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Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani on Finding Food Fame Interview with the CEO Fabio Viviani about how culture should be the number one goal for any business, finding — and using — celebrity, and learning to stick to a specific system.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Takeaways from this episode:

Goal #1: Build CultureFabio Viviani is a mogul in the hospitality space. He believes there is no possible way for his company to have flourished without first building an amazing culture.

Find a System. Check the System — Creating a culture is fine. Fabio Viviani believes that the system created within the culture, and the ability to ensure that system is adhered to, is the ultimate key to business success.

The Vision Creates the Path — As his level of success increased, Fabio Viviani's goals have adjusted to match. What he has found to be most important to his journey has been his consistent vision.


Chef Fabio Viviani has solidified his spot among the hospitality elite.

He moved from his native country of Italy to the United States in 2005. Within a year, he was voted "Fan Favorite" on Top Chef, a competitive reality television show that formerly aired on Bravo. His personality and obvious cooking talents landed the famous chef more television appearances, including a repeat appearance on Top Chef All-Stars, and catapulted him into becoming a celebrity chef and titan in the restaurant industry.

"We are trying to be at the forefront with our business," Chef Fabio Viviani said on the Restaurant Influencers podcast hosted by Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media. "A better way of doing hospitality. Better way to take care of your people. Better ways to build culture. Better way to open a franchise. You've got to find a new way."

Accomplishing amazing feats is somewhat of a norm for Chef Viviani. Prior to winning the hearts of the American public, Viviani cut his teeth working as a youth in restaurants in Florence. By 16, he worked his way into becoming sous chef of the vaunted Il Pallaio without formal culinary training.

Outside of his illustrious career in the kitchen and opening restaurants, Viviani is also a best-selling author with cookbooks Cafe Firenze Cookbook: Food and Drink Recipes from the Tuscan Sons and Fabio's Italian Kitchen being published in 2009 and 2013, respectively, with the second reaching the New York Times best seller list. His most recent cookbook, Fabio's 30-Minute Italian: Over 100 Fabulous, Quick and Easy Recipes, was published in 2017.

Chef Fabio Viviani's latest concept is JARS. JARS is a fast-casual dessert franchise that combines quality desserts and creative presentation, into "Instagrammable" and viral food content. Fan favorite desserts include cookies, cheesecake, peach cobbler, "Gooey Butter Cake" and Fabio's signature Italian Tiramisu.

Along with providing an array of events and hospitality consulting, his company has over 30 restaurants under its current umbrella. Viviani's life, however, has been one of extreme ambition. That remains the case as Viviani revealed his plans to open 1000 restaurants by 2030.

History tells us that there is a great chance that this vision will come to fruition. One thing is for sure, if you remind Viviani of all he has accomplished, he will smile and reply "We haven't even started."


NOMINATE A RESTAURANT INFLUENCER — Do you know someone who is killing it on social media? Let us know by emailing or sending the @calibbqmedia team a DM on social media.


Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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