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The Ups and Downs of the Restaurant Business with Dan Bavaro of Bavaro Hospitality

  • April 4, 2024
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This week we are speaking with Dan Bavaro, founder of Bavaro Hospitality. Bavaro Hospitality operates five Bavaro restaurant locations and a culinary commissary. The company has more than 200 employees in locations from Tampa Bay to Sarasota. Together, we talk about the challenges — and sometimes hilarious stories — in running a growing restaurant business for the past 15 years. We also discuss what Dan looks for in hiring and promoting people, how he got in, then got out of the retail sauce business and the dramatic saga of opening a location in downtown Sarasota.    

3 Takeaways:

  1. (14:30) Cut products that are not part of the future.
  2. (20:52) 20% of your efforts should create 80% of your results.
  3. (23:40) Work in the business before you open your own.


(00:00) Introducing Dan Bavaro and Bavaro Hospitality

(03:25) Sourcing the pizza ovens

(05:45) The challenges of opening the Sarasota restaurant

(11:12) The story of the Bavaro sauce line

(16:00) What do you look for in managers?

(19:38) What have you learned from Bob Johnson of Melting Pot?

(21:40) What advice would you give someone who wants to start a restaurant?

(24:00) What is going on in 2024 for Bavaro Hospitality?

(25:12) Rapid fire questions

Join us every week as we interview business leaders to learn what makes them great, what they look for in growing leaders, and much more.

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