Burke Holmes

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Burke Holmes. I’m from Missouri originally and I own both of The Notorious PIG BBQ restaurants.

What is one habit of yours that helps you be productive?

It’s not necessarily a habit, but having the weight of ownership on my shoulders is the biggest motivator towards productivity. Knowing that the folks who work for me are relying on me to make good decisions so we can keep this whole dream going gets me out of bed.

What is your morning routine and how does it help you get the most out of your day?

Pound coffee to start no matter what. I live a little out of town and the ride in gives me a change to get ready for the day. Once in town I read emails and check in with managers on what we are looking forward to this week and what we need to get ahead of.

In the last few years, what lifestyle, habit or behavior change has had the biggest positive impact on your life?

Trusting people. Giving control of the thing you’ve worked so hard and risked so much for to someone else has been a big hurdle for me. Opening a second location has made it nearly impossible for me not delegate and trust. Now that I’ve swallowed that pill, it’s been really pleasant to see people grow and take ownership of their responsibilities so well. We’re a better restaurant because of it. (And I have a life now!)

When you feel unfocused, what do you do?

Write down all the tasks that are distracting me, prioritize them, and dedicate time to them individually until they’re complete. Or go on a motorcycle ride.

What is one piece of software or a web service that you get immense value out of? How do you use it?

Our point of sale system (POS). We use clover and the amount of information it’s capable or providing is overwhelming. It’s very helpful in forecasting.

What is the one book you recommend most often and why?

Setting The Table by Danny Meyers.

I hand a copy to anyone I ever put in a leadership position and read it myself annually. It’s outlines how delivering hospitality to someone, whether it be your staff (most importantly) or your customers, is the fundamental tool in our success. It doesn’t just apply to selling pulled pork sandwiches, but to running any successful business.

What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?

I would advise them to chase their opportunities and not necessarily their dreams. We’re always told that “we can do whatever we want” and I don’t really buy that (That’s what I think they should ignore).

We all have circumstances and passions that are unique to us. I never dreamed of owning two BBQ restaurants, but I loved taking care of people and had been a fishing guide for a long time (hospitality). I looked around at my upbringing and who I knew and what I thought I might be good at. I’m gregarious and love people. I’m from Missouri and BBQ is everywhere. There was a lack of it in Missoula and I thought it would be a good fit. So, long story short, I had a great opportunity to learn something from people I already had a connection to and to bring it to the place I loved. I recognized an opportunity and worked hard to make it a reality and enrich my own life in the process.

What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”