I was joined by restaurant owner and entrepreneur Madelyn Alfano to discuss how she built Maria’s Italian Kitchen, a successful restaurant with multiple locations in the Los Angeles area, her perspective on entrepreneurship and leading a business, and how she navigated COVID-19.  Madelyn and I have very similar outlooks on the entrepreneurship mindset, competition, employees, and building a great company culture.  Restaurant owners, aspiring restaurant owners, and any business leader can take away a few great insights from our discussion.  For me, the following five quotes from Madelyn during our interview stood out as key insights for me:

  1. “Businesses are so afraid to be honest with their customer. Just be honest, [customers] can handle the truth!”
  2. “If you don’t know something, find someone who does it better, and hire them…or ask them to mentor you.”
  3. “Take care of your neighbors, even if they’re direct competitors, you offer that… you can be a friendly competitor, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
  4. “I think the most important thing before you expand, is treat your one restaurant as if you have multiple restaurants. Make sure you have systems in place…systems are so important…systems and protocols…everyone understands the clear constant consistent communication…everyone knows what they have to do, try to create those real habits…little habits make the difference.”
  5. “It’s not about selling food. It’s about making people feel special, and making people feel nourished and nurtured. That’s what I want people to experience when they come into Maria’s Italian Kitchen.”

 The episode is available on your favorite podcast platform, including:

Apple Podcasts