Search Interviews:

Mac HayMac Hay is the Founder and CEO of Mac’s Seafood, which has five locations in Massachusetts. Mac’s passion for cooking allowed him to work in the restaurant industry before purchasing his own business, which was primarily a fish market that eventually turned into Mac’s signature restaurant. After a decade in the industry, Mac decided to expand by opening seafood restaurants in other locations across Massachusetts and introducing wholesale and retail strategies into his business.

Sebastien TaffaraSebastien Taffara is the Restaurant Director and Operations Manager at Mac’s Seafood. His experience in the restaurant industry comes from previously working in French bakeries and formal restaurants. Sebastien joined Mac’s Seafood restaurants in 2013 and has been able to grow with the company as it has expanded.

Google Podcast
Amazon Music
Tune In
iHeart Radio

Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Mac Hay talks about the challenges of starting a restaurant business
  • Mac’s most important takeaways that he learned during his years in the restaurant industry
  • Sebastien Taffara shares ways the pandemic has changed hospitality 
  • Sebastien’s tips on maintaining successful operations across multiple restaurant locations

In this episode…

In this episode of the SpotOn Series, Chad Franzen is joined by Mac Hay, the Founder and CEO of Mac’s Seafood, and Sebastien Taffara, Restaurant Director and Operations Manager at Mac’s Seafood. They talk about the challenges of starting a restaurant business, profitability prospects with seasonal food items, scaling their business to multiple locations, introducing wholesale and retail strategies, and adapting to pandemic restrictions in the hospitality industry.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode


Today’s episode is brought to you by SpotOn. SpotOn has transformed the merchant service industry by providing the tools and support your business deserves at a price that puts money back into your pocket!

SpotOn’s team wants to empower all of their merchants by merging payment processing with simple customer engagement tools, all in one easy-to-use platform. As a business owner, you are focused on managing your daily operations and engaging your customers. You don’t have the time, energy, or excess funds to devote to multiple complicated platforms! That’s why SpotOn is focused on helping you build long-lasting customer loyalty while saving you time and money through our all in one system.

Whether you are a merchant or a consumer, SpotOn wants to be more than an average payment processor. SpotOn aims to exceed your expectations by valuing simplicity, maintaining flexibility, and celebrating innovative collaboration. Let SpotOn help you do business the right way.

Partner with SpotOn today! Visit today to schedule your free demo or to view SpotOn’s products. You can also call SpotOn at 877.814.4102 at any time. Let SpotOn help you make the difference with your business!


At Rise25, we’re committed to helping you connect with your Dream 100 referral partners, clients, and strategic partners through our done-for-you podcast solution.

We’re a professional podcast production agency that makes creating a podcast effortless. Since 2009, our proven system has helped thousands of B2B businesses build strong relationships with referral partners, clients, and audiences without doing the hard work.

What do you need to start a podcast?

When you use our proven system, all you need is an idea and a voice. We handle the strategy, production, and distribution – you just need to show up and talk.

The Rise25 podcasting solution is designed to help you build a profitable podcast. This requires a specific strategy, and we’ve got that down pat. We focus on making sure you have a direct path to ROI, which is the most important component. Plus, our podcast production company takes any heavy lifting of production and distribution off your plate.

We make distribution easy.

We’ll distribute each episode across more than 11 unique channels, including iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. We’ll also create copy for each episode and promote your show across social media.

Co-founders Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran credit podcasting as being the best thing they have ever done for their businesses. Podcasting connected them with the founders/CEOs of P90xAtariEinstein BagelsMattelRx BarsYPO, EO, Lending Tree, Freshdesk, and many more.

The relationships you form through podcasting run deep. Jeremy and John became business partners through podcasting. They have even gone on family vacations and attended weddings of guests who have been on the podcast.

Podcast production has a lot of moving parts and is a big commitment on our end; we only want to work with people who are committed to their business and to cultivating amazing relationships.

Are you considering launching a podcast to acquire partnerships, clients, and referrals? Would you like to work with a podcast agency that wants you to win?

