Tracy Chang is from Cambridge, MA where she first experienced the restaurant industry while observing her grandmother, a multi-unit restaurant owner. She would go on to study finance at Boston College. After college and a short stint in a kitchen, she would continue on to travel the world learning about food, marketing, media, and public relations. Today, Tracy is the Chef, Owner at PAGU, in Cambridge, MA.
In this episode we discuss: Living intentionally. Drive and determination and where it gets you. The early days of opening a restaurant. Being passionate about what you do for work. The importance of learning how every job is done properly under your management. Being self-made. Informal training is not a deal-breaker; we can learn the skills we need from anywhere. A willingness to do anything to get what you want. The willingness to contribute fully to your team. Looking at your situation and attempting to add value. The importance of family in your life no matter your profession. Serve your community and your community will serve you. Ramen. Starting small and scaling up. Staying local. You need to care and be intentional. The importance of having endurance in this industry. This is a “people” business as much as a “restaurant” business. The importance of treating your staff like family.
Favorite Success Quote or Mantra:
“Brilliance rhymes with resilience.”
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Career Challenge or Failure
Valentine’s Day. Attempting to do EVERYTHING all by herself. She became overwhelmed and the night did not go as well as she had hoped. Tracy sent a personal email to everyone on her staff to apologize and take responsibility. Tracy thought too much about the guests and not enough for her team.
Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
Resilience. “Brilliance rhymes with resilience.”
What is your biggest weakness?
Care too much. Need to find a balance between being a firm business owner and a good person.
What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?
Don’t always think you know where you’re going. Get advice and input from your team to ground you.
What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
Give an example of a time you failed.
What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
It’s summer and hot and the students are gone. Learning about the seasonal shifts in traffic into the restaurant.
What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
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What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?
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?
Work faster. Plan better.
What is one question you think should be added to this interview?
What’s in the works for your restaurant?
Thanks for Listening!
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Huge thanks to Tracy Chang for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!