About the Project
Back to Basics is a documentary project for anyone who has ever eaten in, worked for or owned a restaurant. Our industry has always mirrored the best of what America has to offer. You can start at the bottom and work your way to the top. It doesn’t matter where you come from as long as you are willing to work hard and have ambition.

Join us on a journey as we follow 5 aspiring restaurant leaders who are reaching for the top! In addition learn the "secret sauce" to great leadership from those who also started at the bottom and are now shaping today's restaurant industry.

If you think you have what it takes to be America's next GREAT restaurant leader, tell us why! Submit your video before June 30th 2014.

Who Qualifies


You must currently work in a restaurant.


You must be 21-30 years old to qualify.


Do you have leadership skills? Are you extremely motivated and have a positive attitude? Do you smile a lot?


Do you enjoy telling the story of your life? Sharing the ups and downs to help inspire others like you.

Submit your story

“Luck is a dividend of sweat.
The more you sweat, the luckier you get.”
- Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonalds Inc.
Participating Storytellers
Corner Bakery Cafe
Panera Bread
Dunkin' Donuts
Genghis Grill
Firehouse Subs
Production Team


Email Erle

After owning and operating a very successful retail deli and catering operation, Erle founded MonkeyMedia Software to provide web-based software, strategy and education services to multi-unit restaurant operators.


Email Mike

His dedication to perfection, professionalism and focus have helped put Mike on the map as a rising force in digital media. With a sharp eye for detail, Mike brings a personal touch to all of his work.

VALERIE KILLIFERProduction Manager

Email Valerie

She has been a professional journalist for 15 years and her credits among others include articles in USA Today. She also worked as the media liaison for a New York City chef and has received several investigative reporting awards from the Associated Press.

Our Partners