AUDIO - PODCAST EP 26 - CELIA PRONTO, CHIEF CUSTOMER AND DIGITAL OFFICER, CASUAL DINING GROUP

I’m so excited about our next guest because she’s one of the happiest, most positive, most driven and most talented people within the hospitality industry. It’s Celia Pronto who is the Chief Customer & Digital Officer of CDG (Casual Dining Group)... which means that she has the responsibility and the joy of looking after many brands including Bella Italia, Cafe Rouge, Las , La Tasca, Belgo and a few others to boot. It was great to sit down and have a proper chat to really understand where Celia came from in terms of her training and her career and knowledge.

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AUDIO - PODCAST EP 25 - RICHARD BUCHANAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR & FOUNDER OF THE CLEARING

Today I’m in the studio with one of my brand gurus, Rich Buchanan. He is so fantastic in terms of knowing how to create clear, defendable territories for your brand to operate in, meaning that you’ll be iconic and can stave off the competition. Rich and I worked together way back at Blinkbox Music and he really impressed me as one of the world class leaders in brand thinking. Rich has worked with amazing brands all the way through McLaren, Ocado, Eurostar, Rolls Royce, HSBC and Tesco. Today we’re going to talk about what makes a killer brand, case studies that he’s worked on and also touch on a new book that he’s launched called Wild Thinking - 25 thoughts for you to poke and prod at your business and ask yourself the hard questions that you otherwise might stay away from.

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AUDIO - PODCAST EP 24 - JON HENDRY PICKUP, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF BUTLIN'S

Today I’m in the holiday spirit as it’s the first two weeks of the kid’s summer break in England and it feels like everyone is taking their feet off the gas a little. I’m getting to the end of my to-do list, I’ve got a day of podcasts ahead and I’ve not got a deadline looming and so the gods of email are being very kind. This is exactly the type of feeling I wanted to have as I talk to my next guest, who is Jon Hendry-Pickup the CEO of Butlin’s. We talk about the re-boot of the Butlin’s brand that is happening at the moment, which is a really exciting time for them. We also touch on leadership, building teams and Jon’s career which is so impressive from management consulting, to Aldi, Tesco, Travelodge and Prezzo.

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AUDIO - PODCAST EP 22 - BRANDON RELPH, WORLD'S LEADING YOUTH / GEN Z SPECIALIST AND CEO OF INTERNET READY

It’s Gen Z-er himself… Mr Brandon Relph. We’ll hear about Brandon’s journey from when he was cited as being the youngest CEO in the UK, doing a lot of work creating content for Minecraft before it really blew up, having a team of 20 around the world which is really amazing for someone of that age, and being a TEDX speaker in Brighton. He’s now the spokesperson for Gen Z in business and I’m really excited to find out his thoughts on Gen Z… attracting them to work with you, what they need, what they’re looking for and what their attitudes are in food, drink and hospitality.

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AUDIO - PODCAST EP 21 - ALAN MCGEE, CO-FOUNDER OF CREATION RECORDS

It’s a special one today and something a little different than usual, but I had a chance meeting with a true god-like genius who is Alan McGee. For those who don’t know, Alan grew up in Glasgow and came down to London as a young man to play in bands and put on club nights. Then he started an incredible record label, Creation Records, which was the soundtrack to my entire life. Alan is probably most famous for discovering Oasis at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow. He’s also been part of discovering and managing careers of Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, My Bloody Valentine, Super Furry Animals, Boo Radleys etc. Now, he has a management career managing bands like Happy Mondays. 


I’m really blessed to just spend some time with him and have a chat, so even though it’s a little off-topic I hope you enjoy getting into his life story and what it means to be an entrepreneur in show-biz, and also get some tips for if you’ve got a dream… go after it, put great things out into the universe and it will happen.

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AUDIO - PODCAST EP 20 - DAVID CAMPBELL, CEO OF THE IVY COLLECTION & EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF BILL’S RESTAURANTS

Today I’ve had some breakfast in Baker Street at one of the new look Bill’s which is looking absolutely fabulous. I was there today to do a bit of research before speaking with my next guest, David Campbell. I’m so excited to have David on the podcast, he's a real A-lister in the casual dining and marketing industries. David talks me through why he has always been attracted to working in culture-led companies, challenger companies and his career journey from radio, to Pepsi, to the Millennium Dome, Formula One and all the way through the fast casual dining industry.

