Robert Irvine is a master of conflict resolution. Whether it was as the host of Food Network’s former series Restaurant: Impossible or The CW’s The Robert Irvine Show, the celebrity chef has no shortage of experience fixing problems. To say this is an enviable skill in the restaurant world would be a vast understatement. Irvine recently touched down in a Maverick helicopter and smashed an ice sculpture to welcome his new restaurant, Robert Irvine’s Public House, to the Las Vegas dining scene. Irving spoke with FSR in a past story about some of the trials and tribulations of being a restaurateur, and how to make it against all odds. Here were some of the highlights. Pictures are from Irvine's USO tour to Yokota Air Base in Japan.
A bad meal can't save a server
You can’t put a $2 a hour guy in the back and expect something good to come out. People come back to your establishment and they create your reputation based on what you give them—that food, alcohol, and service. And if you can’t hit all three notes to excellence, you have no chance. A server can save a bad meal. A bad meal can’t save a server, sorry.
Comfort is king
You know what a trend is? Comfort food, great food, great service, great product at a great price. That’s never going away. We all want that. A value proposition to a guest is very different than a value proposition to an owner. And sometimes owners forgot that.
The value of leadership
There has to be clear leadership. There has to be clear roles and responsibilities. Financial accountability. And you have to be able to fire people. If you can’t fire somebody then you have no control. That’s 99 percent of businesses.
What makes a great owner
It’s about passion. It’s about excitement, and compassion, and a great attitude. If you have them, you can learn anything you want. Nothing is impossible if you have the commitment, the courage, the education, and knowledge to back it up.
A lot of people think, ‘Oh, yeah, you can put a 24-item menu in there and you’ve got one fryer and a grill top.’ No you can’t. Because if you can’t put the food out in 40 minutes, what’s the point of having a kitchen?