Have You Eaten Yet?

A New Mindset In The Kitchen w/ Michelle Jackson Mannix

February 18, 2021 Kassata Bollman Episode 14
Have You Eaten Yet?
A New Mindset In The Kitchen w/ Michelle Jackson Mannix
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Today my guest is Michelle Jackson Mannix.
She's an entrepreneur in the food world.
She joins us from Brooklyn.
Today we'll be discussing the ins & outs of owning a restaurant, what it's like to jump into the book publishing world & the future: what's the next big business that's likely to emerge in 2021?

https://www.michellemannix.com/

https://www.instagram.com/michelle_mannix/?hl=en








[[MUSIC]]


I’M KASSATA BOLLMAN. 

TODAY MY GUEST IS MICHELLE JACKSON MANNIX.

SHE’S A ENTREPRENEUR IN THE FOOD WORLD.


SHE JOINS US FROM BROOKLYN. 


LIFE EXPERIENCE IS SOMETHING THAT MICHELLE HAS A PHD IN…..SO TODAY’S CONVERSATION WILL RESONATE WITH MANY ..I BELIEVE….


I’M GOING TO RUN THROUGH JUST A FEW OF HER ROLES IN THE LAST 13 YEARS OR SO….

SHE’S THE FOUNDER OF THE FOLLOWING BUSINESSES:


THE CAFE: TED & HONEY, THE CATERING COMPANY: PARKER RED…….. 


& MOST RECENTLY…... COOK SPACE…..A CULINARY STUDIO, SCHOOL & EVENT SPACE.

LIKE ALL OF US, MICHELLE HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY COVID...WHEN IT COMES TO BUSINESS….COOK SPACE CLOSED LAST FALL…... DUE TO THE PANDEMIC.


BUT THAT DIDN’T SLOW MICHELLE DOWN….SHE’S ALSO A CAREER TRANSITION ADVISOR…..

THE CREATOR OF THE SEIZE YOUR DAYS PLANNER……

AND SHE’S WORKING ON A BOOK CALLED…... “A NEW MINDSET IN THE KITCHEN - LIFE BEYOND THE RECIPE”.  


TODAY WE’LL BE DISCUSSING THE INS & OUTS OF OWNING A RESTAURANT, WHAT IT’S LIKE TO JUMP INTO THE PUBLISHING WORLD….. & THE FUTURE...WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG BUSINESS…. THAT’S LIKELY TO EMERGE IN 2021….


SO I’LL START BY ASKING…..AS WE ALWAYS DO….MICHELLE…..

 “HAVE YOU EATEN YET?” AND IF YOU HAVE….WHAT DID YOU EAT TODAY?



[[MICHELLE DISCUSSES]]








RESTAURANT INS & OUTS


SO I’M GOING TO KICK OFF OUR CONVERSATION BY REMINDING YOU MICHELLE…. OF SOME OF THE LOWS OF OWNING A RESTAURANT…. THAT YOU CURRENTLY DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH….

BUT FOR YOU ….. IT MIGHT BE LIKE WATCHING REALITY TV….WHILE YOU’RE LISTENING…. I IMAGINE THAT SECRETLY….PART OF YOU WANTS THE STRESS….THAT ADDICTIVE INSANE RESTAURATEUR PART OF YOU….. 

BUT THE HOLISTIC RATIONAL SIDE OF YOU….WILL SAY….. “I'M SO GLAD I DON’T OWN A RESTAURANT RIGHT NOW…..”  


AND I SHOULD ADD….LIKE EVERYTHING WITH THIS PODCAST...YES, THIS IS LIKE THERAPY….A PLACE FOR ME TO VENT….WITH SOMEONE WHO FULLY UNDERSTANDS….AND TODAY….THAT PERSON IS MICHELLE…..


BY THE WAY, SHOUT OUT TO MY FAVORITE HOSPITALITY LAW FIRM….. HELBRAUN LEVY….THIS IS NOT AN AD…...BUT THEY KEEP ME UPDATED…. ABOUT ISSUES LIKE THE ONES I’M ABOUT TO DISCUSS….AND I’M GRATEFUL FOR IT…..


