Ken McGarrie is the Founder and CEO of Korgen Hospitality, a consulting firm for hospitality leaders, and the COO of Fabio Viviani Hospitality, one of the leading restaurant groups in the United States. Ken has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and is also the Author of The Surprise Restaurant Manager. He and his team at Korgen make it their mission to help restaurateurs reach their full potential.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- Ken McGarrie talks about what got him into consulting in the hospitality industry
- Ken introduces his book, The Surprise Restaurant Manager
- Some of the key points and motivations of Ken’s book
- Ken touches on the most important qualities of restaurant management
- What are the most common challenges facing new managers?
In this episode…
In this episode of the SpotOn Series, Chad Franzen sits down with Ken McGarrie, Founder of Korgen Hospitality, to talk about his book The Surprise Restaurant Manager. Together, they unfold some of the biggest challenges facing new restaurant managers today, the solutions to help them achieve success, and how Ken became a leading consultant in the hospitality industry.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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Chad Franzen 0:20
Chad Franzen here co host for this show where we feature top restaurant tours, investors and business leaders. This is part of our SpotOn Series. SpotOn 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’ve served everyone from larger chains like Dairy Queen and subway to small mom and pop restaurants. To learn more, go to spoton.com This episode is brought to you by Rise25 We help b2b businesses to get ROIs clients referrals and strategic partnerships through done for you podcasts. If you have a b2b business and want to build great relationships with clients referral partners and thought leaders in your space. There is no one better way to do it than through podcasts and content marketing. To learn more, go to Rise25media.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ken McGarrie is Co Founder of Korgen Hospitality, a nationwide consulting firm dedicated to helping restaurant tours reach their absolute potential. He’s also the author of a book published in April called The Surprise Restaurant Manager where Ken draws from his two decades of experience in the hospitality industry to help restaurant managers master the unexpected challenges that they face every day. He’s also a huge fan of stand up comedy. Hey, Ken, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you?
Ken McGarrie 1:35
Chad? Appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me.
Chad Franzen 1:37
Hey, my pleasure. So who are you some of your favorite stand up comics?
Ken McGarrie 1:41
Well, Bill Hicks is my number one I actually have a quote tattooed on me. But then I fall within the Bill Burr, Doug Stanhope, Joe Rogan, Maria Bamford, I could obsessively talk about stand up comedy for that and 80s Hair Metal guitarists are really, that’s my milieu, that’s, that’s where I live.
Chad Franzen 2:04
Is there a common thread among those comics that? I don’t know you appreciate?
Ken McGarrie 2:10
You know, what I really do think that stand up comedy is the last vestige for people to speak opinion. And, you know, in a world to where sometimes conversation has a tendency of being censored. Whenever it’s done in the guise of us being able to laugh and have a common conversation about it. It’s enjoyable in the best comedians are social commentary. And they’re, it’s, it’s enjoyable.
Chad Franzen 2:33
Are you at liberty to share the phrase that’s tattooed on you?
Ken McGarrie 2:36
Yes, it’s just a ride. That is Bill Hicks is thing to where he said, you know, all the great people in the world have been taken out and gunned down, but we let the demons run amok. And if we just allow ourselves to know that, you know, none of it all really matters. And it’s, it’s just a ride, and to try to celebrate those people that are around us that are positive.
Chad Franzen 2:56
Sure, that’s a that’s a great perspective. So you have two decades of experience in the hospitality industry. How did you break in?
Ken McGarrie 3:02
I broke in at mostly the same way that most people did, which is as a dishwasher, you know, no, 16. And of course, I chose the place that also had a mascot themed pizza place, which meant that when I wasn’t washing dishes, I was putting on the mouse outfit and dancing around at children’s parties, which I will tell you is not as fun as it sounds.
Chad Franzen 3:24
Really. I’m shocked. How long did you do that for?
Ken McGarrie 3:27
I did that for a summer. That was, that was my first foray into it. But it also taught me that they never asked the line cooks to put on the mouse up foot. It was only the dishwasher. So I lobbied really quickly to learn how to make pizzas. And that was my first promotion in the industry.
