425: Life is too short not to just do it with Joe Fontana

In this episode with Joe Fontana, we discuss the power of small daily improvements, how it all begins with making the choice to start, what Joe loves about the industry, advice on recruiting/staffing team members, finding and following your why, finding a mentor, how to start a business plan, going to experts for help, testing your concept with popups, setting up a successful Kickstarter campaign, hiring on values, not promoting your opening, starting as lean as possible with low monthly cost, and focusing on cash flow.

A product of Chicago, IL, Joe Fontana gave up his cush office lifestyle to pursue his passion for hospitality and food. At the time, this specific passion was meatballs. So he started where he could, selling meatballs at a farmers market, which lead to a Kickstarter campaign to support his brick and mortar. The meatball thing didn’t work out, but it created opportunities, specifically, an opportunity for FryTheCoop.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Small daily improvements lead to huge advancements.”

Today’s Sponsor



 Other Resources mentioned

Knowledge bombs

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

    • Persistence
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • getting sucked into little tasks and taking too long.
  3. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    • Ask, “What is your favorite thing to eat?”
      • You’re looking to see if they can get excited about something
  4. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    •   Creating the culture he envisioned
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Welcoming your guest with is big smile is just as important as thanking them for coming in.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?

    • Make sure you go out of your way to thank the guest for eating at your restaurant.
  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?

    1. Ubereats
    2. Toast
  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. God, family, and friends come first.
    2. Surround yourself with great people
    3. Follow your dreams, just go for it.

Contact Info


Website: www.frythecoop.com

Instagram: @FryTheCoop

Twitter: @FryTheCoop


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 Joe Fontana for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


Leave a Comment