ALRIGHT….. SO OUR FRIENDS AT THE LIQUOR AUTHORITY ARE VISITING RESTAURANTS A LOT THESE DAYS…AND THAT HAS ALL OF US HYPER AWARE EVERY DAY……

 

THEY’RE ISSUING 

“SUMMARY SUSPENSIONS”.....THAT’S WHEN THEY EFFECTIVELY SHUT YOU DOWN ON THE SPOT…..THIS LATEST TREND IS ALL DEDICATED TO COVID….


WHERE THE SLA SAYS “PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE WOULD BE IN JEOPARDY IF YOU WERE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE OPERATING”….

THEN THEY ISSUE A LIST OF ALLEGED COVID VIOLATIONS... A FEW DAYS LATER….


THE RESTAURANT HAS TWO CHOICES: SETTLE & PAY A HEFTY FINE…. OR... FIGHT THE CASE….WHATEVER CHOICE YOU MAKE, YOU CAN’T SERVE ALCOHOL WHILE IT’S BEING WORKED OUT….

AND IF YOU FIGHT IT….COUNT ON THE BATTLE TAKING 3-6 MONTHS….


IF YOU PAY….YOU CAN GET YOUR LICENSE BACK…. IN A FEW WEEKS….THE FINES I READ ABOUT WERE 10-15 THOUSAND DOLLARS…..


WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? THE STATE NEEDS MONEY….


NEXT UP: RESTAURANTS ARE BEING TARGETED IN WEBSITE ADA COMPLIANCE LAWSUITS...THE FIRST TIME I HEARD ABOUT THIS WAS SUMMER 2019...A BUNCH OF VINEYARDS OUT HERE…. ON THE NORTH FORK OF LONG ISLAND…. WERE DEALING WITH THESE LAWSUITS….


HERE’S THE DEAL: SOMEONE CLAIMS THAT YOUR RESTAURANT'S WEBSITE 

IS NOT ACCESSIBLE…. TO A PERSON WITH VISION IMPAIRMENTS.  


IF YOUR WEBSITE: OFFERS SERVICES, ALLOWS CUSTOMERS TO PLACE ORDERS, OR EVEN HAS A LINK TO YOUR MENU…..THE WEBSITE MUST BE PROPERLY CONFIGURED ….TO ALLOW IT TO BE ACCESSED…. BY VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE.  


JUST LIKE THE LIQUOR AUTHORITY FINES…..SETTLEMENTS ARE IN THE 10-15 THOUSAND RANGE + LEGAL FEES…..


OUR WEBSITE IS SUPER BASIC…. BUT OUR MENU IS ON THERE….SO NOW WE HAVE TO PAY AN ADDITIONAL $50 PER MONTH….. TO PROTECT OUR BUSINESS FROM THESE SCAMMERS….

IN A TIME…. WHEN EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS FOR US….

THESE PEOPLE ARE ATTACKING RESTAURANTS DURING A PANDEMIC….


AND WHAT REALLY PISSES ME OFF IS ….SIMILAR TO THE SERVICE DOG ROUTINE …..THAT PEOPLE TRY TO FLEX IN RESTAURANTS…...

THESE SCAMMERS ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A SITUATION….. & EXPLOITING ADA GUIDELINES….


THEY’RE NOT TRULY TRYING TO POSITIVELY IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY…. FOR PEOPLE WITH VISION IMPAIRMENTS…...WHICH I’M ALL FOR…..THESE SCAMMERS ARE TRYING TO MAKE A QUICK DOLLAR…..


ONE OF MY CO-WORKERS REMINDED ME THAT 8 YEARS AGO OR SO….. ANOTHER SCAM WAS HAPPENING IN THE CITY…...AND THE RESTAURANT SHE WORKED AT HAD TO SETTLE AND PAY…..


AT THAT TIME…. SCAMMERS WOULD GO THROUGH CRAIGSLIST JOB ADS….. AND IF YOU POSTED GENDER SPECIFIC ROLES….YOU’D BE HIT WITH A LAWSUIT…..


