312: Discovering success through approval of oneself with Dushan Zaric



In this episode we discuss living in the moment, the value of having a vision, putting in the time and not bypassing experience, how the secret lies within the “human factor”, how to grant approval of your guest, why granting approval of your guest starts with granting approval of yourself, how being in the zone is about removing the inner dialog and existing to serve the others, the invaluable skillset of finding and working with partners, what happens when our emotions get the best of us

Ater arriving in New York with a Degree from the University of Belgrade, Dushan Zaric eventually broke into the industry as a Doorman. But this was only the beginning for Dushan. He found his passion for developing innovative cocktails while working behind the bar and has since established himself as one of the industry’s most celebrated advisors and mentors.

In 2012, Dushan was listed as a Forbes Top 50 Tastemakers and co-founded The 86 Co. In 2014, he was awarded the Best Bar Mentor Award at Tales of the Cocktail. A notable author, entrepreneur, and influencer, Dushan continues to serve the industry and inspire the new generation of bartenders as Co-Owner of Employees Only, located in New York City.


Show notes…

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“It is like this now.”


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.

Career Challenge or Failure

Dushan felt his restaurant and his own reputation was under attack during a dispute happening online regarding equal rights. He let his emotions get the best of him, and became defensive in this public, online arena.

The lesson: negative emotions and negativity in general, never serve you or your cause. Allow time to cool down, before making public announcements.


Knowledge bombs

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

    • Once a day, he takes the time to recognize a jewel that was given to him.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • His addictive behavior.
  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    • Do what you say you’re going to do.
  4. What’s one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?

    •  Put people through different scenarios. See how they react and what pushes their buttons.
  5. What’s a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?

    • Expanding the Employees Only concept to new locations. Like anything in life, take it step-by-step.
  6. What’s one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?

    • Their ability to get really excited over the little things, like making a drink for a guest.
  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?

    • Dropbox.com– a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again!Have a website that is responsive. A responsive website will automatically adapt to whatever device you’re using.
  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?

    • Save Money.

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 Dushan Zaric for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!