THE MAGAZINE OF THE ARIZONA RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION
LEADERS IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY Lead·er -’led r/: the person who leads or commands a group. In the restaurant’s industry case, our leaders are those who translate their visions into reality while inspiring others to do the same. Statistics show that restaurants typically fail at a higher rate than any other small business type. e
UNIQUE CAREERS IN THE INDUSTRY Restaurateur, chef, hostess, and bartender - these are just a few and the list goes on. However, careers in the industry extend beyond food and beverage. Take a look at some of the unique careers in our industry.
Arizona Restaurant News follows the leader to talk with the people shaping the foodservice and restaurant industry. Get ahead of the class; hear from today’s top performers as they share lessons learned, tackle tomorrow’s opportunities and transform the business of food.
QUICK TIPS FROM INDUSTRY LEADERS What better way to prep, plan and prepare for success than by learning from the examples set by our industry leaders? We’ve asked a few of our top restaurateurs and chefs to share their insights.
Get to know Arizona’s food scene through stories, interviews and conversations with industry insiders.
Five Action Items in This Issue Leaders in the restaurant industry page 14 Myth Busters page 58 Unique Careers page 62 Quick tips page 80 How do they do it? page 92
Explore this global hub of industry news and commentary on food, drink, design and more.
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ARIZONA RESTAURANT WEEK
what 5 2
MESSAGE FROM CHAIRMAN
LEADERS OF THE PACK – RESTAURANT INDUSTRY 2015 Infographic
YOUTH IN THE INDUSTRY The Happy Organization
MYTHS 5 8
FAMILY BUSINESS 3 0
LEADER’S CHOICE Leaders in our state tell us their favorite restaurants and chefs in Arizona
Learn from the best with this business know-how guide filled with ideas, tips and resources.
HOW DO THEY DO IT? What it takes to stay in the industry
HOW TO DELIVER WOW CUSTOMER SERVICE
President & CEO Steve Chucri
Membership, Vice-President Jana Shelton
ProStart & Education Foundation, Manager Tracie Carmel Public Affairs & Communications, Manager Chianne Hewer Partnerships & Industry Programs, Manager Brynn Johnson
4250 N. Drinkwater Blvd., Suite 350 Scottsdale, AZ 85251 P 602.307.9134 F 602.307.9139 azrestaurant.org
Customers often times don’t have a true appreciation as to what takes place behind the kitchen doors or the fast-paced pressure and immense priority for food safety. It takes talent, dedication, passion and leadership to make it to the top of our industry.
A Salute to the Leaders
Leaders of our industry push the limits because of their remarkable talent, creativity and desire to inspire others .
While we are spotlighting the leaders within our state, we want to also take a moment to congratulate the Arizona restaurant industry as a whole. For the second consecutive year, we are leading the country in year
I pride the Arizona Restaurant Association in being an innovative organization disciplined in knowing the needs of our cutting edge industry and best matching them with our restaurateurs who are constantly blazing new culinary trails. The beauty of the restaurant industry is the unique mix of hospitality and entertainment, ingredients and presentation, and business management and employment. Leaders of our industry push the limits because of their remarkable talent, creativity and desire to inspire others. Leaders in a restaurant business take place in various forms, ages, job descriptions and profit margins. This edition of the Arizona Restaurant News is intended to inspire our industry and the next generation of culinarians. The restaurateurs that spearhead our industry should be recognized for being successful in such a dynamic and challenging business.
over year restaurant sales growth and will lead job growth for the next decade. This clearly demonstrates the vibrant restaurant scene here in Arizona and trumpets our strength to other states around the country, and even the world. The Arizona Restaurant Association salutes you, our restaurateurs!
Steve Chucri President & CEO, Arizona Restaurant Association
message from chairman
me along the way. Success in our industry can also look
different from the next restaurateur. True leaders within
the restaurant industry have a very unique set of goals
and may divert from the norm to get there.
The best of the best in our industry deserve to be
recognized as well as heard from. They can help put new
Leadership is typically a skill that is hard to teach someone – but it is a skill that can be perfected over time. Our industry is full
restaurateurs on a path of success and remind those that
have been around forever, to mix things up a little. This
The best of the best in our industry deserve to be
edition of the Arizona Restaurant News is dedicated to
of leaders; some behind the
do both of those, and I know you’ll join me in congratulating the
scenes, some in front of cameras,
leaders and will be motivated to help the next young leaders of
some in offices and some in
recognized as well as heard from. They can help put new restaurateurs on a path of success
kitchens. That’s one of the
things I love the most about
working in the restaurant
industry – that it takes a
Bobby Fitzgerald Chairman, Arizona Restaurant Association
team of people to be
successful. I wouldn’t be
where I am today if it weren’t
and remind those that have been around forever, to mix things up a little.
