Bob Sikora Shares His Success with Students

Posted: Monday, February 24th 2014 at 11:45 AM

February 20, 2014, famous entrepreneur Bob Sikora presented at one of HRM’s Pathways events. Sikora talked about his history in the restaurant business from the time he was 15 years old until the present.

Sikora told students about his successes but with the wisdom that only hindsight can provide. One of his biggest successes was the restaurant chain, Bobby McGee’s. While trying to come up with the concept for this restaurant, Sikora said that he kept asking himself, “What can I do to make this different?” He took the students through his thought process and how everything came together. One of the pieces that fell into place happened when Sikora stumbled upon a costume shop that was closing. He decided then and there to dress his servers in fun costumes. This aspect helped make Bobby McGee’s extremely popular, and ended up growing the franchise to over 20 restaurants across the U.S. and Australia. Looking back on Bobby McGee’s, Sikora sees things that could have been done differently. Instead of expanding, Sikora said that he should have put more focus into a few of the restaurants. This hindsight provided students with some advice for their own futures.

Students were very interested in Sikora’s strategies for success. They asked several questions about his training programs, which are not only top-notch, but also only available to in-house workers with whom he has a comfortable working relationship. When asked questions about how to mirror his success, Sikora was adamant about getting experience first. His advice was to start working in the back of the house before the front of the house, and while gaining that experience and raising money, start putting a plan together. “Money is out there to be made,” he mentioned excitedly. Overall, he was full of encouragement for the students and couldn't stress enough the importance of gaining experience.

In the restaurant business for more than 50 years, Sikora currently owns the barbecue restaurant, Bobby Q’s and while only retired for about two years, he’s already gotten the itch to come up with a new restaurant concept. “It’s in my blood,” says Sikora.  For now, the world anxiously waits to see what he will come up with next!  

Categories: students spring 2014 pathways pathways event bob sikora