Hospitality Hangout

Foodable Network

The Restaurant Guy and The Finance Guy are the personalities behind branded strategic hospitality. Together they connect hospitality, technology, and capital. In the podcast, the Restaurant Guy and The Finance Guy explore exciting trends, happenings, and breakthroughs in hospitality technology. They will be chatting with leaders, marketers, and experts that are leading a new era of innovation. Our hosts bring their gregarious and entertaining personalities to all their topics. read less

LIVE from the Restaurant Marketing Summit | Season 8, Vol. 18
5d ago
LIVE from the Restaurant Marketing Summit | Season 8, Vol. 18
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout podcast, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” were live from the Restaurant Marketing Summit where they talked with Robert Guarino, partner at Chef Driven and Andrew Nash, chief executive officer of Targetable. Guarino is a New York City restaurateur that has been in the city managing and owning restaurants since 1996. Chef Driven is a multi-concept restaurant group with all of their locations in New York City. The company has thirty years of history and are currently running 14 restaurants, 13 are unique concepts with 2 new concepts in development. Nash, an executive with over thirty years experience in technology, is the chief executive officer at Targetable, a done-for-you digital marketing platform for the restaurant and hospitality industry. They talk about customer journey marketing and Nash shares it’s all about the venue and experience and you need to create awareness, acquisition or the pre-customer, repeat customer or ideal customer follows and a loyalist or whale. Guarino jumps into the customer journey marketing topic and says as operators you need to get the customers into your restaurant as well as keep customers coming back by establishing initiatives. The discussion goes to having the right technology in restaurants that will allow employees to better service the guest and create a better guest experience. Guarino talks about using the guest feedback to power marketing. He says that guest feedback should be the key to keeping all of your existing guests and getting them back in the door. To hear the questions asked during the Talking Back, Marketing Addition and more about the importance of guest feedback from Nash and Guarino plus get the insights on how to treat customers throughout their journey as a guest in your restaurant check out this episode Hospitality Hangout.
On the Road at ICR | Season 8, Vol. 17
Jan 17 2023
On the Road at ICR | Season 8, Vol. 17
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout podcast, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” were on the road at the ICR Conference 2023 in Orlando, Florida with guests Jim Balis, Managing Director, Capital Spring, Scott Lawton, CEO & CoFounder, Bartaco and Fred LeFranc, CEO, Results Thru Strategy. Balis leads CapitalSpring’s Strategic Operations Group. He stops by to talk with the guys at ICR to discuss what’s new at CapitalSpring. Balis shares the news that they closed on a fund back in April. He says he is excited about it and that they are going to continue to invest in the restaurant space. Balis says, “we've invested out of that fund already in some very exciting ventures and opportunities. As I think you guys know, what makes us unique is that we invest both in debt and equity.” Bartaco CEO and co-founder, Scott Lawton chats with the guys about having 24 company owned restaurants now and opening another 6 this year. Lawton says, “We're really excited, we've been kind of building up since covid and all these these are covid deals we're finally getting to launch the new fleet and we are super excited about it.” They are opening in Chicago and Charleston for the first time. They talk about Lawton’s view on 2023 biggest tech trends and he says, “Better ideas, better efficiency and we're going to have to figure out ways to drop more to the bottom line without adding to the top line.” LeFranc, CEO at Results Thru Strategy talks about the company and says, “Results Thru Strategy started in 2007 some so my co-founding partners and I decided that the industry needed an advisory firm that was not just an unemployed exec trolling for a job and we got together with 4 of us and now have over 15 entrepreneurial experts with minimum 30 years experience in their area of expertise we help emerging restaurant brands with a pathway to growth, we help legacy brands that need to revitalize their brand because they've lost relevance with their customers and we do a tremendous amount of work with technology companies that are trying to sell to the space.” To hear more from all of the guests that stopped by to chat with Schatzberg and Frischling at ICR, get branded quickfire Orlando addition responses and the crystal ball answers check out this episode Hospitality Hangout.
