Larry Reinstein
Founder, LJR Hospitality Group
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July 26, 2019 -- If Larry Reinstein could advise other restaurateurs, he would tell them to embrace industry disrupters, not fear them.

Reinstein, head of LJR Hospitality Ventures, and former CEO of the Fresh Concepts restaurant company as well as former president of Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, confirms that a lot of operators fear making changes, especially when it involves incorporating emerging technologies. But he says it’s better to adapt than risk losing sales.

“It is important to always stay one step ahead or you fall too far behind,” he says.

The industry veteran appeared on our podcast series Fast Casual Insider, talking about competing in today’s marketplace and achieving success. In a separate interview, he discussed his own experiences and about how technology is changing the industry. Here is some of what he said: 

What was the hardest management lesson you learned early on?

As a young leader, I thought that if we worked long and hard enough we could excel in any area and that I could do mostly everything by myself. As I opened more restaurants, I learned you need a great team and the importance of delegating and trusting that team. The second important lesson I learned was to seek out a diverse group of individuals for your team, each with different strengths. Over time, I came to understand that people have their sweet spots where they will do their best work to benefit the company and themselves. 

What are the biggest disrupters to our industry?

I would say technology. Whether it’s software or equipment, what you’re using today isn’t necessarily what you’re going to use a year or two from now. In regards to software, the data you need to enhance everything from loyalty to guest engagement is always evolving. The question is, what data is most important to your brand and how do you find the least amount of software solutions to provide that information in an easily accessible format.

What is your favorite part of your job and why?

I love taking what I have learned over the years and using it to assist others. I also like being a personal and confidential sounding board. People can ask me anything and I will give them honest answers. I have experienced a lot in my career, and enjoy helping people achieve the personal and financial success they deserve. 

To hear more of Reinstein’s industry insights, listen to Fast Casual Insider: Larry Reinstein.