381: Summarizing your brand by being the best with Jennifer Pelka

In this episode, we discuss how Jen Pelka got her start in the industry, how you got to “fake it till you make it”, how to create opportunity for yourself by creating positions, the power of side hustles, having great connections, networking, how to get people to like you,  summarizing your brand, picking one thing and being the best at it, focusing on what you’re good at, surrounding yourself with those who are good at what you’re bad at, using a cause to appeal to investors, hiring with the same vision, and using branded visuals.

After a decade of experience leading branded events, influencer marketing, content strategy, and media relations in-house at OpenTable, Gilt Taste, Tumblr, Chef Daniel Boulud’s iconic Restaurant DANIEL,m Jen Pelka launched Magnum PR in 2015. This past January, Jen took all of her experience helping other restaurants succeed and put it into opening her own restaurant and champagne bar, The Riddler, located in San Francisco, CA.


Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Fake it, till you make it.”

Today’s Sponsor


A simple restaurant platform, only for restaurants, that connects the POS system to online ordering, gift cards, loyalty, labor, sales reporting, kitchen grade Elo hardware & handheld tablets to empower waitstaff.

Toast customers have experienced a 20% increase in revenue via improved throughput, 3x increase in tips from digital signatures, and 50% increase in online ordering after switching to the Toast platform


An invoice payment automation platform that caters to the food industry. Sourcery saves businesses time and money with paperless invoice management, simple payments, and analytical solutions. Spend that new found time doing what matters, taking care of your employees and guests.


 Career Challenge or Failure

Knowledge bombs

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

    • Fearless.
    • Optimistic.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

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

    • Remember people are modeling themselves by watching you.
  4. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview.

    • Enthusiastic energy.
    • A sense of hospitality.
  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Figuring out how to get away from emails.
  6. What’s one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?

    • Beautiful design.
    • Use Pinterest to get inspiration.
  7. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

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

  9. 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 with the best possible people you can.

Contact Info


insta: @theriddlersf @jenpelka

Twitter: @jenpelka


Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Jennifer Pelka for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!