June 30, 2020

Chaos is a Ladder: Jon Strader, founder of Hatchet Hall & Little Coyote

Chaos is a Ladder: Jon Strader, founder of Hatchet Hall & Little Coyote

With an estimated 30-50% of all restaurants permanently closed, what does that mean for the future of the industry? What does that mean for those of us still in the game? Today we chat with Jon Strader who’s using his grit and tenacity to build his empire when land is cheap and competition is low.

Click to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Click here to book time on my personal calendar.

Click here to download our Restaurant Recovery Guide.

Want to streamline your front-of-house operations and increase sales? Head over to http://restaurants.yelp.com/fullcomppodcast to claim your free page and learn more about these powerful tools for your business.


  • The difficulties of working for yourself
  • Keep up the momentum
  • You have a lot to learn
  • You make many mistakes
  • Success at Hatchet hall
  • Launching pad to take journeys to the next level
  • Pivoting at Hatchet Hall to a Bodega style service
  • Market boxes
  • Sold beer, wine, and liquor inventory
  • Merch
  • Family style pre-order meals
  • Bodega style is not sustainable for the fine-dining restaurant
  • Initially, customers want to support
  • There is a disconnect in the style of products
  • It’s necessary to completely reconceptualize during Covid
  • Fine dining is dead for the next 6 months
  • Covid is unpredictable
  • Contingency plan after contingency plan
  • Lack of leadership from the government at both local and federal levels
  • Potentially reopening as a casual dining experience
  • Guest seat themselves
  • Parking lot as a summer popup and picnic area
  • Reduced labor
  • Reduced inventory
  • No full service
  • The market doesn’t know what it wants until they see it
  • Adaptability and coming up with concepts on the fly
  • Everyone is in a fragile state right now
  • Everyone will be tougher afterward
  • Opening of Little Coyote
  • Opportunity at lockdown to buy a property on Long Beach for a good price
  • Bought the restaurant and turned it into a New York-style pizza place
  • Jack Leahy as the chef
  • Bootstrapped with family and friend investment
  • A concept they can run themselves if need be
  • Aims to turn a profit this year
  • Making pizza is low-cost
  • Labor needs are few
  • Service fee model
  • Difficult to get things done as everyone is in shellshock after Covid hit
  • Entry-level experiences will do better in a post-Covid world
  • Pizza, tacos, burgers, coffee, sandwiches - recession and covid proof
  • Employing a service fee model
  • Fairer distribution of tips
  • Whole staff can have a liveable wage
  • Lessons during quarantine
  • Family first, restaurant second
  • Not being a slave to the business
  • Lessening obsessive tendencies around the business
  • Avoiding refreshing emails
  • Avoiding staying plugged into social media
  • Avoiding prioritizing the business over family time
  • Redefining what we want our lives to look like
  • How many hours a week do we want to work?
  • What do we want our home life to look like?
  • How much money do we want to make this year and future years?
  • The state of the job market after Covid