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Lessons for building a $10 million restaurant from Chef Sam Marvin of Bottega Louie

Sam Marvin

When Chef Sam Marvin talks, the hospitality industry listens. After all, he built a $10 million restaurant, Bottega Louie, in downtown Los Angeles during the recession in 2008. He’s a person who seizes an opportunity wherever, and whenever, he can.

But Chef Marvin says that the hospitality business has evolved—and that it’s now all about perspective.

“I’m not really in the restaurant business anymore. That was my basis 10 years ago, that I was getting into a new business, and it’s called the experience business. And my number one goal in my experience business is to create ‘egocentric gratification’ in my guests. If I can achieve creating egocentric gratification in my guests, it’s over.”


Egocentric, ego·​cen·​tric, adjective | thinking only of oneself, without regard for the feelings or desires of others; self-centered.

Gratification, grat·i·fi·ca·tion, noun | pleasure, especially when gained from the satisfaction of a desire.


It means curating an experience that defies restaurant norms and delivers an experience that gives customers an elevated level of self-satisfaction. The average patron visits a favorite restaurant once every 90 days. That’s not good enough, according to Chef Marvin. He wants to see his best customers at least five times a week.

So how do you convince patrons to go from visiting once every three months to almost every single day? It’s all about how the customer feels when they are in your space. Bottega Louie uses an old-school, leather-bound reservation book, and the hosts handwrite the patrons’ names in the book so they can know and remember the customers again and again.

That kind of individual treatment is the basis of Chef Marvin’s “egocentric gratification.” Everyone who dines at Bottega Louie feels special, and that’s something that any business owner can do. 

“It’s really about building relationships to create that egocentric gratification. So when you leave, you feel like the king or the queen, and you can’t wait to come back. Not only you can’t wait to come back, you can’t wait to bring your people that you care about to show them how you are the king or the queen.”

Chef Marvin is a big fan of research and development (R&D), something not always embraced  in the hospitality business despite it being standard in every other business category. For example, when choosing business locations, he suggests looking around at what is already successful. When he announced the buildout of Bottega Louie in downtown Los Angeles, he said he caught a lot of flak for that decision. But he never makes a decision without the data to back it up, even if—and especially if—that data is about his competition.

“We looked at The Palm downtown. They were the number two Palm in the entire chain of all their restaurants. We looked at Roy’s. Roy’s was the number one restaurant in their chain. They had 15, 18 locations. That was the number one in gross revenue. When you see those numbers, you really believe in them.”

In addition to his meticulous R&D work, Chef Marvin has a particular system to help make the decisions that guide the business.

“Every decision I make for our business has to fit under four categories. It has to be good for the employee, good for the investment, good for the community, and good for the guest. So if I have an idea, and it fits under all four of those categories, that’s a good idea that we can continue to go with.”

One of the biggest ways to be successful in business, he said, is to find the holes in the industry and plug them up. When building his new steakhouse in Las Vegas, Chef Marvin took a look at existing steakhouses and found there was a gaping hole in the price points between Ruth’s Chris and Outback Steakhouse. He filled that up with the moderately priced, but still high quality, steaks at Echo & Rig.

“My hanger steak is $28, $27, weighs 10 ounces. That’s a USDA natural prime hanger steak. That is the top 2% of all beef grades in the United States of America. So it doesn’t matter how much money you have. You can’t buy a better hanger steak than the one I’m selling you, and it’s only $28.

“We were very successful from day one, because it wasn’t really taking a chance. That’s what the people wanted.”

The one thing that remains consistent across all of Chef Marvin’s efforts—even during a pandemic—is how he makes people feel: his concept of egocentric gratification is something that customers can experience whether they are dining in or taking food to go. And that makes all the difference.

“Even if we can’t do it in the restaurant, how do we do it so when they’re home, they’re still feeling like the king and queen because Echo & Rig and Sam Marvin made them feel that way.

“Are there restaurants that look prettier, that are more expensive? Of course there are. But are there restaurants that can create a better experience than we do? I don’t believe that.”

