Founder of Bravo Brio Restaurant Group holds lecture


Founder of the Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Rick Doody speaks with students about the pillars of good business practices at Oscar Ritchie Hall on Thursday, April 14, 2016.

Alexandra Seibt

Rick Doody, founder and chairman of Bravo Brio Restaurant group, gave a lecture in Oscar Ritchie Hall on Thursday as part of the 2016 Schwebel Lecture Series.

“Your mantra, ladies and gentleman, is to find the next Starbucks, or the next Chipotle,” Doody said in his lecture. “If you want to advance in this world, advance in your industry of hospitality, you should do your research, study; find the next great company.”

During his lecture, Doody spoke about the restaurant industry, different types of dining styles: fast food, casual dining and fine dining, the first restaurant his family opened called Lindey’s and creating value in the industry.

“This is what (I) learned in the restaurant business, I learned from her, (my mother) (the) love of service, I learned the value of people relationships,” Doody said.

Bravo! Cucina Italaina and Brio Tuscan Grille are both Italian restaurants that originated in Columbus, and the first Bravo restaurant opened in 1992.

“In 1980, I spent some time working in Italy and I always felt like there was a tremendous opportunity for Italian restaurants in the U.S., so we did it,” Doody said. “(My biggest challenge) is probably keeping it new, fresh and exciting.”

The Hospitality Management program has hosted The Schwebel lecture series for over 10 years, and this year’s audience included a mix of hospitality management majors and faculty in the program.

“We try to bring in a different mix of people over the years because the hospitality industry is so diverse, so we try not to bring in the same kind of person,” said Swathi Ravichandran, associate professor in the School of Foundation, Leadership and Administration.

From the lecture series, students can learn about what it is like to have a career in the hospitality industry from professionals who are currently in the industry.

“I enjoyed how real he seems,” said Levi Bartlett, a senior hospitality management major. “(I learned) failure will happen and you can’t avoid it and that you have to learn to make that something to learn from and then keep moving forward with it.”

Doody offered advice for students who aspire to work in the restaurant business.

“(Do) the right research to get the right opportunities. I think opportunities are not just luck,” Doody said. “Opportunities are created through hard work in the right direction and that’s where I try to emphasize.”

Alexandra Seibt is the EHHS reporter for The Kent Stater, contact her at [email protected]