Hey there, friend!
My name is Renee Guilbault (pronounced GILL-BO).
Yup, that's me. 😃
I’m so excited to see you here! Let me introduce myself.
I'm a veteran food-industry consultant with expertise in large-scale, global, multi-unit food and beverage operations.
You may be asking yourself, "WTF does that even mean...?"
Before launching my consulting firm in 2016, I led food and operations teams for some of the biggest names in the food world: Pret A Manger, Bon Appétit Management Company at Google, Compass Group, and Le Pain Quotidien.
Along the way to achieving those leadership roles, I worked as an ingredient broker selling eggs and veggie powders to US food manufacturers...
…created a side gig helping small biz owners set up their books and computer systems…
…was fired as a server…
... cooked for the Royal Automobile Club in London…
...had a side gig cooking at the American Embassy Residence of the OECD ambassador in Paris...
…ran a catering business...
...was a private chef and an executive chef...
… led global food and operations teams all over the world…
...was Head of Food for a Silicon Valley food-tech start-up...
…lived in Paris (2X!), London, Switzerland, NYC (2X!), Los Angeles (3X!), Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Mountain View, and now Boston, and yes, I officially hate moving…
…BUT every time I have moved, it’s been an incredible work and life experience... so I’ll probably move again. 😂
“Saying yes to opportunities” has shaped my life so I’m a big believer in just going for it.
These days, my mission is to help others grow in the food world.
Whew... that was a lot
So enough about me.
Let me introduce one of my partners in crime, Matt Delaney, who is Mise Mode’s Head Operations Coach and everyone’s BFF!
Hi, I'm Matt! The laughing guy below.
Not going lie – I am one of those dinosaurs who has been in the food world since the dawn of man!
Yup... 👆 That's me, minus the front flip.
My whole life has been spent in restaurants, production facilities, bakeries, and commissaries.
47 years in fact.
I know I'm biased, but I look pretty good for an old guy!
I got my first food job at 16 – I was a busboy and dishwasher at Dr. Generosity on the corner of the street I grew up on.
I know... The name was insane!
In my senior year of high school, I got a part time job at Roy Rogers restaurants as a grill and fry cook and I loved it!
I was a GM by age 20.
By 29, I moved into a Regional Director role at Ground Round running 7 units in North Jersey. It was such a great job.
Also, I just loved saying I worked at “Ground Round”. 😂
My next years were spent climbing the Operations ladder and fine tuning my skills at Red Robin, TGI Friday’s, and Cosi Sandwich Bar.
By the time I left Cosi, I was the Director of Food & Beverage with 93 units.
The next 15 years I spent in Senior Leadership roles at Chop’t Creative Salad Co., Le Pain Quotidien, Juice Press, and Gregory’s Coffee.
I went from roles Directing F&B to overseeing Operations and becoming the COO of both Chop’t and LPQ while ultimately overseeing 90 restaurants and $200M in business.
These days, I’m a consultant and own 3 restaurants of my own in NJ.
My kids help me run the restaurants, and they live on the same street – 4 kids and 11 grandkids!
Yeah, I'm busy.
I’m looking forward to working with you and teaching you everything I know. And I’ll give you a spoiler….
Everything in this business is “people first”. Always.
I’m self-taught, earned my way into leadership roles, and excited to help you do the same.
That’s probably the thing about my career that I am most proud of.
Supporting all the amazing folks I have had the opportunity to train and mentor over all my years…
…who now run F&B and Operations programs all over the globe themselves.
Yep, Renee used to work for me too!
Speaking of Renee... passing it back over to you!
You're one of the greatest mentors of my professional life and I am so happy to build out these tactical modules with you so that everyone can learn from a true Ops master.
👆 = you
…I’m sure you can see that we are a bunch of folks who love what we do, and in the midst of delivering some seriously fun and impactful programs.
Designed for learning.
Designed for YOU.
So, when we talk about design, we have to introduce another incredible Advisor to MM – Colton Schweitzer, the AMAZING co-founder of Kickass UX and true partner in crime here at Mise Mode.
Hi, I'm Colton!
Yup. The guy above 🙄👆
I'm a UX (user experience) designer.
I got into UX by accident by creating my own board game called "Son of a Blank!"
This was my first taste of business ownership and designing a full product from scratch, including all of the branding, experience, and marketing materials.
Soon after, I landed a job at an enterprise SaaS company.
That experience helped me understand how to take wildly complex problems and break them down into a simple solution.
In 2019, my business-partner-in-crime, Ludovic, and I decided to go out on our own and dramatically improve the education for aspiring UX designers.
That's when we created our company Kickass UX.
All of these experiences have helped me understand how people truly learn and absorb information.
AND how to create kickass experiences.
I'm so stoked to be part of the Mise Mode team!
Firstly, because I LOVE food and cooking.
And secondly, so I can tackle all things design and ensure a kickass digital experience.
Colton will never tell you this so I will…
He is so dang talented - he built this website and dreamed up all of our fun online experiences because he GETS what we are doing over here.
Experience is everything when you talk about driving outcomes – so you better have a badass designer supporting the biz. And boy do we ever!
Hope I didn’t embarrass you too much!
Well that’s a lot “About Us” but hopefully you have a better sense of the amazing talent behind Mise ModeTM that’s at the table, and especially what we all care about.
So… are you up for a little unsolicited career advice?
Cool, here we go…
The most valuable lesson I have learned over all these years is that you have to be willing to reach for the things you want for yourself.
To simply “try” has probably become the most significant aspirational goal of my life, because when you do, wherever that attempt ultimately leads…
…you'll win valuable learnings…
…but you can also take comfort in knowing that you were courageous enough to give it a whirl and see.
That’s why I named my company Essayer (pronounced ESS-AA-YAY).
It means "try" in French.
Nothing ventured - nothing gained. So just GO FOR IT!
And remember - where you start is never where you end up. Truly.
👆 That's me when I was 3.
Wishing you a wild and wonderful journey ahead and hope we can be a part of it!