Understanding Restaurant Data And Making It Actionable | Season 8, Vol. 16
Jan 10 2023
Understanding Restaurant Data And Making It Actionable | Season 8, Vol. 16
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” chat with Trevor Shimizu, co-founder and chief revenue officer of Brizo FoodMetrics. It is a data and analytics provider for the foodservice industry, analyzing 1.3 million eating and drinking establishments in Canada and the United States. Shimizu played professional ball for a few years before getting into technology. Frischling repeats one of his favorite podcast topics and says, “That operators did not get into the restaurant industry to become data analysts and funny enough Brizo didn't start off in the data industry to be restaurant data miners. So you know we're all kind of in this together now.” He adds that the first two pilots were actually foodservice businesses that led Shimizu to become Brizo FoodMetrics specializing in food metrics and the foodservice space.“We were taking some time, it took about a year to be quite honest with you. Doing a lot of research to understand where we might be able to bring our expertise, we just happened to come across two foodservice companies, technology companies within Québec City that asked us to do some projects with them on a pilot.” Shimizu shares about how Brizo started. He adds, “You know our expertise would be huge and so that's where the collection of the online data, organizing it and then presenting it through our all in one dashboard became extremely helpful and that's why we decided to put our focus right into the food service industry.” Shimizu talks about capturing visibility and reputation scoring. He explains, “the more sources that we find you online the higher your visibility score is going to be and we're also comparing you to your peers within that particular area. As an example, if you've only got a Facebook page at this time in the industry then you know you're going to get an extremely low score because most people are on five to six 6 sources whereas if you're on Facebook, you're on Instagram, you've got a profile on DoorDash and Uber Eats and your website and all these other places obviously your visibility scoring is going to be higher.” Reputation scoring is where they capture ratings and reviews from different sources and analyze a restaurant compared to their peers to see if your reputation is higher or lower than businesses in your area. To hear why technology companies are embarrassing Brizo, Tuesday Trivia, true or false answers and more about the NextBite partnership check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
Increasing Restaurant Profitability With Revenue Management | Season 8, Vol. 15
Jan 3 2023
Increasing Restaurant Profitability With Revenue Management | Season 8, Vol. 15
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” chat with Tablz chief executive officer, Frazer Nagy. Tablz is an immersive 3D booking experience that is redefining the future of dining by enabling diners to select and to the table of their choice. Nagy talks about getting started in the restaurant industry, he says, “I think like a lot of successful founders and a lot of people in our space that make this jump, it's because we started in the industry. I was 13 when a family friend got me working as a banquet server at a golf course for weddings.” He adds, “I've just been in the industry my whole life, from busing to dishwashing, a little bit of even prep cooking. But I always had the gift of the gab. So the minute I turned 18 it made a lot more sense for me to be on the floor.”They talk about starting a tech company and Schatzberg says, “I just love when you have a restaurant operator turned techie because who better to know what restaurant operators need.” Frischling adds, “I love that they're the ones leading the technology revolution.” Nagy shares the news about relaunching the brand. He says, “for us brand and design is just at the center of what we do and that's not always the case for restaurant technology, I think often it's overlooked. But we have really created a culture here of a design-centric culture.” he adds, “This is many months in the making and this is something that's really really important because we are taking the Tablz brand and really turning it into this beautiful mature website platform in the digital ecosystem.”The discussion turns to the difference between the terms dynamic pricing and revenue management. Nagy shares, “Revenue management is the big thing. It's what all of those other terms you described fall underneath. So revenue management is really the combination of premium seating which is one element with dynamic pricing. When you add those things together you get revenue management and this is a big part of my life and our thesis and our belief about this industry is that we quite simply are the last industry in the world to do revenue management.” To hear the Tuesday Trivia answers plus get more insights into revenue management and enhancing the customer experience check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
A Deep Dive Into Shake Shack's Tech Stack | Season 8, Vol. 14
Dec 20 2022
A Deep Dive Into Shake Shack's Tech Stack | Season 8, Vol. 14
