237: Why You’re Only as Good as Your Team with Shelley Lindgren


d57b4c_cc18c4070cc540a3903d8a5969a10908Shelley, a San Francisco Bay native, is a graduate of the University of San Francisco. While studying  she developed her skills at the fine-dining restaurant Fleur de Lys, while simultaneously earning her sommelier and culinary certificates.
Today, Shelley is the Wine Director and Proprietor of 4 A16 locations (2 in California and 2 in Japan) as well as SPQR. Shelley was recently recognized by the James Beard Foundation for A16 in the “Outstanding Wine Program” category.  Shelley has also been named “Best New Sommelier” by Wine & Spirits, “Best Wine Director” by San Francisco magazine, and has been nominated annually for “Sommelier of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast since 2012. She co-authored the award winning “A16: Food & Wine”and “SPQR: Modern Italian Food & Wine

Show notes…

Today’s Sponsor


Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

No matter how busy you are the next day is a new day.

Whats Your Purpose, or Your “WHY”?

She loves the industry and caring about the people. Pursuit for the highest possible

Your “It” Factors

  • Believing in herself.
  • Believing in her team.
  • Having incredible work ethic.

Knowledge bombs

1. What advice do you have for funding a restaurant?

  • Just go for it. Starting is the hardest part.
  • Build a great team. Shelley’s business partners consist of an attorney and a CPA. Shelley’s life partner is a bar manager.

2. Success is so dependent on your people. Whats your advice on hiring, managing and retaining people?

  • Make your restaurant about your people. Invest in your team with training programs. Shelley has sponsored over 30 sommeliers who work in her restaurants.
  • Always be hiring.

3. What are some current challenges or industry challenges you see coming.

  • Shelley is challenging with the increased wages. She recommends closing the gaps in other places.

4. How do you balance work and life?

  • You just need to make time for your family. Get creative. You’ll find a way.

5. Recommended book?

From Apprentice to CEO: A Complete Guide to the Hospitality Industry

Front of the House: Restaurant Manners, Misbehaviors & Secrets

Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business

CLICK  HERE to get a FREE audio version of this Book

6. Recommended tool or technology?

OpenTable- OpenTable increases your profits by helping you seat more diners, take more reservations, and turn casual customers into regulars. We reach guests when they’re deciding where to dine. And we enable prompt and attentive service so they come back.

7. 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?

Trust is important, but you can’t always rely on it alone:  you’ve got to track it too.

8. What is one question you think should be added to this interview?

Contact Info

Websites: A16SPQR.

Email: shelley@a16sf.com

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining today! Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for the Restaurant Unstoppable Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.

Huge thanks to Shelly Lindgren  for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!