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AUDIO - PODCAST EP 18 - LOUI BLAKE, PLANT-BASED SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR & FOUNDER OF ERPINGHAM HOUSE & KALIFORNIA KITCHEN

I’m really excited to have a chat with Loui Blake to learn about his eclectic career so far… from recruitment to football, to marketing to night clubs and then this huge shift in lifestyle and business to really focus on taking veganism in a positive way to the masses. Loui has loads of great tips for sorting your own business or starting a restaurant for young and old entrepreneurs.

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AUDIO - PODCAST EP 16 - THE SUMMER 2019 'THREE WISE MARKS' YEAR IN REVIEW - PART 1 & 2

Back by popular demand, it’s Mark Wingett of Propel and Mark Stretton from Fleet Street Communications for a summer special year in review. After a lengthy chat over Christmas looking back at 2018, we thought it would be better to look at the first half of 2019 in depth and discuss all the #postivesectornews, buyouts, closures and campaigns that got people talking.

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AUDIO - PODCAST EP 13 - JONATHAN DOWNEY, OWNER OF MILK & HONEY SOHO AND CO-FOUNDER OF STREET FEAST

I’ve got an amazing podcast for you today with one of the true legends of street food and of our industry. It’s one that I’ve been waiting for.… an action packed episode and a jaunt through the life of a Mancunian, East-London dwelling entrepreneur. To me, he’s the godfather of street food creation. It’s Mr JD… or as he’s known to most people Jonathan Downey. 

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PodcastMark McCulloch
AUDIO - PODCAST EP 12 - JAMES SINCLAIR, ENTREPRENEUR, ENTERTAINER, EDUCATOR

Today we’re recording from POP Brixton where I met Geraint John, who’s positioned himself through his podcast and other networks to be THE voice for voice. You really want to check out his podcast all about AI, it’s a fascinating world and where the world is heading, going full circle from typing all the way back to good old fashioned speaking… albeit to a robot. So much exciting stuff and I couldn’t wait to talk to him on the podcast about it to find out what we can learn as an industry about AI and how we can use it better.

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PodcastMark McCulloch
AUDIO - PODCAST EP 11 - JAMES SINCLAIR, ENTREPRENEUR, ENTERTAINER, EDUCATOR

This week I’m with business guru James Sinclair. He might not be from the hospitality industry, but he is THE partyman and has a business empire which is growing (including Marsh Farm, kids entertainment centers and day nurseries). James talks me through why it’s important in business to have an investment strategy as well as being an entrepreneur. James is also a well renowned author and speaker on business improvement. I thought it would be great to hear his take on the restaurant industry, learning the game and how he became an entrepreneur and an investor at a very early age. Hopefully you will get some business gold from this to really help you turn a business around, start off in the right way or just make the improvements to get towards the revenue and profit that you’re dreaming of.  

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PodcastMark McCulloch
AUDIO - PODCAST EP 10 - STEVEN EDWARDS, MASTERCHEF: THE PROFESSIONALS WINNER & CHEF OWNER OF ETCH.

I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with MasterChef: The Professionals winner from 2013, Steven Edwards. You might also know his as being the founder & owner of Etch by Steven Edwards, a real beacon and destination restaurant in Hove. It’s an amazing story about where Steven came from through to the Masterchef win, and then the journey and development from being a Chef into being a Business owner and Businessman.  

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PodcastMark McCulloch
AUDIO - PODCAST EP 9 - DAVID MCDOWALL, RETAIL CEO OF BREWDOG

Today’s a short interview with the wonderful David McDowall who is the retail CEO for the notorious BrewDog. I interviewed David at Pub 19, it was lovely to catch up with a fellow scotsman and get to ask him the questions that we all want to know. It’s an exciting time for BrewDog as they are about to reach 100 bars and have so many inventions and innovations up their sleeves. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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PodcastMark McCulloch
AUDIO - PODCAST EP 8 - MARIO C BAUER, ENTREPRENEUR AND CURTICE BROTHERS CO-FOUNDER

This week we’re recording at Experience 101 (shout out to Keiron & Chris) recording with one of my business heroes. If there is a happier, kinder, more switched on person in our industry then I would love to meet them. Being with Mario, talking over email or LinkedIn… there’s positivity and joy coming out of that man like you won’t believe. Mario rocked up fresh from a flight and we had a nice chat about his journey, his work with Vapiano all the way through to his latest business idea, Curtice Brothers (ketchup for adults) which is taking on Heinz and making a dent in the ketchup industry.

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PodcastMark McCulloch