The Half A Dozen Hospitality Podcast
Joelle Parenteau: As Candid As They Come & Just What Hospitality Needs Right Now

Joelle Parenteau: As Candid As They Come & Just What Hospitality Needs Right Now

May 27, 2020

Having read Joelle Parenteau's latest pieces I knew I was going to learn a lot from our conversation. I also knew she'd be a lot of fun to chat with.

Joelle steps to the mic with pure truth, enthusiasm, tenacity and sincere desire to help that it made for a far better conversation than I could have ever expected. 

The Owner and Operator of Wolf Down in Ottawa, Canada has been attacking the current pandemic causing issues head on. She's pivoted where and when she can and she's an open book when it comes to sharing, for anyone that is interested in listening.

In this week show you'll hear Joelle break down here two monster pieces that took social media by storm. You will also here Joelle discuss poker, travel, hiring, and why using the "F word" is essentially her interview process.

This is one you definitely do not want to miss.

My Dad: Food, Politics, Dancing, & Tattoos. We Cover It All.

My Dad: Food, Politics, Dancing, & Tattoos. We Cover It All.

May 20, 2020

This week I had the opportunity to sit down with my Dad to discuss business, food, life, a touch of politics, tattoos and his desire to step up his cooking game.

It seemed fitting to have my Dad on as a guest of the show this week as we punch our way through what seems like day 285 of isolation. I was able to ask my Dad some pretty cool questions regarding his take on the hospitality industry now and what he thinks it will be like when we come out of this pandemic.

My Dad was actually a DJ back in the day so getting him on the microphone was a blast for me and I think he sounded great.

Dad (aka Bill, aka Grandpa) was really quite candid as we discussed his reality pre pandemic and now and what he thinks this will all look like when we come out of it.

If you like honest conversation about the world today this is an episode you will not want to miss!


Tune in NOW.

The #1 Tip For The Restaurant Industry: Move Dirt

The #1 Tip For The Restaurant Industry: Move Dirt

May 13, 2020

Move dirt.

I have been blessed with numerous conversations with people in and out of the industry over the past few months about what restaurants can do to bounce back from this brutal tidal wave of uncertainty. Through the conversations I’ve heard some great ideas and fantastic visions for next steps for our global community of restaurants, hotels, bars and cafes. However out of all of the conversations I am brought back to one quote that I heard years ago that has always stuck with me.

“Getting strong is like moving a pile of dirt. Some days you use a shovel and some days you use a spoon, but what’s important is that you move some dirt.” John Welbourn of Power Athlete HQ may not be a restaurateur but this quote applies to so many things, especially the current landscape in hospitality.

While the quote itself is speaking to building strength and fitness the core of the word he shares should be taken extremely seriously by all of us right now.

We All Need To Pivot Myself Included.

We All Need To Pivot Myself Included.

May 6, 2020

A quick podcast today as we are experiencing a bit of a transition as a family and had to hop on my iPhone to record this one.

I sum up the blog I posted last night in this short podcast where I take a moment to reflect on my own requirement to adapt what I am doing. Adapt my consulting offering to the industry to ensure I am still adding value and giving back to the community.

I will admit that I've been struggling to understand what the industry and my business will look like as we emerge from all of this. What I do know however is that I care even more deeply about seeing this industry succeed and I cannot wait to work to help any and all of you out.

Here's to finding a way to make this all work even in these unprecedented times.


To The Hospitality Leaders Stepping Up, Thank You!

To The Hospitality Leaders Stepping Up, Thank You!

April 29, 2020

While it would be easy to throw in the towel and blame the current global pandemic for the industry being in the gutter there are industry members who are getting creative. Chefs, owners, bartenders and everyone in between are doing everything that they can to cover fixed costs, make a few bucks, keep the lights on and maybe even keep some staff employed.

I for one in learning a ton from these people.

Is all of this a giant pain in the butt? Yup.

