Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

Restaurant Labor Cost: Inside Food Fight Series with Chef Andrew Zimmern

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Restaurant Margins

What are the folks at the top of our industry doing to help us and themselves? On today’s show, we chat with four-time James Beard award-winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher and social justice advocate, Chef Andrew Zimmern. Andrew has not only reached the pinnacles of success, he’d done so while supporting and advocating for independent restaurants. Today we talk about the where we are and where we’re headed as an industry and what we can do to help each other.

5 Day Restaurant Profitability Challenge

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5 Day Restaurant Profitability Challenge


  • 3-pronged strategy for moving forward during the Covid crisis
  • Not getting stuck in one metric or business model. Being fluid and flexible
  • Covid give us a chance to review our businesses
  • Many sectors of the hospitality industry were already broken – Covid accelerated the demise
  • Building back the right way
  • Reviewing pricing, menus, HR
  • Realigning our motives for being in the hospitality industry
  • Many people joined to become famous or seek wealth
  • This can be poor for mental health as stardom is fleeting
  • Stay in the industry because of love, not to get rich
  • Wolfgang Puck took a huge risk coming to America and struggled alot in his early career. His passion led to his stardom.
  • There is a low barrier to entry to become a restaurateur
  • Anyone with finance can open a restaurant
  • The restaurant life seems “sexy” and appealing to anyone who loves dining out
  • The restaurant business is extremely fragile to run well – pennies business with slim margins
  • Reflecting as a practice
  • Andrew has a daily reflection practice he learned whilst becoming sober
  • Taking regular inventory of problems e.g pros and cons lists
  • Writing things on paper helps to reflect on them
  • Any business or human being that doesn’t regularly take stock will fail
  • Reflecting on the restaurant business
  • Slowing down to learn from what is happening right now
  • Working on ops issues
  • How working for larger causes helps mental health
  • Taking focus off himself slows his thoughts
  • Working extremely hard
  • Extremely fulfilling work
  • Projects to help the hospitality industry
  • Small anonymous group helping local community
  • Speaking to the local governor regarding safety in hospitality reopening
  • Why we are on this earth
  • Andrew would ask First Peoples’ this question
  • “We’re on this earth to love and nurture each other”
  • Small gestures are more fulfilling than big gestures
  • Things we can do to service the industry
  • Start at a community level
  • Create a community resource kitchen if it is needed
  • Donate time, money, or food to resource kitchens and initiatives already operating
  • Share causes on social media
  • Checking in on people
  • Donating masks
  • The podcast is awareness-raising and impacting lives
  • Positive changes predicted for after Covid
  • Low-cost micro model restaurants for feeding small communities
Also Read  Technology for Restaurants: Navigating Pandemic Expansion

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