Jim Vinz – An Outgoing Bread Head! – Another Great Leader!

In keeping with my theme of writing about great leadership in our multi-unit restaurant community, I want to take a minute out to celebrate another of our great leaders, Jim Vinz, the outgoing CEO of Corner Bakery.

Below is a video that I found, which I think really captures the essence of his culture and leadership. Just look at the smiles on his team’s faces and the certainty and confidence in their eyes. This is a team, that under his leadership experienced fantastic growth. He knows how to hire attitude!

Jim and I had breakfast recently at a Panera Bread and we had a fantastic discussion about our industry. He was so generous with me during our meeting. What strikes me about Jim is his personable style, his dedication to his community and his passion about his people. Jim has so much experience to share, is extremely open to learning and is really just a kind and generous human being. He works hard at resolving the issues he believes in and is a dedicated and trustworthy person. He is committed to No Kid Hungry and single handedly mobilized his people to raise $500,000 towards solving Childhood Hunger.

Last week, it was publicly announced that Jim is moving on to a new opportunity as Co-CEO of Le Groupe Leduff America. He will oversee La Madeleine, Bruegger’s Bagels, Green Mountain Coffee and Timothy’s Coffee.

I admire Jim for his dedication to our industry, his willingness to listen and more than anything, his commitment to his people and his brand. (He is leaving Corner Bakery after 16 years!).

If I were a betting man, I would put my money on Jim any day of the week. Le Groupe Leduff is very fortunate to get a leader of this calibre.

Good luck with your new venture Jim. You deserve all the success you receive.

Thanks for squeezing me in for our breakfast meeting last week an I hope we get to “Get Catering and Grow Sales!”

I should be so lucky!

Great Service Gets Them Coming Back

So, tonight I had an opportunity to visit Chamberlain’s Fish Market Grill in Addison, Texas.

Truth is, we had a mediocre experience at their steak house a few nights earlier so I was a bit gun shy about going to their other location.

Well, I must say, the food and wine were great. Much better than the steak house.

However, the evening was really made by this guy named Blake! Just a great server.


He made a point of going the extra mile to make sure our group was happy. He is a pro! Knows his stuff!

Give me the service guy every time. Attitude cannot be taught. Blake is an exemplary fellow of what makes our industry so amazing. It’s all about guys like Blake.

Thanks for a great night Blake! Oh, and the wine? Well, what can I say, that was great as well! But I’ll be honest, I’m coming back only on a night when Blake is on Shift.

Nice job Richard Chamberlain. Give Blake a raise! He deserves it!


I’ve got To write 19 discussion papers! Please tell me your primary interest?

Ok…. I did commit to writing 19 more discussion papers to expand more on the concepts that I put forward in Get Catering and Grow Sales!

I’ve really got to get going; but, I really want to deliver these in a way that is interesting to others. Please let me know your thoughts by taking this poll on what topics are most important to you. I’ll leave this poll up for one week. (Friday, January 20, 2012).

Thanks for helping