Contact us now at or book a call at

Rise25 Co-founders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:04

Welcome to the Top Business Leaders Show. Powered by Rise 25 Media, we featured top founders, executives and business leaders from all over the world.

Chad Franzen 0:20

Chad Franzen here co-host for the show where we feature top restauranteurs, investors and business leaders. This is part of our SpotOn Series spot on has the best in class payment platform for retail and they have a flagship solution called SpotOn Restaurant, where they combine marketing software and payments all in one. They have served everyone from larger chains like Dairy Queen and Subway to small mom and pop restaurants. To learn more, go to spot This episode is brought to you by Rise 25. We help B2B businesses to get ROI clients referrals and strategic partnerships through done for you podcast. If you have a B2B business and want to build great relationships with clients, referral partners and thought leaders in your space. There’s no better way to do it than through podcasts and content marketing. To learn more, go to or email us at Mac Hey is the CEO chef and founder of Mac’s Seafood with five Massachusetts locations. And Sebastian Tafara is Mac’s Seafood’s director of Front of House operations and general manager, Mac and Sebastian, thank you so much for joining me today. How are you? 

Mac Hay 1:21

Good. Great. Thanks for having us. Yeah. 

Chad Franzen 1:23

Hey, so tell me how did Mac seafood kind of come about and get started?

Mac Hay 1:27

It started on a rare, Well, I always had a passion for cooking. And I worked in the restaurant business. You know, since I was 12-13 years old. I did a summer job stint down here in Wellfleet, Cape Cod. And that summer job turned into a management position, which then the lady Carol Larson, who owns the buildings offered me the the opportunity to buy the entire business. And there were a few steps along the way. There we opened Mac’s Seafood 1995, which originally was a small little fish market, about maybe seven 800 square feet, we sold fish and we sold prepared foods and we had a little, a little menu that I would, you know, cook dinners, you know, fresh fish dinners and steamed lobsters and got to use some of my culinary skills that I’ve learned over the years. That location I operated there with with my younger brother Alex and cousin Sam, amongst other people. But we then took that as our base and then started opening in other locations about our 10th year. One of the things that that’s been very key in our development was this primary purchasing directly from fishermen. So Mac’s, Mac’s on the pier. Thus, the name literally sits on the Wellfleet town Pier. And that’s our original location. Wellfleet is known for its amazing oysters. But there’s also many other products that come into this harbor. So we’re a primary purchase of these incredible products. And that led us to start a basically a vertical integration in our business where we developed a wholesale side of the business as we were growing the restaurant and retail fish market side. So you know, you can go to our website and see the development of the number of places that we’ve opened. But you know, it went from, you know, Mac’s on the pier, we opened a place in throw center called Mac’s churro. Then we opened Mac’s shack. We then opened a place in East dam. And then we did the Provincetown restaurant. And in between there, we bought the Wellfleet shellfish company, and then opened another place down in Chatham and bought the Chatham fish and lobster company. So now like you said, and we have a location in Dennis in a grocery store. So like you said, now we’ve got the five restaurant locations and five retail locations as well as the wholesale seafood. So that’s that’s the very quick version of where we are

Chad Franzen 4:24

sure, sure. We’ll kind of get into a little bit more of that as we go on here. You said you started working in the restaurant industry around 12 or 13. What was your first job?

Mac Hay 4:33

My first job was breaking down cardboard boxes, because I actually was too young to even be allowed inside the restaurant. Okay. So you know, it’s actually a very good skill to learn because there’s a lot of cardboard in the restaurant industry. You know, from there, I worked into basically a dishwashing position and then work my way into you know, some fry cooking and some line cooking and Uh, you know, I, wherever I went, I went to school in upstate New York at Colgate University. And while I was there, I worked under a chef who basically taught me, you know how to how to really cook, I’d done you know, line cooking and fry cooking and, you know, quote, unquote, flicking flipping hamburgers for a long time. But that was my real exposure to, to, it was really French, mostly French classic technique. And then once I graduated college, I was running the summer business, but I would take the winters and travel to, you know, down in the Caribbean learning, learning the food down there, lots of seafood, obviously, spent time in New York City, working in the restaurant there and spent time in Boston. But, you know, once the business started taking off, unfortunately, those those winters that were free, you know, no longer free.