SOMETHING LIKE 20 RESTAURANTS WERE HIT WITH LAWSUITS….ALL BECAUSE THEY POSTED ADS…. SAYING WAITER OR WAITRESS….. INSTEAD OF SERVER….OR HOSTESS AND NOT INCLUDING HOST AS WELL…..


AGAIN….THOSE SCAMMERS WEREN’T TRYING TO POSITIVELY IMPACT…. & MOVE OUR INDUSTRY FORWARD …..WHEN IT COMES TO GENDER NEUTRAL JOB LISTINGS….


THEY WERE CASHING IN….. AND AFFECTING BOTH LARGE & SMALL RESTAURANTS…..


ALRIGHT SO, MICHELLE….THAT WAS YOUR TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE…. A REMINDER THAT…. IN THIS INDUSTRY, IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING…..SOME FIRE TO PUT OUT…..YOU KNOW THAT ALL TOO WELL...AND I’M HERE TO TELL YOU…. YOU’RE NOT MISSING ANYTHING….TRUST ME….


NOW, I WANT TO POINT OUT SOME ADDITIONAL KEY ELEMENTS TO YOUR STORY MICHELLE….


YOU WORKED IN CORPORATE MARKETING UNTIL THE AGE OF 35….THEN DECIDED TO JUMP INTO THE FOOD WORLD….


PART OF ME IDENTIFIES WITH YOU….AND I RESPECT YOUR HUSTLE ON A VERY DEEP LEVEL…YOU ACCOMPLISHED SO MUCH... IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME…..


ONE THING THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND….BUT I KNOW YOU DO MICHELLE….IS THAT INSTANTLY YOU’RE A PUBLIC FIGURE…. WHEN YOU DECIDE TO OWN A SMALL RESTAURANT….


YOU’RE CONSTANTLY INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE…...YOU’RE PUTTING A PIECE OF YOURSELF OUT THERE….YOU’RE OPENING YOURSELF UP…. FOR PEOPLE TO CONNECT WITH YOU….. & SOMETIMES JUDGE YOU…..


WHILE WE WERE EXCHANGING EMAILS LEADING UP TO THIS INTERVIEW….. YOUR WORDS HIT ME IN A VERY PROFOUND WAY…... SO I’M ACTUALLY GOING TO READ WHAT YOU WROTE….




















QUOTE:

 

“HONESTLY THE ONE REGRET I HAVE WHEN TED & HONEY CLOSED…. IS NOT BEING TRULY HONEST…. ABOUT WHY WE CLOSED…...  

I SAID TO THE NY TIMES WHEN THEY CALLED TO ASK WHY…..THAT I WANTED TO SPEND TIME WITH MY FAMILY.  


WHILE PART OF THAT WAS TRUE, I WISH I HAD BEEN MORE HONEST AND BRAVE THEN…... TO SAY WHAT I REALLY FELT….. WHICH WAS A LOT OF THIS.  


THAT THIS BELOVED PLACE FELT LIKE IT WAS BUILT ON SAND.  

THAT WHILE THE MAJORITY OF OUR CUSTOMERS WERE GREAT….. THE FEW ENTITLED ASSHOLES RUIN ENTIRE SHIFTS.  


THAT FEAR OF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND SOMETHING BREAKING…... CAN TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE.  


WHILE YES….. WE WERE INSANELY BUSY AND SUPPORTED LOCAL FARMS AND PLACES….. WE/ME RETAINED BARELY ANY OF IT….. AND WERE SITTING ON A MOUNTAIN OF DEBT.


MICHELLE, TAKE ME BACK TO THE DAY THAT THE NEW YORK TIMES CALLED….WHAT’S GOING THROUGH YOUR MIND WHILE THEY’RE INTERVIEWING YOU? 



[[MICHELLE DISCUSSES]]



















THE PUBLISHING WORLD


MICHELLE YOU ARE WORKING ON A BOOK CALLED…... “A NEW MINDSET IN THE KITCHEN - LIFE BEYOND THE RECIPE”....


