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Success is a Choice

Feb 29, 2024

In this episode of the Success is a Choice podcast, our guest is Chef Andrew Gruel, a renowned food entrepreneur and TV personality.  

Chef Gruel covers a lot of ground in this conversation including ...

  • Behind the scenes of running a restaurant
  • Thoughts about pineapple on pizza
  • The food dish he never gets right
  • Differences between him and his wife when it comes to cooking
  • Tipping at a restaurant
  • ... and much more!!!

Andrew Gruel is the Founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group (27 locations), the award-winning food truck turned international brick and mortar, based out of Huntington Beach, CA and currently CEO and founder of American Gravy Restaurant Group which comprises Calico Fishhouse, Big Parm Pizza, Two Birds Chicken, Butterleaf, Lolo’s Tacos and 101 Burger.

Andrew has appeared on multiple television series including his most recent role as a judge on Food Network’s “Chopped Junior” with Megan Markle. He was the Host of FYI Series “Say It To My Face”, as well as a judge on Food Network’s “Food Truck Face Off.” He has made appearances on the TODAY show, Fox News, CNN, NBC Nightly News, PBS, Cooking Channel, and has been featured in numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Men’s Health, Food & Wine magazine, USA Today, Entrepreneur and Nation’s Restaurant News. He was named Top 25 Business Executives for Fast Casual magazine as well as featured in Nation’s Restaurant News’ 2017 Power List. In 2013 he was named top 40 under 40 entrepreneurs in Orange County. He and his wife Lauren Gruel were named Pandemic Heroes by Restaurant Business Magazine alongside Guy Fieri and Jose Andres.

Episode Timestamps:

  • 2:00 - Anything you can't make?
  • 3:20 - Instructions or Improvising
  • 4:16 - Career snapshot
  • 6:25 - Pineapple and Anchovies on Pizza
  • 7:30 - Go-to picnic dish // working with lobster
  • 9:30 - Dish he never gets right // Cooking difference between he and wife
  • 11:00 - Running cross country in college // Going on TODAY show during honeymoon
  • 12:45 - Behind the scenes on cooking shows // Reality TV
  • 17:00 - The restaurant business
  • 20:15 - Creative business tips
  • 23:00 - How covid affected small businesses
  • 27:00 - Economics and tipping at restaurants
  • 30:30 - Final meal he'd like to eat

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Each week, the SUCCESS IS A CHOICE podcasting network brings you leadership expert Jamy Bechler and guest experts who provide valuable insights, tips, and guidance on how to maximize your potential, build a stronger culture, develop good leadership, create a healthy vision, optimize results, and inspire those around you.

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Please follow Jamy on Twitter @CoachBechler for positive insights and tips on leadership, success, culture, and teamwork.

Check out our virtual sessions for parents, coaches, students, and administrators at These sessions are free and cover a variety of topics.

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The Success is a Choice podcast network is made possible by Great teams have great teammates and everyone can be a person of influence. Whether you're a coach, athletic director, or athlete, you can benefit from this program and now you can get 25% off the price when you use the coupon code CHOICE at checkout. Build a stronger culture today with better teammates and more positive leaders. 

If you like quotes, then you'll want to check out Jamy Bechler's new book "The Coach's Bulletin Board". It contains thousands of insights, thoughts, and quotes are contained in this book. Please visit to get your signed copy.

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Please consider rating the podcast with 5 stars and leaving a quick review on iTunes.  Ratings and reviews are the lifeblood of a podcast. This helps tremendously in bringing the podcast to the attention of others.

Thanks again for listening and remember that “Success is a choice. What choice will you make today?”

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Jamy Bechler is the author of five books including "The Captain" and "The Bus Trip", host of the "Success is a Choice Podcast", professional speaker, and trains organizations on creating championship cultures. He previously spent 20 years as a college basketball coach and administrator. is Bechler's online program that helps athletes become better teammates and more positive leaders while strengthening a team's culture. As a certified John Maxwell leadership coach, Bechler has worked with businesses and teams, including the NBA. Follow him on Twitter at @CoachBechler. To connect with him via email or find out about his services, please contact You can also subscribe to his insights on success and leadership by visiting