Leadership in the Restaurant Industry is Inspiring!

As Founder and CEO at MonkeyMedia Software and the MMS Catering Institute, I get to spend my time learning from great leaders in the restaurant industry.  I am so inspired by the passion, diligence and resilience of the great people that are responsible for today’s stewardship of the restaurant industry.

I am so grateful the the many supporters of this project, and our plan to donate this legacy story to the industry as an education piece is well on track.  Check out Back To Basics.

Check out this podcast with Nate Riggs from Last week;


Also, check out these great photos from the project so far with Ron Shaich, Ed Rensi, Darren Tristano and Matthew Corrin.  Later in the year, we will be filming with Kat Cole, Dawn Sweeney, Paul Mangiamele,  Jim Vinz, Al Bhakta, Ari Weinzweig and Jon Luther Sr.

Thank you to everyone who is supporting this project!

Mike Tyler getting his camera ready!
Matthew Corrin, CEO at Freshii getting ready for his segment.
Don Fox, CEO at Firehouse Subs shares is most regrettable Leadership Moment.



Saying thank you to Ron Shaich, Founder and CEO at Panera Bread after his very generous interview.
Darren Tristano, VP at Technomics, giving us an analysts perspective.


Ed Rensi
Ed Rensi, CEO at Famous Dave’s and Retired CEO of McDonald’s sharing great stories.


Win a $1000 Education Scholarship – Casting Call for our Upcoming Restaurant Leadership Documentary


Are you passionate about working in the restaurant industry?

Tell us why your story should be featured in Back To Basics – A documentary project about the heart of the US restaurant industry

Submit a short video of yourself and tell us why you are the restaurant industry’s next leader.  If your story is selected, you will receive a $1000 education scholarship for further advancement in the restaurant industry.


FastCasual Executive Summit

Well, it’s time for the Fast Casual Executive Summit again.  This will be my sixth year in a row.  It’s always a good show.  Great people, big ideas and non-stop entertainment.  Just look at the video that MonkeyMedia Software made last year!  We are proud of the 68,000 views on YouTube! Talk about fun!

I sure hope you can make it to San Diego this year!  Drop me a line if you’d like more information.

Erle Dardick – CEO – Monkeymedia Software
Mo Asgari – COO – Monkeymedia Software
Patrick Renna – CFO – Boloco
Linda Duke – CEO – Duke Marketing
Mark Peebles – CEO – Oinkadoodlemoo BBQ
Ralph – COO – Oinkadoodlemoo BBQ
Barry Klein – Creator of Ronald McDonald among other great things…
Betsy Craig – CEO & Founder – MenuTrinfo & Kitchens with Confidence
Paul Mangiamele – CEO – Bennigan’s
Valerie Killifer – Senior Editor – Fast Casual.com
Tom Feltenstein – CEO – Power Marketing Academy
Ed Frechette – SVP Marketing – Au Bon Pain
Jamal – Mr. Camel Burger – Safari Express
George Green – VP – Bread and Co.
Suzy Badaracco – CEO – Culinary Tides
Don Fox – CEO – Firehouse Subs – MUFSO Operator of the year
Larry Reinstein – CEO – Salsarito’s
Louis Basile – CEO – Wildflower Bread
Dave Wolfgram – CEO – Forlklift Brands and Boudin Bakery



Paul Mangiamele – A Magician and A Leader!

I love working with Paul and his team at Bennigan’s! Not only are they enthusiastic, but they are thoughtful, generous and hard working. Each and every one of them. An amazing group of people with focus and passion.

Paul has a lot on his plate these days. Aligning his organization, servicing franchisees, doing his best to make it all come together.

I know from experience. Turning around a brand and then growing it again takes a very special kind of heart, soul and attitude. Attitude! The right kind of attitude. Thick skin. Tough chin. And a never ending drive to succeed.

I have been watching Paul and his team for the last year, systematically attacking every aspect of the Bennigan’s operation. Not only are they solving real business issues, but the innovation coming out of this group is nothing short of fantastic! New ideas, new initiatives, new everything! And the pace is furious.

You might think I am being partial because I have a vested interest in the Bennigan’s success story as their catering solutions partner. However, it is not that way. I would tell you honestly if they were failing.

So, it is with sincerity that I write this; I mean it. Paul is a Magician. And his team is growing, they are flourishing as individuals. I am watching with my own eyes as he is winning people over. One by one. Yes, the people. If I were a betting man, I’d bet on this team any day.

The reason this is happening is because the results are shining through. True results! He knows his business and it is amazing to watch him do his magic on the Bennigan’s Brand. It just comes down as a lesson to all of us. It’s all about being a good operator. It’s doing the little things every single day. So, to all of you out there…. Roll up your sleeves and find what inspires you. But remember to look after everyone on the way… they will serve you well if you do! Just ask Paul.

Paul, thank you for giving me permission to share this Video regarding your catering vision. It’s a beautiful thing and I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to work on your catering business with you. The video came out well, because of the deep belief system your team has and the generosity and trust that you have afforded my team to provide you with services; including the making of this video.

You just can’t capture this kind of culture unless it is real. Job well done! For those of you that have not tried it yet, order catering from Bennigan’s in Chicago to get a flavour of what is ahead for this brand. We’re just getting started!

Bennigan’s is Coming Back! Mission Possible Is Here.

Congratulations to Paul Mangiamele for breathing life back into his franchisee community. I have been fortunate to get the opportunity to watch an absolute master at work! Paul is a great leader.

As I have been attending the Bennigan’s conference this week, (the first in 5 years), it is amazing to see such passion and a deep set of core values. What a stand up group.

I love a great turn around! And this is one to watch. You’ll see. Do me a favour, go into a Bennigan’s and talk to a franchisee that was at the conference. Nothing but excitement here!

Get Catering and Grow Sales! – That’s what’s going to help change the economics. This group really gets it.

Bennigan's Catering is going to be Legendary. Chicago first!

I am rooting for this group. They deserve to win! Paul “Bleeds Green from his Eyeballs!” – Quote by Paul Mangiamele, January 16, 2012.

A Turnaround Master - Listen and Learn
My eyes are wide open listening to this great leader