Restaurateur PHILIP CAMINO on Striving for Hospitality and Health Interview with Camino Industries CEO Philip Camino about finding lifelong customers with hospitality, adapting to a changing industry, and the importance of wellness.

By Shawn P. Walchef

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Takeaways from this episode:

A Lifelong Customer is Priceless — As Camino Industries expands, founder Philip Camino has leaned into the idea of customer acquisition with the understanding that the possibility of return on investment is exponentially greater than the cost.

Bloom Where You're Planted — In Philip Camino's endeavor to intentionally pursue accolades, he learned a valuable lesson when he discovered that restaurants not acknowledged as food destinations had earned highly touted 2-star Michelin distinctions.

Make Health the Norm — Philip Camino keeps himself in great shape. He doesn't drink alcohol and practices mindfulness. Camino Industries employees have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of Camino's health discovery as well, including water bottles for each and every employee.

***

"How do we strive for excellence every day?" That is the question that Philip Camino uses as the foundation for his hospitality company's consistent pursuit of greatness.

The founder and CEO of Camino Industries entered the professional hospitality industry with an already impressive track record.

"Hospitality was in my veins in college," Philip Camino says of the early push to the industry on the Restaurant Influencers podcast, hosted by Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media "I sort of fell in love with it at that point."

The love for hospitality pulled him to Los Angeles where he and partners opened The Hudson, which he was admittedly shocked did well despite the group's lack of knowledge of the business. The Hudson did so well, in fact, that it led to him opening what he calls his "flagship", Fellow.

With Fellow, Philip Camino began pivoting his branding to make its mark in the fine dining space. An eye opener came via a visit from a Michelin Guide in 2019. "I started strategizing from the time the guy came out of how to build a team that would be able to deliver that type of experience."

That experience he describes is one of excellence. An excellence that is necessary to stand out as a fine dining establishment in a place, like Los Angeles, that can be more preferential to style than substance.

"If you make it great, people are going to find it."

Philip wants his strategy to align with the goal every day on every platform. Another of those goals includes customer acquisition and targeted marketing strategies. Creating those lifelong customers is invaluable to the growth of Camino Industries.

High level experience doesn't stop at customers. Camino, an advocate for health and wellness, spreads the idea of self benevolence to his employees. Meditation is big in his personal life, but Camino starts his employees down the wellness path with the most basic of practices — hydration.

"If you work here, you get a personalized water bottle," says Camino.

Those are the small details that lead to accomplishing the ultimate goal of consistent excellence. The family atmosphere and the activation of the idea that everything matters is what makes Phillip Camino an innovative leader in the hospitality industry.

***

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ABOUT RESTAURANT INFLUENCERS:
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Welcome to the Restaurant Influencers podcast series, sponsored by 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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