004 Mike Prete of The Kitchen

Today’s guest started his culinary career in the late 80’s while attending school at Middlesex County College with a focus on Hotel,

Mike Prete
Mike Prete

Restaurant and Institutional management. He has also studied Culinary Science at the French Culinary Institute. He’s held numerous positions in his culinary career, including the Executive Chef title more than once, but is most known for being the Chef/Proprietor of The Kitchen in Portsmouth, NH.

The Kitchen could be described as a trifecta consisting of an artisan sandwich shop, catering company and food truck.

Show Notes…

Success/Leadership Quote or Mantra

Mike likes to run his kitchen with the round table effect. With the round table effect, whether you’re the Executive chef, server, food runner or dish washer you have a voice and you opinion matters.

“IT” Factor

Having the big picture, being well rounded, paying attention to the little details, being creative and unique keeping it real with their customers.


Overcoming the stereotype of being just a kick-ass sandwich shop for lunch then they offer so much more than just sandwiches during the day. Using advertisement and local publications to showcase other strengths such as Burgers for dinner.


Mike discusses the art of having the right balance between being the  angry boss who isn’t approachable and being the boss who is too close to their employee and gets taken advantage of. A good leader knows how to fall somewhere in the middle. Compassion, caring and empathy are good, but you need to be a boss first.

Success Definition

For Mike, success is defined during the moments when you know you are providing satisfaction to your guest and knowing that you’re making an impact on someones life simply by providing great service. Being well rounded is what makes Mike successful.

On The Fly (speed round) 

      • Hiring Tip
        Ask funky questions
      • Creative Incentive to Keep Employee
        Just being a boss that cares and listens.
      • Marketing Tactics, Tools or Trends
        Using humor to engage on social media. Really, just being human.
      • Restaurant or Business Book.
        Setting the Table By: Danny Meyer
      • Productivity, Efficiency, Profitability or Communication Gadget, Tool or Service.
        POS System: Poslavu
      • Best Business or Restaurant Advice.
        “All chefs are artist.”
        What Mike took away from this is that his career was more than just punching a clock, it was an art form and thats how every chef should look at it.
        “love what you do, whatever it is”
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