I recently had the privilege to sit down with Kosta and Johnny Diamantopoulos to discuss the major success of their extremely popular restaurants in Cambridge, MA–All Star Sandwich Bar and All Star Pizza Bar. The restaurants are located across the street from one another at the intersection of Cambridge and Prospect streets, halfway between the campuses of Harvard University and MIT. Kosta, a Bentley University graduate, is very proud–to say the least–of his family-style restaurant that has been open for over 6 years now.
Tell us a little bit about your company.
With approximately 50 employees across two locations, we firmly believe in empowering our staff to make decisions on their own as they pertain to their position, and that this will contribute to their ability to do their best. After all, it is our staff who makes us who we are and has allowed us to achieve the level of success that we have seen in our restaurants thus far.
What made you decide to open a restaurant?
We love food, people, chaos and fun. Where else, but a restaurant, can you get all this?! All Star Sandwich Bar and All Star Pizza Bar are restaurants that serve food we, as owners, want to eat. Both restaurants promote an atmosphere of fun and warmth. Combined with the crazy culinary concoctions Chef Johnny cooks up, we offer patrons an escape from the day to day grind–a place to relax, unwind, and enjoy some great food.
What are your plans for All Star for the future? And what career advice can you give to entrepreneurs?
We hope to open more locations and grow the All Star Brand, in a way that allows us to maintain the quality of the brand as well as a quality of life for ourselves and our families. We strongly urge prospective entrepreneurs to consider what they want from their lives overall and how owning a business fits into that. Basically, take a look at the whole picture and realize how it will impact your life. There are many pros to being self-employed–autonomy, doing what you are passionate about, seeing your vision become reality, and of course, professional success and financial wellbeing, if you’re lucky and you work hard. However, there are also a good number of cons, and putting a strain on your personal life and relationships is right up there at the top of the list. Businesses will thrive when the people running them are thriving, and in order for that to happen, there has to be balance between work and play. My brother and I look forward to creating the future of All Star together and continuing to strike that balance.