In this episode we discuss: why helping others and your community should be a part of your purpose; the power of being curious, and getting outside you comfort zone; why its important to know where you want to go with your business early on and why you need a clear vision on how to get there; hiring A+ workers; creating culture; why it’s important to have solid legal advice when starting.
Louis Basile is one of the most passionate leaders in the restaurant industry. He grew up in a family-owned restaurant in New Jersey. Previously, Mr. Basile worked for the Chart House and Au Bon Pain. He founded The Wildflower Bread Company in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1995. Wildflower operates multiple restaurants and fresh dough Central Production Facility.
Wildflower is an award-winning fast casual brand that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On top of all of this Mr. Basile is extremely active in multiple trade associations.
Basile started and was Chairman of the Fast Casual Industry Council an affiliate of the National Restaurant Association. Mr. Basile is a National Restaurant Association Board Member and the Vice Chairman of the Nominating Committee. He is the Chairman of the Arizona Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the immediate past Chairman of the Arizona Restaurant Association. Louis is a Board Director for Crisis Nursery.
Mr. Basile serves on the Advisory Board for People Report/Black Box Intelligence and PeopleMatter. Louis is a founding member of Changers of Commerce a movement of leaders who believe there is a better way of practicing Capitalism.
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Success or Leadership Quote/Mantra
“It is all about the execution.”
What is your “why”?
- Early in Louis’s career his “why” was to be successful.
- Now, his ways are:
- To create the best work environment possible for his employees.
- To make the communities where his restaurants are located, a better place.
- Driving curiosity.
- The ability to project consequences and results.
- Ability to force himself to do things he’s uncomfortable with.
Industry Challenge or Failure
- When starting the Wildflower Bread Company he didn’t have the capital or vision for growth.
- The lesson is that businesses need to be well capitalized, so you need to be incredibly creative in how you start your restaurant.
- It’s best if you can use your own capital.
- Don’t burn bridges with family and friends to open a restaurant.
- If you do use other people’s money, make sure those other people understand the restaurant business.
- Hire A+ people or at least people who have the potential to become A+.
- A “maybe” is a “NO!”
- You need to create an environment and culture people won’t want to leave.
- When people do leave your brand to join another brand, use those opportunities to uncover why they left, and do what needs to be done to prevent someone else from leaving for the same reasons.
- Restaurant owners deal with a bad reputation of being poor employers. Louis is bothered by this, because it’s simply not true.
- Food supply challenges; not being able to move food across the country.
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Advice on Marketing
- Deliver such a compelling experience for your guest, that they have to tell a friend.
- People Matter– a powerful and complete set of workforce solutions and business intelligence tools, built specifically to help service-industry brands thrive.
Best Business Advice
- When you’re starting you need great legal advice. What’s your vision? Does your corporate structure align with your vision?
Questions I should have asked?
- Q: What was your biggest people lesson learned?
- A: Celebrate people’s wins, instead of pointing out their deficiencies.
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Thanks for Listening!
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Huge thanks to Louis Basile for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!