400: Staying Humble with Chef Jason Alley

In this episode with Chef Jason Alley, we discuss working for the best- even if it means taking a lower ranked or position, getting experience to find your voice, doing work that fulfils you, finding your business partner, the pros of leasing VS owning, benefits in hiring close friends, helping open other people’s restaurants before opening your own, being undercapitalized, asking “what am I really doing?”, paying attention to guest needs and requests, leaning on trust to extend your operation, sharing a vision, molding your employees into partners, how to stay humble, how to stay humble after failure

It is said that Chef Jason Alley started cooking at the young age of 4. After a few short stink at Hardee’s, a Quaker-owned orchard and country club, Chef Alley started to find his passion. Fast forward multiple Sous and Executive chef positions later, in early 2000’s Chef met his Business partner Chris Chandler and by 2003 the pair were opening their first restaurant. Today, Alley is the chef/partner of 3 restaurants Comfort Pasture and Flora.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Bring in the love, push out the Jive.”

Today’s Sponsor


Qualify for funding. Get a $100 e-gift card.
Apply for up to $150,000 of funding through Kabbage, and you’ll get a $100 e-gift card when you qualify (1) with Kabbage:
– Apply securely in minutes
– Access a line of credit of up to $150,000 (2)
– Withdraw what you need, when you need it
– Only pay for what you use


Powerful tools to compete against big box stores. Fivestars brings similar technology used by Starbucks and Walgreens to local businesses to help you stay top of mind and drive 2x more customer visits. Get access to a leading rewards program, put promotions on AutoPilot, and track new signups, and return customers with Fivestars.

Knowledge bombs

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

    • Getting sober.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • focus.
  3. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Ask, “What do you enjoy about other restaurant spaces?”
  4. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Juggling social media and PR while running 3 restaurants.
      • Chef Jason is dealing with this challenges by scheduling time for it.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

  6. What one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff.

    • Anticipate guest needs.
  7. Share an online resource or tool.

  8. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

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

    • Breadcrumb-The only restaurant POS created by restaurant people for restaurant people.
  10. 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.

    1. Love who you work with and the work you do
    2. Be humble.
    3. Have fun.

Contact Info



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!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for the Restaurant Unstoppable Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates.

Huge thanks to Jason Alley for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


1. Customers who apply for a Kabbage line of credit using the link in this email and are approved will receive a $100 Tango e-gift card via email 3-4 weeks after qualifying. The Tango card can be redeemed for one gift card toward the customer’s choice of dozens of restaurants, retailers, spas or other experiences. Kabbage reserves the right to cancel the promotion at any time. This offer is single-use and non-transferrable. Valid in the US only.
2. Credit lines are subject to periodic review and change, including line reduction, line increases, or line elimination. This is not a revolving account. Individual requests for capital are separate installment loans.