Erik Oberholtzer is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University and has worked in some of the best restaurants around the world. Today, he is a social entrepreneur and Co-founder of Tender Greens. Founded in 2006, Tender Greens is a fine casual restaurant that serves healthy, high-quality food at an affordable price, or in other words, slow food done fast. In this episode, Erik teaches us about: achieving mindfulness through meditation; why it is important you know your why and to be able to communicate it to others; The power of combining partnerships with “knowing your lane”.
Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.
“Start with the why? Why does the world need your product? Why does the world need you?”
Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
I am super balanced and calm under pressure, and I think that brings a sense of calm to the organization.
What is your biggest weakness?
I’m double edged- so my great strength can be my biggest weakness. I lead with thoughtfulness, and try to have a win-win situation every time. Sometimes you have to move forward with someone not getting the good end of the deal, so I sugarcoat things to be less severe in the message that isn’t a good one.
What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?
Absolute clarity and vision, and ability to make a decision and set that as your true North. Also, you need to lead by example. Have integrity so you can be admired.
Whats one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
I like to know what that person is most passionate about, what gets them out of bed in the morning. The answer needs to be one with passion.
Whats a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
People development. Part of it is training and development, part of it is staying ahead of the pack and leading into the future. Create a culture where people feel like they are part of the mission.
Whats one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?
We’ve got a fine dining chef in every single one of our restaurants. It allows us to innovate new things every day.
Whats one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
GET THIS BOOK FOR FREE AT AUDIBLE.COM
“Search Inside Yourself” by Chade-Meng Tang
Whats one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?
We have been using Slack. It’s cut down on meetings, almost eliminated e-mails, and the focus has been shifted to taking care of our team and people.
We also use PeopleMatter. It’s a great training tool for me to check out and see who might be next to promote up in the business and see what they need.
9. With all the knowledge you have now if you could go back in time and give your past self one piece of business advice, What would it be and why?
Stay focused and don’t get distracted by others wanting to pull you away from your key mission. I advise everyone to not get too caught up on shiny new objects.
10. What is one question that could have been added that you would have liked me to ask?
dHow does one manage or navigates the different phases of business, knowing that one’s job is going to constantly change?
Thanks for Listening!
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Huge thanks to Erik for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!