in customer sales in bars vs. markets[25:12] Overcoming fears about selling in person [26:58] What’s next for Three Small Scoops[27:34] Wrapping it up
Culture by Design: Attracting Top Talent to Your Restaurant Team
Jun 13 2023
Culture by Design: Attracting Top Talent to Your Restaurant Team
In this episode, we have the pleasure of welcoming back Jaryn Oakley, operating partner of The Morning Squeeze, to delve into her remarkable journey with the company. Jaryn's entrance into The Morning Squeeze in 2018 coincided with the opening of their second location, and since then, they have expanded to an impressive four locations.One of the most significant lessons Jaryn learned during this expansion was the realization that she didn't have all the answers. Each day brought a steep learning curve, highlighting the importance of humility and acknowledging that growth comes from recognizing what we don't know. Despite facing the challenge of leading a role that hadn't previously existed, Jaryn embraced the opportunity to lead well, even when she herself was still navigating uncharted territory.Central to The Morning Squeeze's success is their company culture. It's not enough to merely talk about being a strong team; they actively embody it. Jaryn's understanding of every role within the restaurant stems from her belief in leading by example. She wouldn't ask anyone to do something she wouldn't do herself, fostering a culture where everyone feels valued and supported.Throughout her journey, Jaryn discovered the power of curiosity and boldness in finding mentors. By observing individuals who excel in areas she respects and trusts, she actively seeks to learn from them. Embracing a curious mindset rather than a judgmental one, Jaryn encourages others to ask questions freely, believing that there are no stupid questions, only missed opportunities for growth.Join us in this insightful episode as Jaryn Oakley shares her experiences and wisdom, emphasizing the significance of company culture, the importance of continuous learning, and the value of embracing curiosity and mentorship. Discover how passion for your work and the people you work with can truly transform your professional journey.Jaryn Oakley: jaryn@morningsqueeze.com{{00:00}} Show intro {{00:35}} Welcome to the show {{00:54}} The biggest lessons learned going from one to four locations{{02:07}} The biggest initial challenge {{04:28}} How do you go about building a good team?{{09:23}} What do you look for in a mentor?{{11:54}} How do you get Jaryn as a mentor?{{12:19}} What lesson has taken Jaryn the furthest {{13:40}} Advice for someone who wants to scale their business{{15:14}} Wrapping it up
Branding is Everything: How to Build a Food Truck Empire with Who Wants to be a Millionaire Winner Josh Gatewood
Jun 6 2023
Branding is Everything: How to Build a Food Truck Empire with Who Wants to be a Millionaire Winner Josh Gatewood
In this captivating episode of the #localbites podcast, we delve into the inspiring story of Josh Gatewood, the founder of Yankee Doodle Dandy's Food Trucks. Join us as we explore Josh's remarkable path from a finance hopeful to becoming the face of New York City's thriving food truck scene.Josh's journey began during his college years in the South, where he developed an unwavering passion for exceptional fried chicken. However, fate had a different plan in mind for him. In 2012, after moving to the bustling streets of New York City to pursue a career in finance, Josh realized that he yearned for something more fulfilling than being the next "wolf of Wall Street."With determination and a penchant for entrepreneurship, Josh hatched the idea for Yankee Doodle Dandy's Food Trucks right from his Wall Street office. However, he faced a major hurdle: funding. Undeterred, Josh took a leap of faith and decided to use the money he had won from the renowned game show, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?", as the capital to bring his dream to life. In 2013, Josh opened the doors of his first food truck, serving up mouthwatering southern fried chicken that took the streets of NYC by storm. Through a big rebranding, word started spreading about the delectable flavors and unique concept of Yankee Doodle Dandy's, solidifying their place as a culinary sensation in the city.Today, Josh oversees a fleet of three food trucks, and his vision has led him to become the president of the prestigious New York City Food Truck Association. In this episode, we uncover the secrets behind Josh's success, his innovative marketing strategies, and how he navigated the challenges of scaling his business in a competitive industry. Tune in to this episode of "#localbites to discover the empowering story of a young entrepreneur who turned his passion into a flourishing food empire, proving that with a little audacity and a lot of determination, dreams can become reality.