Chad Franzen 3:44
So it didn’t scare you off. What did you do kind of after that, as you worked your way up, it’d be somewhat jobs.
Ken McGarrie 3:49
Oh, I went front of the house. I realized very soon the back of the house is not my thing. I I burn toast. My wife will tell you how bad of a cook I am. But I like people and I enjoy it and an 18 in Oklahoma. You could bartend as long as you’re where the catering license. So I learned how to bartend and set up. And so all day long, you had prep and get the rollaway bar. And then you go out to different catering places at night and bartender and I loved it.
Chad Franzen 4:17
Was it the people that you interacted with that was kind of most invigorating about the hospitality and restaurant industry.
Ken McGarrie 4:24
It was being able to bartender at 18 that I really thought I thought that was very cool. I mean, you had the where the tux and you do the whole thing, but it was it was enjoyable. And of course I’m somebody who enjoys the interaction of conversation with people and it just came naturally.
Chad Franzen 4:40
So you’ve, you’ve had a number of management experiences. Now you’re a consultant as I as I look at your experience, you’ve been a management partner at a barbecue restaurant that featured live blues performances. He’s also have also been the director of operations at Topgolf, which is kind of a restaurant and golf experience all in one and Fulton Alley, which in was 12 bowling lanes and an atmosphere of art, music, craft food and cocktails. What’s kind of the connective key to success in those types of endeavors that aren’t necessarily 100%? Similar.
Ken McGarrie 5:12
So I found myself along the way, just realizing that if you’re good in the industry, you can work anywhere, if you’re good bar tender, good server, good manager, you can travel the world with it. And so when I went to Canada, I was fortunate enough to meet up with some people that were really, really into blues, music and barbecue. And my only question in the interview was, who are the three kings. And when I said Albert, Freddie and B.B., the guy says, Yep, you’re good, you have a job. And then we we built this concept together. And it was quite, quite enjoyable. But there was a time to where I figured that entertainment base venues, were going to be kind of my through line. So I was the actual, I was the National Director of ops of Top Golf, when there were three locations in the US, and three in the UK. So it was very, it was definitely in its infancy. And then when I went to New Orleans and started a bowling alley, the same thing, it was, you know, working with, elevated at an elbow, and elbow, elevated team for mixology, actually, the people that put together the program, won 2019 Mixology Award for James Beard, I mean, really, really fantastic stuff. So I figured an elevated, sort of entertainment based venue might be what I like to do. But I found myself moving further and further away from that table touch that hospitality that I enjoyed. And so I returned back to Chicago. And then that’s when I became the director of ops for a great restaurant group here in Chicago.
Chad Franzen 6:45
What are some of the challenges associated with maybe some of those more entertainment oriented venues that you might not have as a restaurant manager?
Ken McGarrie 6:54
Well, it’s hard to table touch when people are bowling, that is for sure. You’ll definitely throw off the game. And quite honestly, they’re not there for that. Yes, it’s a driver, they’ll, but they’re not going to say to themselves, Oh, where do you want to eat tonight? Well, I want to go to you to Top Golf, people don’t do that. They think, oh, I can definitely grow some food to Top Golf, the food’s great. But it’s the secondary focus the primary being the actual game itself. And I found that for me, making the f&b the primary focus was really my drive.
Chad Franzen 7:24
Why is that?
Ken McGarrie 7:25
Just because I do get to interact, I do get to feel that that’s the intimacy of what we do. And ultimately, I don’t want to be in a position to where it’s an afterthought might be a stretch, but that it is a secondary aspect. And, and I really enjoy what it is to create environments to create restaurants that build and thrive and pull people together to dine.
Chad Franzen 7:51
So in terms of a dining experience, what kind of experiences do you like to see your customers take away?
