Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

Restaurant Consulting

Restaurant Marketing: Swagyu Chop Shop by Chef Steve Brown

What does the restaurant of the future look like? Well, if we’ve figured anything out in our time together it’s that I could look like many different things.

I think Chef Steve Brown has stumbled upon a really intriguing business model. He’s evolved the pop up model into a restaurant incubator, creating massive demand and awareness for his brands.

In our conversation we unpack what went into conceptualizing and executing this restaurant ecosystem and how he leveraged his unique personal brand to bring it to the masses.


[2:] Taking partnership to the next level: creating a brand vibe with the love of your life

[5:01] Being in hospitality vs. being in the hospitality business

[6:56] Anything but a restaurant! How the Swagyu pop-up was born

[8:15] It wasn’t marketing… it was survival.

[9:39] The Wagyu concept: born the Coachella of culinary battles

[11:25] Taking it on tour: You can’t perform the concert in the same town every day

[12:48] The last supper: how a moment of desperation tripled revenue

[16:07] Swagyu Study Hall: how Covid shaped next-level hospitality

[17:13] “Uhh, Chef, we don’t see it…”: the journey into Brick & Mortar

[18:36] Making what was for the 1% accessible to the 99%

[19:36] Capitalizing on sh*tty strip malls: the golden ticket that made Swagyu Chop Shop possible

[20:54] The Wagyu Smashburger: how the greatest oxymoron in the history of food became a huge success

[23:46] What’s better than zero waste? Negative waste.

[24:16] And the beat goes on: the success keeps rolling in at every turn

[25:13] Failing your way to success: trust your gut and understand your audience

[27:43] Why Chef Steve Brown was able to rise from the ashes of Covid

[29:09] Choosing the good choices: “I’d rather be miserable than without clarity.”

[29:49] Now what?: The future of Swagyu

[31:12] “Wouldn’t it be so funny if this worked?”

[33:17] Listen for the mic drop: Chef detonates the Hiroshima of truth bombs.

[33:43] “You wanna know how to expand this fast? I’ll tell ya…”

[36:00] Multiple revenue streams done right: Chef Steve divulges an EPIC strategy

[37:41] Massive expansion during the great recession: where he’s finding his employees

[38:38] The creativity doesn’t end at the plate: make big moves that might seem crazy.

For more on all of his projects visit

FULL COMP is brought to you by Yelp for Restaurants: In July 2020, a few hundred employees formed Yelp for Restaurants. Our goal is to build tools that help restaurateurs do more with limited time.


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