MIB: Cameron Mitchell, Restaurateur

This week, we sit down with restaurateur Cameron Mitchell, founder and CEO of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants (CMR), which manages numerous restaurants across the country, and is the author Yes is the Answer! What is the Question?: How Faith In People and a Culture Of Hospitality Built A Modern American Restaurant Company.

A Culinary Institute of America graduate, Mitchell just celebrated his 25th year running the firm. CMR now generates $300 million in revenue, with 3,000 employees in 60 different locations across 15 different restaurant themes.

The genesis of his Mitchell’s philosophy comes from his experience of trying to order a grilled cheese sandwich and a chocolate milk shake for his son in a restaurant in a very Jack Nicholson moment (Five Easy Pieces). He quickly came to the realization that being able to say yes to customers was the very premise of a good restaurant — and often for many a missed opportunity.

Mitchell reveals the secret of spotting talent and hiring great people. His approach is to hire entry-level employees, and then teach them the company’s culture and philosophy. CMR prefers to promote from within, with each new server or bartender looked at as a potential supervisor, manager, and VP.

His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is posted here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast, and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Matt Hougan, former CEO of Inside ETFs, now the Global Head of Research at Crypto firm Bitwise Asset Management.

 

 

 

Cameron Mitchell’s Book

 

Yes is the Answer! What is the Question?: How Faith In People and a Culture Of Hospitality Built A Modern American Restaurant Company by Cameron Mitchell

 

Cameron Mitchell’s Favorite Books

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch ’em Kick Butt by Hal Rosenbluth and Diane McFerrin Peters

The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson

On The Brink: The Life and Leadership of Norman Brinker by Norman Brinker

Dave’s Way by Dave Thomas

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Read this next.

Posted Under