353: Divine foods and heavenly spirits with David Kennedy

It was in Boston, MA where David Kennedy got his start in the restaurant industry, as a part-time bartending while working towards his MBA. Today, David is the founder of The Holy Grail, located in Epping, NH, which has been nominated as NH’s #1 Irish Pub 7 years running.

In this episode we will discuss: Making guests feel special. The host and the dishwasher are the most important part of your restaurant. The importance of saying good-bye and thank you when guests leave. Make guests and team members feel like they matter. Turn your restaurant into a learning experience for your staff. The importance of passion. Looking for the perfect location for your concept. The importance of researching the market that you’re trying to break into. Start small. Proper promotion. Creating a really creative loyalty program.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

Once you find the Holy Grail your quest is over. Sunday isn’t just for church anymore. We have the divine foods and heavenly spirits that no one else has.


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Career Challenge or Failure

Attempting to open a second location. Jumped in too quickly and didn’t start small with the second location. Couldn’t duplicate what made the first location so successful. should have spent more time researching the area.

Knowledge bombs

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

    Our rule at the Holy Grail to always say something nice or positive to any guest who is within three feet of you.

  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    Procrastinator. Leads to missed opportunities.

  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    Treat everyone as your equal.

  4. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    We ask What If? questions.

  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    Staffing. We try to cross-train.

  6. What’s one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?

    Customer service. Longevity of our servers. Some have been there since we opened. Being on top of social media.

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

    Cake reservation and seating app     Urban Spoon    Aloha POS

  8. 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 your abilities. Don’t second guess yourself.

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


Contact Info

Holy Grail website

Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to David Kennedy for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!