for the pioneers who came
before and those who taught
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brush title tbd leaders in the indus ry
Leaders in the
Restaurant Industry Lead·er -’led r/: the person who leads or commands a group. In the restaurant’s industry case, our leaders are those who translate their visions into reality while inspiring others to do the same. Statistics show that restaurants typically fail at a higher rate than any other small business type. e
Their philosophy is simple. Hana provides affordable, authentic Japanese cuisine, executed with traditional expertise. Though places like Tokyo Express and Benihana have kept Japanese food relevant to the general public through the years, Lori admits that the food at Hana does not involve styrofoam bowls filled with rice or catching an egg on a spatula. What it does require are the highly skilled, developed palates of her Mom and stepfather and the food they grew up with in Japan. Neither of them maintains recipes because, as Lori explains, even if they did write down stop by step instructions, there are so many levels of nuance and experience that every attempt at their recipes would yield a completely different flavor.
Preserving Culture by Joanie Simon
Hana Japanese Eatery is one of the most celebrated Japanese restaurants in the Valley. It’s not a big space, it’s casual, it’s comfortable. It’s the quintessential family-style restaurant. In this case, your family is Japanese and they take their food very seriously. Lori Hashimoto opened Hana in order to provide a place for her family to exercise their culinary talents and to sustain the proliferation of Japanese culture through food. Prior to Hana, Lori was successful in the nutraceutical industry. Despite her successful career, she couldn’t handle how her heart broke, looking at her brother Rick and her stepfather Kazuto Kishino, both gifted chefs, working for other people. She says they were like caged animals. They were missing the light in their eyes, lacking the opportunity to source the ingredients they wanted and freedom to make dishes that inspired them. Lori teamed up with friend Lynn Becker and opened up Hana, looking for a new adventure and culinary freedom for her family.
Hana Japanese Eatery
So, how does one learn to make authentic Japanese food? Short of spending years along side Lori’s parents or living out your own personal story of Jiro Dreams of Sushi, you could follow Lori’s recent ramen education for a crash course in noodles, broth and toppings. Previously, these courses were only offered in Japan. When a course was offered stateside in Los Angeles, Lori booked her ticket and was there, being schooled by an 85-year- old Sensei. She explains that this school, like any traditional Japanese practice, is extremely challenging and the methods calculated. She likened the ramen equations she learned to nutraceutical formulation from her prior career. Lori explains
that the best way to learn is like her Mom and Kaz did, feeling it out, understanding the art of Japanese cooking. But, if you don’t have decades to invest, the kind of week long intensive she attended is valuable for getting the philosophical and scientific foundation of the food. From there, in time and with practice, that educational foundation can morph into art. Lori is thrilled that Hana has received such positive reception over the years, doing something that is otherwise, foreign to Phoenix’s diners. But, it is a testament to the power of working with a laser-focused vision. They have created a loyal following of fans, lovingly referred to as “Hanacores”. enthusiastically celebrate every time they see a new convert to the Hana way, knowing that with each new fan, they are cementing the preservation of their heritage and food that brings them undeniable joy. 19 The Hana team does not cut corners and they do not compromise. They
Hana Japanese Eatery
challenge in the form of pickled garlic and mustard. Seeing a fun opportunity for creativity and knowing that the palates of the Ciao diners were equally open to new ideas, she incorporated pickled garlic and mustard into an ice cream and paired it with cheddar crusted apple pot pies. It’s that kind of ingenuity and passion that make her services uniquely coveted in the local restaurant scene, providing desserts to restaurants that don’t have pastry chefs on their payroll. This unique niche she has created was not her original plan when she set out as a business owner. During her time at Ciao, she refined her recipe for Bacon Pecan Brittle. She dreamed of a storefront, a jewel box to sell her creative desserts and mass distribution of her brittle. Though the brittle is entirely worthy of mass distribution, Tracy quickly discovered that the specialty food market is a gigantic beast that requires the one thing that hinders all small businesses: capital. However, she did discover that in the economic crash, local restaurants were unable to afford in-house pastry chefs and she set to filling the void. It has been a wild ride since taking on her first restaurant client, to taking on more, to borrowing kitchen space, to finding a kitchen space of her own. In that time she has relied on the mentorship and wise counsel that formed the foundation of her craft. Tracy’s first job in the industry was
Balancing Business and Art by Joanie Simon
20 Tracy Dempsey, pastry chef and owner of Tracy Dempsey Originals, like so many others in the industry, is an artist. Her supreme delight is in turning all variety of ingredients into dessert. During her time as pastry chef at Cowboy Ciao, while paired up with Executive Chef Bernie Kantak, he presented a
working for Pat Cristofolo in the early days of Santa Barbara Catering Company. Pat was the one who encouraged Tracy to seek out the culinary program at Scottsdale Community College and has been a touchstone throughout the years to get sound, honest feedback. Tracy explains that in looking for a mentor, it is important to have someone who is successful in their craft and who can be brutally honest. It is easy to get off track in the midst of building a business. That is why it is invaluable to have someone who can provide a wise, objective opinion at key moments through- out the process. Tracy has also learned the importance of staying true to her art. As the business grew, she found herself immersed in
less of the creative work and overwhelmed with the logistics. Coordinating payroll, dealing with taxes, following up with accounts receivable, all of the minutia that any creative person doesn’t necessarily consider when launching a business, must be effectively managed. Here again, Tracy explains the importance of having the right people involved in order to assist. Sometimes that help comes in the form of generous friends and family and sometimes it comes from talented employees. Regardless, Tracy’s advice to any artist is to make space and time to be creative, otherwise the heart of your business will be lost. Never forget the reason you started and make it a priority to feed your soul.
