CNN asked Lagasse to share his secrets for entrepreneurs who are hungry for success. He offers five rules of thumb. Here’s his first one:

Create a culture of loyalty. Many of my staff have been with me for over 20 years. I have a great team, and I make sure they feel respected and appreciated. I wouldn’t ask any of my employees to do anything I wouldn’t do. And I work as hard, if not harder than the rest of the staff, to set an example. I also believe in giving my employees a lot of room to be creative and to express themselves. My chefs and general managers are responsible for their own restaurants, and they don’t have to worry about issues such as inventory, because we have a director of operations, a director of finance and other staff who handle those jobs at our Homebase. This allows our restaurant staff to concentrate on doing what it is they do best: offering our customers exceptional food and service.

Read his other success secrets at CNN.