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In today’s episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” are joined by James Vitrano, Chief Executive Officer of Sucré.

They discuss James’ background, from his early ambitions to getting into the restaurant industry and working for major chains like Ruby Tuesday’s. They talk about his current role as CEO of Sucré, a high-end New Orleans-inspired dessert chain that he and his partners acquired and are now focused on growing. The three discuss topics such as franchising models, use of technology in restaurants, what’s right and wrong with the hospitality industry, along with James’ vision for bringing Sucré to new markets.

Key Takeaways:

  • James talks about his background and journey, buying Sucré and becoming its CEO. The original New Orleans patisserie, originally founded by Joel Dondis
  • Sucré is opening up its 15th store, and reflecting on James’ background at Louisiana Tech with an interest in pursuing law, but going into hospitality with Noah Restaurant Group, Ruby Tuesdays, among others
  • Ruby Tuesdays and being head of international, that taking James to Iceland, Romania, and Guam
  • Jimmy gives background on the fragmented nature of food service and hospitality, and asks James about leveraging tech. Thinking about the “tech stack”
  • Engagement, opportunity, and an explosion of software solutions. NOLA as a unique market.
  • New Orleans fusion of culture and heritage
  • Learning franchising and taking Noah’s Bagels from 7 stores to 2 million. Currently focusing on corporate franchising.
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