Chad Franzen 5:59

Yeah. And what point did you realize that kind of, you know, you said you’d flip burgers and things like that, at what point did you realize, like kind of seafood was going to be your thing.

Mac Hay 6:11

There’s something about seafood, that’s, that’s incredibly delicate. In the, you know, when you’re handling it, when you’re cooking it, it’s different than, you know, cooking a steak, you know, cooking meat cooking chicken, I mean, they all have their nuances. But there’s something that I think there was a very challenging plus, growing up in this environment. And this was a summer place that I had been coming to for years before I even started working. My parents actually met down here and on the cape. So when people say how long you’ve been coming here, I say before I was zero, but the, the, the seafood part of it was just sort of ingrained in me from growing up. And I always thought that that was going to be something that I would just continue doing. And that’s where I am today.

Chad Franzen 7:01

So you said I believe you said Mac’s on the pier, the pier was your first restaurant location, what were kind of the early days, like with Mac’s on the pier.

Mac Hay 7:11

Oh, they were seven days a week, 14-15-16 hour days. It started with a trip down to Chatham, ironically to the wholesale company that we ended up purchasing many years later. But I literally wake up and Alex or another employee would would be at the store, I’d get in the truck, I drive the chat and I’d hand select every piece of fish that we’re gonna sell that day, jump back in the truck, stop off at the bakery, pick up some bread, stock, stop off at the local farmstand pick up some produce and corn and things that were in season. And then head back in, you know, it was it was the probably the most fun that I’ve ever had, you know, those first four or five years, and we made absolutely no money. So it wasn’t it wasn’t very sustainable the way we were, we were doing things but that that was a you know, there’s a there’s a very interesting business, obviously, there’s the business side of the restaurant industry is very different from the passion and the emotional side. And, you know, you have to be able to make decisions with the right hat on at the right time. And that’s that’s a real challenge as a, as an owner, Chef who’s very attached to the food, but also sees the importance of having strong financials and able to continue to operate and grow the business.

Chad Franzen 8:45

Yeah, I was just gonna say what are some, you know, as you kind of, during that period of time, where you basically devoted your life to that, to that restaurant? What were some lessons learned, maybe even a mistake that you made that ended up being like, this is a real eye opener, and it has helped you carry you forward?

Mac Hay 9:02

Oh, I think that, you know, when you’re, when you’re on the treadmill, the hardest thing to do is get off of it. And I think I realized, but you know, having the advantage of the seasonal business at that time, I knew that we could go go go go go. And that there was a there was a day that we closed it. I was actually still in college when I started the business. So I would go through Labor Day, and then I would pack up everything in one day and then go back to college. And that was always that was always a tough transition. But I mean, there there are millions of lessons that you learn, you know, it’s really about the quality of decisions that you start making. And, you know, I knew that trial and error was going to be the best way to move forward. You know, just little things like how much money are we actually making on on you know, we’re buying fish for $10 and we’re selling it for $12 Oh, If we’re making $2 a pound, well, you know, you’re not, you know, you’re actually losing money if you only have a 20% margin on fish. So you kind of learn those lessons as you go. You know, I don’t think I, you know, I’ve made mistakes, we’ve all made mistakes, and you know, the most important thing is to learn from them. And, you know, that’s the lesson that I took out of the umpteen hundreds and 1000s of mistakes that I that I made along the way. I mean, I know you know, Sebastian, he’s been with me quite a while now. And he knows that you have to, in order to grow, you have to make those mistakes.

Chad Franzen 10:39

Sure, sure. Hey. So So you were you were running kind of a seasonal business? What, what kind of gave you the most traction where you were like, oh, okay, this is like, popular, or, you know, this is a, this is a desired item. And now we’re thinking about maybe becoming like a full time operation.

