How to Define Your Restaurant’s Values and Company Culture

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On this episode of The Barron Report, Host Paul Barron speaks with Doug Radkey, strategist, consultant, speaker, author, Foodable contributor and founding partner of Key Restaurant Group. In this Skype interview, the two discuss some of the most influential decisions you will make for your restaurant.

Determining your vision, mission, culture, and value statements means understanding your goals.To be able to state them clearly will set your restaurant or any business up for success.

Radkey defines value as “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.” For your restaurant or bar, it is a statement that informs not only your customers, but also your staff, about the business’ goals and what its core beliefs are.

Watch this video above for insights on the four-step process needed in order to guide your decision-making and help explain your restaurant’s intentions to customers.


  • 8:44 - How Restaurants’ Value Statements Are Crossing Over Into Social Movements

  • 11:21 - Communicating Value Statements Between Management and Staff

  • 15:18 - Trends in Canadian Restaurant Markets

  • 0:15 - Introducing Industry Expert, Doug Radkey & Thoughts on Building a Brand

  • 1:39 - The Basis of Defining Your Restaurant’s Value Statements

  • 5:18 - Defining the Difference Between Value, Mission, and Culture Statements


Produced by:

Paul Barron

Paul Barron

Editor-in-Chief/Executive Producer


Culinary Cannabis with The Herb Somm, Jamie Evans

Cannabis is introducing a whole new aspect of the restaurant industry. With the emergence of some of the most renowned chefs beginning the process of developing menu items related to CBD and Cannabis, to CBD taking the lead currently in the approval process via the recently approved $867 billion Farm Bill which allows for use of CDB in food-related items. What we are seeing is a massive early adoption to integrated food and menu concepts by restaurants and experts around the US. I get a chance to explore the idea of tasting and pairing Cannabis related items with food and wine with Jamie Evans, the Herb Somm as we discover new aspects to the integration and new age of unique ingredients.

I continue to be surprised in the advancements of ingredients, flavors and culinary techniques that chefs are integrating every year, but 2019 seems to be the year of Cannabis and will surely be a major campaign topic in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. A small or possibly huge setback is the recent banning of CBD products by restaurants in NYC. However, this action is not without a fight when you consider Andrea Drummer. Drummer, a former drug counselor turned definitive expert on edibles and cannabis is pushing back on the bizarre circumstances that have led to CBD being banned as a food additive, even as its legality has been firmly established. It appears that this new form of creativity in food will face a bit more in the way of challenges this year.

Stay tuned as I continue to explore this critical time in the evolution of culinary creativity to understand where we are really going with the future of Cannabis. Will this be a new era in similarity to when alcohol products began showing up in menu items at restaurants around the world or is it a fight that will be forthcoming for years to come?

Video Produced by:

Nathan Mikita

Nathan Mikita

Director of New Media/Producer


Why 'Local-Only' Isn't Going To Work

In the midst of the farm-to-table movement, a lot of what we are hearing in the restaurant industry is talk about locally-sourced menus and cooking in accordance with the seasons.

The concept, in theory, is great and all and it’s exciting for chefs when they are able to work with the freshest of ingredients grown in the farm down the street, but is this concept sustainable in every part of the country?

In this first episode of Chef AF, our host Chef Jim Berman sits down with Chef Hari Cameron, a semi-finalist for the James Beard “Rising Star Chef Of The Year” award in 2013 for his restaurant a(MUSE), to discuss why local-only isn’t going to work. They will chat about the reality of cooking with the seasons in certain parts of the country, best practices, and, even, how to strike a balance to keep businesses afloat.

“If we only ate locally, we would only be eating hydroponically or really hearty meals...,” says Chef Cameron.

Chef Cameron opened his Rehoboth Beach (Delaware) restaurants, a(MUSE) and Grandpa (MAC), in 2012 and 2015 respectively and found success with both concepts early on from their inception.

“We were cooking food that was exciting to us. We didn’t know anybody was paying attention or even listening,” says Chef Hari Cameron.

Listen to the podcast above to hear the full conversation about not only supporting the local community but the goal of cooking delicious food!

Show Notes:

  • 1:33 - Introducing Chef Hari Cameron of a(MUSE) & Grandpa (MAC)

  • 4:17 - So, why local-only as a concept isn’t going to work?

