Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

Restaurant Margins

Restaurant Email Marketing: Cultivating Company Culture with Steve Schwartz

On today’s show, we chat with Steve Schwartz, founder of the Art of Tea, a bespoke tea company crafting custom blended tea for the biggest names in hospitality.

If you’re going to create a product, logic would dictate that you’d want the masses to have access to it. But that’s not the route Steve Schwartz went. He wanted his tea company to serve those that serve others. It’s one of the foundational values that guides The Art of Tea. In today’s tough economy, the companies that thrive will be culture first companies. Here, Steve walks us through the core values and culture-first perspective that has made The Art of Tea a huge success.

Click to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Click here to book time on my personal calendar.

Click here to download our Restaurant Recovery Guide.

Want to streamline your front-of-house operations and increase sales? Head over to to claim your free page and learn more about these powerful tools for your business.


  • The importance of mentors
  • Find yourself a teacher, acquire yourself a friend
  • Mentors can share lessons
  • Friends can challenge you and learn with you
  • Mentors and friends in Steve’s life
  • 3 daughters – all under 15yo
  • Coach – in his mid-70s and helps to separate belief from reality
  • Group of peers in similar businesses – sharing best practices and meaningful lessons
  • Lessons from childhood
  • Had a very perfect, comfortable upbringing until parents’ divorce at 14
  • Sent to live with 19yo brother with no financial support
  • Learned to be scrappy and creative to make money
  • Knew it was a phase and would be able to teach lessons to children one day
  • Entering entrepreneurship
  • Started digital gatherings in Arizona at 19
  • Minimal resources but events were profitable
  • Introduction to tea
  • Mom became very ill with brain cancer – she passed within 10months
  • Steve realized there could be other schools of medicine and treatments
  • Found Ayurvedic Institute and learned about botanicals
  • Began traveling the world for the best botanicals to create tea
  • Tea as a business
  • Ethos of not creating mass-produced low-quality tea
  • Began selling in hotels and creating custom blends
  • Creating a movement against big tea companies
  • Aligning with core values
  • Leadership team reviews the company’s core values every week
  • Impact. Culture. Accountability. Results. Excellence (ICARE)
  • This is much more important during Covid
  • Projections for hospitality
  • 3rd of businesses won’t survive
  • 3rd will barely survive
  • 3rd will thrive
  • Pivoting during Covid crisis
  • Becoming a conduit of ideas between businesses
  • Learning how some clients are surviving and relaying that advice to other struggling businesses
  • Changing marketing plans
  • Government is unlikely to stop marketing efforts so there is an opportunity to be more creative with marketing
  • Creating ice tea for sale to consumers or restaurants
  • How to manage fear
  • If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans
  • Ideas that make Steve fearful and excited confirm he should pursue it
  • He thanks the fear for protecting him
  • Create a backup plan in case things do go wrong
  • Coping with being back at zero

Other ways to enjoy this content


Leverage Digital Media to Drive Traffic to Your Restaurant

This free (and highly detailed) guide will outline how to tell your story in the most compelling way possible and how to share that story with the masses.

(Yep, even if you’re not a “tech” person!)


Lead Your Team Instead of Managing Them

This free (and highly detailed) guide will give you everything you need to know to build and lead a world class team from scratch, ensuring you work less and earn more. (Yep, even if you know nothing about leadership.)


Ready to Optimize, Manage and Grow Your Restaurant’s Profit Margin But Not Sure Where to Start?

This free (and highly detailed) cheat sheet will give you everything you need to know to set up your restaurant to maximize profitability. (Yep, even if you’re not a “business” person!)