For the full picture of Chef Sam Marvin’s formulas for success, listen to the full episode of Josh Kopel’s Full Comp below, and listen or subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Ready for more? Check out more episodes of Full Comp:

Episode 1: Building a Restaurant Empire in a Recession: Tender Greens’ Erik Oberholtzer

Episode 2: Creating Opportunity from Tragedy: Serial Restaurateur Darin Rubell

Episode 3: Redefining Cocktail Culture: Death & Co’s Alex Day

Episode 4: The Art of the Pivot: Iron Chef Eric Greenfield

Episode 14: The Benefits of Community Building: Chef Nina Compton, Chef/Owner of Compère Lapin

Episode 22: The Art of the Pivot: Mark Canlis, owner/operator of Canlis

Episode 26: The Future of Restaurants: Dean Alex Susskind, Cornell University

Episode 28: The Road Back: Adam Perry Lang, Celebrity Chef & Restaurateur

Episode 34: Becoming a Brand: Celebrity Chef Jet Tila

Episode 36: Fighting the Good Fight: Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless

Episode 45: Revolutionary Leadership: Kat Cole, COO of FOCUS Brands


Full Comp, episode 10 transcript
How to build a $10 million restaurant: Chef Sam Marvin of Bottega Louie

[Josh Kopel]

Today’s episode is brought to you by Yelp, whose mission is to connect people with great local businesses. They’re also helping me connect with you, which is totally awesome. Now, here we go.

[Sam Marvin]

When you’re doing grand revenue numbers, it hides all the potential little flaws that are there, right? You don’t see them, but now with the change, you see everything.

[Josh Kopel]

Welcome to Full Comp, the show offering insight into the future of the hospitality industry. Featuring restaurant tours, thought leaders and innovators. Served up on the house. On today’s show, we chat with chef Sam Marvin, founder of Bottega Louie where we will be discussing the formula he used to create a $10 million restaurant.

[Josh Kopel]

I’ve always viewed the restaurant industry as risky, but chef Sam Marvin sees no risk. He’s able to pump out blockbuster after blockbuster without missing a beat. From Bottega Louie to Echo & Rig, the chef has proven that success in the industry is a formula, and it’s a formula we can learn. To begin, the chef takes us back to the moment just before the dream of Bottega Louie was born.

[Sam Marvin]

I took a little consulting job at a restaurant in LA on Sunset Boulevard to make ends meet. I was there, it was called The Dome on Sunset. I was there for about 10 months. In that 10 months, this one family showed up for dinner 89 times literally. They lived up the hill there and they came in for dinner. And one day they came up and said, “You know what? We’d love to speak with you if you have some time about some other projects.” And that’s how it sort of started. So I sat down with this gentleman, his name was Keith Bollenbach and we started a relationship. And I started talking to him about my ideas, and he loved my ideas. And he said, “Let’s get an office and let’s sit in the office and let’s iron out your ideas.” Okay, that sounded good.

[Sam Marvin]

I could do that for a little while. I accepted that thought process of what we could potentially do. And then we started to get a little more known with each other the second meeting, the third meeting, the fourth meeting. And I came to find out that his father was a CEO of Hilton Hotels for 10 years. And before that, he was the CFO of Disney, Michael Eisner for about five, six, seven years. His name is Stephen Bollenbach, and he’s a financial engineer that specializes in the hotel and restaurant hospitality industry. And that just, God, or somebody to put that in my path where now I can really talk about these things that were in my head to somebody who might be interested. And I pitched him on an idea for what ended up being Bottega Louie in downtown LA. And that idea was different for me because everything I saw at that point and still today, 15 years later, 12 years later, still nothing has changed, right?

[Sam Marvin]

Everything I saw at that point was people were still opening up hotels and restaurants and hospitality venues the exact same way that they did it a hundred years ago. So the guy who just built this, the Sawyer hotel, a new Kimpton hotel that I’m located in Sacramento, he really didn’t do anything different than the guy who built the Waldorf Astoria in New York a hundred plus years ago, 120 years ago. Nothing’s changed. And for me, that was just asinine. Like I can understand at the time why everything is changing in the world except this at the time $650 billion a year industry. And we’re still doing things the way people did it a hundred years ago. And I pitched this idea to the Bollenbachs and they liked it. It was in my head and we needed to figure out how to make it executionable, but they really understood the basis of the idea.

[Sam Marvin]

And the basis of the idea is that I’m not really in the restaurant business anymore. That was my basis 10 years ago, that I was getting into a new business and it’s called the experience business. And my number one goal in my experience business is to create egocentric gratification in my guests. So if I can achieve creating egocentric gratification in my guests, it’s over. That’s my guest five times a week. Not once a week. Restaurants, institutions talk about once every 90 days. If you see a guest, that’s a good guest. Well, when we opened Bottega Louie, I mandated that we see a guest three times a week, not once every 90 days. And they looked at me like I was, how can you expect that? And then I explained to him why.

