In this episode of Lagniappe’s Real Deal, we were excited (with only a week remaining before 2016’s SEC college football inauguration) at the chance to interview Alabama Crimson Tide All-American and Miami Dolphins All-Pro legend, gridiron great Bob Baumhower inside the Deep Fried Studios’ World Headquarters.
In a pithy, candid and witty interview, host Ron Sivak digs into Baumhower’s success on the field as well as reinventing himself as a self-proclaimed “Head Fry Cook” and hugely successful restaurateur with over 1,000 employees and 13 eatery locations across the state, to date under the corporate aegis of Aloha Hospitality International.
Without a formal culinary background – and starting out in the restaurant game “just to be cool” as a silent partner in 1970’s era, disco fabulous South Beach Florida with fellow Bama alum “Broadway” Joe Namath – Baumhower learned the ropes in the swanky Batchelor’s and Batchelor’s 3 dinner clubs scene that eventually evolved into what many acquaintances said was a “crazy’ concept; singularly bringing the deep-fried chicken wings concept into Alabama (in general) and Tuscaloosa (in particular) circa 1981.
Today, Baumhower and his Foley-based crackerjack home team is an ever-improving, regional hospitality juggernaut that creates, operates and expands multiple well-known restaurant brands. Current concepts include Baumhowers Wings, Dauphins and Bob’s Victory Grill, among others.
Baumhower is a great storyteller so listen closely, woven into the narrative are tremendous wisdom bombs — from his Dad’s door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales travails, to Bear Bryant/Don Shula mentoring nuggets, to brilliant everyman cook and dishwasher suggestions that he maybe should’ve incorporated some 30 years prior.
In essence, a business playbook will be unveiled to help some listeners eke out an advantage in the entrepreneurial rat-race that millennials (and other generations) may find invaluable.
In this “All-Pro” episode we explore:
* Bob Baumhower’s relationship with both Coach “Bear” Bryant and Coach Don Shula while consistently dominating on the highest levels in American football.
* How Baumhower was introduced into the restaurant business as roommates with Joe Namath and a local Mobile NFL standout
* Why baumhower decided to get into the wings eatery business in Alabama long before Hooters became a household name.
* Trial and error tribulations setting up processes to assist with restaurant growth across the state. Translating sports experience into business acumen.
* Mentors Baumhower followed that may surprise you. Thoughts about Nick Saban’s “process” today.
* What “Vision” means in business planning and how anyone can attain their goals by following a defined game plan.
* A complete breakdown of Baumhower’s current restaurant brands possibly not heard in its entirety anywhere and aggressive future plans for growth.
In the Rumor Mill segment, Ron and Johnny G. talk with operations manager Ron Dyess with Coastal HR payroll services about happenings on the Moffett-to-Schillinger Road corridor; including a new Waffle House, potential new retail shops percolating and possibly even a new Baumhower eatery sprouting up along the hotly expanding West Mobile corridor.
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Lagniappe’s Real Deal Podcast is produced in collaboration with Deep Fried Studios.
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