Jason Berry, co-founder of Knead Hospitality + Design, on innovative leadership and employee retention

Take away food :

If you don’t like it, don’t – Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. According to Jason Berry, “doing what you love” especially rings true when trying to start a restaurant business.

“Four days of work” – Recruitment and retention is a thorn in the side of any business owner. Jason Berry and his Knead Hospitality + Design strive to employ hospitality and innovative initiatives, such as four management days.

Lead by opinion – As the saying goes, if you don’t work for anyone, you work for everyone. Jason Berry asks his leaders for advice when making decisions about Knead Hospitality + Design.


For Knead Hospitality + Design co-founders Jason Berry and Michael Reginbogin, providing hospitality to their team is key to building a successful restaurant business. It’s not just about guests, it’s also about making sure your employees are taken care of.

“We really listen to what people have to say,” says Jason Berry on the Restaurant influencers podcast hosted by Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media. “I wouldn’t say lead by consensus, but lead by opinion and learn to really accept what people have to say.”

This inclusive forward-thinking is what has made Knead Hospitality + Design one of the nation’s top restaurant companies with 14 impressive restaurant concepts, including the DC-area’s famed Succotash establishment. They accomplished all of this in just 8 years.

Offering hospitality in the form of collaboration is the foundation on which Knead Hospitality was built.

Understanding its strengths and areas for improvement allowed Jason Berry to hand over the restaurant design responsibilities to his partner. Berry’s time is now spent staying in tune with some of the things that sparked his love for the industry in the first place.

“Caring for people and seeing their experience. But I can lead and guide a group of people who do that now, and I’m able to make a bigger impact through my reach,” says Jason Barry on the Entrepreneur Podcast Media.

“As they say, in most industries, ‘if you don’t like it, don’t do it.’ But I think that’s ridiculously true for this industry.”

Her love for the restaurant industry is only replaced by her love for people. Not only is there an intentional effort to run his company as a group, Jason Berry has also helped implement an innovative way to encourage balance within his leadership team. It’s called 4 days on the job.

Jason Berry explains: “What this means is that you are scheduled for 11 hours a day at the restaurant and hopefully you will do all your administrative work. But if you can’t, you can do the rest at the home or the beach or Mexico or whatever you want to do.”

Collaboration breeds trust and hospitality is a requirement for loyalty and growth. Jason Berry and his Knead Hospitality + Design embody all of these elements and more.


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Rozella J. Cook