354: Giving up everything for your restaurant with Matt and Emily Hyland

In this episode we discuss: How experience helps you find your niche and clarity in your “why”. Giving at least one year to each job you take. Building relationships and loyalty among other professionals. How to know when you’re ready to go all in on opening your own restaurant. Having the right partner. The reality that things will get hard and when times do get hard, you need to take care of yourself, first. H0w establishing culture can help you transition from working in your business to working on your business.

What started as a romantic pizza dinner on the floor of a college dorm room in RI, has blossomed into a what is probably one of the best-known pizza and hamburger joints in NY City, Pizza Loves Emily. 3 years later they have a total of three locations: Emily Brooklyn, Emmy Squared, and most recently Emily West Village. They’ve garnered ton attention and have been featured in media outlets such as Vogue, Thrillist, Grub Street, and Travel and Leisure to name of a few.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

Emily- “Take it one moment at a time.”

Chef Matt “Keep everything sharp, hot, and work faster.”


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Knowledge bombs

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

    • Emily- Commitment
    • Matt- Grittiness
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Matt- Communication
    • Emily- Anxiety
  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

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

    • Find out what they like to cook at home. You’re looking to see that they can get excited about something, anything!
    • Try to find out if the interviewee has the ability to remove drama from work.
  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Matt
      • Juggling 3 restaurants.
      • To help with transitioning, Matt recommends taking yourself off the schedule as early as possible.
    • Emily
      • Prioritizing what most important in your life, not forgetting to take care of yourself first.
  6. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

    The Elements of Pizza: Unlocking the Secrets to World-Class Pies at Home 

    Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion


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

    1. Slack– Get more done with Slack: Real time messaging, file sharing and powerful search.
    2. Resy– Resy is a mobile app for people who love eating at great restaurants but hate hassling for reservations. Matt and Emily like Resy for its waitlist feature.
    3. Caviar- Order food from your favorite restaurants and have it delivered to your doorstep! Fast delivery with real-time GPS tracking!
    4. bentobox– BentoBox offers restaurants beautiful, mobile friendly websites that drive revenue and customers — complete with a simple, hospitality-focused management system, hosting and exceptional customer support.
  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?

    • Don’t burn yourself out. Take a break every once and a while and higher enough people.
    • Make sure you’re getting into this business for the right reason and make sure you don’t overlook the beauty that already exists in your life.

Contact Info

Insta: pizzalovesemily

FB: /pizzalovesemily

Website: www.pizzalovesemily.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!

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Huge thanks to Emily and Matt Hyland for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!

3 thoughts on “354: Giving up everything for your restaurant with Matt and Emily Hyland

  1. Thanks for Restaurant Unstoppable sharing the Episode of Emily and Matt Hyland to us! It’s interesting and helpful, and absolutely related to the Restaurant Management course that I’m taking right now. Emily and Matt is really an amazing couple that turns their love and interest of pizza into career. After listening the whole interview, the part of partnership in a business that they talk about leaves me the deepest impression and I really want to say something about it. As Emily mentioned, the partnership requires a lot of work, a lot of compromise and a lot of commitment to work on things. Even though the world is tremendous, we still live in a small area with small circle of people. Within the small circle, there is much less co-workers who can be trusted as significant other. If we would like to open a business based on partner-relationship, we’d better search for someone who has the same ambition and destination as ourselves, so that we will be able to fight for the same outcome and running the business as family. We may have conflicts when sharing profits or other conditions , but we have to respect each other.

  2. I enjoyed your podcast and especially took interest in how both of you found the moment to correlate the moment of the present with the moment of the future in the restaurant business. You guys believe in working hard for the present moment and doing things the right way. I liked your philosophy when you said ” you did not know much about the restaurant business but you both learned along the way with hard work and dedication.” Matt had a focus of opening his own pizza restaurant someday when he just a cook when they were in college. I agreed when you focused on how much work you had to do to maintain the business and partnership, you always put family first. They learned from their mistakes in jumping into a partnership in which it did not quite workout and lost a lot of money in the process. I personally believe that if you jump into a partnership it will require an extensive amount of commitment and compromise.

  3. It was great listening to Emily and Matt be transparent about their journey in the restaurant business. It sounds tough but rewarding because they are doing what they love to do. What stuck out to me the most was Emily reiterating her journey through mindfulness using yoga. Being in the hospitality field is fun but it is hard work. I plan and coordinate many events and programs and at times, though fun, it can get overwhelming. Reminding yourself that you are the foundation of the business and the mover of your passion should translate to you taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself in many different aspects keeps you healthy and resilient enough to tackle the struggles in being a restaurant/business owner. This interview should be listened by people in all types of industries. Nothing is sugar coated. It is a real life story of two people living out their passion. It shows the good, bad, and the ugly. I am looking forward to using the tips and advice from this interview in the present and future.

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