Hailing from India, Chef Jehangir Mehta is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating in the mid-90’s Chef Mehta got busy working in and opening some of the finest restaurants in New York City. Today Chef Mehta is an author and restaurateur at Graffiti, Graffiti Earth, and Me and You.
In this episode we discuss: Not following the crowd. Sustainability. Sociology and how it applies to the restaurant environment. The right way to speak to guests. The importance of working under difficult managers early in your career.Taking something positive from bad experiences. The importance of maintaining integrity. The importance of teaching our youth the process of cooking and where their food comes from. The most important part of your endeavors is that you tried. The importance of carefully choosing your team! Mentors are key to success. Learn from your mentor’s mistakes so that you don’t have to make them. Sustainability and how easy it is to improve in your business.
Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.
“Happiness is way more important in life than just monetary success.”
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Career Challenge or Failure
Announcing the opening of a restaurant before the date was unexpectedly pushed back.
Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
- Be humble.
- Care with authenticity.
What is your biggest weakness?
- Being too forward.
- Being too critical.
What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?
- Don’t judge people right away.
- First, seek to understand.
What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- I only look for attitude.
What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
- Keeping up with social media while also doing what makes you successful in the first place. Just do as much as you can.
What’s one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants
- Our service. Service is more important for what you’re remembered for than the food.
What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations
- Keeping the restaurant phone with you 24/7.
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?
- Go with what speaks to you. Go where you can make the food you like.
Thanks for Listening!
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Huge thanks to Jehangir Mehta for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!