Ken McGarrie 7:58
I think that the biggest thing is that I hope that they’re able to escape for the moment. And that when we talk about insist support, anticipatory service, we talked about service that doesn’t make us obtrusive. We don’t want the initial greet, to feel canned, we don’t want it to be robotic. If someone drops their napkin, I don’t want somebody to make a big show of bringing another napkin, I want everything to be graceful, and very, very fluid to where people can go enjoy the conversations with the people that they brought. And take the opportunity for what a restaurant is supposed to be, is a little mini vacation.
Chad Franzen 8:34
So what led you to start a consulting business?
Ken McGarrie 8:38
So after four years working at Dynamic Group here in Chicago, which is an incredibly epic, amazing group here, I had decided that it was time for me to do that a long awaited book that I had threatened for so many years to write. And I did so while deciding to take on a few clients with the understanding of trying to turn the consulting world a little bit on its head, because the term consultant, as I’m sure you know, is a pejorative in this industry. Whenever there’s a gap in a resume, people always say, “Well, I was a consultant during that time.” No, you weren’t, you just had a gap in your resume. And everybody who everybody has a horror story about hiring a company to come in and consult, and all they do is they point and they just say what’s wrong, and then they take a check, and they leave, and they don’t really provide any service that is tangible, or that will live beyond them. So that was really my ethos of how I was putting it together as I was going to create an environment that was very straightforward. That was based on measurables. And I would never charge for anything that wouldn’t live beyond once the contract is over.
Chad Franzen 9:52
So what type of client is your ideal client?
Ken McGarrie 9:55
My ideal client is somebody who’s willing to accept that maybe just maybe, the ways that they’ve done things might need some adjustment. And unfortunately, the longer something has been into play, the harder it is to get away from what’s comfortable. A perfect example is I worked with a restaurant that use jobbers to get all their food guy goes out 5am goes to the markets picks out all of his produce. And it’s literally a handwritten ticket on what everything costs. And on a level that might very well be getting some of the best quality. But it’s also based very open endedly on being able to manage your cost of goods, because that head of lettuce could be twice as much just depending on what he was paid for, and what the guy billed for. And I tried desperately to get them away from jobbers simply because it didn’t allow for people to understand the true cost of goods. That’s a challenge. There’s there’s that aspect of well, we’ve done it so long this way. Why do we need to do an inventory? Well, here’s the five reasons that you need to do a food inventory, things like that.
Chad Franzen 11:05
So you, you talked about Ken, kind of the attitude toward consultants? How do you? How do you differentiate yourself or encouraged people to utilize your services?
Ken McGarrie 11:13
So the first thing that I do is I have conversation with people and ask exactly, it’s about an hour long phone conversation of what is it that you’re looking for? What do you need? What are your options? You know, why are you reaching out, and then I will schedule time in the space, so I can see their operations and see how they’re functioning. And then the final piece that I create is, if this was my place, this is exactly what I would do. And it’s a bullet point list from everything from getting a food viable together. And making sure to work on your training methods in your onboarding, to how your marketing maybe the possibility for a grand opening all of these things. And then I just say to them, Do you have the bandwidth to do this within your organization, because if they do, then I say, Great, here’s the template, enjoy. And I don’t charge for any of that I don’t charge at the beginning, I don’t charge for the day, I don’t even charged for the list. Because to me, all of that is just me trying to help out and let people understand what I would do if I were them. If they find that they do have that bandwidth, I wish them the best. And if they say no, you know what I might need your help, then that’s when we talked about the opportunity for me to to engage.
Chad Franzen 12:25
So I looked at your website, you have you list out your clients, you have an impressive number of clients. Tell me about one who has kind of benefited from your consultation, if you could maybe off the top of your head and talk about what what they were struggling with or how they were before they utilize your services. And now kind of how things are going for them afterwards.
