In this episode with Michael and Heather Harrell, we discuss how Michael and Heather got there start in the industry, why they love the work they do, having a well balanced partnership, staying in your lane, having a daily regimen or routine, not losing the human element as you expand your business, working for a chain or franchise to learn operations, the transition from a corporate operation to mom and pop, where to get help with your business plan, testing your menu, never under-valuing your knowledge, treating everyone with respect (they could be your future investor), and much more!
Michael Heather Harrell got his start in the restaurant industry working in and opening Outback Steakhouses and Carraba’s. As Carraba’s grill started expanding and cutting corners, Michael began to lose interest and passion for the brand. The Harrell’s decided to break out on their own and in 2014 they founded 11th and Bay Located in Columbus, GA.
Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.
“Pull up a chair and stay a while.”
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Which “it factor” habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
- Not have too much pride.
- Work ethic.
- Failure is not an option.
What is your biggest weakness?
- Snapping judgment too quickly.
What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- Don’t judge a book by the cover.
- Are they prepared?
- Get them talking. They’ll talk themselves in or out of a job.
What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
- Growing sales.
- decrease menu.
- Focus on regulars.
- Growing sales.
Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
- Consistency committing to change.
What one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff.
- Personalize the experience.
Share an online resource or tool.
What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
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What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?
If you got the news that you’d be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be.
- Don’t do it for a pay check, Do what you love.
- Don’t be over prideful.
- Put family first.
Thanks for Listening!
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Huge thanks to Michael and Heather Harrell for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!