Huevos con chorizo y tortilla. Not your typical first-grader’s lunch. But for 6 year-old Silvana Salcido Esparza, brown bag lunches meant homemade traditional Mexican food and confused and inquisitive stares from classmates. Having been born in Los Angeles and raised in Arizona, James Beard Award nominee and Mexican-American Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza says she is as “American as apple pie.” However after just one bite of her nationally acclaimed cuisine it is quite clear that her herencia Mexicana, or Mexican heritage, unequivocally shines through. Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza: A Tale of Two Cultures by Kalinda M. Stephenson
From the colorful murals and culture of Calle 16 in downtown Phoenix comes the heart of Chef Silvana’s brand: chef-created Mexican food. Adamant about keeping her identity, Chef Silvana seamlessly straddles the line between Mexican and American cultures and identity showcasing traditional Mexican dishes – her way. This is what you can expect at her newest venture set to take over the former Bragg’s Factory Diner on Grand Avenue. Featuring upscale and elevated Mexican dishes made with freshly sourced hard-to-find ingredients directly from Mexico, Chef Silvana says she is “excited like I’m 16 again with my first car.” The passion and excitement in her voice when describing the forthcoming project will surely be translated over into the food and recipes she will be creating.
Arizona Highways TV
Chef Justin Beckett has the story of so many in the industry. He was a young guy, looking for some cash, and the restaurant industry ushered him into a dishroom. His story happens to have a little extra flair in that the first dishroom was in Chef Justin Beckett: A Modern Day Chef by Joanie Simon
Today, he operates two successful Phoenix restaurants, Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail with his wife Michelle and two partners, Katie and Scott Stephens. Chefs today have a variety of directions to pursue from corporate opportunities to working for local ownership. But, it was over some burgers and beers that Justin and Scott found themselves looking for the next move in the midst of a down economy. They had both worked in the industry, coming up through a number of successful kitchens. As restaurants were closing due to the 2008 crash, they saw opportunity. Rents were low and plenty of used equipment was available. Justin says that it was about being at the right place at the right time. However, their risk-taking moves required foresight and a significant amount of optimism. The restaurant industry is not for the faint of heart, but their selected path has paid off and is influencing the evolving Phoenix dining scene. Both restaurants continue to see growth year to year, much thanks to Chef Beckett’s expertly crafted menus. They have carved out that sweet spot of cuisine that the food community respects while still being accessible to general tastes. Butts in seats are an important part of the modern-day restaurant equation and Beckett understands that his guests love those comfort standards like mac and cheese, green chile pork and deviled eggs. At the same time, he is able to satisfy the
Maui, HI. His family landed there in the midst of his Dad’s pursuit of a dream as a pro windsurfer. Justin was also only fourteen years old, but he quickly acclimated to the fast-paced restaurant environment, working his way from the dish pit, to prep, to line cook, and eventually culinary school within four days of high school graduation. He loved the energy of the back of house, the seeming rock and roll lifestyle of the cooks, and the freedom it afforded him. He jumped in headfirst and never looked back.
discriminating diner’s palate with progressive ingredients and classic techniques. An example of this is his pork osso buco confit with dijon spaetzle, tasso and braised greens. It includes the familiarity of osso bucco from Italian menus of the 80s and 90s, but pushes the culinary needle forward through the technique of confit and a creative combination of flavors in the braise and the spaetzel.