Mac Hay 11:01

Well, I remember distinctly, the moment when I became not frustrated, but I reached the limit on what I could do in where that location was Mac’s on the pier, which is a, it’s a, it’s a quick service, kind of your, I call it a glorified clam shack. And I was making a Bouillabaisse and making it completely from scratch, and, you know, taking striped bass carcasses and making this really, really nice fish stock or food a and, and using that as the base and layering and all these amazing flavors. And this seafood was just impeccable. And I’m having to put the whole thing into a plastic bowl. And I just was like, this is an I could only charge so much that you know, there was also a, there’s a ceiling that you can really charge in that type of environment where it’s basically a disposable, you know, plate where and, and people are just going out and eating it on the beach. There’s no service involved with that. So I remember at that moment, you know, it’s time to really spread our wings, and I want a restaurant, I want a real sit down full service restaurant, which I really had no idea how to run. But I knew that the culinary side of me was that that was the that was the next progression. That was the next step.

Chad Franzen 12:23

So Sebastian, when did you kind of come on board

Sebastien Taffara 12:27

came on board in 2013. I moved to Cape Cod in 2010, I worked for French bakery. And then I met Mac wandjina fundraiser. And we talked and we’re like, okay, let’s, you know, let’s walk together. I didn’t want to leave Cape Cod, and I wanted to do something else. And, you know, this opportunity came along. And it was very different for me. Because I came from a very different background, where, you know, like, I walked in Paris in, you know, Michelin star restaurant. Very, very formal, extremely formal. And then so so for me, the casual, fast, casual, you know, like, atmosphere is an adaptation. So, you know, it’s an adaptation, but we were able to somehow sink in or like, the quality of service in the care to the fast kid casual and, and, and it’s been, it’s been a pretty, pretty fun ride since then.

Chad Franzen 13:40

So you said 2013 wear and tear in Mac’s Seafood’s, overall kind of growth. You know, right now, five, wholesale, five restaurants. Where was it at that time?

Mac Hay 13:51

2014 When we opened Petone and on points down is our location on tip of the cape. So that’s when we open year round eatery called Mac’s fish house. And then we move Mac’s shack to, you know, like seven days a week lunch and dinner. That’s when things started to shift.

Chad Franzen 14:18

Yeah. So I was looking at your website, it looks like you know, each each restaurant location basically has a different name, you know, it’s not like one name with five different, you know, five, five of the same exact type place. Can you kind of tell me about each place maybe like the vibe or how each one is different? Maybe start with Mac shack and then we’ll we’ll kind of go on from each each one. Sure.

Mac Hay 14:43

Well, Mac shack is clearly if you come down, it’s a 1850s structure that you know has no insulation in it. We’ve made it actually hasn’t actually insulated the diner. I’m about five years ago. But when we took over, it’s really, it’s very rustic, you know, you get to see, you know, like, a lot of the buildings down here were built out of ships, ship parts and wooden ship parts. And so like, there’s a lot of repurposed timber, and there’s a lot of character that’s involved. The Shack is, you know, when I, when I, when I took it over, it had been a restaurant called the lobster hut. And, you know, I wanted to sort of transition that into something different, but still respect the history of, of, of that type of environment in that type of casual atmosphere, Cape Cod, approachable. But with a with a real twist on, on the focus on the quality of the food and the, basically, the, I don’t want to say trendiness, but we were trying to be ahead of the curve when it came to culinary food, and we were still trying to be, you know, we want to stay current, things change, things evolve. But the, the, each location, just, the, it just the character kind of evolves out of, of where it is. And that’s one of the hardest things to do, I think as a, as a restaurant tour, to understand that, that the environment almost dictates itself, you can push a concept onto a place, but then the clientele sort of, you have to sort of feel your way through what the clientele wants. And honestly, that’s, it’s a simple thing. But you know, sometimes people get so stuck with their sense of pride or ego that you know, you know, I’m not going to give them what they want, I’m going to give them what I want. And yes, the chef’s side of me there’s part of that, that that that’s you feel like you want to do that but then when you see and you try those ideas and they’re not well received it you know, if somebody wants, you know, say a lobster roll, they come to Cape Cod, you know, and you want to change the concept of what a lobster roll is that’s not really what they want. They want just a high-quality lobster freshly prepared with care served you know in a very efficient and timely manner with a smile and if you can cover those things it sounds rather basic but just doing that is incredibly hard you know, every every step of the way but the locations then you know that Mac’s on the Pier appears it’s it’s just a great casual Spot It has its own vibe you know, they all have a different vibe. But this I think you know, Sebastian you know he understands that that idea of vibe in the dining rooms and in the restaurants you know, it comes down to you know, the music that we play the lighting the lighting that setup the energy that the staff brings and the level of care the level of care and you know we talk about hospitality a lot you know, hospitality is super important you know it’s it’s it’s forefront on what we do you know on every every aspect from from serving customers to treating employees with hospitality to working with our vendors and treating them with hospitality

