John Palino

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John Palino is a successful restaurateur with over 20 years in the business. He knows the business inside and out. In this series, as he does in real life, John will work with the owners and the staff and enlist the help of experts from the food and design industries with the aim of turning around a failing restaurant or café and making it a success.

“Too many people go into the business without doing enough planning and research, without having the appropriate business skills and quite frankly, having no idea what they’re getting into.”

Restaurateur extraordinaire, John has the golden touch when it comes to turning around struggling establishments and educating the restaurant industry.

From a strong Italian American heritage, he was born and raised in New York, one of the food capitals of the world. He started work in the industry at age 13 when he took a job at his father’s restaurant. By age 20 he was running a restaurant with 150 staff. Over the next few years he worked in and established some of New York’s finest eateries before coming to New Zealand in the mid 1990s.

Like fish to bouillabaisse, this New York Italian quickly bought into the Kiwi lifestyle and set about establishing his own restaurants – so far he’s created four very successful businesses of his own; The Viaduct Grill, Starks at The Civic, The Soup Kitchen in Lorne Street and Sal Rose - a delightful ‘Country Italian’ themed restaurant in suburban Mt Albert utilising his grandmother’s recipes.

In the past two decades John has also overseen the creation of more than a dozen restaurants, bars and nightclubs; some of these were his own, and others were run by people who needed help.

With a wealth of experience to draw on, John’s formula is simple; he assesses each place on its merits and comes up with a plan that will work.

It is John’s passion for the restaurant business, his talent and ability to jump in and immerse himself in solving the owner’s problems that we will encapsulate into ‘The Kitchen Job’.

In summary John Palino is straight shooting, straight talking and knowledgeable man with a history and reputation that back him up, and an instinctive feel for what makes a successful restaurant.

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