Where does Beckett find inspiration for his celebrated menus? Non-stop, gut-busting research trips he refers to as Eat-A- Thons. To date, he has eaten his way through San Francisco, Portland, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charleston and Austin, searching out the best bites in the city and devouring them. In the process, he takes mental notes of and comes back with a colorful litany of ideas inspiring everything from the aforementioned osso bucco to his smoked chicken and grilled andouille Gumbo Ya Ya. If you are considering a research trip of your own, Justin sets the bar high holding a personal record of 24 restaurants in 36 hours. Justin Beckett represents today’s modern day chef. He rose through the culinary ranks, taking the opportunities as they came through hard work and taking risks. It is difficult to accurately pinpoint his reasons for success, but the answer is somewhere in the mix of optimism, risk-taking, committing to research and understanding his customers. It’s also undeniably important to have the right people and talented partners. That combination of elements and his culinary philosophy have served him well and we expect to see more great things from him for years to come.
Miracle Mile Deli:
A Family Business
by Joanie Simon
Miracle Mile Deli has 66 years under their belt. Through various locations and six decades, one thing has remained the same: the family. Currently owned by George and Jill Garcia and operated by their son Josh, the Phoenix institution was founded by Jill’s father, Jack Grodzinsky. Jack moved to Arizona from New York and saw the opportunity to share the flavors of the deli with Phoenix. It was a chicken-fried steak and Mexican food landscape at the time, but Phoenicians quickly fell in love with their pastrami, brisket, and other classics served out of their original location at 16th Street and McDowell Road. In 66 years, though much has remained the same, including the family, there have been some significant moments of change. The first major shift came when they opened the Park Central location in 1965. The first location had been traditional table service, but Jack saw an opportunity to serve more guests in a shorter amount of time through a cafeteria line. They implemented line service and Miracle Mile has maintained this method ever since. Josh Garcia, responsible for day to day
Miracle Mile Deli
operations, says that this gives them an unique opportunity to connect with their guests. In a table service restaurant you might interact with three to four employees during a visit. You’ll talk with a host, a server, perhaps a manager during a table check-in and maybe a busboy will refill your Coke. At Miracle Mile, on the other hand, guests interact with upwards of nine employees. Between sandwich assembly, sides, garnish, drink orders, dessert and a cashier, at least six touches happen before the guest sits down to take their first bite. Then they will interact with two or three other employees while they are seated through refills and check-ins. Josh says that it’s an incredible opportunity to connect with guests, letting them feel the love of the whole Miracle Mile family. On the other hand,
there are increased chances of something going wrong being that so many people are involved. Fortunately, Miracle Mile has a team of dedicated professionals on their side and the positive moments far outweigh the negative. The second major change at Miracle Mile came most recently upon opening their brand new, free-standing location at 16th Street and Campbell. It was the first time they instituted a major menu change. They still serve that famous Straw Sandwich, piled high with spicy pastrami, crisp sauerkraut and melted swiss cheese. But, time marches on, and the restaurant game isn’t what it was. Back when Josh was a kid, doing his home- work perched on a pickle bucket on the line, there was a lot less competition and Miracle Mile was a front-of-mind dining destination in Phoenix. They would open the doors and the
has had to execute a balancing act of honoring their past while keeping up with the times. These changes required a lot of challenging discussions. Certainly, there are advantages to being a family in this situation in that candid conversations are not unusual and a long history together keeps bonds strong. At the same time, personal and professional boundaries can become blurred, adding stress to the decision making process. Ultimately, the Garcia family pulled through this major change by not being afraid of honesty and being direct with one another. It also required an openness to listen, and perhaps that’s the best advice for any restaurant. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, but also be open to listening. Great ideas come from every member of the team. With that effective balance in leadership, Miracle Mile Deli is celebrating another successful year and looking forward to many more in the future.
people would file in. However, particularly within the last ten years, the boom of new restaurants has created more competition than ever. That combined with the tastes of a younger generation and rising food costs, the Garcia family
Miracle Mile Deli
pudding. Skip’s sister Becky rounded out the crew, and will celebrate her 18th anniversary at Chase’s in October.
Families in Business:
Creating Culture From Chaos by Jennifer Chase
It wasn’t long before the Chase children wanted to lend their services to the family business as well. At seven years old, their daughter Jen started working as a hostess on weekends. At twelve, she passed her food handlers and serving exams, and was officially on the floor as a waitress. It wasn’t long after that the two younger Chase kids, Jaime and Matt, were on the floor serving as well. The story writes itself- beyond the Chase family running the business with two generations on hand, the family dynamic goes even further at Chase’s. One family in the building simply wasn’t exciting enough.