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” chat with Dave Harris, chief information officer as well as chief technology officer at Shake Shack about how technology can enable and enhance the guest experience. Harris has been with Shake Shack for four years and has led technology teams across companies in retail, hospitality and consumer packaged goods. Some companies include Virgin Atlantic, Avis, JetBlue, Yankee Candle and more.Shake Shake serves elevated versions of the classics using only the best ingredients, says Harris. He adds that they are known for great burgers, chicken, hotdogs, frozen custard, beer, wine and more. Core values that Shake Shack focuses on are elevated food, made with the best ingredients, gathering and enriching their neighborhoods, and delivering enlightened hospitality at every touch point, says Harris. The original Shake Shack opened in New York’s Madison Square Park in early 2000. They have expanded to more than 400 locations across the United States and internationally. Harris talks about how Shake Shack will retrofit all locations with kiosks by the end of 2023. In 2017 they deployed their first kiosks in the Astor Place location and were able to use that data to develop the rollout program. Harris noted that about half of their locations currently have kiosks. He says that the kiosks are their highest profit margin channel and highest in check average check. Harris talks about investing in technology, he says from a guest perspective they have invested the most. He says they have invested significantly in digital products, they have custom IOS and Android mobile apps, a custom web ordering platform and the kiosk solution. Over the last two years Harris says that Shake Shack had to become more accessible, focus on multichannel delivery and make it easier for the Shack team. To hear Harris talk about the Shake Shack tech stack, including the tech that determines order wait time, plus find out what Harris’ talking back question is for the guys and the details of the foodservice feud check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
A Former Professional AFL Football Player Is Changing People’s Coffee Perceptions | Season 8, Vol. 13
Dec 13 2022
A Former Professional AFL Football Player Is Changing People’s Coffee Perceptions | Season 8, Vol. 13
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” chat with Nick Stone, Founder and chief executive officer and Amy Hom, chief operating officer and chief people officer from Bluestone Lane. Stone talks about Bluestone, an Australian-inspired coffee shop, cafés & lifestyle brand committed to providing a genuine daily escape for all our locals. They offer premium coffee and healthy and delicious food through an ‘Aussie’ approach to life. Stone comes from a financial background and said he created Bluestone out of necessity. Stone adds that he didn’t leave finance until he had twelve Bluestone Lane locations. Stone offered advice when starting a new business saying, “I highly recommend to a lot of entrepreneurs you don’t have to go all in." He also adds that going all in is another degree of externalities and challenges. Hom has worked for many brands including California Pizza Kitchen, Wolfgang Puck, Red Robin and Sweetgreen. Hom says she has been blessed to work with great brands. She met Nick last year and Hom says Bluestone is a sexy brand and it is all about hospitality. Frischling says that what separates Bluestone Lane they lead with hospitality and connect with their locals. He adds that you can count on your local barista to know your name and recognize you when you walk in the door at Bluestone. They talk about the importance of hospitality and how it starts with great people. Hom shares that they take care of their employees and utilize heart checks. The locals are very important but they make sure their employees are taken care of too. She says it keeps them close and helps with retention. To hear about Bluestone cafés concept, the guys talk about real estate, the answers to the Tuesday trivia questions and the technology they are using check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
There Is No Debate Over Taco Tuesday Vs. Fried Chicken Friday | Season 8, Vol. 12
Dec 6 2022
There Is No Debate Over Taco Tuesday Vs. Fried Chicken Friday | Season 8, Vol. 12
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” chat with R.J. Melman, President of Lettuce Entertain You, a fifty-one year old restaurant group that is privately held with over one hundred and twenty restaurants across the country in thirteen different states. It is based out of Chicago, Illinois. Melman’s dad, Rich Melman started the company back in 1971 when he opened a restaurant with his best friend Jerry Orzoff. Melman’s siblings Jarrod and Molly are both part of the Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants team. The guys share breaking news and say that Lettuce has just opened their first restaurant in Florida. It is Aba, a Mediterranean restaurant that brings cooking influences from the Mediterranean, including Israel, Lebanon, Turkey and Greece. Also the group is opening RPM Italian in West Palm Beach and Summer House in Orlando. In Chicago in 2023 Melman talks about the new collaboration between Tao Group Hospitality. The partnership will bring a new private members club. The guys also talk about the Lettuce loyalty program that has been around for more than three decades. Now the program is free through the app. Recently they announced that Lettuce has partnered with DoorDash for a first of its kind loyalty program. The program powered by DoorDash will now allow guests to receive loyalty points and redeem gift cards for takeout and delivery. Melman’s goal when he became President was to use tech to transcend hospitality in dining rooms, bringing hospitality and technology together. Melman says they are in the process of switching over our general ledger, HR solution and more. Melman shares how the company continues to keep things going well with all of the expansion. They have been consistent on expansion over the last thirty years and said that the team has played a role in the growth. To hear more about Lettuce’s tech strategy, the foodservice feud and the talking back segment plus get the answer to the trivia question, check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
