363: Blaming yourself with Xavier Mariezcurrena and Tony Aiazzi

Xavier (“X”) Mariezcurrena, aka Mr. FOH hospitality, and Chef Tony Aiazzi are restaurant dudes and longtime compatriots. Together they have over 32 years experience in hospitality and have worked under names such as Bobby Flay and Charlie Palmer. Today they serve as Co-Founders of ChouxBox, the industry’s first web-based “point of purchase” service that helps everyone organize their paperwork, understand purchases, and save time.

In this episode we will discuss: Helping people. Partnerships. Don’t try to do too much too fast. Blame yourself if your staff can’t succeed. You need to able to see yourself married to your potential partners. The restaurant industry as less effort and more reward. Work-life balance. The importance of time management.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Make it nice or make it twice.” Be thorough and get it right the first time.


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Knowledge bombs

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

    1. Tony – Focus
    2. Xavier – Day dreaming, creative thinking, Charizo
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    1. Tony – Patience
    2. Xavier – Time management
  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    1. Lead by example
    2. Empathy – Learning how to understand others
  4. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    1. Prioritizing expenses
    2. Living up to expectations of guests
  5. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

    The Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan

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


  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?

    1. Be more open-minded to technology
    2. Get a lawyer, architect
  8. What is one question you think should be added to this interview?

    What’s for lunch? What was your favorite restaurant job and why? An hourly gig involving taking about wine and serving wine. Working as a chef on a cruise ship.

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Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Xavier Mariezcurrena and Tony Aiazzi for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!