Andrew Richmond is the CEO of MONARCH AND MISFITS, an inventive restaurant group taking Toronto’s food scene by storm. His growing empire of restaurants includes the popular taqueria chain, LA CARNITA, a classic American comfort food spot, HOME THE BRAVE and soft serve parlour, SWEET JESUS.
Taking a stand against the popular expression, Andrew quit his day job. In 2011, he ended his awarded 15-year career in advertising & design and walked away from a boutique agency that he co-founded to follow his creative and culinary passions. The result was eight restaurants in five years.
We caught up with Andrew on what it takes to make it in today’s competitive restaurant industry.
You have been referred to as a creative chef trapped in a design director’s body. How did this combo jumpstart your culinary journey?
My background as a creative director has been an asset to me both in the kitchen and at concept level with the development of all my brands. I would consider myself more a restaurateur than a chef, though at the very beginning I was involved in every aspect of business including cooking. I started out by working with a few like-minded creatives, and with the help of passionate chefs, have since constructed a solid team in all of our kitchens. As the company grows it’s important to me that each menu always remains chef-driven, yet accessible.
How do you see collaborative marketing for restaurants evolving in the next few years?
Over the next few years, we need to start thinking about marketing being a more natural component of the conversation with our customers. This means it’s a two way street where we can leverage content and the voice of the customer.
When you aren’t overseeing your string of popular restaurants, what do you like to do for fun?
When I’m not working, I like to dedicate time to think about new ideas and to hangout with my family and loved ones.
To read more about Matt’s take on the restaurant industry, visit Restobiz.