How A CEO Can Give You A Lyft To A Fast-Casual Chicken Chain | Season 8, Vol. 11
Nov 29 2022
How A CEO Can Give You A Lyft To A Fast-Casual Chicken Chain | Season 8, Vol. 11
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” chat with Aaron Noveshen, Founder and CEO of Starbird and Founder and Chairman of The Culinary Edge. The Culinary Edge is a food and beverage innovation firm that was started by Noveshen over twenty years ago and Starbird is a fast-casual chicken chain that their team created after identifying chicken was about to grow significantly. The guys talk to Noveshen about the success of marketing Starbird’s limited time offers, better known as LTOs including the Cali Bacon Dutch Crunch. The Dutch crunch bread is baked in house and the chicken sandwich has made it to the menu. Novenshen says that their secret sauce is their Star Sauce. Starbird earlier this month made QSRs best brands to work for list. The company is known for developing talent and its people first culture as well as provides incentives and educational programs for their employees as well. “Good food can come and go, restaurant concepts can come and go but the people are what it’s all about,” says Noveshen. He adds, “our tagline is positively delicious chicken, it’s our goal everyday to create positivity, not only in the lives of the people walking in the door everyday but also the people who are working there everyday. We want to make a difference in their lives.” Noveshen asks the guys how they prioritize everything they need to do everyday during the talking back segment. Frischling says how he loves to create lists and loves what they do. Schatzberg and Frischling both feel strongly about their hospitality community and said that their village helps them do what they need to do everyday. To hear more about Starbird’s values and the foodservice feud question plus Noveshen's Tuesday Trivia story about being a Lyft driver check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
ON THE ROAD RFDC | Season 8, Vol. 10
Nov 22 2022
ON THE ROAD RFDC | Season 8, Vol. 10
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout podcast, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” were on the road at the Restaurant, Finance and Development Conference in Las Vegas with guests Andrew Smith, Managing Director of Savory Fund, Andy Wiederhorn, Chief Executive Officer of Fat Brands and Tim McLaughlin, Chief Executive Officer of GoTab. Smith is Managing Partner of Savory Management, a Mercato Partners value-add management company, that focuses on delivering outsized returns through strategic growth and replication strategies. They partner with high-potential restaurant concepts to deliver necessary capital, industry knowledge, and operational prowess to facilitate growth into multi-unit brands and they specialize in taking fast casual and polished casual food and beverage concepts with between 2 and 8 locations and scales them into 30 plus units. Smith talks about growth, brands and shares breaking news with the guys. Wiederhorn has served as a director and Chief Executive Officer of FAT Brands Inc. since its formation. It is a global franchising company that acquires, markets, and develops fast-casual, quick-service, casual dining, and polished casual dining concepts around the world. They own seventeen restaurant brands including Round Table Pizza, Fatburger, Marble Slab Creamery, Johnny Rockets, Fazoli’s, Twin Peaks and more. Wiederhorn talks about growth and acquisitions and buying 9 new brands. They talk about Fat Brands looking at new acquisitions and having a one thousand store pipeline of stores to be built. The idea of GoTab was started when co-founder McLaughlin started his first restaurant and brewery in 2015. GoTab, Inc., is a Restaurant Commerce Platform helping large and mid-sized restaurants, breweries, bars, hotels and other venues run lean, profitable operations while making guests even more satisfied. Recently the brand made Inc. Power Partner Awards. McLaughlin talks about the importance of integrations and what is next for GoTab. To hear more from all of the guests that stopped by to chat with Schatzberg and Frischling at RFDC and Branded Quickfire, check out this episode Hospitality Hangout.
From Egg McMuffins To Plant Based Bites, An Industry Leaders Fast Lane To Success | Season 8, Vol. 9
Nov 15 2022
From Egg McMuffins To Plant Based Bites, An Industry Leaders Fast Lane To Success | Season 8, Vol. 9
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” chat with Carin Stutz, president and chief executive officer at Native Foods. Stutz has been in the industry for five decades and worked with brands such as Red Robin, Wendy’s, Cosi, Applebee’s and more. Stutz said looking back at her career and her early start at McDonald’s, she loved being in the restaurant business. Native Foods, the plant-based fast-casual brand launched back in 1994 before the plant-based restaurants were popular. They have twelve restaurants in three states, Colorado, California and Illinois. Stutz says that the brand is really leaning into vegan comfort food, delicious, nostalgic food with a twist. Recently they hired a new chef to bring innovation to the brand. Frischling talks about plant-based foods and says, in the U.S. alone plant-based foods are a $7.4 billion dollar market and are growing three times as fast as overall food sales and grocery retailers nationwide. He says despite these numbers there are still some wary customers. Stutz talks about soy benefits as a protein and the myth around it as well as the innovation around vegetable proteins. Stutz offers advice for operators that may not have plant-based foods on their menu, to introduce consumers to plant-based foods. She says, operators need to go all in to vegan if they are adding a plant-based menu item. Stutz says it is an easy sustainable message. She adds that there are usually three reasons you see the guest come to your restaurant for plant-based options, one is health, second is environment and lastly is animal compassion. In addition to Native Foods, Stutz sits on several boards including Kura Sushi and Checkers & Rally’s Restaurants. She says it is an honor to be on a board and she looks at board service as her giving years. She wants people to look at the foodservice industry as a real career. To hear more about Stutz’s insights on the industry, technology and innovation and her answer to her Trivia Tuesday question about George Clooney, check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