Chad Franzen 18:28

what’s what’s what’s Mac’s fish house like?

Sebastien Taffara 18:32

Well Mac’s fish house is the you know, it’s a fish house. It’s the urban more urban feel of of our restaurant. It’s located in Provincetown based boof with larger table where people can gather and you know like you feel like you’re having a good day it’s a different atmosphere a different night out you know, you’re really going for two for one and a half two hour meal and enjoying the company with with those lunch tables you know varies a great cocktail selections

Mac Hay 19:14

per hour

Sebastien Taffara 19:15

we have a beautiful row about the seafood we use I mean everywhere we do it but we really use the bounty of Cape Cod on a year on basis and we were able to do wine dinos they host a little bit more celebrations as well so it’s a Big Macs dishes is a bigger boat. And yeah, and we we really have been able to to bring some some wonderful Tony atmosphere in that place.

Chad Franzen 19:49

What about Mac’s chaith and fix fish and lobster?

Mac Hay 19:53

Mac’s Chatham fish and lobster I’m sorry if chatter Yeah, that’s right.

Sebastien Taffara 19:56

The that’s the fast That’s the QSR, fast casual 2022 Mac’s Seafood.

Mac Hay 20:04

So that concept was something that we wanted to do a bit different. It’s, it’s a subset, a quick service restaurant where you go up and you order at a counter. And then we have beer and wine and you would get your beer and wine when you order, then you sit down, and then we serve you from there, we bring the food out, we might get you another drink. Soda and waters, it’s like self service. So it, you know, what it does is that it creates this different expectation of the dining experience. And it allows the customer to have a real sense of freedom and control over their experience. And I think that’s why we’re seeing a very large movement towards this across the industry. There’s a level of service that we can meet or exceed, much more easily than you can in a full service sit down dining. Now, I’m not saying that it’s that it’s, it’s I’m not saying it’s necessarily easier to run that restaurant, but it is to some degree, because you don’t need as many front of house staff, which makes it easier on the scheduling in the staff that we do have, who are who are actually working these counter positions. They are not like just punching, you know, things into the computer, they are working that the guests through the dining experience. And that’s important that they’re educated in the items in the menu. They know where the products come from. And you know, they can they can speak to these items in detail if the guest is interested. So there’s there’s still a great interaction that you have, to the extent that the customer wants to have it. So that concept is is it’s very, very, it’s upbeat, it’s fast. It is incredibly busy. But it’s seafood, it’s you know, grilled fish sandwiches. It’s seared scallops, it’s lobster rolls, it’s fish and chips. It’s tacos, Pokey, we have a sushi menu in there. And of course, we also have a raw bar in there, all of our locations have Rob bars. So it’s it’s a it’s a it’s a nice different concept. And we just are in the process of running, renovating. What was the fish market, which had been connected to the restaurant, we’ve now moved the fish market, just across the courtyard to a brand new build out, which is, you know, it’s like the Masai of fish markets if you were to go there. Right? It is pretty shiny, and like stainless steel and right, and it’s a bit more of an Aston Martin guy. But yeah, it’s a good deal. But now we’re building out this little ballroom attached to the restaurant. And there’s a lot of outdoor seating there. But the concept there is something that you know, it was it was the right time to do that. And in COVID was even, it just worked well to COVID because it transfers really well to takeout. And that’s a big aspect of food. There’s, we we, you know, we do quite a bit of takeout food, which is obviously, the ballgame change during COVID. And we’ve, we’ve held on to that volume fairly well.

