Honeygrow Founder Justin Rosenberg on Making Customers Happy with Kick Ass Service Interview with honeygrow CEO/Founder about having a timeline to make mistakes, learning to manage up, and finding joy in your work.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • Drillers Make Killers - Justin Rosenberg fully understands that entrepreneurship comes with bumps along the way. His best advice is to give yourself room to make mistakes, but also give yourself a deadline to figure it out.
  • Being Managed as a CEO - Being approachable is an intangible quality that successful CEOs tend to possess. For Justin Rosenberg, creating a space where his trusted cabinet can "manage up" provides them a voice and creates a culture of accountability that ultimately leads to honeygrow's possession.
  • Serving the Customers is the Greatest Joy - When asked what brings him joy, Justin Rosenberg quickly answers "making our customers happy". Using the pronoun "our" is indicative of his leadership approach, and how grateful he is to be of service.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Justin Rosenberg, the founder of healthy food chain honeygrow, finds fulfillment in the happiness of their customers. And the CEO understands that achieving that joy doesn't happen without being surrounded by a strong, competent, efficient team that knows how to kick ass.

For the honeygrow founder/CEO, hospitality is about exceeding customer expectations.

"Making our customers happy," answers honeygrow founder Justin Rosenberg when asked what brings him joy by Restaurant Influnecers podcast host Shawn Walchef of CaliBBQ Media. "And that means making the team ready to kick ass."

Founded in 2012, honeygrow has a mission of bringing people together with high-quality wholesome and simple foods. The chain specializes in "craveable and customizable" stir-frys, salads and honeybars.

Experience has brought about knowledge for Justin Rosenberg. He didn't always feel like a great leader, and didn't always choose the right people to fill key positions. Now with more experience and years behind him, he can appreciate the importance of making mistakes and investing the necessary time and effort to improve.

"That just came with time and practice and rejection and everything else," says Rosenberg of building his expertise. "It just takes reps to get better at anything."

His leadership style evolved to encourage his team members to "manage up" by providing him with valuable information and insights.

Unlike some CEOs who prefer to operate in a closed environment, Justin Rosenberg actively seeks opportunity to learn and perspectives to make informed decisions. That has driven him to be present at the restaurants, refusing to let success lure him into an office-centric approach. This hands-on attitude not only fosters a culture of accountability but also ensures that the core values of the company are upheld.

"People can manage up to me," says Rosenberg. " I need as much information as possible objectively to make a decision. If you don't tell me, I don't know."

Appreciation, dedication, and effort put in by the honeygrow team create a positive impact on customers' lives.

Justin Rosenberg shared an anecdote about encountering a pilot with a honeygrow bag at an airport, even though the brand didn't have a presence in that area.

This small but significant moment exemplifies how honeygrow's reputation for quality and service has spread beyond its physical locations. It demonstrates the pride Rosenberg feels when customers actively choose his brand over other options. For him, the satisfaction of making customers happy is intertwined with the team's dedication and ability to consistently excel.

Justin Rosenberg's entrepreneurial journey and leadership philosophy reflect his commitment to personal growth, accountability, and customer satisfaction.



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.

More from Restaurant Influencers

How Restaurant365 CEO Tony Smith Uses Data to Make Better Decisions

Sara Finnegan of Edley's Restaurant Group Shares the Key Ingredient for Restaurant Success

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