Video Transcript

00:09 Audience Member: You said you have many restaurants, how do you control the quality?

00:14 John Besh: How do I control the quality? The control of quality is very simple. It's about the philosophy of providing nothing but the best that you're capable of providing. It's about instilling the attitude in every worker, whether it's the dishwasher or it's the hostess that greets you as you enter our dining room; the importance of serving other people, and it really comes down to that. If you truly care about people, you won't let anything less than your absolute best ever leave you. So, whether you're serving or whether you're cooking, it's the same thing. And it's all about philosophy.

00:59 Audience Member: So, if you have 700 employees, how do you make sure that all 700 employees subscribe to your vision?

01:09 Besh: What I think the important thing is there's 700 employees but we also have a great core group of managers that have been through it with me. And they've seen where we've come from and they understand where we're going. And by just communicating that, is it perfect? No. But that's the beauty, and I think that's the... It takes a level of creativity just to run a business in such a way that you can... That you're trying to make sure that everybody understands the soul of what it is that you're trying to do. In our case, it's me playing preacher a good bit of the time. And I spend a lot more of my time running from restaurant to restaurant as a cheerleader, like I was talking about, so that everybody stays excited about what the bigger mission is.

02:01 Audience Member: I'm Tessa Snodgrass. I'm coming out of the army and I'm starting an organic farm in Austin, Texas, and I was interested in starting some of the same type things you were talking about, giving back to the community, but the thing I'm limited with right now is we only have 15 acres to start with. What kind of innovations did you come up with to maximize the products that you were able to do in sustainable farming?

02:29 Besh: I swear I haven't been drinking yet today.

02:34 Besh: But I can't hear very well in this room, so, if somebody wants to repeat it closer to me?

02:41 Audience Member: Sustainable farming and she only has 15 acres. So, how do you grow that, and her resources...

02:49 Besh: Well, that's a great question. I think the important thing is really focusing on what you can do. And there's all sorts of high intensity farming practices out there that we borrowed from the French, from the Dutch, that are really becoming commonplace today. Just what we're able to do with our six acres over at La Provence is pretty amazing. Where we just take our composting and how we apply that compost to the various gardens and how we go about cultivating some of these raised gardens that we have, is... I think the key here is really figuring out with your land, what's the most efficient and effective way? It's difficult. It's difficult when you think about the price per acre and how in the world, if you're spending the $5,000 to $15,000 an acre, how do you actually make a living at that? And that's the problem. And I think that's why you have a lot of land trusts out there right now trying to keep agricultural land available in more of a suburban setting, so that we have access to good sustainable, if not organic...