“Vulnerable leaders make fantastic leader.”

– Jonathan Krinn

Today’s guest is restaurateur and innovation marketing expert Jon Krinn. Jon is the owner of Clarity, one of the most in-demand and best received new restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area.

Jon joins us to talk about innovation in any marketplace, how to create a culture of caring among your employees and what transparency has to do with being a successful leader of your team, no matter your industry.

Listen to this episode and discover:

  • Why did Jon name his restaurant Clarity?
  • What is his secret to an engaged, happy staff?
  • Why do you have to trust your product?
  • How being vulnerable with your team translates to success.
  • And so much more…

Episode Overview

Jon Krinn started this current journey by attending culinary school in France, New York and Washington, D.C. for 12 years. When he finished his schooling he was fortunate enough to work with some of the best chefs in the world.

Then in 2010 he was offered an opportunity to work in the field of innovation marketing, and even though it wasn’t culinary in nature, he jumped at the chance. It appealed to him because of the unique experience it offered him. He pursued that path for the next 5 years before opening his creative bistro/culinary hangout Clarity.

On today’s show we dive deeper into why he opened Clarity, and what insights he brought with him from his time in the innovation marketing world and why that’s made Clarity so successful. We also discuss how he keeps his staff happy, a notoriously difficult feat in the restaurant field.

One of the first things Jon wanted for Clarity was to have an open kitchen. Most restaurants have a closed kitchen: you’re not able to see what the chefs, line cooks and prep cooks are doing to create your meal. But with Clarity you get just that: clarity on what goes on “behind the scenes” and people appreciate the transparency it offers.

That clarity and transparency don’t just apply to the restaurant industry, they apply everywhere. As Jon says on this show if no one sees it, no one buys. If no one can see what you’re doing and how you’re doing it they are far less apt to buy from you. Give people transparency and they’ll trust you and buy from you.

Another way to create trust is vulnerability. Jon is vulnerable with his team and it’s made a big impact. According to Jon if you’re vulnerable with your team it shows you are human, you aren’t always right and you aren’t made of Teflon! When your staff knows you’re human they simply trust you more which goes a long way towards creating a positive environment for everyone from your staff to your clients.

Jon continues that culture of caring by taking care of his staff first. He works to make their lives more fulfilling and that translates to a better overall customer experience. When the staff is happy they make the customers happy! The same is true for your team.

One specific way Jon does this is by asking for their ideas. He lets everyone know that no one is smarter or better than anyone else on the team, they are all equals and all ideas are welcome. And not only does Jon care about their ideas but he gladly gives credit to his entire staff on a regular basis. So often when a restaurant or company succeeds it is the owner, the CEO, or another high-visibility position that gets the credit. But that success couldn’t have been achieved without the contribution of everyone on the team.

Listen in to this show to find out more about Jon’s keys to success including the importance of restating your mission and vision statements regularly, and why you can and should innovate when something is broken in your industry. Jon’s insights go far beyond the restaurant world, listen in and apply them today to grow your revenue.


Below are resources mentioned during the interview.

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THANKS, Jon Krinn

If you enjoyed this session with Jon, let him know by clicking on the link below to send him a quick message on LinkedIn or Twitter:

twitter Click here to thank Jon on Twitter

What’s On Your Mind

As always, this episode provides inspiration, entertainment, and especially an actionable message that can drive remarkable results – and if you have any questions for a future episode, contact me.