How Tender Greens Is Disrupting The Restaurant Business

Imagine eating at a quick-service restaurant chain that treats its chefs like entrepreneurs: Giving each chef control of the restaurant menu, operations, and culture. That’s what you’ll find at Tender Greens, a restaurant chain that is disrupting the food industry, not only with the way it does business, but also the upscale food that it serves.

Host Mary McCarthy and Co-host Sharon DeLay talk to Erik Oberholtzer, the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Tender Greens, now with 27 locations in California, Massachusetts, and New York.

Tender Greens says it’s starting a “food revolution.” Oberholtzer talks about the company’s unique structure with its chefs, how it’s gone cashless in restaurants, and the innovative approach the chain takes to working with the farmers who grow their ingredients.

“We are an industry that is formed around relationships. Relationships with our guests, relationships with our team and really important relationships with our farmers and artisans. And we form personal… lifelong friendships with a lot of these farmers. And in many ways, a handshake is more powerful than a contract.” ~ Erik Oberholtzer


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Thank you to podcast sponsor Pathways Financial Credit Union. They offer business loans with a competitive interest rate and flexible terms. They have locations in Columbus, Delaware, and Marysville, Ohio.

Related Podcast:

About our guest Erik Oberholtzer

  • Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Tender Greens
  • Locations in California, Massachusetts, New York
  • Champion for the Food Forever organization, promoting food sustainability

About our Co-Host Sharon DeLay

  • GO-HR
  • 4889 Sinclair Road, Suite 103
  • Columbus, Ohio 43229
  • (614) 473-0122

Sharon DeLay is the Founder and President of GO-HR, a full-service HR consulting business in Columbus. It works mainly with microbusinesses, doing everything from hiring to firing employees, and all Human Resource Management services that fall in between. You can’t “Go” without HR.

About our Host Mary McCarthy

Mary McCarthy is the President of YMT Consultants, an entrepreneurial consulting and training firm in the Columbus, Ohio area. It focuses on one-on-one work with microbusiness owners (businesses with 20 or fewer employees, including the solopreneur), assisting them to monetize and create systems for their small businesses.

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