You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

How Luke's Lobster Is Clawing Its Way to the Top Sustaining both ocean life and business growth are at the heart of this company's philosophy.

By Dan Bova

entrepreneur daily
Luke's Lobster

In this ongoing series, we are sharing advice, tips and insights from real entrepreneurs who are out there doing business battle on a daily basis. (Answers have been edited and condensed for clarity.)

Who are you and what's your business?

My name is Luke Holden and I am CEO of Luke's Lobster. We are a vertically-integrated restaurant group that works directly with fisherman to bring the highest quality seafood direct from ocean to plate. We have 22 shacks in 7 states and are opening our second location in Philadelphia's Market East neighborhood this summer. We also have a food truck, the Nauti Mobile.

What's your company's philosophy?

We are anchored by a commitment to sustainably-sourced seafood. We take great pride in an absolute ability to trace our seafood's journey. We can do this as we have our own processing facility and know all of our fishermen.

Related: 22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader

What does the word "entrepreneur" mean to you?

To me it means going into business to support your stakeholders. I think the best entrepreneurs are able to create win-wins that lead to sustainable business growth and economics.

What was your toughest challenge and how did you overcome it?

It is hard to pick just one challenge, but I tackle them all the same. Huddle up with team, understand and unpack the challenge, divide and concur, come back as a team and see how we did. Sometimes it takes a few rounds.

Related: Entrepreneurs Are Artists of Life

What is your next big goal?

My next big goal is to tell the story of our seafood with a more focused lens. I don't think our guest understand the grit, determination, risk and skill that it requires to be a successful fisherman. I grew up in the lobster business, not the restaurant business, and one of the challenges I look forward to undertaking is bridging the information gap that exists between a guest simply enjoying their lobster roll, and a guest having access to the fisherman who caught their food and understanding how their dining decisions can impact a larger community.

What steps are you taking to achieve that?

We're telling the stories of our fishermen through social storytelling. For our opening in Market East next week we will showcase our fishermen not only on the walls of our shack, as with other locations, but are also bringing Jamie, a fisherman from Tenants Harbor, Maine, and a member of the Tenants Harbor Fisherman's Co-op, to meet with guests and talk about life as a fisherman.

What trait do you depend on most when making decisions?

I think the best decision makers are also the best leaders. The best leaders have the ability to ask the right questions and empower the team around them to gain as much good information as quickly as possible to make a well-informed decision.

Related: 5 Habits of the Wealthy That Helped Them Get Rich

How has your leadership style evolved?

I have just become more comfortable over time with building structure (organizational charts) and have learned when it is necessary vs. not necessary for me to get involved with challenges.

Is there a particular quote or saying that you use as personal motivation?

Not so much a quote, but I am big proponent of the Pareto Principle. I think a common observation of most the successful entrepreneurs is their ability to focus 80% of their time on the 20% of the business that drives 80% of the results.

Dan Bova

Entrepreneur Staff

VP of Special Projects

Dan Bova is the VP of Special Projects at Entrepreneur.com. He previously worked at Jimmy Kimmel Live, Maxim and Spy magazine. Check out his latest humor books for kids, including Wendell the Werewolf, Road & Track Crew's Big & Fast Cars, and The Big Little Book of Awesome Stuff.

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

Side Hustle

This Dad Started a Side Hustle to Save for His Daughter's College Fund — Then It Earned $1 Million and Caught Apple's Attention

In 2015, Greg Kerr, now owner of Alchemy Merch, was working as musician when he noticed a lucrative opportunity.

Business News

This One Word Is a Giveaway That You Used ChatGPT to Write an Email, According to an Expert

"Delve" has increased its presence in written work since ChatGPT entered the scene.

Business News

Yes, You Can Buy a Foldable Tiny Home on Amazon — And Now It's Selling for Less Than $12,000

The waterproof and flameproof house was listed around $35,000 a few months ago.

Starting a Business

This Startup Wants to Grow Your Side Hustle For You, While Cutting You a Monthly Check

OpenStore gives Shopify owners two interesting options: Sell and walk away with a generous payout, or take a vacation while they do the work.

Side Hustle

This Insurance Agent Started a Side Hustle Inspired By Nostalgia for His Home State — Now It Earns Nearly $40,000 a Month

After moving to New York City, Danny Trejo started a business to stay in touch with his roots — literally.

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.