Miguel Garcia: Stories From The Front Of House

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Miguel Garcia is as humble as they come but this soft spoken man has heaps of talent and his trajectory is one we will all want to keep an eye on. With a passionate Latin background, Miguel's association with all things food and all things hospitality is naturally in his blood. As he describes so eloquently stories of his Mom’s simple yet inspiring dishes that she whips up from nothing, I can’t help but get intrigued by the lens at which Miguel sees food and sees this space. His humble nature has allowed for him to establish himself as a voice in this industry and work his way up so that he can impart his wisdom and passion on others, in particular the younger generation. His decision to evolve himself and his craft is something that all of us in his community will benefit from. If you don’t know Miguel, you won’t want to miss this podcast, and if you do know Miguel, this podcast will likely only cement for you the many reasons why you appreciate him and what he does.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How to be open to change in this industry

  • Why listening to the public can be tough but is so key

  • The true power of food and conversation

  • Why keeping your body, mind, and soul healthy should be a priority in this space

  • How to go with your gut without being reckless

TUNE IN NOW

QUOTES:

“Whether it be a hard day at work, or just a lunch with a friend, it is those times were it is the most valuable.”  (4:04)


“I think that one thing that we can do is teach these young people that come in a sense of work ethic and responsibility. ” (22:00)


“Those moments is how I connect with the team here, and keeping it light.” (36:00)


“Get a part time job that just barely pays the bills”  (42:30)


“It forces you to take away all of the crap, and focus on what’s meaningful for yourself.”” (51:53)


LINKS:

Find out EVERYTHING you need to know about Miguel Garcia HERE


Follow Miguel Garcia  Facebook | Instagram | Linkedin | Twitter


Como Taperia

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Melbourne, Australia

Earls Restaurants

Philosophy Critical Thinking Class

Pintxo Bars

Host Your Own Podcast


Who Do You Want To Hear From The Hospitality Space Featured On The Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast?


Email Us At brad@bradbodnarchuk.com To Let Us Know Who And Why


Vanessa Pollock: Working To Create Mindful Hospitality

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Vanessa Pollock is a gift to this industry and she’s working with her clients to help facilitate true hospitality. In 2006 Vanessa simply wanted to help other members of this industry and she’s done so with her company. Through training and coaching, Vanessa and her team have established themselves as true voices in the hospitality space and they work tirelessly to move this industry along in a positive direction. Vanessa creates and facilitates key resources that are used by her clients to keep them ahead of the game and work through most, if not all of the challenges that this industry throws at us. Like so many in this space Vanessa has taken a true passion for all things food & people and turned it into a business. It just so happens that this business truly builds this industry up, and her work is making this space stronger and more prepared for those inevitable challenges ahead.


IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How to positively impact the hospitality industry

  • Why annual training programs are useful

  • When to engage a client and when to let them go

  • What are the issues in her local market

  • How to work with teams and dynamic personalities

    TUNE IN NOW

QUOTES:

“Essentially we are helping people to navigate their careers to make it a sustainable career for them.”  (3:26)

“Brisbane, I am in Queensland, is vastly different to Sydney and Melbourne.” (14:21)

“You might not have two hours at the table with those customers, you still have the entry point, you’ve got when they walk in the door.” (20:14)

“I think if we can make our staff feel some sort of ownership for the venue that they are in, then they will understand that this person is coming in to your venue.”  (35:44)

“Danny Meyer’s book, SETTING THE TABLE, I haven’t read it in a while, but I’ve read it a number of times..” (46:09)

LINKS:

Find out EVERYTHING you need to know about VANESSA  HERE

Follow Vanessa Pollock  Facebook | Instagram | | Twitter | Linkedin

Brisbane

Sydney, Australia

Melbourne, Australia

Setting The Table

Eleven Madison Park

Food Connect


Who Do You Want To Hear From The Hospitality Space Featured On The Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast?


Email Us At brad@bradbodnarchuk.com To Let Us Know Who And Why


A Deep Seeded Love For This Industry w/ Christian Alvarez of Vancouver Chefs

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An undeniable passion for food and a keen eye for talent has lead Christian Alvarez to create a platform to celebrate those who he admires and respects so much. Creator of Vancouver Chefs, a local pop-up dinner series that is married with a unique theme each and every time, Christian has become a massive supporter of the Vancouver dining scene. Christian’s keen eye is also frequently loaned out to his work on his LIFE ON THE LINE photography series that sees him snapping very real photos of some of the cities brightest talents doing what they do best. A photographer, a music junky, a DJ and a producer Christian Alvarez could have seemingly chosen any artistic outlet. We are extremely lucky that he has aligned with food. Christian is humble, well spoken, an absolute encyclopedia of food knowledge and an all around good dude. Here’s to celebrating people like Christian who take their time to help this industry along, and all of those that are so invested in it.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How Christian defines hospitality