Ken McGarrie 12:43
I’ll take my most recent one, I don’t even think it’s on our website. But it’s a virtual concept called Food Hall. And as we know, ghost kitchens have definitely exploded over the last two years. But these guys were actually ahead of the curve. And it started way before 2020. But one of their biggest challenges is, is that when they were rolling out these menus so that they could do these remotely, they were having to put chefs on planes and fly them to locations, and which was costly, and really limited their ability to grow simply because of it took this much manual on the ground ability to get the chef’s set through to what are pretty straightforward menus. So when working with them, I worked with him for about eight weeks. And one of the biggest things that we were able to do is now we have virtual training. And so everything is done remotely and everything is done virtually and so all of the training all the development all the way up. And to the point to where and I’m proud to say that I never thought that this was possible, I created the virtual tasting, which is in that moment, right before you launch something, everyone has to have a taste. And they’ll have to figure to make sure that it’s good. But we learned long ago that it’s the owners, the operators and the videos, who are really going to be the ones to make sure to focus on the quality come in and spot check. Because we can’t do it. We’re five states away. So we created this entire virtual tasting option to where we dial in, they go through we watch them cook everything, we watch them create all the dishes, and then they set it in front of their ownership and they have a conversation. And then at that point, everyone has a universal buy in that how it works. And it doesn’t require us to have to fly chefs back and forth, back and forth in order to execute it in person.
Chad Franzen 12:57
Wow. Very nice. So how did COVID affect your consultation of restaurants?
Ken McGarrie 14:38
So COVID was an interesting for all of us. That is for sure. I found myself a lot in the southern states. I’m based out of Chicago. So the majority of the clients that I was working with were based in Florida. They were based in places that were a little bit more open during the pandemic and because of that, it kept me going. It kept the company up and kept all of these things in motion. And then going back to this virtual concepts, being able to work with people on how to do take away options. And just like every other, every other restaurant out there, I saw the best and the worst of people throughout the time. It’s the people that took it as an opportunity for to bleed staff and cash grab, and then people who turn their kitchens into donation kitchens, and not only fed their people, but fed the community. And not surprisingly, now on the other side of it, the places that were kind and supportive of their community by making sure that they had food and we’re okay, are the ones who aren’t struggling as much to find talent.
Chad Franzen 15:45
Tell me a little bit you said you, you, you put you wrote a long awaited, long awaited book, what did the When did you first start thinking about this, and what caused you to kind of work towards it.
Ken McGarrie 15:59
The original part of the book happened all the way back when I was in Canada, when I had my barbecue restaurant. And our my visa was expiring. And so at that point, I had put somebody in place that I had been developing, he actually started as a busser. And a concept that I knew I brought him on as a bartender than a manager, and then ultimately had him built up to being the general manager when I left, but I had to sit down and write down all the things that I thought, oh, my gosh, I need him to know this. And it ends up being this, like 60 page, you know, send off letter of please focus on all of these things. And then what as I got more and more into the consulting aspect, one of my major clients is celebrity chef Fabio Viviani, who you probably know from two seasons of Top Chef and every other thing on TV. And we ended up opening 12 restaurants in 15 months together, which was an amazing feat. And we did that in 2019. But over and over, I found myself having the exact same conversations with managers. And it was simply the everything from how are you hiring to when you’re coaching, when to bring in a witness to even the art of termination, because people do it incorrectly by starting out saying things like, Oh, this is real hard for me, it’s not hard for you, you still have a job. And so the front part of the book is really kind of that 101 For people who probably didn’t get a lot of training as a restaurant manager, because they probably were a host or a bartender or a server. And then somebody gave him the keys. And that’s why it’s called the surprise restaurant manager is that you find yourself going in one day, that’s exactly what happened to me one day, I was a bartender, having a Bloody Mary for breakfast. And the manager said, Hey, do you mind opening up a few days? And then it turned into you mind throwing out bags and you know, doing the schedule? Next thing you know, now a manager, no one’s ever taught me anything.
Chad Franzen 18:02
So how did you lead just learned it on the fly?
Ken McGarrie 18:04
I learned on the fly. Everything I did in this book, I did wrong. Every single every single aspect from drinking with staff to dating staff to terminating people in a closed office one on one to I mean, every single thing in this book, like thinking that management is pointing and delegating, and I messed everything up. And so these are this is a learn from my mistakes, sort of.