[Sam Marvin]

We opened in 2008 Bottega Louie, 2009. And it was tremendously horrific times. Different than today, but a lot of similarities. The market crashed, people’s spending was dried up. It was just unbelievably horrific times for our industry. But again, just like today, which we’ll talk about in a little while, the opportunity during tragedy, there’s tons of opportunity. It’s equal. If your life is like this, it goes like that. So there’s a lot of opportunity and there’s a lot of tragedy. But they move at equal spaces. So with as much tragedy you have that’s how much opportunity you have as well. So I looked at Bottega Louie that if we could create egocentric gratification and a guest for 40 bucks, that would be a win for us. Because at that point up until then everyone’s gone to The Palm and spending $60 at lunch and $90 at dinner on expense accounts.

[Sam Marvin]

And now they have to all pull back because they can’t do that anymore. So if we could deliver a better experience at $45 than you got at $125? Wow, right? And that was the goal of Bottega Louie. And we had to do it in a lot of ways. When I say people are still doing it the same way they, open on a few characteristics. Location, location, location. That’s important. Food is important. Service is important. Design is important. Ambiance is important. Those are like the five basic tools of the industry. They look at those five tools and if you get all five of those, I got the best location, great food, great service, the place looks beautiful and it feels good in here, that’s what they’re looking for. Well, that’s that old asinine thinking for me again, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

[Sam Marvin]

So we sat in an office and I talked about other things that all have to do with the human psyche, most of them. How you touch on the subconscious of people. How do we do that? How do we make people feel that egocentric gratification? We have 130 different pieces that include those other five. They include location, ambiance, service, food, et cetera. But there’s another 125 pieces. And it depends on the restaurant. Like there might be 135 pieces instead of 125 pieces. So we formulate it. But now you have these 125 pieces that now create the new whole. So those other five pieces, location, and service and stuff, they’re important, but they are no more important or no less important than the other 120 pieces. And now we create a whole, and this is our new foundation.

[Sam Marvin]

And that includes everything. You’d come into Bottega Louie and we’re very busy and we would spend $1,300 on a leather bound, red leather with gold imprint of our logo. And we would open that big book up and we would grab a pen and we would start writing your name. Joshua Kopel. He’s wearing headphones. Beautiful, beautiful. And now you would go and we’d find the guy wearing the headphones. Joshua, your table’s ready. And we would go through one of those books every 75 days because we ran out of room where we’re writing the numbers. And people would look at me like I was an idiot. “I can’t believe you’re spending $6,000 a year on paper that you just write your name on.” But they didn’t understand the subconscious psychological connection that I’m making with the guest.

[Sam Marvin]

Because that’s what I’ve been studying about really doing a lot of R&D about. But people, as opposed to the hostess looking at her screen at a computer screen punching in your name, thank you very much. It was that connection. We did things that you talked about the 130 points, you’d walk into still my restaurants today, especially Bottega, you don’t know what to do. You walk in, there’s a market to the left. There’s a host stand, but it’s like 40 feet in the interior, you see a pizza oven all the way in the back, there’s this big kitchen that’s wide open. They don’t even know where they’re supposed to walk or what they’re supposed to do. And I can’t tell you how many people have suggested the noise is loud and people don’t know what to do when they come in. The amount of comments I would get on that.

[Sam Marvin]

But that’s intentional because that automatically creates an opportunity to develop a relationship with that guest no matter what. How are you today? Oh, you don’t know where you’re supposed to go? Let me show you, follow me. Are you hungry? Oh, you’re thinking of the market. You know what, Josh, can you come here and help this gentleman for me? It’s really about building relationships to create that egocentric gratification. So when you leave, you feel like the king or the queen and you can’t wait to come back. Not only you can’t wait to come back, you can’t wait to bring your people that you care about to show them how you are the king or the queen. So it’s a pretty solid formula. I believed in it at Bottega people thought we were crazy. We put almost $6 million into that restaurant during a recession.

[Sam Marvin]

People would walk by and see 8,000 feet of Carrara marble on the floor and say, how dare you? Like, how dare you? Don’t you see the homeless people out there? It was a lot of R&D downtown. And I believe you can never really, you can’t argue with the facts. And so the success of Bottega Louie, yeah there’s success. I lived in Europe, so I took a lot of things like Ladurée, they sold macarons. Nobody knew what French macarons were before Bottega Louie opened. We knew, but they weren’t being sold anywhere. But Ladurée has a line along the Champs d’Elysee, Paris has lines, they have three locations, a line going down the street every day, every minute. So why wouldn’t they do that in LA? So a little bit of Dean and DeLuca, a little bit of Hédiard. An Italian format because that’s the number one food format in the world.

