What is Amare? (and imagine if it were a restaurant)…

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

I did an interview the other day, where I was asked, “What is Amare?” as a lead-in to a discussion about harnessing the microbiome to improve mental wellness (stress, fatigue, sleep, mood, focus, etc) – so here are two bullet points that sum it up – and then a little thought experiment – just for fun as we head into the New Year.

  • Amare is “The Mental Wellness Company” – helping people to feel and perform their best – to flourish on every level – with abundant physical energy, sharp mental acuity, and resilient emotional well-being.
  • Amare is both the fastest growing mental wellness company in the world – and the ONLY company helping people “level-up” by focusing on the emerging science of the microbiome and Gut-Brain-Axis.


That said, imagine for a moment if Amare were a restaurant

Amare’s Founder was a very successful businessman, having started, led and sold companies in both the private and public sectors. By all typical measures, he was a success – with a young family and enough wealth to never work another day in his life – but he had another vision – he wanted to “feed the people” – so he started Amare – the “Mouth Watering Company” (MWC).

He knew that there were a lot of existing restaurants, but none of them served the kind of food that he knew people really needed – the kind that tasted good and nourished them, but also helped them become the best versions of themselves.

He didn’t know very much about the restaurant business, but he knew he needed a chef – someone to come up with the recipes and prepare the food – so he found an experienced chef who was looking for a new challenge. The chef had worked in some of the finest kitchens, using the highest quality ingredients from around the world to create amazing dishes for many of the top global restaurant groups. His meals had a reputation for not only being delicious and nutritious, but also for being a multi-course “experience” that diners raved about. As the Founder painted the picture of MWC, the chef knew that he needed to be a part of it.

The Founder was a smart enough businessman to know that a restaurant’s success required a lot more than just good food – it needed a TEAM to maximize its impact in the world. Anyone who knows the restaurant business, or who has ever worked in a kitchen, or served guests as a waiter or waitress, knows that a successful restaurant works like a sports team with each individual playing their “position” with all of their skill. The food doesn’t get onto a plate in front of a diner without everyone working together to make it happen. 

The chef might prepare the meal, but the right ingredients need to be on hand (at the peak of freshness and at the right price). The meal can’t be prepared without the right pots and pans and utensils – so the kitchen needs to have solid operations and project management to maintain scheduling, quality and inventory. It’s a lot of moving parts – not only to keep the pot pies hot – so MWC enlisted experienced operators who were not only nimble but also proactive and strategic.

The patrons need to know what’s on the menu, so you want wait staff to be much more than merely “order takers” – they need to be educators and story tellers and gracious hosts. They need to be able to “sell” what’s on the menu while also making sure that the offerings satisfy the guests needs and expectations – and delivers an “experience” that they’ll tell their friends about. MWC was able to attract some of the top sales people and event planners to stand on the front lines of bringing a new kind of restaurant with an innovative menu to patrons (who perhaps didn’t even know they were actually craving this new kind of food).

You need a smart and friendly and unflappable Maitre’d to oversee the smooth operations of the “front of house” and ensure customer expectations are not just met, but exceeded. As the restaurant expands to multiple cities and countries, each location needs its own Maitre’d to keep things running smoothly and maintain the ambiance for which MWC is known. Eventually, MWC would expand to every state in the nation and dozens of countries around the globe – with each market requiring experienced guidance and leadership to integrate local customs and flavors.

Before customers ever come through your doors, they need to know that your new restaurant exists and is open for business – so you need creative marketers to make the meals look tantalizing and paint the picture of the MWC experience – enabling customers to not just see, but also feel why this is the place for them to dine amongst the myriad choices up and down Main Street. Because MWC was a completely different kind of restaurant, the marketers had a tough task – changing the “fast-food” mindset of existing diners (who felt terrible) to a more holistic and “whole food” approach (that would help them feel better) by describing the how, what, and why of MWC in words, imagery, and emotions.

In addition to delivering delicious meals and memorable experiences, a successful restaurant is also a business, so you need knowledgeable and experienced finance people to set menu prices, maintain cash flow, and maximize profitability. You need a legal and oversight team to secure permits and follow local regulations. You need professionals to manage the human resources so teammates stay healthy and happy and engaged. In today’s connected market, a restaurant needs integrated technology to take reservations and orders and generate performance reports. 

On top of all of that, you need a visionary CEO to chart the course for growth and strategic expansion – so the Mouth Watering Company can nourish as many customers as possible through a globally-distributed network of independent restauranteurs – maybe reaching as many as one million homes someday?

The restaurant business is challenging – long hours, demanding customers, and stiff competition – not to mention that you often get cut and burned and covered in sticky sauce. 

But, it’s also rewarding – delivering joy and connection and meaning – because Food is Love.

Just like a successful restaurant, Amare Global – “The Mental Wellness Company” is a TEAM – coming together as ONE to Serve Love and enrich the lives of people around the world.

People are hungry – for mental wellness and also for connection and purpose – let’s feed them!

About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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