WHEN I WAS RESEARCHING YOU…..I CAME ACROSS AN INTERVIEW... AND IN IT YOU BRIEFLY TOUCHED ON WRITING YOUR BOOK PROPOSAL….AFTER THE CLOSURE OF TED & HONEY…….AND MY TAKEAWAY…. WAS THAT PUBLISHERS WERE SAYING 


“OH, WAIT…...YOU DON’T HAVE A RESTAURANT ANYMORE?”......

IMPLYING….. AND….. IN A WAY ASKING ….ARE YOU STILL RELEVANT? 


THAT GOT ME FIRED UP…..PROBABLY BECAUSE I CAN TOTALLY SEE THIS PLAYING OUT…..THESE PUBLISHERS NEEDING YOU…... TO PRETTY MUCH BE SELF SUSTAINABLE…IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE…...AKA …..BE YOUR OWN PROMOTIONS DEPARTMENT….


IN MY OPINION, RELEVANCY IS MADE UP….IN THE FOOD WORLD….MANY TIMES YOU PAY FOR RELEVANCY…BY WAY OF REVIEWS FROM CRITICS….. OR EDITORIAL ARTICLES...AKA PAID ARTICLES…..PAID INSTAGRAM POSTS….. FROM FOOD MAGAZINES & FOOD INFLUENCERS…….THE LIST GOES ON & ON….


AND SADLY,  MOST CUSTOMERS CAN’T TELL THE DIFFERENCE….


WHEN MY RESTAURANT IS WRITTEN UP…..IT’S AUTHENTIC….AND THAT’S WHY WE ARE RARELY WRITTEN UP….WE DON’T HAVE AN ADVERTISING BUDGET…….AND WE DON’T REALLY BELIEVE IN IT…..WE’RE NOT HATERS….IF THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT TO DO…..COOL…. BUT IT’S A FINE LINE TO PLAY….WHEN IT COMES TO AUTHENTICITY…...


THANKS TO HBO’S DOCUMENTARY FAKE FAMOUS…...NOW EVERYONE KNOWS HOW EASY IT IS TO BUY BOTS…. ON INSTAGRAM….


RESTAURANTS & RESTAURATEURS ARE GUILTY OF THIS…BUYING INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS, LIKES & COMMENTS…….


AND USUALLY YOU CAN EASILY TELL…... IF A RESTAURANT HAS 20 THOUSAND FOLLOWERS…... BUT GETS 80 LIKES ON A POST….9 TIMES OUT OF 10...YOU BOUGHT YOUR FOLLOWERS…. BUT YOU FORGOT TO BUY LIKES ...FOR THAT SPECIFIC POST…...


SO…. IS INSTAGRAM PLAYING A ROLE…. WHEN IT COMES TO A NEW AUTHOR’S RELEVANCY?  PLEASE TELL ME ALL ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE…. IN THE WORLD OF PUBLISHING…..

[[MICHELLE DISCUSSES]]



THE FUTURE


WE’RE GONNA MOVE ON TO THE FUTURE…

AND DISCUSS WHAT WE BELIEVE THE NEXT BIG BUSINESS IS…. 

FOR ME I’M GONNA KEEP IT LOCAL….TO NY STATE…..AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED, THE FUTURE IS WEED….PERSONALLY I’M A BIG FAN OF THIS MOVEMENT…..


EVERYTIME I WALK DOWN THE STREET IN MANHATTAN…WHAT DO I SMELL? WEED….AND NOT TRASH WEED…..THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SMELLING STRAINS YOU CAN IMAGINE…AND LET ME POINT OUT….FOR LISTENERS….. IT’S DECRIMINALIZED IN NY CITY…...NOT LEGAL….AND EVERY BLOCK…..YOU SMELL WEED……

SO JUST IMAGINE WHAT IT’S GOING TO BE LIKE WHEN IT’S LEGALIZED…..