What Do Hot Dogs, Michael Jackson and Ghost Kitchens Have In Common? | Season 8, Vol. 8
Nov 8 2022
What Do Hot Dogs, Michael Jackson and Ghost Kitchens Have In Common? | Season 8, Vol. 8
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy”chat with André Vener, partner and co-founder of Dog Haus. Dog Haus is known for its signature all beef Haus Dogs and handcrafted proprietary Haus Sausages, as well as its 100% genetically tested, humanely raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free Black Angus beef from Creekstone Farms. The founding partners are three friends who share a passion for creativity, quality and commitment to community. They are Hagop Giragossian, Quasim Riaz and Andre Vener and they opened their first Dog Haus in Pasadena, California in 2010. Frischling starts out the episode by asking the Trivia Tuesday segment question, “Was Vener a guest at Michael Jackson’s funeral?” Where the answer will be revealed at the end of the show. Vener talks about Dog Haus and says they have about sixty locations in twelve states and the restaurant is known for dogs, sausage, burgers, hot national chicken sandwiches, plant-based foods, a kick-ass bar program and their virtual brands. Vener is asked about his foresight to create virtual brands prior to the pandemic and the launch of The Absolute Brands. Vener talks about breaking down the Dog Haus menu to create five different companies by looking at items that were ordered for take out. During the pandemic Dog Haus was able to give their franchisees the opportunity to offer brands that had been created only for ghost kitchens. They would be able to have five concepts to offer for delivery since the bars and restaurants were shut down. Dog Haus went from minus 45% in April to being up 12.5% in the second half of the year with all of the shutdowns. The virtual kitchens started running solely within their stores but have since partnered with Kitchen United, Kroger and CloudKitchen to grow their reach. Vener talks about the convenience of having Kitchen United brands in a grocery store. He shares how you are able to order from multiple brands all in the ease of placing one order. This is also a great way to introduce the name of brands to grocery store customers. To hear Tuesday's Trivia answer and how Vener is bringing Bad-Ass Breakfast Burrito concept to a brick-and-mortar, check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
The Easy Button For Alleviating Supply Chain Woes | Season 8, Vol. 7
Nov 1 2022
The Easy Button For Alleviating Supply Chain Woes | Season 8, Vol. 7
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” chat with Mani Kulasooriya, Co-Founder & CEO of Cut+Dry plus the guys introduce a new segment, Trivia Tuesday and share a fun trivia question about their guest at the end of the show. Cut+Dry is an all-in-one commerce enablement platform for foodservice distributors. It was created to provide distributors, their customers, and their suppliers with a single digital platform to make food commerce a more enjoyable, more profitable, and less wasteful experience. Kulasooriya has been working in tech for over twenty plus years. He started in consumer internet and fintech before fintech was even coined. Before founding Cut+Dry, in 2019, Mani co-founded CAKE, a restaurant technology startup, which was acquired by Sysco. All founders start a company based on some experience they had, positive or negative. Kulasooriya shares how he took specific experiences from Citigroup, Yahoo and CAKE before he developed Cut+Dry. Kulasooriya says that Cut+Dry has the largest structured data base in the industry. He adds that the big problem that they are solving can have significant benefits to the foodservice ecosystem and also to humanity in general. Kulasooriya notes that 30% of food getting thrown out has environmental and social consequences. They talk about the role that data plays for the operators, distributors and the manufacturers. Cut+Dry does the heavy lifting with the data then gives the operators, manufacturers and distributors the applications that make their businesses run better. To hear more about how the data can positively impact the total business, the use case for the restaurants and Kulasooriya’s Trivia Tuesday answer, check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
Enhance Your Restaurant’s Guest Experience | Season 8, Vol. 6
Oct 25 2022
Enhance Your Restaurant’s Guest Experience | Season 8, Vol. 6
