200: Andrew Carlson | Consider Yourself a Student and Always Push to Learn

Andrew Carlson - HeadshotIn this episode we discuss: What happens when you listen to the ideas of your team members; taking on silent investors; why you need to always be hiring; the significance in embracing technology; and the impact of protocols and boundaries have on work-life balance.
Carlson is from Los Angeles and got his start in the restaurant industry when 13 working for his girlfriends parents. He has experience from the front line to the front office and knows what it takes to be successful in this highly competitive industry. Today he is sharing what he’s learned at andrew-carlson.com, where he writes about leadership, personal growth, and where he educates restaurant & hospitality professionals on how to create successful restaurants by utilizing social media. His work includes programs to ensure exceptional customer service to creating unforgettable experiences. Andrew’s programs and consulting reflect the realities of doing business in a changing, challenging marketplace.

Show notes…

Today’s Sponsor


Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships were built to do.”

What’s Your Purpose, or Your “WHY”?

To help restaurant professionals, because it is these people who put their hearts and souls into what they do.

Your “It” Factors

  • Always a student and pushing himself to learn.
  • Willing to fail and make mistakes.
  • Excellence reflex. If something isn’t right, Andrew has to fix it or improve it.
  • Goes all in with everything he does in life.

Career Challenge or Failure

Andrew took a consultant gig, which in hindsight, he probably shouldn’t have taken. Don’t hire a consultant to fix your restaurant, hire one to educate yourself and change your restaurant. The change starts with you.

Knowledge bombs

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

  • Use other People’s money.
  • Make sure they understand your vision.
  • Make sure you have full control, and that your investor understands that they are a “silent investor”.
  • Get it in writing with a legal document.

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

  • Always be hiring
  • Appreciate your people and recognize their hard work

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

  • Embracing technology to improve your systems.

4. How do you balance work and life?

  • Set firm boundaries
  • Prep your team with the tools and protocols to operate when you’re not there.
  • Know that you need that time away to rest and restore.

5. Recommended book?

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless

CLICK  HERE to get a FREE audio version of this Book

6. Recommended tool or technology?

HotSchedulesHotSchedules-Includes our flagship scheduling software – the POS-integrated employee scheduling, forecasting and messaging tool that allows you to build your schedule using sales data straight from your POS system. Schedule creation is streamlined through templates and our auto-scheduler, and any updates are pushed back into the schedule automatically, with manager approval. Managers and team members can easily communicate about the schedule and other important store messages using HotSchedules mobile apps. Additional manager level communication is facilitated using the Digital Logbook.

Schedulefly-Schedulefly is a new way for your restaurant to schedule, communicate, hire & plan. It’s easy, engaging and even fun! Your team checks their schedule from their phone, tablet or laptop. All time off request and shift trades are handled through the system. Mangers wall (Facebook for work) keeps everyone up-to-date. Keep managers in synch with Fly notes by assigning ToDos and reminders. Make the schedule from anywhere. Keep everyone updated with automated emails and text messages whenever a change is made

MeetEdgar– Recycle Your Best Social Updates Automatically. Get Your Invitation … Edgar is a social media scheduling tool like no other.

US_logo_182x77._V342054252_Audible– Join Today & Get a Free Audiobook. Listen on iOS or Android Devices!Listen Anytime, Anyplace · No Shipping, No Waiting! · Start With A Free Book

RestaurantOwner.com– Resources to turn your good restaurant into a Great Business. From restaurant business plans to hiring, opening, training, inventory and startup checklists.

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?

  • Educate yourself.
  • Ask for help.
  • Get a mentor.

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

Q:How do you improve the customer return ratio?

A: Ask your guest, “How can we get you to come back?” and just listen. You could also ask, “How could we have better served you today?”

Contact Info


Don’t forget to pick up your free gift from Andrew- 5 Mistakes That Restaurant Make on Facebook

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 Andrew Carlson for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!