meez podcast

The Full Comp Podcast with Josh Kopel: Josh Sharkey on the future of menu engineering

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About this episode

You’re only as good as your tools, every chef knows that. But what happens when the tool you need hasn’t been created yet?

Today we are sharing Josh Kopel's conversation with Joshua Sharkey of meez, a former chef who sought to build the solution to his own problem. In this conversation Josh and Josh discuss the challenges facing the modern chef and what it took to create the Culinary Operation System for the chef of the future.

Where to find Josh Kopel:

Where to find host Josh Sharkey:

What We Cover

  • Josh's background as a chef
  • the differences between running someone else's business and running your own
  • Why Josh chose to create technology for recipes
  • Confidence when building a company or running a business
  • How Josh works on building an effective tool, while using it consistently and in a compliant way?
  • How to inspire someone to do something new
  • How Josh's beliefs behind what makes a chef changed after transitioning into tech
  • Lessons that Josh continues to keep in mind when running meez
  • Words of encouragement or advice


[00:00:00] Josh Sharkey:

Hey there, listeners. Uh, here's another podcast. I had a blast joining as a guest with the talented host, Josh Kopel of the Full Comp podcast in partnership with Yelp. Uh, Josh has a pretty stellar background in the restaurant industry, having managed and owned a bunch of restaurants and bars and nightclubs in LA, everything from casual like fried chicken spots to Michelin starred spots, um, on top of.


Talking about the origin of meez in the show, we dig into the state of technology in the food industry, and for me, why user adoption is everything. Uh, why people are still the most important asset in your business, and we even spent a little time talking about the monkey brain compulsions of a founder and how to like, lower that noise.


Uh, I hope you get some value from the show and another reminder, uh, in prep for season two of The meez Podcast. If there's any guests that you'd like to hear from or ideas to make the show better, uh, don't hesitate to shoot me a note on LinkedIn or Instagram. Uh, and as always enjoy the show.

[00:01:00] Josh Kopel:

We've asked and you have spoken. The votes for the survey awards have been tallied and the winners have been announced. Congratulations to the local legends who have taken the crown. This has been another amazing award season. Galvanizing your local communities to support the Front of House team members we love so much. To see this year's winners, visit


And to learn more about Yelp for Restaurants and how we support restaurant owners in reaching their potential, visit restaurants. yelp. com forward slash Full Comp. Now here we go.

[00:01:35] Josh Sharkey:

We think so much about the tools that we need to run our business and at the end of the day, the people They're not just the most valuable asset in your business, they are your business.


It's not just enough to make sure that they're happy, but the more that you can understand them, I think that is the best thing that anybody can do for any business. Welcome


to Full Comp, a show offering insight into the hospitality industry, featuring restaurateurs, thought leaders, and innovators. Served up on the house.

Are you on track to hit your profitability goals for this year? If you're struggling to hit your numbers, I might be able to help. Here's how I do it. Every year I offer five complimentary growth sessions to restaurant owners looking to. In this call, we'll examine your current situation to see what is and isn't working.


We'll identify your growth possibilities by the close of the year. We'll uncover the number one thing holding you and your business back. And we'll develop a growth plan that will get your business results. Go to to schedule one of the five complimentary growth sessions. They're going to go quickly.


They always do. You're only as good as your tools. Every chef knows that. But what happens when the tool that you need hasn't been created yet? Today we chat with Joshua Sharkey of meez, a former chef. Who sought to build the solution to his own problem. In our conversation, we discussed the challenges facing the modern chef and what it took to create the culinary operating system for the chef of the future.

[00:03:21] Josh Sharkey:

Tech is very new to me. Actually, most of my life, most of my career has been in restaurants. So I started cooking before I ever got into actual cooking in high school. My father passed away and I was cooking for the family, ended up going to culinary school. Because they had a really good wrestling team, I thought I was going to go to school for wrestling.


Then, I ended up winning this contest, flew to New York, met a bunch of chefs that I didn't know named Eric Ripert, Marco Samuelsson, Rick Moonen, Rocco Dispirito. They were judging this contest that luckily I didn't know who they were at the time. This was 1999, 2000. I ended up winning the contest. The prize was flying to Norway and traveling the country with the chefs and, and some other folks.


My career really started there, I think. Not really in culinary school because I ended up working at this Michelin star spot from this guy named Terje Ness, who had just won the Bocuse d'Or the year before. So this must have been 2000 because he had won it in 99. And it was just like the light bulb moment, like, this is what I want to do.


Tiny kitchen, everything fresh, just cooking at a level that I had never seen before. At a level of execution and precision that was just I just loved it. That's when I fell in love and then I just went back to New York eventually after working there for a while and I worked for most of my career in New York, so I worked for chefs like David Bouley and Floyd Cardoz at Tabla and a long time for Craig Kunz at Cafe Grey.


I worked for Rick Moonen at Oceana for a while. That was my first job in New York and then a little bit of time in Jean George, but I ended up going to Italy. So cut that short to go work overseas and then fast forward to about 2009. 2008, I was about ready to open a fine dining restaurant and then the market crash was pretty tough and so I decided rather than open a fine dining restaurant, a very good friend of mine and I had an idea for a fast casual concept called Bark, Bark Hot Dogs.


It was a combination of everybody called him B, since brand everybody called me Shark, my last name B Shark, we called it Bark. It was a hot dog spot. That ended up going really well. We were right out of the gates. We were just really crushing it and my thought was that I would do that for like a year or two, get the awards we needed to, and then go do the next thing.

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