|Expert Guest’s Name|
|Cameron Mitchell Restaurants|
|Book or Program title to discuss|
|YES IS THE ANSWER. WHAT IS THE QUESTION: How Faith In People and a Culture Of Hospitality Built A Modern American Restaurant Company|
|11612 FM 2244 Rd.|
Austin, TX 78738
|Please share a brief bio of up to 400 words that we can use for the profile page and to introduce the guest expert on the show.|
|Cameron Mitchell, a lifelong entrepreneur and accomplished businessman, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America when he was 22 years old and has developed 18 different restaurant concepts, including Mitchell’s Fish Market and Mitchell’s Steakhouse, a total of 22 restaurants, that were sold to Ruth’s Hospitality Group for $92 million in 2008.|
To this day, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants remains independent and privately held recognizing over $300 million in combined annual revenue from its food service operations consisting of 60 restaurants, Cameron Mitchell Premier Events, The Budd Dairy Food Hall and its sister company, The Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern. Mitchell has built CMR around the philosophy, “The answer is yes. What is the question?” and by making a Raving Fan out of every person touched by the business, from associates, to guests to delivery drivers at the back door. It’s a simple statement that serves as the backbone of how the company identifies itself as “great people delivering genuine hospitality.”
|Are there any questions or topics you’d particularly like to have Bill cover to help highlight your expertise and interests?|
|1. You were once a high school dropout and teenage runaway and are now a nationally-renowned restaurateur. How did your early life shape how you run your businesses and how you lead? |
2. You write that the title of the book – “Yes is the Answer: What is the Question?” – has been the cornerstone of how you’ve done business since your earliest days. What does this philosophy mean to you?
3. How has the culture of putting associates first helped you as a company?
4. CMR has some of the highest retention rates in an industry known for high turnover. What’s your secret?
5. You write that leaders should regularly tell employees about the state of the company’s finances – especially when it’s bad news. Why?
6. Cameron Mitchell Restaurants celebrates its 25th anniversary this fall. What is your advice for entrepreneurs to achieve such longevity?
7. You’ve had two major humbling moments: the first when you “recklessly” expanded the company too fast, and the second when you sold part of the business for $92 million and almost destroyed what was left. How did these moments change you?
8. You believe that leaders should embrace their culture and values more deeply in a crisis and cite the 2008 Great Recession as an example. Reflecting on the 10th anniversary of the recession this fall, how did this philosophy get the company through that rock-bottom moment?
9. You believe in the power of second chances, and you train your employees to follow the “Three As.” What are those “As” and why are they important?
10. You were fired from your first job – and it was the best thing that ever happened to your career. How so?
11. You are investing time into training the next generation of leaders. What are your innovative and creative approaches to attract millennials and turn them into “raving fans?”
12. What’s next for you and for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants?