403: Being Thoughtful with Nick Arnerich

In this episode with Nick Arnerich, we discuss how he got into the industry, creating opportunity for those on your team, discipline, never stop believing, surrounding yourself with people that will encourage you to grow, humility, visioning, planning, learning the culture of a restaurant no matter how good you are, Nick’s biggest lessons learned from Thomas Keller, the importance of knowing and breaking down the numbers, challendges of transitioning from a GM to a Direct of Ops, asking questions before jumping to conclusions, the benefits of starting as a pop-up, how to create an “impactful” restaurant, the challenges of running a scatch kitchen, the importance of hanging onto your “core” employees, supporting your community with your restaurant, and advice on openign a restaurnat with a significant other.

Nick grew up in Portland, Oregon and spent most of his first years at his parent’s restaurant Delevan’s. Over the last 15 years, Nick has worked in some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the country including The French Laundry. Most recently Nick was Director of Operations for the Delfina Restaurant Group in San Francisco. In 2013 Nick relocated to Portland to pursue his dream of owning his own restaurant, and the Renata was born. In addition to the Renata, Nick and his wife, Sandra, also own the Figlia.


Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.


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Knowledge bombs

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

    • Being relentless
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Communicating when he’s frustrated
  3. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Ask: “Whats your dream?”
  4. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Continuing to fill the restaurant- butts in seats.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Don’t be black and white. If a guest asks for it make it happen.
  6. What one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff.

    • Different glasses for sparking and still water.
    • Using a tray.
  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?

  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. Humor. You gotta laugh at yourself.
    2. Take what you do seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously. Loving what you do is the most important thing.
    3. Hospitality. Be open to taking care of others.

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Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Nick Arnerich for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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