[Sam Marvin]

If I was going to open an Italian restaurant which is number one, or I could open an Ethiopian restaurant, which is number 36. Well, it makes more sense to open an Italian because more people are going to come to the Italian. It’s the number one food gender in the world. So everything had a lot of thought process that went into it. We actually ended up sitting in that office on Doheny Place for almost two and a half years. So it just nonstop, one thing after another, and this new foundation. How are we going to create business? So on and so forth. But choosing our location downtown LA was about the facts. People say how dare you go to downtown LA, it’s homeless. People have been talking about downtown is going to be up and coming.

[Sam Marvin]

They’ve been talking about that since I was 10 years old and it never seemed to materialize. But then we looked at The Palm downtown. They were the number two Palm in the entire chain of all their restaurants. We looked at Roy’s. Roy’s was the number one restaurant in their chain. They had 15, 18 locations. That was the number one grossing revenue. We looked at The Daily Grill, had like 30 restaurants. That was the number one Daily Grill in the chain. We’re looking at these numbers that are just … The Ralph’s, there was a Ralph’s down there that opened up. And it’s the number one Ralph’s in all Ralph’s in the entire chain of Ralph’s was the downtown Ralph’s location. So when you see those numbers, you really believe in them. Again in our R&D, which I think is so important if you want to be successful at anything.

[Sam Marvin]

We understood 41,000 people live in downtown LA at the time. 200,000 people were working in downtown LA. 1.3 people was the average occupancy of a living, a home in downtown LA. $93,000 was the average income per person. $107,000 was the average income per family. All these numbers were second to Orange County and Beverly Hills. But way above anything you could even imagine them being. So if you look at all those statistics and facts, it’s hard to go against that. Very, very, very difficult to go against that. Now we opened Bottega Louie. Jump up to the opening Bottega Louie.

[Sam Marvin]

We’re very successful. Like we hope to be, like we plan to be. We had a good plan and we had good expectations. We weren’t just swinging from the hip, throwing our hat in the bucket and hoping that we were going to be successful. We really did a lot of due diligence. Not that that can go wrong. And I’m going to show you exactly how that did go wrong by the way. But we open up and we’re successful. We’re doing, when I say successful, we’re doing eight, nine million out of the gate. It’s 9,800 square feet, nine million. That’s big for us. That’s a successful restaurant. Year one, we turned zero profits. And all you hear around the whole city, those idiots at Bottega Louie. They are so dumb. They’re crushing it. They’re doing nine, 10 million, whatever the numbers that people were imagining.

[Sam Marvin]

Every time you go there, it’s packed. And the rumor is that they didn’t make a penny. Those guys are dummies. Well, that was all intentional Joshua. That was part of 130 points was not to make any free cash flow at the end of year one. To spend it all, to invest in the business, to create relationships. You know what? “Your mom’s not feeling well, Joshua? Here’s something for your mom. Take it home with you. This is our lasagna and a little bowl of chicken soup.” “Really? You don’t even know me.” “Yeah, but you told me your mom wasn’t feeling well.” That’s investing in our relationships, investing in our business. Taking care of our employees. Every decision I make for our business has to fit under four categories and umbrella.

[Sam Marvin]

And it has to be good for the employee, good for the investment, good for the community and, good for the guest. So if I have an idea and it fits under all four of those categories, that’s a good idea that we can continue to go with. I look at it like this. You have a black belt in karate. Well, I can almost assure you that that black belt in karate probably has never gotten into a fight. Almost for sure. Most of them haven’t, outside of competition and things like that. On the street. But if they did get into a fight, they got this tool belt that they’re wearing. And they have all the tools to be very successful. So that’s what we really try and do from every aspect of it.

[Sam Marvin]

When I talked about all that R&D and learning about how many people are in this society and what the businesses are doing around us and so on and so forth, it’s really about having all those tools. Even if I don’t need to use them now, if I ever needed to use them, I have them and I understand them. Right. So that’s pretty much what we do. That brought me on to leaving Bottega Louie. So I was there for about … we were open, I was there about five and a half years. I got invested in my small part of Bottega Louie after five years. So I was really working for my salary. I didn’t see the expansion going the way we planned it to go. And it felt like we were slowing down a little bit in our thought process, and it made sense for me to walk away.