Is this virus at the moment to ultimate inconvenience to having stellar business this summer? Likely yes.

But is everyone lining up waiting for handouts or to be saved? No.

Shoutout to you all that are finding a way in theses incredible uncertain and challenging times. 

Business Neighbours Who’ve Banded Together: Rueben Major & Andrew Jameson

Business Neighbours Who’ve Banded Together: Rueben Major & Andrew Jameson

April 22, 2020

East Vancouver, for those of you that don't know is an extremely colourful place. There are challenges on the Downtown Eastside unlike any others but there are also so incredible pieces to the neighbourhoods that make up this stretch of downtown. One of those pieces is the sense of community and that is on display with the two guests on todays podcast. 

Reuben Major (Belgard Kitchen & Havana) and Andrew Jameson (The Mackenzie Room & Say Mercy) came to know each other through a geographical link as well as the industry they both call home. Sitting in Andrew's restaurant, The Mackenzie Room, Rueben and his wife Ashley struck up a conversation with the staff upon their first visit and haven't looked back since. Now having formed a friendship with Andrew and his ownership team Reuben and his team have become sort of "related" to the Mackenzie Room (and Say Mercy) team in an effort to share and learn as they all navigate the hospitality landscape. 

That relationship has paid dividends before, but it is really paying dividends now.

As so many of us work to navigate the new reality of our unique worlds we at times need to lean on others for support, and this industry has people like these two. Reuben and Andrew are two leaders in the local scene with a great sense of what is going on and perhaps what should be going on that isn't. Both Andrew and Reuben are keen to see this industry thrive not just for them and their bottom line but also for their staff, their suppliers, their farmers, their guests and their community. These are the types of entrepreneurs that every city truly needs. And now they need us. 

They need us as a public to support their awesome initiatives such as Staff Meal during these crazy times we are experiencing. They need us to trust when things go back to "normal" that they and there teams will be doing everything they possibly can to keep us safe and healthy as they look to invite us back into their spaces. Most of all they need us to support them with the dollars we do have as every single dollar that they make as small to medium size businesses ensures that they can keep providing our communities with awesome food, great culture, and a wicked place to meet with those who we know and love.

Tune in to hear Reuben and Andrew break down their current reality during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as some potential contingencies they will be looking to put in place when we all get out of this mess. 

A huge thanks to Reuben and Andrew for guesting on the podcast and to you guys for tuning in!

Stay safe!



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The Undeniable Desire To Keep Giving w/ Trevor Bird

The Undeniable Desire To Keep Giving w/ Trevor Bird

April 15, 2020

I revisit a story I have told before on the podcast about the first time I met today's guest Chef Trevor Bird, Owner and Operator of Vancouver, BC's FABLE KITCHEN. I was extremely new to the sales side of the industry and Trevor didn't know me from a hole in the wall but he was kind enough to hear out my sales pitch which I think involved some french vinegars and over-priced almond flour. He made time for me then, and seems to always make time for me now. And for that I am truly grateful.

Trevor is in the fight like most everyone else in the hospitality industry at the moment. He and his much smaller team are doing what they can to keep the lights on, pay rent but at the same time putting an effort in to facilitate meals for those in our industry and City as a whole who may need it most. 

I've watched over the past few years as Trevor has really redefined who he is as a member of this industry, a businessman, a chef, and the most important of all who he is as a person. As a father and a husband it is like Trevor has a very clear "why" but I believe his why isn't just his immediate family, it is his entire community.

The fact that at time like this were so many people are shutting their businesses down due to an intense amount of uncertainty the team at FABLE are finding a way and supporting others in the best way they know how, by feeding them.

On this episode Trevor chats about his take on the current state of the industry and what things could look like when we come out of this thing. He also breaks down how him and his team have teamed up with new local hot spot SAY MERCY to launch a truly admirable offering as they look to take care of others in the industry that are now without work.

You never want to miss anything Trevor does, and this podcast is no exception. Tune in to entire episode right now!