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” chat with Rajat Bhakhri CEO and Co-Founder of Boston-based Incentivio, Inc.Incentivio is a fully automated intelligence-driven guest engagement platform for restaurants and virtual kitchens that increases retention, maximizes revenue and enhances the guest experience for both first-time visitors & loyalists.Bhakhri is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in electrical engineering. He delivered pizza for a short period of time until his first job as a software engineer. Bhakhri moved to Boston and worked for a startup. He then started Aeturnum, a technology services company with 250+ engineers and offices in the U.S. and Asia focused on building platforms for startups in the U.S. and Europe. “We should build a single stack solution where we can capture all the guest data,” says Bhakhri . He adds, to help increase check sizes and help restaurants retain guests. The idea was how to democratize tech for all of their customers. Frischling says, I love that you use the democratization of. I think that’s really important and I think long time listers of the podcast know the 2/3 of the restaurants in this country are small to midsize businesses, they are mom and pop, there’s a lot out there for the big boys and God bless, we love the big boys, we respect the big boys but I do love what Incentivio is doing for everyone else or almost 2/3 of the market.They talk about Incentivio and Uber joining forces to offer restaurants first party ordering and commission free delivery. Uber will provide delivery drivers to restaurants using Incentivio’s order-ahead solutions. Restaurant guests can order delivery directly from a restaurant’s website or mobile app, and the Incentivio platform dispatches an Uber driver for the delivery. To hear about Incentivio’s artificial intelligence product and more, check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
On The Road at Fast Casual Executive Summit
Oct 18 2022
On The Road at Fast Casual Executive Summit
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and special host, Rev “The Marketing Guy” bring you this episode on the road from the Fast Casual Executive Summit in Indianapolis. They chat with Kathy Doyle, President and Publisher at Networld Media Group, Jim Bitticks, President and COO at Dave's Hot Chicken, Zack Oates, Founder and CEO at Ovation and André Vener, Partner at Dog Haus. Kathy Doyle stops by to talk about the Fast Casual Executive Summit that is now in its seventeenth year. When they started this model it was about bringing fun networking and learning together to the industry. Doyle says, “I mean I don't care what you do for a living no matter how much you love it. Some days are longer than others. So when you can throw some fun in there and people are having a good time, a lot of things get done and deals get done and people learn and they move forward when they're on the road.” She adds, "so that's the real mission of the Fast Casual Executive Summit.”Dave’s Hot Chicken president and chief operating officer, Jim Bitticks stops by to talk about the brand and its start. He says, “Dave's Hot Chicken is a concept that started in a parking lot just five and a half years ago with three guys, nine hundred dollars, an igloo ice chest, an E-Z Up and a portable frier.” Bitticks adds, “They got strategically lucky that a Farley Elliot, a blogger from Eater LA came in on the third day and loved it, posted a blog article on it. The next day they were wrapped around the block and it never stopped.” Dave’s Hot Chicken has 84 locations today. Oates, the founder and CEO of Ovation, stops by to chat about the show and The Perfect Pitch, which was a global contest like Shark Tank for fast casual brands. Oates said the winner was Flake Pie, out of Utah. When asked why Oates comes back to Fast Casual Executive Summit each year he says, “This is such a good place to not just meet people but reconnect with people and this is something that's really fun, as I was looking through the agenda last night it's like every single panel has an Ovation customer on it. Which is really cool to see because when we came here two years ago we did not have a single customer that was here.” André Vener, Partner at Dog Haus shares what to expect in his session, he says they will be talking about ghost kitchens and what is going on in that space including Dog Haus’ Kroger partnership they have with Kitchen United. They talk about it being a unique opportunity in a grocery store. Dog Haus was created by three friends in 2010 with a passion for hot dogs. Vener says they have about 75 locations, in 20 states. To hear the branded quickfire with the guests, technology that Dave’s Hot Chicken has added and more check out this episode Hospitality Hangout.
Hopdoddy Aspires To Be The Best Burger Place You’ve Been To | Season 8, Vol. 4
Oct 11 2022
Hopdoddy Aspires To Be The Best Burger Place You’ve Been To | Season 8, Vol. 4
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael0Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” chat with Jeff Handler, chief executive officer and President at Hopdoddy Burger Bar & HiBar Hospitality Group.Handler grew up in the business, he has been in the industry for more than thirty years. He shared, “My dad was a tavern owner and growing up, if I wanted to spend time with my dad that meant kind of sometimes early mornings and weekends hanging out at the tavern picking quarters out of booth seats and cleaning the grill and cleaning beer lines and emptying pool tables.” Handler joined Hopdoddy Burger Bar in 2016 as CEO and in 2021 he was also named CEO of HiBar Hospitality, a growth-focused umbrella company owned by L Catterton that in 2022 completed its first acquisition, Grub Burger Bar.The guys ask Handler about Hopdoddy and he says, “I don't care what you call us as long as you call us the best burger place you've ever been to.” He adds, “That's what we aspire to do. Hopdoddy plays in the better burger space. We look to be disruptive and really rethinking, reshaping kind of what a better burger joint looks like and acts like.” Hopdoddy is based out of Austin, Texas and currently has 50 locations really from coast to coast.Handler talks about what differentiates Hopdoddy and says, “So what makes Hopdoddy different I think it's that we really are open minded to what a burger is. Most people just think it's a bun and meat and some toppings and we look at it as a vessel for flavors. Anything that we can grind, grill, we're going to make a burger out of it and so we've done some pretty cool creative things with different proteins.”Off-premise is a focus topic on this show and Handler shares his tips and some recommendations for operators that may still be struggling since the pandemic. Handler said, what they learned quickly was they could be profitable, they could take care of the guests and they could take care of the team members by getting them back to work. Hopdoddy’s off-premise business was about 12% and post-pandemic is now at 40%. To hear about the founders of Hopdoddy and how Hopdoddy’s tackled engineering the food for takeout plus experience, check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