  • Why he is so passionate about food

  • His incredible pop up dinner series

  • Why he finds inspiration in music when it comes to food

  • His extremely original “Half A Dozen Have To’s”

TUNE IN NOW

QUOTES:

“It depends if you’re talking about the world's best restaurants, and I’ve been lucky enough to travel to a number of those.”  (3:20)

“I think as a business, on the whole, Vancouver does a pretty good job with hospitality.” (6:31)

“Chefs that I very much admire, and getting them to cook a cohesive menu and collaborate. For me that’s what’s really rewarding.” (16:04)

“Music is always a big theme with the dinners, they go hand in hand.”  (30:52)

“If you can make it happen for yourself, and you love this industry, and you want to see the best of the best so to speak. Jump on a plane and go to one of those restaurants...” (48:30)

LINKS:

Find out EVERYTHING you need to know about VANCOUVER CHEFS HERE

Follow Christian Alvarez  Facebook | Instagram | | Twitter | Linkedin

Delecto Records

Vancouver Chefs

Nipsey Hustle

Tupac

Notorious B.I.G

Mikey Robbins

Eva Chin

Royal Dinette

Dominique Crenn

Daniel Mcgee

Anthony Bourdain

Spain

House Music


Who Do You Want To Hear From The Hospitality Space Featured On The Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast?


Email Us At brad@bradbodnarchuk.com To Let Us Know Who And Why


My Concern With The Dining Scene

If you throw a dart at my collection of podcasts to date you'll likely strike an episode where I ask my guest about their take on the hospitality industry at the moment. Where it is now, and where they see it going. This question generally leads me down the path to speaking about QSR's (or Quick Service Restaurant) and my concern with where they and the industry are taking us.

While I love progress, efficiency and readily available fresh and healthy food, the success of the QSR model and the adoption of this model is leaving me feeling a bit disenchanted about where we are going with our food culture, and more specifically our dining culture.

With a QSR you're almost always guaranteed to get your food quickly, hot, and in an ideal world, at an affordable price. Another perk of this style of restaurant is its ease of use on us the consumer. You are able to enter the space, quickly eye up your choices on a well placed menu board that is usually bright and attractive to catch your attention, you then make your selection, place your order, pay for you order and then sit and wait. For a lot of us this allows for a very relaxed way to dine, not to mention a very quick and easy transaction.

Generally speaking, there is not much need to engage even more than one staff member, you simply place your order, find a seat and wait.

And that's exactly my issue.

Food isn't getting any cheaper to produce, which means the 3%-5% margins that were once an industry standard are being challenged by the rising cost of doing business. "Traditional" restaurants are finding it harder and harder to make it as they are unable to keep up with the food system economics. Unless they are open to changing the model.

By adapting an existing traditional restaurant into a QSR model you're likely going to see that small margin of 3%-5% increased up into the double digits. This increased margin is attractive to anyone in any type of business and especially those that have been at it for years hacking away in the restaurant game. This renewed hope that the QSR model provides is too attractive for some to ignore. They are quick to invest more time, and money, into this model that has proven to be successful so many times over.

Economics aside here is what I am afraid of.

I am afraid we are seeing the growth of this model to the point where we are fuelling a world (at least locally) that spends very little time socializing and interacting with others face to face. When I picture going out for a meal, casual or not, I look forward to enjoying that meal with people that I love, friends and family, and connecting with them over an enjoyable feast. I feel that with the QSR model we are promoting a dining experience that is void of that interaction, void of that personal touch, and void of what I consider to be the attributes of dining out.

When you step into a truly great restaurant, there is truly nothing better. The room is busy, your senses are on fire with the sights, smells and sounds and you embark on a journey involving those same very senses. You'll be told stories of the Chef and his specials, new menu items that have been popular, a suggestion on drinks, and perhaps an entirely curated meal where you and your crew just sit back and relax while you're taken care of for the next 90 to 120 minutes. This is what I am afraid of losing.

While I love seeing this industry and everyone in it thriving I am just not prepared to let go of what I think true dining is. It is hospitality to it's core. It is what I want my kids to experience and my grandkids as well. I don't need stuffy white table cloth, heck I don't even need a 90 minute meal, but I am not willing to let go of what for me has always defined what going to a restaurant for a meal means. Community, interaction, and a memory.

I am excited by our food scene today and ALL of its positives, I am just not ready to order my food in an orderly queue, and then sit down alone while thumbing through social media to be the new style of dining.