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It's All About the Guest


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After graduating from Boston University in 1982, Steve DiFillippo, CEO of Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse, attended The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. During college and culinary school, Steve DiFillippo learned the restaurant business from the ground up working at the 300-seat Seaside restaurant in Boston's Faneuil Hall beginning as a coffee clerk and ending up as executive chef. In 1985, at the age of 24, after seven years of working fulltime in the business, DiFillippo purchased an existing spot named Davio's. The new Davio's was hailed as a renaissance on Boston's Newbury Street and garnered rave reviews for being "innovative, creative, and bold." Over the years, DiFillippo opened more Davio's in the Boston area as well as in Philadelphia (1999), Gillette Stadium (2008), Atlanta (2010), with New York City scheduled for 2013. In the fall of 2007, DiFillippo launched Davio's popular Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls as a retail product. This has evolved into a $10 million retail food business and an expanding line of Davio's products are sold in 3,000 markets in 40 states, including Costco, BJs, Big Y and other supermarkets. He also hosts the "Dish It Up" segment on WCVB's StyleBoston.DiFillippo is actively involved in numerous civic, professional, and philanthropic organizations and events, including Rodman Ride for Kids; Raising a Reader; and the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Steve was inducted into the Massachusetts Restaurant Association's Hall of Fame in 2008, and the Anti-Defamation League of New England honored him with its Torch of Liberty award in 2010. DiFillippo lives in Wenham, MA, with his wife Pamela and their four children.


"Steve is the consummate host. As restaurateurs both starting out in Boston in the late '80s, we share a passion for this industry as well as an enduring friendship. Through this book you will gain insight into what it takes to run a successful restaurant as Steve guides you through all aspects of the process, sharing stories from his own personal journey. It's all about bringing people around the table, and Steve always has room at his table to welcome you." --Todd English, chef/restaurateur"A veritable handbook for anyone considering opening their own restaurant, DiFillippo pulls back the curtain to share his experiences--good and bad--and offers specific, distilled advice. A foodie practically from birth, DiFillippo did time in other restaurants before assuming ownership of Davio's, an 80 seat Italian restaurant in Boston, when he was just 24. At the time, Davio's was on its last legs and he quickly learned why: financial mismanagement, rampant drug use, theft and decrepit equipment had undermined the restaurant, forcing DiFillippo to make some quick decisions and set the tone for employees as well as customers. Attention to the smallest details, from bathrooms to wineglasses and the desire to go the extra mile for customers are just some of the lasting changes that have helped the restaurant expand to other locations and build loyalty. Budgeting, problem employees, food critics, labor laws, food costing, and knowing when to close up shop aren't as juicy as stories about hanging out with Julia Child (which he also includes) but they'll stick with serious readers a lot longer and help budding restaurateurs get a much more realistic feel of the road ahead. Anyone seriously considering entering the restaurant or hospitality business would do well to spend some time with DiFillippo's entertaining and insightful book." -- Publishers Weekly starred review"A fun read, with a huge soul and some pretty darn good life lessons."" --"I have thoroughly enjoyed Steve's cooking during my career in Boston and had even greater pleasure getting to know Steve. Exceeding expectations is what he does best. I am sure people will enjoy this book as much as their experience at one of Steve's restaurants." -- Tom Brady, NFL Quarterback "Steve is an amazing restaurateur and, with IAATG, he generously shares some of the secrets to his success. A fun read for anyone interested in the business, passionate about food, or just curious how life's lessons present themselves in some unexpected places." -- Ming Tsai, chef/restaurateur"This book may be all about the guest, but it is also all about the extraordinary attention to detail in every aspect of running a successful restaurant that Steve DiFillippo does so brilliantly in this very personal account of his journey of hard work from the bottom up to head of a restaurant empire that epitomizes his passionate love of food." -- Mary Ann Esposito, Host PBS Ciao Italia and author of Ciao Italia Family Classics "Going to Davio's is an amazing experience. The attitude of the staff is always upbeat and attentive, the food is consistently superb. Steve has created a great business and has been able to replicate it in location after location with great training, motivation, and execution. This is the best business book that I have read since Tom Peters' In Search of Excellence. I believe that we are all in a service industry and this book is a must read -- it's quick, easy and funny. There are also a few great recipes! -- Herb Chambers, one of America's largest automotive retailers

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