334: Giving more to this world than you take with Chuck Samuelson


In this episode, we discuss: Focusing on and enjoying the work you do, living purpose and intention, surrounding yourself with people who are better than you, the evolution of a good manager, treating others the way you would want your children to be treated, how to build a team, the importance of good communication, making yourself obsolete, storytelling, adding more to the world than you take out, and not being afraid to ask for help.

Hailing from Montana, Chuck Samuelson is a high school dropout turned award-winning chef and restaurateur. In 2004 he sold his restaurant, the Bird Rock Café, to head food services for Stone Brewery. Today he is the Founder and President of Kitchens For Good, a social enterprise that is designed to break the cycles of food waste, poverty, and hunger in the San Diego community.


Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.”

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Career Challenge or Failure

Trying to keep a failing restaurant open when he should have given up. Lesson learned: when you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Knowledge bombs

  1. Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?

    • resilience.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Doesn’t ask for enough help.
  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    • It’s less about leading and more about creating amazing teams to be a part of.
  4. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Ask: What do YOU want to do?
  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Asking himself “Am I working hard enough? Am I doing enough?”
      • You are your own worst enemy and critic. Get out of your own head and stop creating unnecessary stress for yourself.
  6. What’s one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?

    • creating high-quality people.
  7. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

  8. What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

    • Google Docs-More than letters and words. Google Docs brings your documents to life with smart editing and styling tools to help you easily format text and paragraphs.
    • Salesforce– Sell, service, and market smarter with the world’s #1 CRM platform.
    • Caterease.com –For over 20 years, Caterease has been the world’s most popular catering and event planning solution – providing its customers with the cutting edge tools they need to simplify their busy workdays.
    • Chef Tec– designed with the needs of larger and more complex operations in mind. ChefTec Ultra is the ideal product for clubs, large hotels, universities, conference centers, or catering halls managing unlimited profit centers (it comes with ten profit centers already included). It features the very best in production management, comprehensive inventory control, recipe and food costing, purchasing, ordering, as well as waste and lot tracking.A true inventory management software for the foodservice industry, you can track raw ingredients, deduct them from inventory and make decisions based on real numbers.
  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?

    1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything is the small stuff.

Contact Info


Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Chuck Samuelson for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!