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EP 08 / Paul Macaluso / CEO of Another Broken Egg Café

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My chat with Paul unpacks his unique approach to building a culture of resilience within Another Broken Egg Café's system. Nearly immediately after manning the helm at ABE, the pandemic hit hard. Through his leadership and agility, he was able to operationally pivot like a maverick to not only stay afloat but to thrive and charge ahead. He shares a bit about how he did it and more in this episode of Forktales!

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Restaurant branding and marketing podcast with Paul Macaluso of Another Broken Egg Café
EP 08 / Paul Macaluso / CEO of Another Broken Egg Café

Show Notes

  • Growth through the pandemic
  • Packaging—helping enhance the experience of to-go at home
  • People being lenient and supportive, in return providing great service
  • Alcohol sales (“big part of the brand”)
  • Minimum Wage and labor- making it easier for people who are already working, and for people who want to join the team
  • The CULTURE of working within the team- for hiring and attracting top talent
  • Franchisees- how they implement culture when it might not be a top priority
  • Leadership-maximizing people and their capacity
  • Technology in the industry-whats coming up, integration, understanding their patrons
  • What’s the future of breakfast?

Notable Quotes

“Even though we were at 50% capacity [last September], we were seeing higher business Monday thru Friday, we’re seeing more to-go orders—now it’s at 15% of our sales (compared to the 2% pre-pandemic).”

“People were very lenient with us… just wanting us to succeed, [they] were wanting to help us.”

“Our biggest thing was trying to let people know when we were re-opening because every store, every jurisdiction was slightly different.”

“In certain cities, [alcohol sales] were a bigger part of sales than other cities. What we found was that with the flexibility of people WFH, and the stress of everything, alcohol sales have been really on the uptick.”

“In 2013, we were at 5% sales for alcohol, in 2018, it was 7%. Right now it’s about 15%, with some stores being over 20%.”

“Monday thru Thursday, sales of alcohol were up over 40%. So it’s not just the weekend that people are drinking.”

“We’re trying to make our compensation packages more holistic, i.e. adding a 401k. We’re trying to do a better job of recruiting people and training them and developing them.”

“For the people you have, have a good compensation package, and a path for them to develop themselves and their career if they choose to do that.”

“Quality of life is really great; managers are home every night with their kids—they’re done at 3.30.”

“Another thing is making sure people know what our values are, and recognizing people that [represent them]. We have a recognition program where we pass out these golden tickets representing the five core values, and I go out and recognize the people that are representing those…But it’s really about peer-to-peer recognition.”

“You need to take pride in serving people…The best at their job really have these core values.”

“It starts with the first interaction. We have expectations, everything from simple things…reaching out within 24 hours. It’s part of the mutual respect, how we treat them; when they first come in for Discovery Days, even before they’re franchisees, we [share] our culture, what’s important to us, and how they can expect to be treated.”

“One of my biggest challenges as a leader is knowing when to push without feeling bad that you’re pushing beyond what people are capable of.”

“What we’re seeing is, you need technology that can be easily integrated…Make it seamless for the customer and the server.”

“The ability to scale more quickly is on the horizon [for Another Broken Egg Cafe]. We’ve signed a couple of multi-year franchisees already this year…We finished last year with 71 cafes, and we’re gonna open 18 this year… It’s not just about us, it’s about the idea of brunch.”

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