[00:00] Show intro [00:35] Background on Josh and Yankee Doodle Dandy’s Food Trucks [01:36] Pivoting from a brick and mortar store to a food truck[02:52] What makes Yankee Doodle Dandy so unique?[04:30] From one truck to three: changing the momentum [06:20] The biggest challenges and how Josh overcame them[08:40] Rebranding the food trucks to create a story[13:20] Location, location, location[15:30] What change did Josh make to double his revenue[17:23] Promotional and marketing tactics[19:12] How “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” affected the business[21:34] Building a loyal customer base[24:40] What’s coming for Josh and Yankee Doodle Dandy’s [26:49] What is the future of food trucks?[28:15] One piece of advice for an aspiring food truck owner[29:10] Wrapping it up
Community, Quality, Innovation: Key Ingredients to Building a Successful Coffee Shop with Kaity Gould
May 30 2023
Community, Quality, Innovation: Key Ingredients to Building a Successful Coffee Shop with Kaity Gould
Welcome to another episode of #localbites, the podcast that celebrates the stories of entrepreneurs who are making a mark in their communities. In today's episode, we dive into the inspiring journey of Kaity Gould, co-owner of Fort Smith Coffee Company. Originally a barista in Sydney, Australia, Kaity’s passion for craft coffee led her back to the United States, where she saw an opportunity to fill a gap in her husband’s home town of Fort Smith, Arkansas. She started her venture at a humble farmers market stall, fueled by her love for her community, quality, and innovation. With dedication and hard work, Kaity’s business soon blossomed into multiple locations, each serving not only exceptional coffee but also offering scratch-made pastries and an extensive food menu. Her commitment to delivering the best experience to her customers sets her apart in the industry. In this episode, we explore Kaity’s entrepreneurial journey, from her early days as a barista to becoming a successful coffee shop owner. We’ll hear about the challenges she faced, the lessons she learned along the way, and the pivotal moments that shaped her path. Join us as we delve into Kaity’s story of passion, perseverance, and the power of community. Get ready to be inspired by her unwavering commitment to quality and her innovative approach to building a coffee empire. Tune in to #localbites and let Kaity Gould’s story inspire your own entrepreneurial aspirations. [00:00] Show intro [00:35] Background on Kaity[01:17] Transitioning from Sydney to the US[02:57] How Katie’s experience in Sydney influenced her vision [03:58] Balancing experience with hurrying people[04:58] The interior design side of encouraging experience[06:54] What parts of Australian coffee culture has Kaity been able to capture?[08:03] Third wave coffee culture: what is it and what are the first and second waves?[09:33] Why did Kaity decide to roast her own coffee and what sets them apart?[12:17] From a farmers market to multiple locations [14:40] The biggest challenges along the journey[16:14] Staying at the forefront of customers minds[18:15] Consistency in both product and service[22:21] Deciding on drink recipes [23:20] Thanks for joining this episode of #localbites
Brewing Business Resilience: Ankur Dholkaia's Unconventional Route to Coffee Shop Success
May 23 2023
Brewing Business Resilience: Ankur Dholkaia's Unconventional Route to Coffee Shop Success
Ankur Dholakia wanted to be in charge of his own destiny and decided to ultimately take the leap into entrepreneurship by taking over an existing business, Cafe Eleven. He made the big change of switching the menu to a fully vegan selection. Another unique thing that Ankur offers at Cafe Eleven is a pre-paid tab to give an old-fashioned feel to a new cafe. You don’t have to change everything about your business, keeping things that align with your values will resonate with your customers. The switch to a vegan menu alienated the prior customer base, but with a small amount of vegan options in the area the word spread and Ankur found a new niche market. He values engaging in conversation with community members to foster a sense of loyalty in his customer base. Ankur has plugged himself into different sectors of the community and shown up in the neighborhood. It’s not the big things that make a difference, it’s the little things that really add up. [00:00] Show intro [00:35] Introduction to today’s guest: Ankur Dholakia[01:11] How Ankur decided to acquire Cafe Eleven [03:11] Taking over an existing cafe instead of starting one[04:36] Making a fully vegetarian/vegan cafe[06:58] Finding a new customer base [07:31] How did sticking to a niche work?[08:20] Advice for a coffee shop owner who wants to lean into a niche[09:37] Why are customers so important to Ankur?[11:07] Fostering a sense of loyalty in customers [12:18] Learning to tap into your community[15:42] Strategies for keeping customers with a prepaid tab[18:02] Wrapping it up