Chad Franzen 23:18

Is Mac’s market and kitchen I believe is the last one.

Mac Hay 23:22

Yes, so that’s an Eastham. And that’s a that is one that we had a very large catering division. And we also have a commissary division, so we produce much of our own products that will sell in our in our markets and our restaurants at the commissary in that building. So if you were to walk in there there’s a there’s a it’s a fish market that also has a limited prepared menu with very few picnic tables outside that you can kind of just you know go sit at and eat we do a beer and wine there we’re contemplating shifting that concept to something like we do in Chatham and moving more in that direction but for now for this summer we’re gonna keep it you know fairly simple and and just do what we’ve done there but you know, you can go into you can go into the Mac’s Eastham Mac’s Eastham marketing kitchen, not really a great name. We need to rebrand that place.

Sebastien Taffara 24:29

But it’s the one stop shop you know for your dinner and and or even like the basket of French fries or soft some fried clams, lobster roll, obviously. Yeah. So it’s, it’s a nicely to market. It’s open, you know, like we do create lunch business, because it allows us to have a great lunch need. So it’s a fun little little place to have.

Chad Franzen 24:55

Hey, Sebastian, I mentioned you’re the director of Front of House operations. So there are five locations, each, each one sounds like it’s kind of got a different vibe and maybe even a different style of, of service, maybe among, you know, from one to the other, what’s what’s the kind of the key to maintaining a successful operation with five different types of operations.

Sebastien Taffara 25:18

Understanding the people, staff, you know, really working with them, have close relationship with them. And, and just like, sticking to, you know, like, giving them that part of that, it needs to be like, we need to have fun at work, but it also holding people accountable, and just being being present all the time, and most of the time and trusting the people that you put in place, that they will do the job that is needed to do,

Chad Franzen 25:54

how has COVID affected or changed your operation? If it has,

Sebastien Taffara 25:58

I think, not just operation, I think COVID has changed the hospitality as a whole. It’s hard to be hospitable with COVID. Ya know, it’s so we, our businesses will pandemic proof in a way where, you know, like, we were lucky to have the takeout volume that we had, and our food really was able to get in, go into a box and get sent home. But as far as hospitality, we lost a lot of warmth during COVID. And now we’ve been on we’ve been working on rebuilding the hospitality part of it, because there was a lot of No, no, sorry, you can’t do this. No, you can’t have that. No, you can’t come in. And now we have to work on on reentering the hospitality as part of our, our image. And it’s, it’s been, it’s been quite challenging, you know, we forget very fast somehow. Very fast, and we get new roots in very fast as well. So we are like, okay, like, we need to do the shift. But you know, we have to do it in, you know, like, in a way where it’s not going to, you know, like be 90 degrees, like we have to transition slowly through towards the keel and go and go on the finish line. So,

Chad Franzen 27:32

Hey, Mac, what are you? What are you most proud of, in terms of your, your kind of your journey with Mac’s Seafood, starting with one place now? Five restaurants, five different restaurants, five, retail locations? What are you most proud of during that time?

