Doyle, who also serves as senior vice president of Troon Food and Beverage, discusses why experience matters and the keys to success and leadership
The First Call: Please give us a short overview of your company.
Ed Doyle: RealFood is the premier firm meeting the foodservice design, development and strategic advisory objectives of the global foodservice industry. Leveraging its team’s combined 250 years of experience to achieve concept and design outcomes that drive industry-leading hospitality operations. The RealFood portfolio includes Fortune 500 companies, James Beard Award-winning chefs, world-class clubs, renowned theme parks, K-12 school systems, and leading architects, developers and operators.
TFC: Where are you and your company located?
ED: The RealFood office is located in Newton, MA, and serves as the Northeast office for RealFood’s parent company, Troon.
TFC: What is your handicap index?
The First Call: In one sentence, describe what you do for a living.
Ed Doyle: Next to a team of extraordinary professionals, I create and design experiences across the hospitality universe.
TFC: What time do you wake in the morning, and what time do you typically start the workday?
ED: Knowing every day is an opportunity, my day begins at 5 a.m., and I make my way to the office around 7 a.m. after riding my bike and catching up on the news with a cup — or more — of coffee.
TFC: What are key elements to leadership or to being a good leader?
ED: I believe in three main components to leadership: Developing trust, empowering people, and holding them accountable. My approach is to lead by example. Ever read the book, "Leaders Eat Last"?
TFC: What's the secret to your success?
ED: To work my *ss off, to try to never make the same mistake twice, and to not be afraid to ask for help. As we like to say at RealFood, excellence is always excellent — there are no exceptions.
TFC: Who is your role model?
ED: I’m inspired by people that lead a team through culture and commitment, and that can be found in many places, not just the professional workspace. We all need to look beyond our little ponds to find inspiration.
TFC: Knowing what you know today, what professional advice would you give a younger you?
ED: Find balance. Your career journey is long, be patient.
TFC: What’s the last book you read?
ED: "Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky.
TFC: What’s the last movie you saw?
ED: I don’t go to the movies.
TFC: What’s on your playlist?
ED: Well, it’s deep and broad. You’ll have to ask Spotify because it builds my playlists for me.
TFC: When I’m not at work, you can find me ...
ED: In Vermont on my bike with my dog and Dr. Mary [Bouxsein, Doyle's partner of 15 years.]
TFC: What is your greatest extravagance?
ED: Spending more money on bikes than most people would spend on a car. We have 13 bikes between Dr. Mary and I. And sushi for lunch.
TFC: What was your path to the golf industry?
ED: My pathway to the golf industry was through Troon. In acquiring RealFood in early 2019, Troon leadership had the foresight to go beyond the usual suspects to help elevate and achieve greater food and beverage outcomes across its vast portfolio.
TFC: What are the favorite golf courses you have played?
ED: Troon North is absolutely one of them. Also Whistling Straights and Kingsbarns Golf Links in Scotland.
TFC: Which golf courses do you belong to?
ED: Groucho Marx said it best: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”