Chad Franzen 18:31
Sure. So without giving away all your secrets, you talk about in the book, you talk about locating and interviewing candidates, and that there are eight signs that a candidate shouldn’t be offered the position. Can you maybe talk about one of those?
Sure, absolutely. It goes in levels of severity. It starts with just not showing up with a pen. And if you’re, if you’re a young restaurant manager, not showing up with a resume, these are just things that force people to, you know, take the diversion away and you weren’t really anticipating the needs for things. But then it gets down to the bigger ones. And the ones that I’ve pulled offers from that to no two week notice is probably one of my biggest ones. It’s I’ve sat across from people had an offer letter lined up and said, Alright, so I just want to make sure what do you think you can start? Well, you know what, I don’t really need to give the company two weeks notice. And I’m like, okay, and then I pull it, because if they’re going to do that, to a company to get to you, they’re going to do that to you to get to another company. Bashing other restaurants. Huge one for me. Yes, you’re leaving a restaurant because of some reason. And usually it’s the people is the adage about people don’t work for people that work for companies that are for people. So there’s obviously a reason that you’re sitting in front of me and wanting to work here. Great. Talk to me about what I might be able to offer that would be unique from other restaurants. Maybe it’s the menu maybe it’s the staff maybe it’s the location. But do not sit there and tell me how bad your current job is. Because I’ve had allegations of everything from rat infestation to, you know, the money laundering, be thrown at how bad it is the place that people want to work. And again, if that’s if you have to step on somebody to try to get another job, that’s just a sign that maybe you’re not the person to be in hospitality.
You also provide some tips on supporting your staff during challenging situations. I’m sure there’s all kinds of challenging situations that arise. Can you give me an example of how you might do that?
Ken McGarrie 20:35
Sure, absolutely. It’s one of the biggest challenges is that whenever you’re meeting concerns with your staff, that people will take it, what I would call surface level responses. So the example that I use in the book is when a server comes over to you and and is very disgruntled, because they feel that they’re not being set properly in rotation. This happens all the time. They think that the hosts are somehow skipping them, or giving them bad sections. And it’s very easy to just dismiss that and tell them that they’re wrong. But you have to kind of take a step back and understand why this person is feeling that way. Why do they think that the host is purposely doing this? And that’s where people get trapped? Is that one step back to where you try to get into that? What I like to call the psychologist role to where you’re like, No, it’s, it’s fine. It’s not happening to you and you’re become this nurturer. But being a nurturer just means that now you’re in that role for that person forever. And that’s not a way to run a business. So the second step back is to really understand why somebody is feels like that. And the reason that they feel like that is that they feel that they’re, you know, probably not liked, and that they feel that for some reason that it’s being unfairly placed upon them. And your solution to that has to be data driven. So someone complains about their seating, then you say, Great, let’s have a conversation about that. For the next week, I want you to track it. I’ll check it on my end. And I’ll look at OpenTable. And we’ll see how many times you’re set versus somebody else. And we’ll look at your checkouts versus everybody else. And then within a week, we’ll sit down and see, is there a problem? Or is this just perceptual. And that helps.
Chad Franzen 22:22
In your experiences, it doesn’t often turn out to be a problem or perceptual or sometimes…
Ken McGarrie 22:28
It’s usually it’s usually perceptual. And quite honestly, there are people that cannot handle the same size sections. And there might be a four table section person and a two table section person. And unfortunately, a lot of restaurant managers make the freshman mistake of trying to manage it through scheduling, they’ll give the better people the better shifts, they’ll give the worst sections to the people that can’t handle it. And know everybody knows what you’re doing. Everyone knows that you’re trying to manage it, instead of hitting it head on. It’s fundamentally important as a manager to be able to say, Hey, Todd, YOU ARE A two table section person. And Becky is a foreign table section person, you have to be able to say that because this is not t-ball, everyone doesn’t get an equal turn. But the big key in all of this is to say, Hey, Todd, you’re a two table section person. And here are the three things that you can do in order to become a four table section person, because it’s fine that people learn at different rates, or have different skill sets. But it’s fine to have that conversation. But if you don’t give them an avenue for improvement, then they’re just going to become resentful for never being able to move into a better section.
