Alice Cheng, our Founder and CEO, sat down with Kevin Boehm, Co-Founder of Boka Restaurant Group, for a Facebook Live conversation about his career and to share insights on running successful businesses in the hospitality industry. Here are five key takeaways from Kevin:

Form Partnerships

“In the beginning, you are trying to wrap your arms around everything and do it yourself partially out of ego, partially because you don't know any better. When you start to have all of these alignments and all of these partnerships with people that end up making your world easier, you end up executing better at the same time -- that's the key… building systems and being able to let go and let other people do it.”

Create a Checklist

“We’ll think of something, and the next step is to find a chef talent, find a building and then to attach a designer and we work the critical path. We have a sheet that's the 500 things to do to open a restaurant.”

Be Realistic

“Concentrate on being great, figure out how to pay your investors back and stay scrappy in the beginning. Put everything back into the restaurant. That's part of the education. You are getting your Ph.D. in restaurants. A lot of people overestimate what their sales are going to be. They over hire based on that and they lease a building where the rent is really high while having to pay themselves and hit a certain number to survive. I think that's really stressful and having some middle-class sensibility about what you do with that first restaurant is really important so you can figure things out.“

It Takes Time

“We try to be a leader and not a follower. When you have an idea, start right away. From conception to open for us, it's somewhere between 18 months and 2 years.”

Be a Good Person

“You have to have the right people to execute what you want to do...It starts with talent but I will say this, you have to be a good person... I don't care how talented you are. If you're an asshole it's not going to happen.”