AND THE TIME IS COMING…..ALL SIGNS POINT TO APRIL FIRST…..

FOR A CANNABIS LEGALIZATION PLAN…. IN THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL…..


WHY IS THIS EXPECTED TO PASS ?

BECAUSE NEW YORK STATE IS BROKE….THANKS TO COVID…..WE NEED MONEY…..

WHAT GENERATES MORE REVENUE ? IF YOU LEGALIZE AND TAX A NEW COMMODITY….YOU CREATE A NEW INDUSTRY…..AND IN TURN… YOU CREATE MORE JOBS AND MORE SPENDING….


IF THIS PROPOSAL IS INCLUDED IN THE BUDGET…..AND IT GETS APPROVED…. ON APRIL 1ST….AGAIN, HELBRAUN & LEVY COMIN’ THROUGH WITH GREAT INTEL…..


THEY’RE HEARING THAT THE STATE WOULD PUSH TO GET APPLICATIONS LIVE BY THE SUMMER OR FALL OF 2021…AND THEY WOULD ESSENTIALLY BE WRITING THE CODE AS THEY GO.

AND I’M QUOTING HELBRAUN & LEVY HERE 


“IF THE OTHER LEGAL JURISDICTIONS ARE ANY INDICATORS….THERE WILL BE A CONSTANT EVOLUTION OF THE CODE AND THE RULES HERE”......


FROM A RESTAURANT STANDPOINT MY MIND STARTS MOVING FAST….IT’S NEW….IT’S EXCITING….WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? 

WILL CANNABIS TASTING MENUS BE A THING? CAN I UP CHARGE IF SOMEONE WANTS CANNABIS INFUSED BUTTER ON THEIR HOTCAKE? 


OF COURSE WE’RE CARDING PEOPLE I IMAGINE….JUST LIKE WITH ALCOHOL...MAKING SURE THEY’RE OF THE AGE REQUIREMENT…. TO TAKE PART IN RECREATIONAL WEED….

OR WILL NONE OF THIS BE ALLOWED….WHO KNOWS? WE SAW HOW BEHIND NY STATE WAS WHEN IT CAME TO CBD….


SPECIFICALLY  HOW THE NYC HEALTH DEPARTMENT HANDLED THAT….BY BANNING CBD….SUDDENLY DECIDING…..TO NOT ALLOW RESTAURANTS THERE….. TO ADD CBD TO FOOD & DRINKS…AFTER IT HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN ON THE MENU……


AFTER THAT….. I FELT THAT CBD WAS IN A GRAY ZONE ACROSS THE STATE….WHEN IT CAME TO RESTAURANTS…..AND I STOPPED SELLING OUR CBD LATTE...JUST TO BE SAFE…...


SO MICHELLE, WHAT DO YOU SEE EMERGING IN THE FOOD WORLD WHEN IT COMES TO LEGALIZING RECREATIONAL MARIJUANNA? 


AND WHAT….IF ANY, ADDITIONAL BUSINESS TRENDS DO SEE COMING ONTO THE SCENE IN 2021? 


 


[[MICHELLE DISCUSSES]]

























TAKEAWAY:


MICHELLE, THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY WITH US …....

I LIKE ENDING…. BY ASKING…. IF THERE’S ANY TAKEAWAY THAT YOU’D LIKE TO LEAVE WITH LISTENERS…... THAT CAN POSITIVELY INFLUENCE THEIR LIVES….. 

IT COULD BE SOMETHING THAT WE JUST DISCUSSED, A PRO TIP…. OR GENERAL LIFE ADVICE THAT YOU LIVE BY ….…


[[MICHELLE DISCUSSES]]


……& MICHELLE WHERE CAN PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ?


[[MICHELLE DISCUSSES]]


THANKS FOR LISTENING….AND IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY….... SUBSCRIBE TO “HAVE YOU EATEN YET?” ….WHEREVER YOU GET YOUR PODCASTS….


[[MUSIC]]





RESTAURANT INS & OUTS
THE BOOK PUBLISHING WORLD
THE FUTURE