303: How to create harmony in a restaurant with Shila Morris

In this episode, we discuss how Shila’s family went from rags to riches by opening a restaurant, how systems can create harmony in your restaurant, what it was like to go from host to CEO and President of the family business in 13 years, and how to obtain work-life balance in a family business.

In 2004, when Shila Morris was 18 years of age, her parents, Misty and Gary Young, purchased the original Squeeze In, located in Truckee, CA. During the next 13 years, Shila went from earning a little extra cash at her parent’s restaurant to becoming the President and CEO of 7 Squeeze In locations with franchise opportunities on the table.

Show notes…

petelicatapodcast300x250Today’s Sponsor


Hospitality courses from the world’s best. Find short courses. Skill up. Become an expert.



Over 45,000 independent operators since 1998 have joined RestaurantOwner.com to improve their business skills, leadership capabilities and implement effective systems in their restaurant.

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.”

Resources Mentioned

Keith Cunninghams CFO Scoreboard

Vast Services from The CFO Group

Shila’s TEDx talk|Nepotism is My American Dream


Career Challenge or Failure

Shila and her partners attempted to do dinner at one of their locations. The dinner servicer only lasted about 6 months. Lesson learned: know your lane and stay in it. The Squeeze In is famous for breakfast and lunch. Doing less better is more effective than doing a lot ok.

Knowledge bombs

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

    • Being dedicated to self-learning and self-improvement.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Not being patient.
  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    • Walk your talk.
  4. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

      • If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?
      • Who is your hero?
  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Transitioning from multi-unit restaurant group to franchise model. Specifically attracting the right franchisee.
  6. What’s one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?

    • Creating memories.
      • Their mission statement: Happy guest. Happy associates. Every day.
  7. What’s one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

  8. What’s one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

    • nowait– Host App to create a wait list in the cloud and notify guests by text. NoWait replaces restaurant pagers/buzzers. Seat faster, notify guest sooner, update the host stand faster, and improve the guest experience.
    • royaltyrewards.com– North America’s Most Comprehensive and Professionally Delivered Marketing Program That Automatically Delivers a Flood of Customers to Your Door Every Day … Guaranteed
  9. 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?

    • Don’t let the negative reviews get you down.
  10. What is one question you think should be added to this interview?

  • Q: What kind of massive action have you taken that has moved your restaurant forward?
  • A: Creating training videos for their restaurant.

Contact Info



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 Shila Morris for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!