244: Focus on Creating Great Memories with Alex Brennan-Martin



Focus on Creating Great Memories with Alex Brennan MartinNew Orleans native Alex Brennan-Martin grew up as a member of the nationally acclaimed Brennan’s restaurant family, which includes the renowned Commander’s Palace. He made Houston home in the early 1980s and took over the reins at Brennan’s of Houston, which was established in 1967. For the past 30+ years, he has upheld his mission of “creating dining memories” for his patrons, which has led to the continued success of Brennan’s of Houston. Among his many accolades, Brennan-Martin was named “Restaurateur of the Year” by My Table magazine, and he and his family were inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Hall of Fame, making them one of only three families to ever receive this prestigious leadership award.

Show notes…

Today’s Sponsor



Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Couldn’t wait for success so I went on without it.”

-Jonathan Winters

“Business is like running up a hill every day. I’ll run up that hill with you. I’ll even chase you. I wont drag you.”

Your “It” Factors

  • A sense of hospitality and service attitude from the day he was born
  • Spending time with staff, helping them feel good about the work they do.

Career Challenge or Failure

Alex didn’t get an agreement in writing. Don’t ever take someone’s word for it. Protect yourself and get it in writing.

Knowledge bombs

1. What advice do you have for funding a restaurant?

  • Capitalize at least 50%.
  • Be careful with partners. Have good partnership agreements in place.

2. Success is so dependent on your people. Whats your advice on hiring, managing and retaining people?

  • Have a clear, concise vision of what your business is going to be about and work that into your hiring process. Only hire people who match your vision.
  • Hire people who are friendly and warm.

3. What are some current challenges or industry challenges you see coming?

  • Government mandates increase minimum wage.

4. How do you balance work and life?

  • Love and enjoy your work and combined work with life.

5. Recommended book?

Simple Truth About Your Business: Why Focused and Steady Beats Business at the Speed of Light 

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling

Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence, Learning  to Let Employees Lead

Right away All at Once: 5 Steps to Transform Your Business and Enrich Your Life 

CLICK  HERE to get a FREE audio version of this Book

6. Recommended tool or technology?

Outlook –Take control. Do more. Outlook is the free email and calendar service that helps you stay on top of what matters and get things done.

Compeat–  the only provider of an end-to-end Restaurant Back Office Management and Accounting solution. Our end-to-end solution provides total control and perfect audit from the restaurant though the home office and from operations through finance. Compeat is also a web-enabled software solution that harnesses the power and flexibility of the internet. All information, from inventory receipt at the restaurant to the profit and loss statement at the company office, is always available, is always in balance, and resides in one common database.

Guest Bridge– In today’s rapidly changing hospitality market, operational efficiency and guest retention are crucial to your profitability. GuestBridge software tools are cutting edge operational hubs for your host stands.Offered solutions – GuestBridge Reserve, GuestBridge Casual, and GuestBridge Express – consolidate operations and put guest data where it will be most useful to you.

7. With all the knowledge you have now, if you could go back in time and give your past self one piece of business advice, What would it be and why?

Alex would have told himself to take on more risk by partnering with outside entities.

8. What is one question you think should be added to this interview?

Contact Info

Brennan’s Houston



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!

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Huge thanks to Alex Brennan-Martin for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!