[Sam Marvin]

I opened my own company now where I was 100% ownership, not a minimal part of it. Because I learned a lot. I learned a lot that, yes, am I a chef? Absolutely. Can I cook very well, can I create menus? Can I do all the chef roles? Absolutely. But to be successful and to control my own destiny, that’s the difference, letting someone else control our destiny versus us, I really needed to take all that business knowledge that I have been learning with Bottega Louie and these real smart individuals. And now I sucked it up. Remember I told you, you get out of something what you put into it. So I studied every publicly traded hotel company at the time, every publicly traded restaurant company. Understood, you know why we opened Bottega Louie at 10,000 square feet? Because if you looked at the market, ideally thinking of going public one day, restaurants that were over 8,000 square feet were given a higher value than restaurants that were between three and 5,000 square feet or between under 3,000 square feet. It’s price to earnings ratio.

[Sam Marvin]

The smaller ones were 10 to one, 15 to one. Well, the big boxes like Cheesecake Factory at the time, or whatever big boxes that were in that 10,000 square foot range, they were 40 to one, 50 to one. So for every dollar, it’s worth $40 as opposed to every dollar worth $10 just because of the size and location. That’s what the market did. So that’s why one of the reasons we opened a big restaurant.

[Sam Marvin]

So I leave there and now I’m going to take all this business knowledge. And I look at what people need. Again, we did all that research at Bottega Louie. We didn’t just open it up and say they will come build it and they will come. We didn’t put a square peg in a round hole. We did all this R&D to figure out what the community needed. And that was a gathering spot, that was an affordable place where they can come three times a week. Where they can come in shorts or they can come in a business suit. Where they can come and have a business meeting, or they can stop and get a martini after work. So many different avenues, and part of that 130 points is if you want someone to come to your restaurant three times a week, you better figure out a reason for them to come there three times a week.

[Sam Marvin]

If it’s just to have dinner or just to have lunch, well they can’t do that three times a week, right. We would transition six feet of space four times in one day to create different vignettes where people would be coming for those different things. So a person could actually come two or three times a day if they wanted to for different reasons. I looked at opportunities in Vegas. I would go back and forth to visit my family. And there was an opportunity there. And gosh, there wasn’t a steakhouse in the community. If you wanted a steakhouse, you had to go to the strip or you had to go spend a lot of money. Well, I started studying steakhouses. The developer thought it would be a good idea to put a steakhouse in there. It’s not like I was craving to open a steakhouse.

[Sam Marvin]

I said, well, if I do it, I do a butcher shop too, because every time I’d go to Vegas and you want to buy a piece of meat, you’re at Smith’s and it’s a barcode. Beep, beep, beep, beep. Like you don’t know where that animal came from. You don’t know how it was talked to, what it ate, how it was treated. It’s a barcode. And that was disgusting for me being a chef. And growing up in the philosophies that I learned how to be a chef under, that just didn’t make sense for me. So I said, I can open a steakhouse and I can open a butcher shop at the same time. And then I started studying doing my R&D like I do. And I realized that you had Fleming’s and Mastro’s and The Palm and Ruth Chris, and so on and so forth. And they all were started at an $88 check average and went up from there, all those restaurants.

[Sam Marvin]

And then you went to Outback, Black Angus, Lonestar, those steakhouses, and they all capped at a $28 check average. So between $28 and $88, you had nothing in the marketplace, zero. If you look at Italian food, every penny, you can have tremendous amounts of restaurants at every penny level. So at $62, $63, $21 that stacked. Steakhouse, there was a niche that wasn’t being filled. So I created a steakhouse with a $52 check average, right in between both of them. And that was our niche, and that brought us to success. Another bit of my R&D is if you go out and you have a piece of fish, or you have a piece of chicken, or you have lamb chops, or you have a pork chop, that fish weighs six ounces. That piece of chicken weighs nine ounces. Those lamb chops weigh eight, nine ounces. That double thick pork chop weighs 10 and a half ounces. Do people want to eat 30 ounce steaks? No, they don’t. But you don’t have a choice. All those steakhouses are embedded in their long time concepts.