Cargill Digital Business Studios | Season 8, Vol. 3
Oct 4 2022
Cargill Digital Business Studios | Season 8, Vol. 3
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” bring you this episode from FSTEC. They chat with Daran Han, Cargill Digital Business Studio Lead, Stacey Hey, Digital Product Owner of Kitchen Blueprint, Jessica Stanchfield, Digital Product Owner of Hot Take and Nate Shrader, Digital Product Owner of Chekt. Cargill Digital Business Studios is a startup studio backed by Cargill investment and expertise, designed to incubate and scale digital businesses within Cargill that address the most urgent problems facing our global food and agriculture system, now and into the future. Han says, “over the last couple decades we've really kind of doubled down around investing in new solutions and integrating the way that we bring our entire offerings to our customers.” He added, “so we're kind of found on the history of entrepreneurship over the last 165 years as we think about what's ahead for us and we look at the environment that we serve and agri-food everything we're seeing is a digital disruption starting to come in and impact the environment that we operate in and as Cargill we're investing in a digital business studio.” Han explains that it is a place where they incubate and build new businesses from the ground up, meshing the capabilities, expertise and the resources at Cargill, doing good work to impact the environment. Stacey Hey, the digital product owner of Kitchen Blueprint stops by to talk with the guys. Kitchen Blueprint creates transparency with data and insights to show where costs are going, where loss is happening and how processes can be more efficient across the back-of-house. Hey says that, “there's a whole host of new opportunities that come to bear whether that be optimization of profits. Whether that be reduction of labor reliance. Whether that be whole new opportunities to automate areas of the restaurant they otherwise would not have gone or would have gone undiscovered so that's really the heart of what we focused on.” Digital product owner, Jessica Stanchfield of Hot Take, the food-focused research platform that connects businesses to their customers stops by to chat with the guys. Stanchfield says that Hot Take is an innovation and insights platform. They bring the consumer voice and insights into the innovation process and that they are critical to making better business decisions. Checkt’s digital product owner Nate Shrader stops by to talk about Chekt, a contactless food pickup system designed to meet the demands of high-volume foodservice environments. Shrader says, “it's a modular smart food locker solution designed to transform take out and pick up for restaurants and really anyone who is a really high congested food service provider. So stadiums, colleges, and universities as well.”To hear customer stories from each of the guests plus the quickfire questions from Texas, check out this episode Hospitality Hangout.
ON THE ROAD LIVE from FSTEC
Sep 27 2022
ON THE ROAD LIVE from FSTEC
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout podcast, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” were on the road and with a special edition live from FSTEC in Dallas. Andy Freivogel is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Science On Call. He has over twenty-five years experience in both technology and retail. He also spent years creating specialized data networks and systems for end-user support in the residential digital services arena. Freivogel stops by to talk to the guys about the show, Innovation Alley and Science On Call, a tech support platform for restaurants. Freivogel says that the theme of the show is optimism and enthusiasm, people are happy to be back. CEO of Copia, Kimberly Smith stops by and chats with the guys. Copia’s technology allows businesses to safely donate their excess food to nonprofits and access tax deductions. Copia is helping the industry track food waste. Smith shares that Copia has just closed a Pre-Series A with Branded Strategic. Smith says from an operation standpoint they are continuing to grow. She adds that operators that are not focusing on solutions to donate their waste are missing out on tax benefits. Stephanie Sollers, CEO at Virtual Dining Concepts, stops by and talks about the new brick-and-mortar launch of MrBeast Burger. Virtual Dining Concepts creates large virtual brands with celebrities, media companies and influencers, helping them expand their businesses into the food category. Sollers says the ethos of the company is to bring these concepts into restaurants and kitchens that have extra capacity. Chris Keating, EVP at Winsight comes by to talk about this year's FSTEC. The show had over 700 operators. They talk about the panel CEO’s in the hot seat, and Keating says that chief executive officers are technology professionals now.To hear more from all of the guests that stopped by to chat with Schatzberg and Frischling at FSTEC, check out this episode Hospitality Hangout.
