Megan and Dino Santonicola are owners of Partenope Ristorante
located in Dallas, Texas. They are a dynamic duo with Dino, a master of pizza, and Megan, with her 20 years of experience in the Dallas restaurant and hospitality industry. In 2011, Dino became the executive chef and master pizzaiolo of Cane Rosso
in Dallas. During his 7 years with Cane Rosso, Dino grew the concept and brand from one location in Deep Ellum to 9 locations from Dallas to Houston to Austin. Megan and Dino met while working at Cane Rosso where Megan developed and guided the growth of operations of Cane Rosso. She has been involved in the Dallas restaurant and hospitality industry since 1999 with concepts such as The Green Room
and Hibiscus. She was also the food and beverage director at the Hotel Palomar and Central 214 for 4 years.
Show notes… Calls to ACTION!!!
Favorite success quote or mantra:
- "Nothing in the world can replace persistence."
In today's episode with Dino and Megan Santonicola we will discuss:
- Persistence is free; UTILIZE IT!
- Growing up in Italy
- Old-school mentorships
- Too focused on scaling these days; enjoy the work!
- Knowledge is power in this industry
- Shortcuts lead to negative consequences
- Restaurant groups
- Location scouting
- Staffing struggles
- Overstaff when you first open to compensate for dropouts and potential bad hires
- Business cards for restauranteurs?
- "Choose your partners very, very well"
- Empower and recognize your staff
Today's sponsor: BentoBox
empowers restaurants to own their presence, profits and relationships. The hospitality platform disrupts third-party services that come between the restaurant and the guest. BentoBox puts the restaurant first and offers tools that drive high-margin revenue directly through the restaurant’s website. BentoBox is trusted and loved by over 5,000 restaurants worldwide including Union Square Hospitality Group, Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Lilia and more.
is a cloud-based, all-in-one, restaurant-specific accounting and back-office platform that seamlessly integrates with POS systems, payroll providers, food and beverage vendors. It generates accurate real-time reporting and analysis in user-friendly dashboards, facilitating immediate, data-driven decision making. Restaurant365 eliminates manual, error-prone processes and is designed to help restaurant businesses grow with functionality that helps optimize labor costs, reduce food costs and increase revenue. P&G Dawn Professional
Dawn Professional is the #1 dish detergent found in almost every commercial kitchen in the US. Dawn Professional has long-lasting suds that clean 58% more dishes per sink. Using Dawn Professional reduces sink changeovers by 35%. Using Dawn Professional saves you up to 6,000 gallons of hot water per year vs. private label. Dawn Professional is a mild product with proprietary large molecules break down grease, but don’t penetrate the skin.
- Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
- What is your biggest weakness?
- What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- Is this what you really want to do?
- What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
- Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
- Tone: passionate, intentional, welcoming, relaxed
- What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
- We really believe in what we do and stay true to our mission
- What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
- What's one thing you feel restaurateurs don't know well enough or do often enough?
- Stick to your brand and thank your staff
- Name one service you've hired.
- What's one piece of technology you've adopted within your restaurant walls and how has it influence operations?
- If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?
- Everyone should work in hospitality for at least 6 months
- Smiling goes a long way
- There's one word that's synonymous with pizza and that's a party so everybody relax and have a good time
Contact info: Partenope website
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Huge thanks to Megan and Dino Santonicola for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!
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