Several thoughts come to mind when talking about families in business together. “Oh, this could be fun.” “We’ll all run the business together.” “But who will really be in charge?” “My way of doing things is much better than everyone else’s.” “Oh my. What did we get ourselves into?” Amidst the many trials of families running a business together, there is undoubtedly a culture created from working with family members that truly is one of a kind. Skip and Nancy Chase opened Chase’s Diner in Chandler in October of 1997. Having transplanted to Arizona from Buffalo, New York, the two aimed to open a fifties-style classic diner with a menu reminiscent of true family-inspired east coast eateries. Naturally, along with a few family recipes also came a few family members in the business. Skip’s mom Shirley helped open the restaurant, bringing along her recipes for homemade meatloaf, vegetable beef soup, vanilla custard, and bread
Chef Andre James was in the kitchen the day Chase’s opened its doors in 1997. In 2005, his daughter Chane joined Chase’s as a server, and is currently serving as a manager. Her younger brother Anthony rounded out the James crew working as a dishwasher and a prep cook. Suzie Dierks has worked at Chase’s on and off for years. Now as her oldest son turned sixteen, he is working as a host, at times giving orders to his own mother. If that isn’t enough family for you, add in the Stetz kids. Kaylee will soon celebrate her two-year anniversary at Chase’s, and recently welcomed her brother Nik to the family as well, quite literally. So what does it feel like to work at a restaurant where almost half of the employees are family members? Close is the first word that comes to mind. Gone are the notions of being polite during a rush or beating around the bush when it comes to getting things done. Present is teamwork, and a natural flow of working together in harmony rather than just in presence. It’s a notably different atmosphere when there are multiple generations of multiple families all working together to create a fun and productive environment. The good news is that there is always someone on hand to pick up a shift when needed. The And yet, two families still wouldn’t do the trick.
bad news is that there will always be disagreements and times when work seems to follow you home.
The presence of so many actual family members on staff has made it much easier to welcome “non-family” members into the Chase’s Diner family. Customers appreciate the warm environment that so many friendly faces create. So much family can be chaotic at times, but it’s truly a culture like no other.
Grumpy food blogger at table 5
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history in the business
Chef Doug Levy owns Feast in Tucson, an eclectic restaurant featuring an extensive wine list and creative cuisine. After thirteen years in business, two different buildings and a menu that changes on a monthly basis, Doug has learned many important lessons about being a restaurateur. He has lived in Tucson since he was five years old, and with the exception to some time in Italy, his hometown has a firm grip on him. He is now fully invested in Tucson, owning his own building on Speedway. He made the decision to be his own landlord five years ago. The prior location, he rented and was slammed every day. They were turning people away even in the dead of summer. They had maxed out every square inch and were ready for what they hoped would be a bigger, better space. He came across the property he would eventually purchase and being a savvy business owner, did the math. He knew that if they maintained their current level of business, they would be able to keep the doors of the new location open. Of course, with expansion came the hope of How do they do it? History in the business Feast: 13 Years in Business by Joanie Simon
more business and a hope for a better bottom line. Doug was smart to give his expectations for growth and success plenty of time. Everyone who has owned a restaurant knows that success is typically a long hard road and planning to be cash positive too quickly can be the death of any new venture. Doug gave himself a five year period to quantify his new spot’s success and every day is an exercise in strategizing how to be better and work smarter. Through these experiences, Doug has artfully balanced the divide between being a chef and a restaurateur. Doug’s forewarning to anyone who loves to cook,
Every month is an entirely different menu. For example, the current menu includes Grilled Boar Tenderloin with pickled cherries, beet gaufrettes, lacinato kale and Logan Turnpike Mill grits. Why does Doug take on the tireless task of constant change? Despite his laid back demeanor, he gets bored, quickly. He knows that if he is bored with the food, his staff will be, too, and the final product suffers. His philosophy is that if his team is excited to cook, the food will be better and the customers will be happier. The only exception to this theory of evolution is their signature fried halloumi cheese sandwich. As any restaurateur can relate to, he tried to remove this sandwich
“don’t open a restaurant, you’ll never cook again.” He says this only somewhat jokingly, communicating the fact that when you own a restaurant, there are a myriad of small details to handle daily. From payroll to dealing with leaky pipes, it’s an unexpected wild ride that can keep someone with a love of food running around doing everything but cooking. Doug maintains his sanity, always returning to the food. He has created a cult following of fans who revel in his culinary creativity. He changes the menu every month, incorporating inspired ingredients and unexpected flavors. He’s not simply changing out a few sides.
from the menu early on and found himself with a rioting in the streets. Despite his dedication to continual change, he is not unreasonable and the fried cheese crowd pleaser remains. His analogy for the fried cheese sandwich, though not claiming any other parallels to a rock star, “It would be like going to an Eric Clapton concert. He has to play Layla .”
