[Podcast] Bad Reputation: Todd Collins Speaks with Chef Brian Duffy

Todd Collins Speaking to Crowd
Image: SIphotography / iStock /Getty Images Plus

Two unique and bold industry personalities, Todd Collins and Chef Brian Duffy, turned meeting one another at the 2019 Nightclub & Bar Show into opportunity.

Todd Collins, a dynamic speaker, industry consultant and reputation manager, hosts the Bad Reputation podcast. On Monday, December 16, Bad Reputation featured Collins’ in-depth conversation with Chef Duffy.

If I may digress for a moment, networking with peers is one of the greatest benefits of attending the Nightclub & Bar Show. A chance encounter can lead to friendships, the building of support networks, and the launching of profitable collaborations.

Back to this compelling, entertaining and informative episode of Bad Reputation

“I’ve had a lot of chefs on my show and I really enjoy it because to me, a lot of the chefs that I meet are some of the hardest working people out there. It’s something that I respect highly, especially because a lot of my clients are restauranteurs,” says Collins, introducing Chef Duffy. “I don’t feel like a lot of restauranteurs really focus a lot on how amazingly creative some of these people really are. I truly believe that chefs are really, truly artists: I put them kind of in the same basket as tattoo artists, and as painters, and things of that nature, especially really, really good ones.”

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The duo discusses several topics during this episode, such as a life experience many in this business will find relatable: growing up being told they had Attention Deficit Disorder and being prescribed Ritalin. Collins and Chef Duffy also talk about their paths in this industry, keeping their eyes on potential recruits, leading teams and creating processes in bars and restaurants, their approaches to coaching, and so much more.

Another topic is Pennsylvania-born Chef Duffy’s origin story. He was born and raised six miles outside of Philadelphia and got his start in the industry at the age of 14, working at a restaurant in which everyone smoked during their shifts…inside the venue.

Chef Duffy’s first boss also thought it was acceptable to make his employees pay what they “owed in taxes” after each shift. If he made $100 in tips in a day, he was expected to give the restaurant owner $26. Interesting leadership.

It turns out that we almost didn’t have a Chef Duffy. Frustrated with college and disillusioned after working in so many mediocre or outright terrible restaurants—and not having nights, weekends or holidays to himself—he left the industry completely. Luckily for all of us, a friend suggested culinary school, Duffy thought it was a great idea, and now we have Chef Duffy.

Collins, coincidentally, grew up on the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania, going to Philly to skateboard with his buddies. It’s possible, therefore, that these two brash industry experts crossed paths well before their first encounter at the Nightclub & Bar Show.

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You can listen to this awesome episode of Bad Reputation via Anchor or Spotify. Heads up: At 7:17 Chef Duffy’s audio cuts out but stick with it—the audio returns just 23 seconds later. Ah, the glamorous world of podcasting.

2020 Nightclub & Bar Show attendees will have the opportunity to learn digital marketing, online reputation management, and dominating their local market from Todd Collins during his session, "Reputation Management: What Do Guests Really Think of You?" Chef Duffy returns to host the Food & Beverage Innovation Center, presenting multiple sessions and workshops, such as "Menu Analysis & Design Strategies" and "What's Next in Culinary Trends."


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