Why this restaurateur believes that people are the key to success

As the chef and co-owner of The Meatball Shop, Daniel Holzman believes in sweating the details in the very first year of your business.

Why this restaurateur believes that people are the key to success
[Photo: Flickr user Davis Staedtler]

Lightbulb moment for starting The Meatball Shop

At some point you just have to jump off the cliff. You can prepare forever and never be 100% ready, and at a certain point you just need to take the plunge. The lightbulb moment is taking that step beyond the point of no return, and that’s when it all came together for us with The Meatball Shop.


The biggest lesson learned in the first year of operations

Every single detail matters. In the early days, it is your passion that’s driving the business, the energy you put in during that first year is laying the foundation for the longevity of the business.

How our operations have evolved since then

Every time we’ve expanded we’ve had to evolve the operations, systems and processes, and so on. The only thing that hasn’t changed since the beginning is our culture and our core beliefs.

The ‘special sauce’ for success in my business

The people are everything–select them well, train them well, treat them well, hold them accountable and you win.

The skills I have developed as an entrepreneur that weren’t always natural to me

Management systems and processes, and the discipline to document and build as I go.

How I decided to make the transition from chef to restaurateur

“Chef” was never really in the cards for me, I needed to own my own place. Some of us just aren’t built to work for other folks.


Advice I would give a fellow restaurateur

Remember to have a great time, and remember to look out the window. If you don’t stop and look around from time to time you may miss the whole ride.

I love what I do because

It’s exactly what I want to do, every day I work with an amazing group of people and every day I learn something new.


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The hardest lesson I ever learned in business

Don’t ever take success for granted. The moment you stop paddling you start drifting downstream.

The biggest challenge in scaling the Meatball Shop

Great people, limiting our growth to a speed that we can staff with great people.

How we maintain our culture as we expand

We spend a huge amount of time challenging every decision from the perspective of our culture.


Where I want to see The Meatball Shop in 5 years

Successful, growing, and filled with passionate, happy people.

Success means to me

Waking up happy.

This article originally appeared on The Tory Burch Foundation and is reprinted with permission.