today with half a dozen more planned before the end of the year. Of course, he joins the already illustrious culinary team behind Hopdoddy, touting a veritable laundry list of restaurant affiliations and decades of experience including Guy Villavaso and Larry Foles. Craig shared that you can have the all-star leadership team, but none of it matters if you don’t have what the people want. In his experience, what people want is a three-part equation. 1/3 is the food, 1/3 is the space and 1/3 is the culture. For Hopdoddy, these values ring true. The Space: The original location in Austin, Texas is a mix of hip, funky, and sleek. It is a modern building with a lived-in feel. People line up, usually for a long wait, but the Hopdoddy team has made the wait a significant part of the experience. As Charles calls it, “the Disneyland of hospitality.” He said, “think about your last trip to Disneyland. How much time (pre Fast Pass) did you spend in line and how many memories did you make there?” The experience is about the time in line. It’s the selfie stick with other tourists; it’s being served a drink while you’re in line, watching people eating burgers, the anticipation of biting into those truffle fries. The line is an important part of the space and they translate that to all of their locations including their standalone building on Scottsdale Road, north
Hopdoddy Burger Bar:
3 Part Success by Joanie Simon
Charles David Craig is a relatively recent addition to the leadership at Hopdoddy Burger Bar, one of the industry’s emerging restaurant brands. Craig, Director of Culinary, joined the team with an impressive resume. He has been at the ground floor of some of the restaurant industry’s greatest success stories (Fox Restaurant Concepts, Cheesecake Factory, Hillstone) and his expertise is highly valued in the midst of this brand’s rapid growth. They have seven locations
of Shea in Scottsdale. They are approaching fast casual with an opportunity to engage while guests wait for their food. The Culture: Thinking about great restaurants, it is more than just a business. Sure, dollars are exchanged for a meal, but those who stand out have a higher calling and larger vision. For Hopdoddy, their company culture is set on a foundation of Texas hospitality. “Be who you are and be nice.” Add in the Austin-factor that “being who you are” can be anything from a tatted up hipster to a cowboy businessman, but ultimately, it’s as simple as being nice. They also authentically adhere to sustainable and health- minded practices. “Authentically” being the key word in that it is apparent that they’re not using local product, sourcing and grinding their own beef, and composting because it’s trendy. They are doing these things because they know it makes a superior product and their leadership likes sleeping well at night knowing they are taking care of people. A recent example of the daily commitment to making their products better is their red velvet shake. The cake was made from a mix and it was driving Charles nuts. He wanted that vibrant red and came across old recipes from WWII days, during the time of sugar rations. Beets were used for both the color and sweetness. Charles and his team jumped on the beet
train and have been able to kick the cake mix out of the building.
Food: As the undeniable third component of any restaurant, all of the aforementioned culture contributes to making a lineup of tasty burgers. One of Charles’ favorites is the Ahi Tuna Burger. Sushi-grade tuna, sprouts, teriyaki, honey wasabi, fried nori chips, pickled ginger, tomato, lettuce and mayo. It is a contrast of textures with the flavor profile of a tuna roll. From the fresh vibrant greens to the pink, flavorful sushi-grade tuna, touched with a caramelized sear on the flattop. It’s a burger that didn’t experience any shortcuts. Why? Because they’re nice people and they care.
Leader’s Choice Leaders in our state tell us their favorite restaurants and chefs in Arizona
Senator John McCain Arizona State Senator
Chef Josh Hebert Posh Improvisational Cuisine
What is your go-to restaurant in Arizona?
Tee Pee Mexican Restaurant in Phoenix
My go to restaurant is Four Peaks. They serve the best bar food in town, by a mile. The beer works too.
Steaks, leftovers from The Henry restaurant week menu, produce, sweet corn, and breakfast necessities.
There’s a lot of cheese right now in the fridge, and a lot of leftovers. I generally cook on sundays and keep good food in the fridge since both my wife and I work long hours. Right now its left over pot roast.
What is in your fridge right now?
Home cooked or dine out?
Home cooked on the grill
I love to eat out, so home cooked once a week, eat out once a week
Always salty over sweet. Go potato chips!
Salty or sweet?
Bacon and eggs
My favorite childhood dish would have to be anything on thanksgiving. Turkey! Stuffing. Gravy. Yum.
Favorite childhood dish?
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leaders of the pack
Leaders of the Pack Restaurant Industry 2015 The Arizona restaurant scene leads in other restaurant industries across the country + the national restaurant industry leads in other industries across the country = restaurants lead the pack!! The restaurant industry has so much to be proud of – especially if you’re in Arizona. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; the Arizona restaurant industry leads the country in year over year sales growth for the second year in a row. Being a leader for two consecutive years is unheard of and difficult to accomplish, but Arizona is up for the challenge again next year. In 2015, Arizona restaurants will contribute a projected $11.5 billion in sales growth for the state.
