254: From Server to 20 Restaurant Operator with Mike Gibbons


Mike Gibbons Mike Gibbons got his start in the industry as a waiter while attending Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Upon graduation, Gibbons transferred to Michigan accepting a position as an assistant manager and quickly advancing to general manager, regional manager and later director of training before embarking as a restaurateur. In 1979, Gibbons joined forces with Dennis Serras and in 1981, along with Dieter Boehm, founded Mainstreet Ventures Inc. fast forward 36 years and Gibbons is a successful restaurateur operating businesses in five states as the President and CEO of Mainstreet Ventures Inc.

Show notes…


Today’s Sponsor

Hospitality Tips From the World's Best (1)

Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

-Winston Churchill

“Living a purposeful life is to impact the lives of others in a positive and meaningful way.”

-Fritz A. Woods

Career Challenge or Failure

Mike opened a restaurant next to a gym. He shared a parking lot with said gym. There are two times in the day when most people go to the gym. Before work and after work. It was people going to the gym after work that screwed with Mikes restaurant. The rush of people going to the gym during the dinner service left Mike’s restaurant with no parking spots for his guest. Pay attention to every detail of a location before committing to opening your restaurant there.

Knowledge bombs

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

    • Focus.
    • Tanacity.
    • Taking the time to build a system to support what he’s going to do.
  2. What is your biggest weakness?

    • Being too slow to let people go who are not a good fit for their restaurants.
  3. What is one piece of advice you have for leading others?

    • Leadership is getting others to do what you want them to do, because they want to do it.
    • Leadership is about sharing your vision with people to the point were they want that same vision.
  4. Whats one question you ask or thing that you look for during an interview? 

    • Main Street Ventures looks for attitude in their candidates.
  5. Whats a current challenge?

    • Finding skill workers.
  6. Whats one thing (besides food) your restaurant does well and separates you from other restaurants?

    • Promoting from within.
    • Commitment to their community
  7. What is one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?

    1. How to Win Friends and Influence People
  8. Whats one piece of technology you’ve adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?

    1. The implementation of a central, “in house”, reservation system. This relieves the duty from the host so they can focus on taking care of the guest who are in front of them.
    2. imgres-4Menuvative– Menuvative presents your dishes with high quality photos and enhanced information on ingredients and nutrition, creating a more personalized, knowledgeable and interactive dining experience for your guests.
  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?

    • Keep the main thing the main thing.

Contact Info

website: www.msventures.com

Phone: 734-668-6062


Thanks for Listening!

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Huge thanks to Mike Gibbons for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!