The Stars of Restaurant Owners Uncorked: Jim Parker

Jim owns Red Hat on the River with his wife, Mary Beth Dooley. He left a very successful, 25-year career in the movie and film production business in 2003 on a whim to start a small bistro in Irvington, NY. Seven years later, Jim and Mary Beth are at their restaurant seven days per week, and they make the hard work and passion they pour into it look easy to the many guests they serve every day. Red Hat has established itself as an institution, so much so that people have been known to take the 30-minute train ride from Manhattan to dine there. The Clintons have even visited – twice. Jim told me that when he started, he knew nothing about restaurants, and he learned as he went. Well, he’s learned quite a bit, including these key tips from his interview:

– Put on a nightly production
– You’ll sweat – just don’t let ‘em see it
– Know how your potential partner works in the heat of battle
– Hire integrity and charm over experience
– Delivering excellent customer experiences is an art, not a science
– Staff will do as you do

Want to read why these points are important to Jim? We sent the publisher the final book edits yesterday. Stay tuned….

The Schedulefly Crew