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Scaling Multiple Concepts with James Hurt and Nicholas Imbo

James Hurt, the Director of Business Analytics, and Nicholas Imbo, an Accountant and Business Intelligence Analyst, play integral roles at Lessings Hospitality Group. For Hurt, the financial advantages of catering, especially in the wedding market, stand out in comparison to daily restaurant operations as it offers a controlled environment where costs are determined, providing opportunities for upselling. 


In an interview at the Restaurant Transformation Festival, Hunt tells show host Shawn P. Walchef, “There’s a lot of upsell in catering, especially in the wedding market. People pay a lot of money to get married. They want special things and they’re willing to pay for it.”


Managing multiple locations and concepts comes with challenges of streamlining purchasing.  Using the example of sourcing honey for various needs across their establishments, Hurt emphasizes the importance of consolidation for future scalability. 


“We’re trying to consolidate everything down into one product.” says Hurt. “Takes some time, but I think we’re on a really good path now to help us scale in the future.” 

Nicholas Imbo, still navigating the benefits of integrating Restaurant365 into his tech stack, highlights the value of face-to-face interactions. Attending events like the Restaurant Transformation Tour allows him to connect with other R365 users, learn more about the product, and exchange insights with fellow operators. Imbo underscores the invaluable nature of these interactions, providing him with diverse perspectives on handling challenges like third-party delivery.

Watch the full interview to learn how catering is beneficial, the importance of preparing to scale, and the value of industry events.

Use the link below to purchase your ticket to the last stop on the 2023 Restaurant Transformation Tour in NYC this November.

Episode Links:



Interview Notes:

Catering is Financial Beneficial – Catering, specifically wedding catering, is the bulk of Lessings Hospitality Group’s business. For James Hurt, there are a number of financial benefits, including margin and upselling opportunities, that the daily restaurant operations do not consistently offer.


Consolidating Purchases for Future Scalability – With multiple locations and concepts, it isn’t easy to streamline purchasing. James Hurt gives the example of how Lessing’s has to source honey for various uses among their concepts. As they grow, the company continues to push for consolidation in order to scale successfully.


The Value of Face-to-Face Interactions – Nicholas Imbo is still learning all of the benefits of integrating Restaurant365 into his tech stack. Though he is able to speak to his local rep regularly, he finds great value in being able to attend events like the Restaurant Transformation.

Cali BBQ Media

Cali BBQ Media
Digital Hospitality is an interview-based video podcast hosted by business owner Shawn P. Walchef (@shawnpwalchef) and produced by his Cali BBQ Media company. The weekly digital series explores the ways successful businesses and entrepreneurs have merged old and new with innovative digital strategies that harness the power of the Internet and social media. Shawn is the founder of Cali BBQ Media and creator of the Restaurant Influencers podcast on Entrepreneur Media.

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