Mac Hay 27:50

It’s sort of a loaded question. I mean, of course. Yeah. I mean, you know, first of all to be you have to appreciate your staff, you know, you have to be, you know, in, you know, we don’t say it enough to the people in this industry, I think, especially last couple of years, when it’s been more about survival than appreciation. But to have, the group that we have, is, they are who we are, you know, they’re the ones that are making it happen every day. I mean, when when you have five locations, and five, five fishmarket locations, and it takes people to, to trust me that, you know, I’m trying to do everything I can to make this the best organization that possible. And then it takes a real level of commitment, you know, so seeing that level of commitment. That’s, that’s what makes me really proud. And it’s hard because, you know, COVID, COVID has done a lot of weird things to people, you know, like, the great resignation is legitimate. And, you know, it’s not something that, that I think any business owner has taken lightly, and, or has not been affected by it in a real serious way. So that’s, that’s something that that, I think, you know, first and foremost is the sense of accomplishment that our our group has, has done that and I’m trying to get, you know, sub Gnosis we’ve been talking about this, I’m trying to get our year round, or even our seasonal management to understand that this isn’t, you know, yes, it’s Mac’s might be on their store in my name might be Mac, but they have to take ownership for what they do. They you know, and when you treat it like your own, and you put everything you have into it, that’s where real success is born. And I can I can only set the stage for people. I can’t actually, you know, you know, if I’m pulling the strings and they’re just the puppet than they’re just a puppet, they have to actually be engaged and be the ones making the decisions. Like we were talking about before, like learning as you go, you know, in the journey of every single, every single person, even if they’re just seasonal worker that comes in workforce for six months. I know they’re on their own life journey, and I appreciate and respect that, and I want to make it as best as experienced that I can, that they can learn something that they can, they can better their life, they can, they can develop skills that teach them something to be a better, whether it’s a cook, or a dishwasher, or whatever, you know, a manager. So I take I take pride in those things. You know, I’ve also, there’s also, when things actually work, when, when reality lines up with the vision, even if it’s just fleeting, and it’s, it’s brief, when there’s moments that you can actually say, this is what we were shooting for. Yeah, we just had a great night, like everybody was like, on it, we crushed it, we were we were in it and you know, we haven’t had all the lights boardwalks, all the lights, the lights were working, we didn’t do any light bulbs. But But we haven’t, you know, we haven’t had that sense of, you know, you can’t, you know, COVID has taken that, that that part of it away from us. And you know, we’re a subset, we’re getting back to a point where we’re trying to be present with the staff, we’re trying to make their experience positive and have some fun, because that’s really what this this, we throw, you know, we throw a party at every one of our restaurants. Every day, we’re open, we’re the host, come on, in, let’s have some fun, bring the good time. And then And then everybody has fun, that’s when you make good money. That’s when the customers spend money, and they are happy to spend the money because they’re having fun. It’s, it’s when everything clicks, when the restaurants busy, you know, is one is one magic happens.

Chad Franzen 32:00

That’s great, that’s great.

Sebastien Taffara 32:03

It’s something that, you know, talking about how proud this is, this is something you should be proud and Mac’s Seafood should be proud of is that the reflection that this company has to the community, like Mac’s Seafood was able to bring so many families, you know, like a steady job, and people moved here and stayed on Cape Cod, and were able to build a family because of Mac’s seafood. And that I think is something that Mac’s seafood should be very proud of. Yeah,

Mac Hay 32:41

that’s absolutely true. And, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s an extension of what we do down here that is not, it’s, it’s very unique, and unlike any other place, because we have a housing crisis. You know, we, we battle that every day, people are leaving Cape Cod, because they can’t afford to live here. So I’m trying to, you know, provide jobs and opportunities that, that give people enough to be able to afford to live here. The other thing that, you know, an offshoot of that, too, is you know, we do have a lot of, we use the HDB visa program, it brings in foreign workers from all around the world. And watching them be able to take the money that they earn here and build a house back in their homeland, or send their kids to school. And these these, these workers that come here are incredibly committed and dedicated and, and have a real true appreciation of, of what it’s like to work hard and make, you know, make money that that they you know that that changes their lives. So, you know, I take pride in that too.

Sebastien Taffara 33:50

We couldn’t do it without them.

Chad Franzen 33:52

Sure. Very nice. Very nice. That’s That’s great. I have one final question for you. But first, how can people find out more about your fight but everything have their with Mac’s Seafood?

Mac Hay 34:03 Okay, two s’s in there. We actually just launched a new website couple months, three months ago, where it was pretty slick, slick. Yeah, we also do online, we have an online ordering. You know, you can ship seafood around the country. Which is fine if you want to, you know, get some fresh scallop ship shipped to your doorstep or Wellfleet oysters. But yeah, that’s a good, good place to check us out.

Chad Franzen 34:32

Great. Great. Okay, last question. This can be difficult for a chef but if you if both of you were customers of Mac, seafood or any of your locations, what would be your go to meal.