Nationally, the restaurant industry has a lot to boast about as well. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Restaurant Industry Forecast Report, restaurant and foodservice sales are projected to total $709.2 billion in 2015, and up 3.8 percent from 2014’s sales volume of $683.1 billion. The restaurant industry continues to be a driving force behind the nation’s recovery from the Great Recession, as industry job growth outstripped the overall economy for the 15th consecutive year in 2014. Eating and drinking places, the primary component of the restaurant industry accounting for three-fourths of the total restaurant and foodservice workforce, added jobs at a solid 3.5 percent rate in 2014, more than a full percentage point above the 1.9 percent gain in total U.S. Employment. The 2014 gain marked the third consecutive year in which eating-and-drinking-place job growth topped 3 percent, the first such occurrence since the 1993 to 1995 period. By outpacing the overall economy in each of the last 15 years, the eating-drink place sector saw its employment levels jump more than 34 percent, in contrast the total number of jobs in the economy rose by just 8%.
Source: National Restaurant Association
Arizona Restaurant Association Golf Classic 2015
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A Reality Check in the
Restaurant Industry by Jennifer Chase It’s all too common for many professions – nurses, teachers, and restaurant staff alike are characterized in ways that have nothing to do with their actual professions. Movies, sitcoms, and social media show the world their interpretations of real life professions that are often grossly misrepresented to the public eye. All nurses do is hook up in on-call rooms, teachers nap under their desks while students watch movies, and restaurant staff are just a bunch of college kids working their way to a “real job.” Unfortunately, pop culture has done an excellent job at characterizing a career in the restaurant industry as a multitude of different things that are extremely off base. Many myths surrounding the restaurant industry are spread far and wide, and are often only corrected when a patron knows someone working in the industry. Here we will outline some common myths heard by individuals in the industry, and what the reality behind them is. 58
Individuals working in the restaurant industry are only working on a temporary basis, until they find another job, or work their way through school.
It is common for students to hold positions in the industry while going through school, as the flexible hours and competitive pay are often the perfect combination with a tight homework load. However, students and individuals between jobs are not the entirety of the restaurant industry workforce. Many restaurants have staff members that are celebrating decades of employment. Same as any industry, if you create a positive work environment and treat your employees well, retention is very common in long-standing restaurants. A career in the restaurant industry has major potential for allowing an individual to build a life, and that’s no temporary matter.
There is very little room for growth or movement with a career in the restaurant industry.
With so many careers in the restaurant industry, it seems very counterintuitive to think that anyone would believe this myth. When most people think of the restaurant industry, they think strictly of a restaurant. Hostesses, wait staff, managers, cooks, and bartenders. Sure there are variations of several positions, but the general idea is that positions in the restaurant are stagnant and that there is very little room for growth. The reality of the situation is that the restaurant industry is fast pace, and is consistently adding jobs year after year. As the industry evolves, so does its career options, and thus room for advancement. Not only do restaurants continually add exciting positions like a food and beverage director, social media manager, and outside events staff, but jobs outside of physical restaurants continue to evolve as well. An employee that starts in a position within the restaurant now has virtually unlimited opportunities to seize from there, and their understanding of restaurant operations will no doubt be a valuable line on a resume.
We can almost exclusively thank the movie Waiting for this myth. In this 2005 film, wait staff at a small town restaurant are characterized as being extremely reckless, unprofessional, and unethical in their behavior at work. The film shows wait staff behaving inappropriately; drinking on the job, and treating food sent back to the kitchen so grossly that I won’t even go into detail. While the film is classified as a comedy, and therefore crosses several lines at the expense of the industry, it wildly misrepresents what it is actually like to work in a restaurant. There is no such thing as a “5 second rule” if food hits the ground. In reality, if food hits the ground, it gets thrown out. In reality, if an employee is drunk on the clock, they get sent home, written up, or fired. While this movie might have some comedic value, it definitely does not portray the restaurant industry in a meaningful or realistic way. We could go on for days about myths surrounding the restaurant industry, but for now we’ll stop at these three. Hopefully they’ve clarified a few popular myths. Maybe next time we can tackle a big one – is the customer always right? We’ll leave that up to you.
Pig and Pickle
brush title tbd unique careers
A Day in the Life:
Did you know that the restaurant and foodservice industry is the second-largest private-sector employer in the United States? Employing 14 million people, or 10 percent of the U.S. workforce according to the National Restaurant Association, millions of people have found vibrant, engaging and unique careers within this fast-growing community of professionals. in the Restaurant and Foodservice Industry
Restaurateur, chef, hostess, and bartender - these are just a few and the list goes on. However, careers in the industry extend beyond food and beverage. Take a look at some of the unique careers in our industry.
