How "Rock My Restaurant" Season 3 Is Taking Restaurant Consulting to the Next Level

Operators, marketers, designers and foodies alike: Hold onto your menus and fire up the grill! Foodable is bringing back your favorite foodservice consultant rockstars, Bill Bender and Eric Norman, for Season 3 of “Rock My Restaurant,” premiering this week.

Taking Things to the Next Level With Season 3

Viewers will experience an entirely different format this season. Out of 10 total episodes, fourproduct review episodes will be available to the public. The other six, however, is premium content: longer episodes packed to the brim with more in-depth information, interactive elements and a whole lot of entertainment. In other words, we are bringing two highly acclaimed foodservice consultant veterans into your living room, classroom, office (what have you), providing you with knowledge on a variety of specific topics that can make or break your restaurant business. Because of the in-depth, high-quality nature of this content, as well as the interactive resources provided (i.e. a Proactive Management Guide; a sample bubble diagram showing space considerations and adjacencies; and other spreadsheets, guides and interactive components), there will be a paid subscription option to view the six premium episodes and receive the materials provided for each.

Why’d we choose to go this route? Based on feedback from Seasons 1 & 2, where we received a lot of love from restaurant operators and even professors who use RMR video content in their lesson plans, we are giving you the information for success — from two highly acclaimed industry professionals — and the actionable tools to enforce it.

Season 3 will include topics like “Basic Design for a New Brand,” “Property Line to Consumer,” “Team Member Experience” and “TotalView Operations Best Practices.” Check out the Season 3 trailer below!

Catching Up With Bill & Eric

Foodable: What have you been up to since Season 2?

Eric: Things have been quite hectic since our last season of RMR. The design business has been extremely busy in the last 6-12 months and it looks like it will remain that way in the near future. We are seeing projects from all market segments which, to me, is a sign of a strong economy and a strong foodservice industry. I personally have been working on a lot of various design projects including schools, business and industry, restaurants, coffee shops, urban farm with test kitchens, corporate test kitchen, culinary schools and country clubs, just to name a few. 

Bill: The Silicon Valley area continues to receive an increasing amount of restaurant investment and startup attention due to the success of local technology companies and wealth that has been generated here. We have been providing Management Advisory Services (MAS) focused on strategic planning and concept development. 

Foodable: What has been the proudest moment of your consulting career thus far?

Eric: The proudest moment of my career so far was receiving the Foodservice Equipment and Reports - Young Lion Award for Foodservice Consultants in 2013. It was very humbling to be recognized in foodservice as someone under 40 who is viewed to have made a significant contribution to the industry. There are so many people that are deserving of this award and I was honored to have received it.

Being asked to co-host "Rock My Restaurant" is another milestone of my career. I have been given the opportunity to share the knowledge of what I do with a wide audience and I am very thankful for that.

Bill: Becoming a Professional Member of FCSI; developing our MAS Guest Experience Training Discipline: ServPoints Sequence of Service Training in conjunction with Bill Main, FCSI; and co-hosting RMR with FCSI Young Lion Winner Mr. Eric Norman, FCSI! Eric has been a joy to partner with on RMR. One of the real values of being a member of FCSI is meeting professional colleagues like Eric.

Foodable: What is one lesson you learned early on in your career that can be a takeaway for others entering into the field?

Eric: There are actually two lessons that I find equally important in my career as a consultant. Those would be honesty and the ability to listen to others. It is so important for a consultant to listen to what others have to say and translate that to effective and productive design. If I don’t actively listen to my clients' wants and needs, then how am I supposed to deliver an acceptable outcome? I have heard of horror stories where the person designing a particular project does not take into account what the owners expectations are, and at the end of the project there is total dysfunction. The owner now has a very expensive facility that may not meet the needs or wants intended. I find this very troubling and do my best to listen and have productive dialogue with a client through the entire project. Honesty is just as paramount as listening effectively. Not only do I want to deliver the best outcome possible, but I want to do it with ethics and integrity. It is impossible to know the answer to every question or scenario that comes up during a project and it is way better to be honest and say that that you will research the answer than it is to lie about it. People respect honesty and integrity, and I would encourage anyone thinking about entering the field to keep those lessons in mind. 

Bill: After answering a repeated question well into my late 30s, “When are you going to get a Real Job?,” I focused on the following mindset: Be proud to work in the Foodservice/Hospitality industry because it is an honorable career. From the dish room to the boardroom, treat everyone with respect.

Foodable: What can we expect in RMR Season 3?

Eric: The upcoming season of "Rock My Restaurant" is shaping up to be very exciting. We are changing our show format and are diving much deeper into the nuts and bolts of the topics we are covering. We will be talking about Brand, Design, Team, Service, Operations and much more in the new season. Our premium subscribers can look forward to takeaway assets that coincide with the episode content. Each premium show will have a handful of tools that may include spreadsheets, diagrams, drawings, guides, reports, etc. that the viewer can download and use for their own needs. As part of our new season, we are also looking forward to various product reviews, interviews, trade shows and so much more that will be available to all viewers for free.

Foodable: Buckle up, rockers! It’s going to be a wild ride.