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I'm the CEO of P.F. Chang's. My day starts with a 5 a.m. workout and ends with a cigar on the patio — here's what my work routine is like.

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I'm the CEO of P.F. Chang's. My day starts with a 5 a.m. workout and ends with a cigar on the patio — here's what my work routine is like.
  • Damola Adamolekun is the CEO of restaurant chain P.F. Chang's and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • He starts the day with an early-morning workout and commutes 20 minutes to his office.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Damola Adamolekun, the CEO of the restaurant chain P.F. Chang's, who's based in Scottsdale, Arizona. It has been edited for length and clarity.

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I start my mornings with a 5 a.m. workout, typically a run through my neighborhood in north Scottsdale, Arizona.

I start my mornings with a 5 a.m. workout, typically a run through my neighborhood in north Scottsdale, Arizona.
Me on my morning run.Damola Adamolekun

I've been intermittent fasting since 2020, so I don't eat breakfast. But I will enjoy a cup of coffee with grass-fed butter, heavy cream, and MCT oil.

I've been intermittent fasting since 2020, so I don't eat breakfast. But I will enjoy a cup of coffee with grass-fed butter, heavy cream, and MCT oil.
Breakfast on a typical morning (when I'm fasting).Damola Adamolekun
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At around 6 a.m., I'll review daily financial and operational reports from my home office before heading to our global support center in Scottsdale.

At around 6 a.m., I'll review daily financial and operational reports from my home office before heading to our global support center in Scottsdale.
My home office.Damola Adamolekun

My commute is typically about 20 minutes long. I like to arrive at the office by 7:30 a.m. My daily commute here is a distinct change from when I lived and worked in New York two years ago.

My commute is typically about 20 minutes long. I like to arrive at the office by 7:30 a.m. My daily commute here is a distinct change from when I lived and worked in New York two years ago.
View from my morning commute.Damola Adamolekun
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I take a few calls on the road to maximize my time. When I get the chance, I listen to music. Today, it was the new Drake album, "Honestly, Nevermind."

I take a few calls on the road to maximize my time. When I get the chance, I listen to music. Today, it was the new Drake album, "Honestly, Nevermind."
My neighborhood in north Scottsdale.Damola Adamolekun

Our office has plenty of solitary space mixed with communal areas. I especially enjoy the windows — the natural lighting brings me tremendous energy. There are nice touches that really ground me in our brand, including replicas of the warriors and horses that decorate our restaurants.

Our office has plenty of solitary space mixed with communal areas. I especially enjoy the windows — the natural lighting brings me tremendous energy. There are nice touches that really ground me in our brand, including replicas of the warriors and horses that decorate our restaurants.
My office.Damola Adamolekun
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One of my favorite decorations is the red-and-white Lucky Cat on a shelf above my desk. It's a sign of good luck in Japanese culture.

One of my favorite decorations is the red-and-white Lucky Cat on a shelf above my desk. It's a sign of good luck in Japanese culture.
Everything on my desk has a special meaning.Damola Adamolekun

My personal office is set up to align with my open-door policy. There's space for small-group huddles and, of course, my desk area for dedicated work.

My personal office is set up to align with my open-door policy. There's space for small-group huddles and, of course, my desk area for dedicated work.
Me at my desk.Damola Adamolekun
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I regularly visit our restaurants for meetings with our chefs and field teams. I want to find out what they're seeing on the ground. By being there, I'm able to send a very strong message that the executive leadership team cares about what they're doing and is highly invested in making their jobs easier and better.

I regularly visit our restaurants for meetings with our chefs and field teams. I want to find out what they're seeing on the ground. By being there, I'm able to send a very strong message that the executive leadership team cares about what they're doing and is highly invested in making their jobs easier and better.
Meeting with employees at a P.F. Chang's location.Damola Adamolekin

For example, when we test our limited-time holiday-menu offerings in select markets, we receive feedback directly from guests and team members, helping us optimize before the national launch, so we can provide the best possible experience.

For example, when we test our limited-time holiday-menu offerings in select markets, we receive feedback directly from guests and team members, helping us optimize before the national launch, so we can provide the best possible experience.
At a tasting for our executive team.Courtesy of Damola Adamolekun
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I work with my executive assistant to make sure my calendar is always up to date so I can easily do a quick check to see what the day holds. I use a simple Word document to track my priorities. I also always have a notebook on me to take handwritten notes in meetings.

I work with my executive assistant to make sure my calendar is always up to date so I can easily do a quick check to see what the day holds. I use a simple Word document to track my priorities. I also always have a notebook on me to take handwritten notes in meetings.
Me at my desk taking calls.Damola Adamolekun

I'm focused on providing clear quarterly action plans and ensuring day-to-day alignment from department leads and restaurant teams on projects like restaurant remodels, driving our digital off-premises business, preparing for more restaurant openings, and supporting our global franchise partners.

I'm focused on providing clear quarterly action plans and ensuring day-to-day alignment from department leads and restaurant teams on projects like restaurant remodels, driving our digital off-premises business, preparing for more restaurant openings, and supporting our global franchise partners.
Me at one of our more than 300 locations.Damola Adamolekun
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My workday often extends to the evening, where I may have dinner planned with partners, directors, or executive team members. Otherwise, I enjoy going to Suns games, where I've become a season-ticket-holding superfan, and the Phoenix Symphony, where I've joined the board.

My workday often extends to the evening, where I may have dinner planned with partners, directors, or executive team members. Otherwise, I enjoy going to Suns games, where I've become a season-ticket-holding superfan, and the Phoenix Symphony, where I've joined the board.
Enjoying a Suns game.Damola Adamolekun

If I'm relaxing at home, I love to unwind with a novel or enjoy one of my favorite cigars along with the incredible Scottsdale views on my patio.

If I'm relaxing at home, I love to unwind with a novel or enjoy one of my favorite cigars along with the incredible Scottsdale views on my patio.
My evening cigar.Damola Adamolekin
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