Susie Timm Owner/Head Cheese Girl Meets Fork Marketing & Media
by Kalinda Stephenson
Girl Meets Fork Marketing & Media (GMF) is a full service public relations and marketing agency that works primarily in the food and beverage industry. Focusing on restaurants, wineries and specialty food public relations and marketing, GMF serves clients all over Arizona and the United States. Susie Timm started the firm in 2010 after running a food events company for about a year prior, realizing that a niche firm that really specialized in restaurant and gourmet food PR was needed, not only in Phoenix, but all over the nation. Prior to working in the industry, Timm served as president of a bank in North Scottsdale—and spent 10 years in the banking industry. This gave her a very unique perspective on PR providing her the ability to read a profit and loss statement, balance sheet, and tax returns better than most. “It helps me make marketing recommendations for clients with a return on investment in mind because I particularly understand the
financial ins and outs of a small business,” said Timm. Timm had a portfolio of over 600 businesses, mostly in Scottsdale and had the privilege of consulting with many of them on how to best set up their business for financial success a skill which has carried over until this day. With any change comes an adjustment, for Timm and her transition from banking to PR there was no exception. “My biggest adjustment has been learning to tame my A+++ intense personality to match the schedule of busy restauranteurs and chefs.” However, anyone that has had the pleasure of meeting or working with Timm knows that her open and friendly demeanor give her the ability to talk to just about anyone - a strength that has carried her far in phase two of her career. “Normal” is not a word often used in this company or industry – arranging ribbon cuttings, photo shoots, pitching national magazines, shopping for groceries (as part of the job!), meeting with clients, tasting new menu items and brainstorming in general are just a few of the tasks that Timm faces on a “normal” day. “Some days I’m up at 3 am to be in Phoenix for a 5 am TV shoot and hauling a car load of bread or food products or children who are needed to make a TV segment come to life.” With so much competition for business in Arizona, it is Timm’s job to help restaurant owners and chefs remain consistently relevant - it requires a lot of creativity, 66
dedication, and persistence on her part in addition to partnerships with owners who understand the value of marketing and public relations. “It can be a challenge from time to time—but the rewards are huge for me and my clients when we have success together. Restaurants open and close every single day - if you don’t have someone who is actively telling your story it can be very challenging to cut through the clutter and stand out – even if your food is amazing. I think it would be beneficial – even a few times a year – to hire a firm such as mine to really share why you’re different – what sets you apart and why should people come in and dine. It is money very well spent if done with strategy and an end game – marketing and PR dollars spent without a cohesive strategy however is akin to lighting bricks of cash on fire – be ready to work, and be ready to receive the advice of a professional.”
Dominic Armato Adjusting to Life as a Food Critic
time, as the novelty wears off, and the routine finally locks in place, he will rock right along with them, headphones drowning out the daily buzz of the news. The biggest adjustment in this new position has been moving from the mentality of an eater to a taster. Previously, Dominic identified as an eater, digging into a dish with fervor and an instinct to eat everything on the plate. As a food critic, he’s visiting at least six restaurants a week, ordering numerous dishes in order to get a critical overview of the menu. Further, each restaurant, in order to get a true understanding of the food, service and ambience, he visits between three and five times. Due to sheer volume, Dominic has had to adjust his approach. He is learning to become a taster, woefully leaving food on the plate. As much as he might have loved the jambalaya, he has to resolve to savor only a few bites so that he can then taste through the fried chicken, gumbo, shrimp and grits and corn cakes he also ordered. Dominic is looking forward to when the dust settles and he has acclimated to life as a professional food critic. In the meantime, he is strategizing daily about where to dine. It seems shocking that someone who has already eaten at upwards of 600 Arizona restaurants still has places to go. He says that it’s testament that the more you know, the more
by Joanie Simon
The local food community has been enthusiastic about the appointment of the Arizona Republic’s new food critic, Dominic Armato. A man with extensive food knowledge and a brilliant way with the written word, he is thrilled to have been granted the opportunity to review Arizona’s restaurants and bring attention to what he’s finding as he combs the culinary landscape. As with any new job, he’s adjusting to a new pace, new office and most importantly, new lifestyle. For the first time since having kids, he and his wife are both employed full-time and searching for the right balance in order to maintain sanity in their home life. Adding to scheduling complications is Armato’s midnight oil methodology for writing. In this creative pursuit, a high level of focus and dedicated time is required. While restaurant kitchens are closing down, Dominic is hunkered down at home with his laptop, crafting the week’s restaurant feature. He admits that he is impressed with his colleagues who are able to perform their writing assignments while on the news floor. So far, he has found it a busy place with too many opportunities for distraction. But, perhaps in 68