432: Pushing through it with Brian Pekarcik

In this episode with Chef Brian Pekarcik, we discuss:

  • How the team dynamic of a kitchen filled the void after Pekarcik’s baseball dreams ended.
  • Making your employees feel valued.
  • If you want to be the best you need to work for the best.
  • Taking a step back in position, if it means being on a better team.
  • Planning each day out to increase productivity.
  • Being the standard you want your team to live up to.
  • How working under a corporate umbrella can limit the creative freedom of a chef.
  • Using your experience, knowledge, and expertise as leverage when finding partners.
  • Taking time to get to know your partners and to create the SAME visions.
  • The dynamics of Chef Pekarcik and Rick Stern partnership.
  • Pushing through your fear.
  • Building a team of strong mangers around you by teaching them how to think.
  • Why now it is more important than every to not burn bridges in this industry.
  • Dialing back scheduled hours to 50-55 a week.

Raised in Pittsburgh, Chef Brian Pekarcik is a graduate of John Carroll University in 1997. Pekarcik then moved out to, CA to fine tune his craft while working in some of the most well know kitchen at the time. In 2007 he moved back to PA and would eventually team up with Rick Stern in 2009 to open S + P Restaurant Group. To S+P restaurant Group consist of Spoon, Brgr, G&G Noodle Bar and Willow.

Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Cook with your heart and soul. Keep your head down. Keep your eyes open. You’ll go far.”

Today’s Sponsor



Knowledge bombs

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

    • Hard work.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

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

    • Hire peolple persons
  4. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • finding good hourly help
  5. Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.

    • Be nice.
  6. What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?

  7. Share an online resource or tool.

    • Instagram
      • hire an in house social media manager
  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?

    • Cook with heart and soul.
    • Be nice.
    • Work hard.

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Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Chef Brian Pekarcik for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!


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