The Power of Listening and Leadership: Insights from Gregg Majewski on The Restaurant Strategy Podcast

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Interview with Wow Bao Founder Geoff Alexander about lessons learned from fine dining, the responsibility of leadership, and being forward thinking.

Key Takeaways

The Value of Listening

Gregg Majewski learned the power of listening from his father early in life. He has taken that lesson into his leadership at Craveworthy Brands and has created a reliable network of friends that help improve himself personally and professionally.

Building a World-Class Restaurant Management Team

Leadership requires followers. Gregg Majewski believes that effective leaders are able to teach gracefully. Building a positive environment that is conducive to success will inevitably lead to more buy-in from staff.

Focus on the Food

It’s no secret that standing out in the fast-casual industry can be difficult. For Gregg Majewski, since food is the most important piece to creating a consistent customer base, it needs to be available for people to try. For him, having potential customers sample good food is the greatest marketing strategy.


Gregg Majewski, Founder and CEO of Craveworthy Brands, recently shared his insights on The Restaurant Strategy Podcast with Chip Klose. Reflecting on a valuable lesson from his father, Majewski emphasized the importance of listening to everyone. This approach has significantly shaped his leadership style and helped him build a strong network of friends who contribute to his personal and professional growth.

"I learned a long time ago from my dad and others that you have to listen to everybody," Majewski explained. "They may not be right, but you're going to get something out of that conversation that you can use to make yourself better. That's why I surround myself with the friends I have in this industry. Each and every one of them gives me advice to make my company better or make myself better, both as a person and as a leader."

Majewski also discussed the essence of effective leadership, emphasizing the importance of creating a positive environment that fosters employee buy-in. He believes that calm, constructive teaching is far more effective than the traditional high-stress, high-pressure approach often seen in the restaurant industry.

"The more you can get an employee or a group to buy into the store itself, the greater success you're going to have running any business," Majewski noted. "Instead of being raging lunatics when things go wrong, if you can calmly teach where you want to go, people will follow. They follow people who help them get better and motivate them by doing things the right way."

Standing out in the fast-casual industry is no small feat, but Majewski believes that great food is the cornerstone of customer loyalty. He champions the idea of letting potential customers sample their offerings as the best marketing strategy.

"I believe my food is what's going to attract people to come in," Majewski stated. "In fast casual, we have to be good at service and great at food. People remember great food that is on time, made the way they want, and consistently reliable. If your food is king, then give it away. When you're building a marketing campaign, let people try it. Put your money where your mouth is and get them in. If it's good when they come, they'll come back."

Majewski's approach to leadership and customer engagement is a testament to his belief in the power of listening, teaching with grace, and ensuring that the quality of the product speaks for itself.

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Chip Klose is a New York City-based restaurant coach as well as the host of the Restaurant Strategy podcast. He has amassed more than two decades of operational experience in the hospitality industry, opening Michelin-starred restaurants and collaborating with numerous James Beard Award-winning chefs. He is a contributing writer for Bar & Restaurant and travels the country as a noted public speaker, giving presentations on marketing, operations, technology, and more. He earned his MBA in food marketing from Saint Joseph’s University, where he frequently teaches as a guest lecturer.

As a coach he’s worked with dozens of companies, helping them with everything from menu costing and payroll to developing a framework for how to position their restaurant in the market.

His goal — both in the work he does with his clients as well as on the podcast — is to help chefs and operators build more profitable restaurants. Guests on his podcast have included New York Times bestselling author Martin Lindstrom, Wharton professor Peter Fader, Founder of Cali BBQ Media, Shawn Walchef, and many, many more. The show is consistently listed on Apple’s Top 100 Marketing Podcasts and was recently voted as a Top 20 Restaurant Podcast by Feedspot. (courtesy of Restaurant Strategy Podcast)

About Gregg Majewski

Gregg Majewski has a vast amount of experience as a corporate executive in the restaurant industry. As the former CEO of Jimmy John’s, he played a major role in expanding the franchise from 33 to 300+ stores in just 5 years by surrounding the company’s marketing strategy around the innovative approach of delivering sandwiches and being “freaky fast”. Majewski has worked to develop restaurant concepts over the last two plus decades, before starting Craveworthy Brands in 2023, which currently includes a growing portfolio of restaurant brands.


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