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.”


Today’s Sponsor


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An app that handles your waitlist digitally and makes it easy for customers to add themselves from anywhere. Then, it tells them when to head to your restaurant to get seated with as little wait as humanly possible. It’s a VIP experience that guests love and brings them back again and again. Through the end of July Nowait has a special offer just for Unstoppable listeners. Check it out here!

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!

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