[Sam Marvin]

They’ve all been around for 10 years, 12 years, five years, 20 years. So they don’t have a choice. They’re serving New York’s rib-eyes filets. And they’re big cuts because the higher price meat gets, to give you a little bit of value, they got to charge you $8 more. They give you an extra two, three ounces. So now you walk into places and their steaks are all 22 ounce bone in New York, 28 ounce this, 40 ounce this. You ended up taking it all home anyways. Really what you need is you need eight ounce, nine ounces of protein, just like every other day protein is. So I said great. We could do a 10 ounce steak or nine ounce steak, but we can give you the best steak money can buy. So if you came to us and you said I’m going to have a hanger steak, doesn’t matter what it is.

[Sam Marvin]

My hanger steak is $28, $27, weighs 10 ounces. That’s a USDA natural prime hanger steak. So that is the top 2% of all beef grades in the United States of America is natural prime. So it doesn’t matter how much money you have. You can’t buy a better hanger steak than the one I’m selling you, and it’s only $28. Wow. I’m spending $60 at Ruth Chris for a petite filet, or whatever the number is. Maybe a little exaggerated. Maybe it’s $45, $48, but I could buy the best hanger steak in the world for 28 bucks. And now I can also enjoy my salad and a little bit of vegetable or something like that as well? Wow, that’s just phenomenal. So, there’s a lot to our success at our other restaurants that goes into the planning stage, the business part of the stage.

[Sam Marvin]

So now we’re open with Echo & Rig. We were very successful from day one, because again, it wasn’t really taking a chance because that’s what the people wanted. Until this craziness came upon us. And I’m sure that’s what we’re going to talk about a little bit as well. A lot of people talk about it, it feels like you’re going back to zero. Like you’re rebuilding. Those types of feelings that are associated with that. The bottom line is everything’s changed. 100%, everything has changed. This industry has, like I started out earlier, when you’re doing grand revenue numbers, it hides all the potential little flaws that are there. You don’t see them. But now with the change, you see everything.

[Sam Marvin]

We’re operating our butcher shop in Vegas. And you know, the bottom line is that we need to make a profit if we do $3,000 in sales for the week or we do $15,000 in sales for the week, we need to make a profit. Where before we would need to do $100,000 in sales to make a profit. And if we only do $90,000, we’re losing money, but we’re doing $130,000 so we’re okay. But at $90,000 to lose money doesn’t make sense to me anymore. It did two months ago because you never did the $90,000, so you were doing your $130,000 or whatever that was. So it never came into existence, but now it does. So yeah. I’m retooling everything for a better and bigger, and it’s exciting for me. People talk to me about my feelings. Am I depressed or do I feel, how do you feel? On the contrary. I feel excitement.

[Sam Marvin]

It’s not really zero. We’re not starting at zero. As opposed to focusing on potentially how comfortable my chairs are, and I’m going to spend $265 a chair, my new chairs, we’re really focusing our efforts into a lot of different things like packaging. Most restaurants like me that didn’t do delivery or curbside pickup as much, we’d put your stuff in a, to go box and you put it in a bag that had our logo on it, you’d take it with you. We can’t do that anymore. That doesn’t work for us. That’s not the correct packaging. It’s still for me where everybody else is trying to create food for you to take home, food for you to eat, the restaurant in your house, things like that, I’m just going to be trying to create egocentric gratification in our guests. Even if we can’t do it in the restaurant, how do we do it so when they’re home, they’re still feeling like the king and queen, because Echo & Rig and Sam Marvin made them feel that way.

[Sam Marvin]

They don’t know that, it’s just in their mind, it’s subconscious, but you got that feeling. It’s like, wow, I need to order from Echo & Rig tomorrow as well. I need to go back there and get this and try that. So it’s really about the feeling we’re creating because are there restaurants that have better food than we do? Of course there are, I’d be an idiot if I said no. Are there restaurants that have better service than us? Absolutely.

[Sam Marvin]

Are the restaurants that look prettier, that are more expensive. Of course there are. But are there restaurants that can create a better experience than we do? I don’t believe that.

[Josh Kopel]That’s chef Sam Marvin, founder of Bottega Louie and Echo & Rig. Be sure to follow the chef on Instagram using the handle @chefsammarvin. If you want to tell us your story, hear previous episodes, check out our video content or read our weekly blog, go to Joshkopel.com. That’s J-O-S-H-K-O-P-E-L.com. Thank you so much for listening to the show. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and while you’re there, please leave us a review. A special thanks to Yelp for helping us spread the word to the whole hospitality community. I’m Josh Kopel. You’ve been listening to Full Comp.

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