Perry Smith

Restaurant & Club Operations, PR, Branding

Washington, District of Columbia, United States
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Restaurant & Nightclub Founder & Operator; Areas of expertise include Operations Strategies, Communications, PR, Branding, Leadership Development & Growth Modeling.

Key Consulting Services

  • Strategic Communications
  • Public Relations
  • Creative Growth & Scaling Strategies
  • Leadership Development
  • Expert Witness


With over 32 years’ experience, Smith has a comprehensive knowledge of bars, restaurant development and operations. He has created, owned and operated a variety of successful hospitality businesses—from Polly Esther’s Dance Clubs nationwide to the Matchbox Food Group and Ted’s Bulletin in DC, MD, VA, and CA. With service and hospitality in his DNA, Smith believes we are only as good as our teammates and maintains a strong commitment toward developing Millennial and Gen Z hospitality leaders. Employing the principles of accountable servant leadership, he took great pleasure in building his most recent restaurant entities into a thriving 650+ person organization. Smith’s areas of focus at the Matchbox Food Group were PR, Branding, Communications, HR, Licensing, Operations & Site Selection. Perry has consulted as an expert witness, and stewarded his own concepts through the complex and murky entanglements that oftentimes result from workers comp and insurance claims.


  • Smith graduated from Lehigh University with a BA in Military History and played Division 1 football. In 1989, he launched his hospitality career in New York City while completing his MA in Media Ecology and Communications from NYU. Roles included that of bartender, server, sous chef and manager of a variety of concepts including Chumley's Speakeasy, Robert’s Jazz Club, The Madison Coterie, Sports on Broadway & Polly Esther’s Nightclubs. In 1993, he partnered with the Polly Esther’s Group and shortly thereafter launched locations in DC, Chicago, St. Louis and Denver. His duties ranged from buildout, operations, budgeting, HR, PR, logistics and licensing. In 2003, He opened Matchbox Pizza Bistro in Washington, DC. The concept received rave reviews and was quickly voted Best New Restaurant by the RAMW. Smith built and scaled multiple locations of Matchbox and created the beloved Ted’s Bulletin Diners and the fast casual sandwich shop, DC-3.

Professional & Other

Adjunct Instructor
Joint Special Operations Forces University (JSOU)
Developed systems models for small business growth in order to mitigate conflict scenarios for US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in Iraq and Afghanistan.
MacDill Air force Base Tampa, FL

Special Forces (SOCOM)
Executive Leadership Development
Fort Belvoir Fairfax, VA

Adjunct Lecturer
Lehigh University, College of Business and Economics
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
Johns Hopkins, Carey Business School
Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business
Media Ecology Association
Lerch Early Brewer, LLP

The Avalon Institute, President
The Minute Man Foundation, President
Neuroleadership Institute
Media Ecology Association
Asa Packer Society, Lehigh University
Mentor, Lehigh University Football Partnership
Screen Actors Guild (SAG)

Perry's Latest Articles & Case Studies

Perry Smith

Food Truck Innovation: Bridging Hospitality Traditions and Modernity

By Perry Smith Feb 8, 2023

As a consultant in the restaurant and hospitality sector, I am seeing some dynamic changes – especially post-covid that are having a...

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Perry Smith

Why Professional Bartenders Still Matter

By Perry Smith Feb 8, 2023

“A Professional Bartender is someone who can do his or her best work when he or she doesn’t feel like it.” —...

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Perry Smith Cory Falter

ChatGPT Hack for Hospitality: 5 Minute Video

By Perry Smith & Cory Falter Feb 8, 2023

Two of our Cayuga Hospitality Consultants, Cory Falter and Perry Smith, got together to discuss the potential opportunities to leverage AI in...

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