Steve Zimmerman of Restaurant Realty Company was recently featured on Episode 62 of The Bite Goes On Podcast. Sondra Bernstein, owner of “the girl & the fig” restaurant in Sonoma, hosts this weekly podcast along with her friend Brian Casey, Sommelier at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and veteran of the hospitality industry for over 30 years.
This was a thoroughly educational show filled with family history, unions, tips on how restaurants are valuated and sold and more. Steve walks us through his journey in a restaurant family, where he started in the kitchen washing dishes at the age of 15. As he works through the ranks, he finds himself being called in to his Reserve status and cooking for the 500 – 600 airmen (breakfast and lunch each day). When relieved of his duty, he went back into the family business and worked his way to the very top at a point of having over 35 restaurants, 20 of them being their signature Zimm’s. You will hear how Steve makes a radical decision to leave the family business and reinvent himself to be the largest premiere restaurant business broker and realtor. Restaurant Realty Company is the largest California restaurant brokerage specializing in sales, acquisitions and leasing of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and related commercial buildings with local representation throughout Southern and Northern California including the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Central Coast, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego markets. The conversation delves into the hardships of owning a restaurant, the pitfalls of buying and selling, and an interesting look at the near future of restaurants.