Chad Franzen 23:46
So how important is it to be blunt in that way as as a restaurant manager, you know, without chasing people off.
Ken McGarrie 23:52
It is, you know what, it’s blunt is good. Rude is not blunt is straightforward, saying this is what this is and blunt is data driven. It will allow you not to live in this world of Oh, I think and I feel and that’s a big thing that I run into with prospective clients for Korgan is they’ll say to me, Oh, I just feel like my staff could be better. And I’m like, Well, okay, what does that look like? Are you I really, I really feel that our service could be better. Okay. Well, how are you going to judge that said on Yelp reviews? Is that on secret shopper reports? How are you creating these metrics? Because it’s just based on your own perception? I can’t, I can’t change that. I can give you all the tools and give you all the training, I can give you what might work to change your perception. But that’s a perfect example of something I won’t bill for. Because I can’t prove to you that somehow your services better.
Chad Franzen 24:50
So you’ll also list some communication mistakes that guarantee turnover and increased stress. You’ve kind of talked about a few Can you can you talk about a particularly common one?
Ken McGarrie 25:00
Oh, sure, absolutely it is when you’re the owner, or the GM shows anger and frustration on the floor, because people definitely feed off of the energy of other people. If you’re usually a negative person, then your team is going to be usually kind of negative. That’s just, that’s just straightforward. And the, the times that I have seen owners think that the solution for that is, say what the world’s going on, oh, I just can’t believe this, and openly doing especially in front of guests, and there’s nothing worse than that. And most people will just leave, because it’s embarrassing to be called out, or to be made to feel like that by your ownership while you’re in the middle of service. And then lip service is never the reason or the time to ever talk about any of these things, you can definitely schedule it in a much more logical conversation. And the post mortem. Absolutely.
Chad Franzen 25:58
When you have to, you know, establish a positive vibe in a restaurant. Is it common for maybe an owner or a manager to overlook to think like, well, they’re not nobody’s seeing me. So it doesn’t matter. I can, you know, be as negative as I want, or most restaurant restaurant tours kind of naturally positive?
Ken McGarrie 26:16
No, no, they’re they’re definitely not mostly positive in my life. But I mean, I understand why not only especially are they definitely dealing with staffing crisis is and for a long time, seating requirements. But restaurant, restaurant owners usually have a bank of investors who are just wanting to get paid, it reminds me of that, that line in Goodfellas, which I won’t quote, but it’s, you know, after you pay me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a good week, bad week, you know, that, that is the time to where they have an investment group that they’re answering to. So they’re living under just as much stress as everybody else. What I will encourage managers to do, and I did this one time, in a very big position is that simply a, an owner came up and did that exact same thing, yelled on the floor in front of guests. And, and I took that opportunity to pick a battle and say, if you’re gonna talk to me like this, right now, this is not the place for time to do that. We’ll talk about this later. And I walked away, and it made him angrier. And then at the end of the night, he came over and flipping tables and old grumpy about it. But then he actually had to admit, yeah, I’ll admit, probably, that wasn’t the time to address it. And I worked with him for six years. And he never once said anything, like, we’ve course had conversations and discussions. But he knew that in the moment, that’s not the time to have this. And sometimes you have to plant your, you know, your foot in the soil, because otherwise, all you’re gonna do is see that three or four times and then say, I don’t want to work here. And then you’re just gonna leave.
Chad Franzen 27:54
How much fun was it to write the book?
Ken McGarrie 27:57
You know what, it was fun, I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to edit it. I worked with a company because I was at a middle ground I, I could either take it to a publishing house and try to get it published, but they don’t know who I am. I could do the self publishing. But the quality, probably not going to be there. Or I could do an intermediary which is work with work with a publishing house to where I paid up front, for the copy editors for the graphics design for the marketing for the everything that you would normally get, I just fit the bill for. And I did not realize how long it would take to copy, edit and go through and concepts. I had four editors, I thought I’d get this thing done in four months. I started it in June of 2019. And I didn’t get it out till April 2020. Well, she’s 2020 that April 2021. So it took me I think we a little over a year, it was June of June of 20 to April 21. To get it out.
