“Chefs need arrogance, business that wants to build a brand needs arrogance”
– Bjorn Shen
Bjorn Shen is also the author of the Artichoke cookbook and writes a monthly column titled “Bjorn says” for Time Out Magazine.
On the side, he also is a lecturer at Culinary Institute of America.
In this conversation, we spoke about:
- Story of Bjorn getting robbed while working in a 7/11 store
- Advice on structuring rental agreement
- How Bjorn lost $230,000 in 3 months with OverDough
- Why does Bjorn insist taking his staff on oversea trips and lots more
If you’ve only got 4 minutes, here’s a short video on (How Did Bjorn Shen losing 230K in 3 months?)
This is an interview I will hold close to my heart. Hope you enjoy it!
- Listen to the full interview on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Click “continue reading” for the link and show notes…
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Bjorn Shen on his childhood [1:40]
How did Bjorn end up studying hospitality in Brisbane, Australia? [7:52]
What did Bjorn learn from his mentor [19:06]
What other mentors or incidents have contributed to your success? [24:12]
How much money did Bjorn spend to kickstart Artichoke? [29:24]
How much financial leeway should one prepare when opening a restaurant? [30:25]
What were the few breaks that lifted Artichoke off ground zero? [38:35]
How did Bjorn find the current location of Artichoke? [40:07]
Bjorn shares advice on structuring rental agreement [47:10]
Would Artichoke be a success if it was opened 5 years later? [53:09]
What experiences shaped Bjorn anti-fine dining stance? [54:30]
Why does Bjorn place emphasis on his staff? [56:27]
How does Artichoke attract talents? [58:45]
What does the hiring process of Artichoke look like? [1:00:22]
Why does Bjorn close his restaurants to take his staffs on company vacation? [1:01:56]
Bjorn shares his experience of burning out in the F&B industry [1:12:05]
Bjorn shares his experiences working with the new generation of chefs [1:15:50]
Does Bjorn still cook in the kitchen? [1:18:59]
Bjorn shares advice on managing people [1:21:14]
Why did OverDough close 3 months after opening? [1:31:16]
Why does Bjorn teach at Culinary Institute of America (CIA)? [1:36:14]
Bjorn describes the new generation of student chefs from CIA [1:38:13]
Why did Bjorn start Bird Bird? [1:41:33]
Why did Bird Bird move and change its concept? [1:45:42]
How did Bjorn got involve in Bro-Cation? [1:51:22]
How does Bjorn balance his bold character in his relationships? [1:57:06]
How does being a father affect Bjorn’s view his life and business? [1:58:18]
Links Mentioned in the Episode
Thanks for listening!
And if you have any experiences with anything we talked about, I’d love for you to open up in the comments.
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Also, please leave an honest review for Misfits Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.
Special thanks to Bjorn Shen for such generous stories. Until next time!