Audio Version

Video Version


***We are still accepting new members to the CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE program. So if you are interested in making your business survive through these times and thrive in the times to come you need to be in this program!***

Battling A New Reality In Hospitality: Rhys Amber of Big Day BBQ

Battling A New Reality In Hospitality: Rhys Amber of Big Day BBQ

April 8, 2020

At just 28 years of age Rhys Amber has already seen and done so much in the hospitality industry. Working his way up in the kitchen from a young age Rhys parlayed his experience and knack for business into a pretty bad ass pop up (legit) BBQ event called Big Day BBQ. Rhys and his his partner Colin Staus team up with local BC brewery to Powell Street Brewing to create some of the most incredible BBQ based events in the city.

But all of that is on hold at least for the time being.

Like 100% of us, Rhys, Colin and Big Day BBQ have been forced to adapt. Well really at this point they've been forced to stop their business as no one at this moment in time is digging into a whole hog BBQ with 300 other people. But also like most of us Rhys seems to be taking it all in stride and is using this time to be with his partner, cook, read, relax and discuss with me what he thinks this will all look like once it's over.

Rhys and I talk about the current state of the local food scene as well as the global food scene and I truly appreciated his take on all of it.

This interview and others like it during this covid-19 time is exactly what I feel needs to happen. Conversation. Simple open dialog where we come together to share, learn and grow. For me this podcast did all of that and more.

Rhys has a ton of knowledge and is open to sharing it and I was stoked we got the chance to link up on the podcast.

I know you guys will enjoy this one so be sure to tune in and let us know what you thought about the episode.

and in the meantime, stay safe and healthy Crew!


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The Potential NEW Reality For Hospitality w/ Shawn Soole

The Potential NEW Reality For Hospitality w/ Shawn Soole

April 1, 2020

Podcast host, industry consultant, author, father, husband and friend to many Shawn Soole is a legend in his own right and this week he host Brad Bodnarchuk joined to discuss the current global reality that our current pandemic is having on the hospitality industry and the potential way out of what seems to be a pretty big mess.

Shawn brings a ton of experience of energy to this podcast as well as his own (Post Shift Podcast) not to mention his global list of clients. 

Shawn breaks down where he thinks this industry is headed post pandemic and what steps need to be taken to ensure we come out of this as strong as absolutely possible.

Tune in now and be sure to check out Shawn's podcast and consulting site as well

Audio version

Video version

I Am Out Of Answers At This Moment In Time

I Am Out Of Answers At This Moment In Time

March 25, 2020

Looking back over the past week or so I cannot actually pinpoint where all of this seemed to really look and feel so different.

For so many of us life as we know it is now dramatically different for us than it was at the beginning of 2020. The days just feel different don't they?

Here in Canada our Government is emphasizing the importance of self isolation and shutting down non essential businesses left right and centre. The new reality we are facing as a Country but also as a global community is having such a huge impact on numerous industries and this virus has left the hospitality industry in its wake.

This past week I spoke to clients (and friends) that were in tears because of their inability to remain open, others who have had to file for bankruptcy, others who have had to fire nearly 50 people in one day. I remind you that all of these people own small to medium sized businesses and the reality of laying off close to 50 people is something I never thought I would have to see. 

While in these conversations with my clients I so badly want to brainstorm with them to create so genius plan or I want to be able to offer some incredible advice on how to make it through this pandemic we are facing. But the reality is that I don't have a plan or a great idea or some cool innovative approach to weathering this storm, what I do have is an ear and I am here to listen and learn as much as I can.

To anyone of you that listens to this podcast or reads these posts please know that you are not alone and there are so many people that are ready and willing to be there for you whenever you may need them and I would like for you to consider me that person for you as well.

This is hard. 

There is nothing about our current situation that is easy. However I am hopeful bordering on confident that we will all come out of this thing in much better shape than before and when that happens I cannot wait to celebrate all of that with you.


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