Chad Franzen 29:00
As you were writing it did you think of like, oh, this is something new that’s very important that maybe you hadn’t planned on putting in originally?
Ken McGarrie 29:15
Yeah. Because there were certain things that the editors would come back and say, Hey, you don’t talk about costing models. You don’t talk about you know how to develop your cost of goods and be able to work? Would you be willing to do that? So I absolutely did. I put a quiz in. But the one of the biggest things that they did is that they encouraged me to put listicles in the back to where it’s just a very quick synopsis. So if you’re not sure, because it’s basically a bunch of articles together in a logical progression. But if you just want to see the snapshot, you just flip to the back of every chapter. The hardest thing I did was the audio book that’s on Audible, simply because I realized that my voice is weird. And I and I mumble and stammer a lot more. And I’ve just it took me a long time to be able to do the audible book.
Chad Franzen 29:53
How long did it take? I’ve always wondered.
Ken McGarrie 29:55
I did it in in in groups. It took me about two months. But the funny thing is, is that I can either pay for studio time, or my engineer taught me that if you place the microphone the correct way into your closet and like a bank of clothes, and then put like a big comforter behind you in a bunch of pillows, it’s the same thing. And so I’ve got my mic, and I’ve got my whole setup here. And that’s exactly what I did. I just spoken to my wife’s clothes. And it sounds good. I just think my, my voice is silly.
Chad Franzen 30:27
But it has to be like, perfect. Did you have to go back over it? Or edit it? Or? No?
Ken McGarrie 30:33
Oh, yes, yes, so many notes would come back, you’d say you stammered over this one word incomprehensible. And they’d be like, Oh, you didn’t say that correctly. So I’d have to go back and redo that since and redo the thing. And it, it took a while, but it was enjoyable.
Chad Franzen 30:49
Good, good. So we’re big, big fans of publicly acknowledging people who have been influential for you who are some people in the industry that you have respected and look to for advice or learn from?
Ken McGarrie 30:58
Well, I think that the the person that I’ve always been motivated by is Danny Meyer, simply because I find is, is value is setting the table as the standard of all books. And when I was at Topgolf, I did have the opportunity to work with him. i They gave me the latitude and saying, pick one, one Hospitality Group that you might want to work with. And so I, for a brief moment of time, hired hospitality closer, which was their offshoot, and worked with Danny Meyer’s group and that was life changing it’s there was still enough of a bar mentality and me to where I hadn’t got all the way to hospitality understood it after that I did. And then I definitely can’t go without talking about chef Fabio Viviani exceptional human being unbelievably good, kind, and supportive person. And not only did he write the foreword of my book, but he’s the first one in my corner to help me along the way. And he’s still my biggest client I’ve got right now on my roster. I’ve got about a half a dozen clients. But Fabio by far is is the one that takes up most of my time, and I love it.
Chad Franzen 32:08
It’s been a real pleasure to talk to you today, Ken, where can people find out more about Korgan Hospitality and where can they get your book?
Ken McGarrie 32:15
Well, you can hit us at Korgen, that’s k o r g e n. My wife’s name is Morgan. So you see what that clever name. And you can check out the book. It’s on Amazon, it’s actually on eBay, all places to sell books. But if you go on Amazon for the download, the download is only 99 cents. I did that purposely because I really do want people to be able to enjoy it and and have access to it. So if you just download the the, the PDF version, and it’s right there, I guess it’s it goes to Kindle. And then the audio book is on is on Audible.
Chad Franzen 32:50
And it’s called The Surprise Restaurant Manager.
Ken McGarrie 32:52
That is correct.
Chad Franzen 32:53
Okay. Hey, I was great to talk to you today. Ken I really appreciate your time. Thanks so much for joining me
Ken McGarrie 32:57
Chad. Thank you so much.
Chad Franzen 32:59
So long everybody.
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