Sebastien Taffara 34:45

So I stopped. I stopped because well, I will start with you know, a bowl of steamer clams. Do you know what civil clams are? No As your sub shown claims that you you know, we bought them in water, salt water, and then you did them in, in the water you cook them with to like remove some of those hands and then you did them in butter. And you just like him like that. So we start with Timo because this is such a great, a great ball of Cape Cod bouncy to share around the table. And then I will have missiles and french fries because I’m French. And, and then, you know, I will probably have the special that is going to be made on that night because it’s always, always fresh, always using what’s in season and and those guys in the kitchen. They make really wonders. Yeah, yeah.

Mac Hay 35:54

Yeah, I mean, there’s that when you come here. And you should come here and eat at one of our locations. The amount that you know, people are probably blown away by the size of our menus because Mac’s Shack and Provincetown have full sushi bars, full raw bars plus an entire kitchen menu. You know broiled fish, steamed fish, grilled fish, fried fish, in what steps describing is, you know, one of the things that, you know, because cooking was an has been my passion since since day one, I want to I want chefs in even the line cooks to be engaged beyond just the normal menu. So we run a number of daily specials at all the locations. And that’s where you get to see the personalities of have even, you know, different, you know, where they’re where their talent was where they’re, you know, if they cooked in South Africa, you see the South African flair, or Mexico or Jamaica, or or Chile, you know, you get this influence in a different way. But, you know, to go back to the question, you know, and I get asked this, actually, in interviews, like what would be the dinner, you know, what would be the meal, it really does depends sort of on the time of year, but, you know, if it’s in the spring or in the fall, or even, you know, even the middle of summer oysters and littleneck starting off with some raw, just unadulterated accepts bounty right out of, you know, right out of the harbors. It’s just an incredible way to experience seafood. It’s just so fresh. And you know, we take it for me for granted. But when people eat a fresh oyster, it’s like it’s like jumping in ice cold Atlantic ocean it’s just like this wave of euphoria that takes over you. So you got to start with some of those start starting to get hungry thinking about this.

Chad Franzen 38:01

You and I both 

Sebastien Taffara 38:02

aMac will have sushi macula?

Mac Hay 38:04

Yeah, well, that’s just to say we get a really in the season we get bluefin tuna, we buy it locally, rod and reel cod, bluefin tuna. And, you know, we’re essentially we get first dibs before this product usually even goes to Japan. And you know, people don’t know it, but you know, they’re eating some of the highest-grade bluefin tuna that you can buy on the planet right here. And we we don’t necessarily like charge for that, you know, it’s not $100 a pound. But you know, maybe some nice Bluefin sashimi. You know, just a touch of soy in there. We have a few special roles that we like to make, you know, maki rolls. But there’s a great dish that’s been on our menu for a number of years that I modified from a recipe that my grandmother did with bluefish. We would catch blue fish, it’s it’s in Cape Cod Bay, it’s one of the it’s one of the easier fish to find in Cape Cod Bay. But you take blue fish and you you basically Smear it with some some butter and then you dip it in Ritz cracker crumbs, and you pan sear that so you get this really nice crust on cracker crust, golden brown, golden brown crunchiness. And then the blue fish when it’s fresh is one of the best eating fish. And the reason you don’t see it in a lot of places, you really can’t sell blue fish that’s more than 24 to 36 hours old. It just it’s an oily fish. It’s sort of like macaroni, it turns fast. And when it’s bad, it’s just it’s not good. So that’s a unique thing. We serve that over. We do a creamed spinach with a little bit of black truffle in it with some mashed potatoes. That is a fantastic dish. I really enjoy that one. But there’s so many

very homecooking classic Cape Cod. It’s a If it warms your heart, yeah,

Chad Franzen 40:02

yeah. Sounds like man, I am starving now. Hey, I really appreciate your time. Both of you, Mac and Sebastian. Thanks so much. Thanks so much for joining me. All right. Thank you. So long, everybody.

Outro 40:13

Thanks for listening to the top business leaders show. Powered by Rise 25. Visit to check out more episodes of the show and to learn more about how you can start your own podcast