174: Chef Gerard F. Craft | Its All About We

Gerard Ford CraftIn this episode we discuss: taking a risk and pulling the trigger; being extremely competitive; how being the hardest working is more powerful than being the most talented worker; and the importance of having an insatiable desire to read and learn.

A native of Washington, D.C., Chef Craft became addicted to the restaurant life while living in Salt Lake City as a snowboard photographer. Chef Craft went on to cook at Bistro Toujours in Park City, Utah and Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles, California as well as a stage at Ryland Inn in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey before making the leap to open a restaurant of his own. In 2005 at the age of 25, Chef Craft started it all with Niche restaurant in St. Louis Missouri.

Today, The Niche Food Group includes Taste by Niche, Brasserie by Niche, Pastaria and opening soon Porano Pasta. Chef Craft’s creative yet simple food has earned him recognition as a Food & Wine Best New Chef, Inc. magazine’s “Star Entrepreneurs under 30” as well as this year’s James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: Midwest.

Show notes…

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Success or Leadership Quote/Mantra

“It is all about we”

What is your “why”?

To leave a legacy behind when its all said and done.

It” Factor

  • Chef and his team are extremely competitive.
  • Extreme work ethic.
  • insatiable desire to learn and read.

Industry Challenge or Failure

  • When Chef Craft was in the midst of his success, he lost a little bit of the edge and got comfortable at his position on top. He started partying more, having fun and studying less.
  • The lesson learned is that you can’t get caught up in your success. The moment you start slacking you will start falling behind. You can never stop the hustle.

Knowledge BOMBS

Fundraising Advice

  • Get close with people who can offer good advice on the financial end.
  • Get creative with crowd funding
  • Scale and draw attention by scaling. Chef suggest getting involved with pop ups.
  • Think win-win with you investors. Don’t ask what my investor can do for me, but what can I do for my investor.

Employee Hiring

  • Hire for good attitude and work ethic.

Employee Retainment


Industry Resource

Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow
Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success
Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, + God
Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way

CLICK  HERE to get a FREE audio version of this Book

 Advice on Marketing

  • Leverage the marketing talents of the people in your life.
  • Engage with people online and in your restaurant.
  • Respond and connect with people on social media.
  • Team up with your community and other restaurant to do something greater and for a higher cause.

BonfyreAppObjective Product/Service Review Suggestion

  • Bonfyre App– an events app for engaging people. Learn more about our custom apps for events designed to extend the life of your event and increase guest engagement.
  • Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Calendar

Best Business Advice

  • Make sure “we” is a part of your vocabulary. Be more inclusive.

Contact Info

Twitter: @gerardfcraft


Website: nichestlouis.com

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