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Restaurant Show

‘Restaurant Impossible’ star Robert Irvine talks leadership, innovation, technology

The chef sat down with NRN’s editor in chief at the recent National Restaurant Association Show to discuss the state of the industry.


Chef Robert Irvine made a name for himself on the Food Network TV show “Restaurant: Impossible,” through which he worked with more than 150 mom and pop restaurateurs to renovate their businesses and make strategic improvements.

While the show was cancelled last year after a remarkable 22 seasons, Irvine continues to be a force in the food world, owning multiple restaurant concepts and CPG brands while also leading the Robert Irvine Foundation, through which he supports veterans and active-duty military members.

Irvine is also invested in restaurant technology, specifically the kiosk platform GRUBBRR.

Irvine recently sat down with NRN’s editor-in-chief at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago for the latest episode of Take-Away with Sam Oches, and the two discussed his leadership style, his thoughts on the state of the foodservice industry, and why he’s such a big believer in restaurant technology.

In this conversation, you’ll learn more about why:

  • A strict but empathetic leadership style creates a productive, loyal working environment
  • You’ll get better results when you drop your ego and listen to people
  • Technology solutions allow operators to reallocate their spend on labor
  • Consumer adoption of technology gives restaurants permission to innovate
  • Once inflation cools, the restaurant industry should be able to springboard into the future

Contact Sam Oches at [email protected].

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