430: Part 1- How to open a restaurant with NO MONEY- Justin Severino

In this episode with Chef Justin Severino we discuss:

  • The power of a team working to serve the same mission.
  • Speaking up if you need help.
  • How school helped Severino stay on one path.
  • Taking a job for what you’re going to learn.
  • Pushing your driven team members to their limit, for the sake of their personal growth.
  • Being Fair.
  • Food values.
  • How being good doesn’t mean shit… if you can’t make money while you do it.
  • How the most important thing in a restaurant is how you make your people feel.
  • What led Severino to open Cure.
  • How to open a restaurant with no money of your own.
  • Awakening the creative part of your mind with a can do attitude.

Justin Severino is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute. Severino made his move west to Santa Cruz, CA where he worked for many staples in the industry and opened Severino’s Community Butcher. He would go on to serve as executive chef at Element Cuisine and Sous Chef to at Eleven Restaurant in Pittsburgh. In 2011 opened Cure with national recognition and accolades. In 2015 he opened Morcilla with the same result.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Never-ending refinement of team.”


Today’s Sponsor

Knowledge bombs

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

    • Work ethic.
    • Pride.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

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

    • What does a team mean to you?
  4. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Growing his charcuterie program.
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Team work makes the dream work.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?

    • Ask for help.
  7. Share an online resource or tool.

    • Instagram.
  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?

    • His life.
  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. Ask for help.
    2. Its all about how you treat each-other.
    3. Buy a truck fill it power tools.

Contact Info



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Huge thanks to Chef Justine Severino for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!