Get All Access for $5/mo

The CEO of Kitchen United Says This Is His Most Essential Business Tool Kitchen United CEO Atul Sood discusses the power of relationships, communicating with authenticity, and sharing your struggles with others.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • The Power of Friendship: Atul Sood says that “assuming friendships” has been pivotal in his career success and in creating enjoyable workspaces.
  • Building Relationship Through Authenticity: Atul Sood made a conscious decision to post more content this year. He didn't stop at just posting about Kitchen United, though. He posts about industry happenings and personal events as well. Most importantly, he engages intentionally with his audience by leaving meaningful comments under their posts when he feels prompted to do so.
  • Being Open and Sharing Struggles: Atul Sood's superpower is that assumes friendship upon meeting people. This allows him to open up and share his mental struggles with others, in hopes that it encourages them to not struggle alone and to ask for help.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"We'll be friends forever." That notable quote from A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh sums up how Kitchen United CEO Atul Sood approaches life and business.

Friendship is paramount to success, even more so in the social media era.

Atul Sood places a unique emphasis on the power of friendships as a driving force for both his personal and professional success.

He "assumes friendship" upon first meeting someone. For him, friendships mean respect, trust, and love, while transcending the boundaries of work.

"When you work with your friends, it doesn't feel like work," Atul Sood shares with friend and host Shawn P. Walchef of Cali BBQ Media.

"You can have intimate conversations about life choices and mistakes and ambitions, and you can share things that you generally don't share with people who you work with. And that's nice. That's the point of life to me."

Taking a step beyond conventional professional engagement, Atul Sood actively engages with his audience through social media. He shares insights not only about Kitchen United but also about industry developments and personal experiences.

When interacting as a consumer, he intentionally leaves meaningful comments on posts, recognizing the importance of building relationships beyond the confines of his own content and adding value by doing so.

As he explains, "I engage outside of my wall, and that's important, too, because there are other people who are building content. And the way the algorithm works If I comment, it broadens the reach."

Sood's approach to leadership is not just about building successful businesses but creating spaces where authentic connections and shared experiences thrive. His undeniable vibrance is attributed to his ability to assume friendship upon meeting people.

This superpower allows him to open up and share his struggles, advocating for a culture of openness and encouraging others not to navigate challenges alone. He emphasizes the importance of selecting a trusted circle of individuals outside of one's immediate family and spouse. That way you take in diverse perspectives, share struggles openly, and receive honest feedback.

"Not everybody is extroverted. Not everybody assumes friendship and will reveal stuff to people that you just met," he says told Shawn while visiting Cali BBQ in San Diego. "I'm all about openness and sharing struggles."

Atul Sood's positive outlook is sure to serve him well as he navigates the inevitable challenges in his newly appointed role as Kitchen United CEO. Luckily, motivation will not be an issue for Sood.

Not with so many friends around.

"You can find hope and inspiration anywhere."

Subscribe to Restaurant Influencers: Entrepreneur | Spotify | Apple

About Restaurant Influencers

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.

More from Restaurant Influencers

How Do You Start a Successful Restaurant? Obsess Over the Tiniest Details, Says This Entrepreneurial Chef.

The Scrappy Origin Story of Toast, the Game-Changing Restaurant Tech Company

If You Want to Make Millions, Ditch Your Polished Pitch and 'Own Your Crazy' Says This Legendary Branding Guru

This Chef Fled a War-Torn Country as a Child. Now She's Helping Other Refugees Rebuild Their Lives.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

'The Work Just Fills My Soul': She Turned Her Creative Side Hustle Into a 6-Figure 'Dream' Business

Kayla Valerio, owner of vivid hair salon Haus of Color, transformed her passion into a lucrative venture.


6 Cost-Effective Ways to Acquire Brand Ambassadors

Boost your brand's visibility and credibility with budget-friendly strategies for acquiring brand ambassadors.

Making a Change

Mastering Resilience: Learn to Detach Mistakes from Your Self-Worth with Darrell Vesterfelt

A moment of crisis led to his partners asking him to step away from one of the businesses that he co-founded


Remove Unwanted Files from Your Work Mac Fast with This $32 Lifetime License

MacCleanse can help you safely and securely clean up your computer.

Growing a Business

This Nurse-Turned-Entrepreneur Saw the Needs of Underserved Communities Firsthand. Now, His Company Uses AI to Help Them.

Kwamane Liddell, the innovative founder behind ThriveLink, shares his entrepreneurial journey.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.