  • 6:40 - How does Winter shape-shift your menu?

  • 11:06 - What do you say to people who look to do local-only?

  • 13:43 - How do you strike a financial balance to make your business work?

  • 26:49 - What does hospitality mean to Chef Hari Cameron?


Milk Bar: How Building a Dessert Empire Comes With Challenges

Milk Bar, a dessert concept by renowned chef Christina Tosi, is expanding rapidly across the country.

The dessert-focused restaurant recently held a new-employee orientation in Brooklyn, NY and instead of having other leaders on her team lead the meeting, Tosi surprised the new staff members by running the orientation.

Tosi, who started the chain 10 years ago, doesn't want employees to ever lose sight of what the brand stands for.

Dessert! Baked goods! Me! You! We are the conduit for it all. Milk Bar is Magic. Milk Bar is a movement," reads the last few lines of the brand's mission statement that Tosi read at the orientation.

Tosi has built a brand that is still up-and-coming and has quickly garnered a loyal following. The 16th store opened in the Boston suburb Cambridge in the beginning of the month. The number of employees has spiked by 70 percent in the last year and most of the management team is made up of women.

But with expansion, comes a unique set of challenges. While Tosi doesn't want the brand to lose its small-shop charm, she wants to bring Milk Bar's treats to the masses.

“Growing fast feels like selling out, but I realized if we controlled the growth it could be really cool, too,” said Tosi to "The New York Times” (NYT.)

Tosi takes a hands-on approach when it comes to the stores.

"She samples every type of cookie and batch of soft-serve when she walks into any of her stores, noting in an instant if the batter was overmixed or if the soft-serve temperature is off," writes the "NYT."

But she can't be everywhere and that's where she is going to have to rely on Milk Bar teams across the country that she can trust.

Even though she has big plans for the growth of the brand, she still doesn't want Milk Bar to be like Starbucks on every corner.

“I sat with it and lost a lot of sleep over it and finally I was just like, ‘That’s just not what we are,’” said Tosi to the "NYT."

The Milk Bar team plans to focus on cities where the concept already has a following but also has its sights set on retail. Will Milk Bar desserts be on the shelves of grocery stores in the not so distant future? Tosi hopes so.

Milk Bar is also making a push to sell more products on its soon to be enhanced e-commerce platform.

Read more about how Tosi has built a dessert empire at the "NYT" now.

Speaking of dessert, check out the video below featuring some of the wildly popular desserts at Miami's Michael's Genuine. The executive pastry chef explains why some of the desserts have become fan-favorites and also gives some tips for aspiring pastry chefs.

Yelp Shares Spike After Most Recent Quarterly Earnings Report



The popular local-search service and review site Yelp saw a 10 percent jump in its shares after the company reported its latest quarterly earnings and revenue.

The earnings report exceeded Wall Street's expectations.

"The company reported earnings of $0.37 per share on revenue of $243.7 million. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expected adjusted earnings per share of $0.36 on revenue of $241.2 million for the final three months of 2018," writes "Markets Insider."

This is quite the improvement from last quarter where the company reported earnings results that fell short of expectations, causing Yelp's share to plummet.

Although the company's shares have increased by 12 percent this year, Yelp has struggled to return to its 52-week high in 2018.

The shares are still 26 percent below the 2018 high.

But Yelp is aiming to "exit 2019 with strong revenue growth."

However, the review service is navigating through somewhat of a PR nightmare after SQN Investors LP, one of the largest investors of Yelp, issued a public letter expressing frustration with the company.

The letter says the board of director' "patience has now worn out" after "a history of repeated strategic and operational missteps, missed expectations, sharp guidance revisions, and poor corporate governance that has led to significant stock underperformance."

Yelp was quick to respond saying it welcomes "any ideas and investor input" and that the company is looking for additional Board candidates to "drive" strategy.

Will Yelp be able to overcome this PR challenge? As the market becomes more saturated with crowd-sourced review platforms like Facebook and Google, will Yelp be able to remain the leader in the review and recommendation category?

Read more about Yelp's latest shares spike at "Markets Insider."

From an operator standpoint, managing yelp and other reviews sites can be a pain. Luckily, there are tools out there to help manage online customer interaction. Check out some tech apps that can make an operator's life easier in the On Foodable episode below.