Food Service Facility Solutions To Enhance Operational Efficiencies | Season 8, Vol. 2
Sep 20 2022
Food Service Facility Solutions To Enhance Operational Efficiencies | Season 8, Vol. 2
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” chat with Jay Fiske, President of Powerhouse Dynamics, a Middleby Company while in Dallas at the FSTEC Conference. As president Fiske is responsible for leading all strategic and day-to-day company operations. He is a technology executive and investor with over twenty years of experience building businesses and innovative technology products to market. Fiske says, “Powerhouse Dynamics, we are a Boston based technology firm and we are the folks behind the open kitchen internet of things platform. We help large multi-site restaurant operators manage their critical infrastructure more efficiently, save money on energy, reduce risk on food safety, help make sure all their cooking equipment is up and running and producing high- quality products.” He adds, “So think about this as the internet of things. The critical back of house infrastructure and you know driving those kinds of efficiency that this visibility and control and connectability suddenly affords these multi-site operators.” Restaurants can use Open Kitchen to connect, analyze, and control equipment like refrigeration, HVAC as well as a large range of kitchen equipment brands to automate essential facility functions. The guys ask Fiske, “can you share with our listeners about what Open Kitchen is doing to help operators maintain their equipment before they even break and have issues? And the importance of what we're learning from you is the smart kitchen.” Fiske says as Open Kitchen integrates with different types of equipment and makes and models, the business case for connectivity really varies by the kind of equipment. There is a common theme across all equipment for uptime and maintenance. Fiske says Open Kitchen can give operators insights to the data and all you to be proactive on prioritizing any issues. Schatzberg makes a point and says that what he really loves about Open Kitchen is that it can integrate with equipment from many manufactures, not just Middleby. Fiske says that when operators are integrating with Open Kitchen that their data can not be shared with anyone else. Frischling talks about how data is a hot topic and asks Fiske, “Can you share the role that the Internet-of-Things (IoT) generated data is playing with Powerhouse Dynamics Open Kitchen and how is it helping everyone?” Fiske says that they provide the infrastructure to get all the raw data to the cloud and it is creating the business tools around the data for effective outcomes. To hear about the foodservice feud plus Frischling and Schatzberg answer to the talking back question, where they see automation going in foodservice, check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
A World-Class Chef And Philanthropist Robert Irvine Gives Back | Season 8, Vol. 1
Sep 13 2022
A World-Class Chef And Philanthropist Robert Irvine Gives Back | Season 8, Vol. 1
In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” chat with Robert Irvine, world-class chef, fitness authority, philanthropist and restaurateur. Irvine has appeared or hosted in several shows on television, including Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, Next Iron Chef, Restaurant Express, Chopped: Impossible, Guy’s Grocery Games: Impossible, A Hero’s Welcome, Food Network Star, ABC’s Body of Proof, ABC Family’s Melissa and Joey plus more. Irvine is known for his support for our nation’s military and believes that his success would not be possible without the men and women that so bravely defend our freedoms. Frischling asks Irvine to share how he got started in food and he says, “so basically eleven years old I started to cook in home economics class at school because there were thirty girls and me and I thought what a great way to get a girlfriend.” He adds, “I made my first Quiche Lorraine, I took it home and realized that pastry, egg, a little bacon, onion, some garlic and cheese made a meal that somebody would be really happy.” Irvine at fifteen years old said he joined the military. When Irvine was nine years old he said he had become a sailor, now he cooks. He says, “food to me is the ultimate passion job, a lifestyle, whatever you want to call it because it affects so many other people.”Irvine for many years was involved with the Gary Sinise foundation. Schatzberg asks Irvine about the Robert Irvine Foundation which Irvine founded in 2014 to support the veterans and veteran causes that need the most help. Irvine says,” I wanted my focus to be so strategic on food fitness, mental fitness and physical fitness. So pretty much everything to do with physical and mental health. He says about the foundation “that there's just a whole bunch of things that we do but mainly to give freedom back to those that have lost it.”Irvine talks about not being a fan of virtual kitchens but after a meeting with Robert Earl of Virtual Dining Concepts, he has converted. Virtual Dining Concepts and Irvine teamed up to create Robert Irvine’s American Heroes, a virtual sandwich brand that will have a direct impact on supporting our nation’s military heroes. The guys ask Irvine about Irvine Spirits in partnership with Boardroom Spirits, creators of handcrafted vodka, rum, whiskey, and more. He talks about hand picking the botanicals himself for Irvine Spirits. To hear more about Irvine’s many successful businesses, his dedication and passion for supporting the military and his FitCrunch Campaign, check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.
Best of Who Would You Beat
Sep 6 2022
Best of Who Would You Beat
This month on Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” are taking a break from their usual interview episodes and bringing you a Best Of season of all your favorite segments. They bring back “Best Of” old favorites such as “Which Came First” and “The Crystal Ball Moment.”In this episode they feature a Best Of Who Would You Beat Quickfire question with special guest and Co Founder & CEO at Chowly, Inc., Sterling Douglass. Schatzberg and Frischling would ask each guest who they would choose to have better odds of beating in a selected game. Frischling says, “It is by far the funniest question, and one where I will say, I hold the record as the stronger competitor over Schatzy. We’ve had funny answers throughout the season such as Schatzy being compared to a skinny can of shaken soda waiting to pop.” Schatzberg asks Douglass, “If you were to challenge Jimmy or I to a game of Paintball, who do you have the better odds of beating?” Douglass answers definitely Jimmy. You can check out the best of episode to hear Steven Simoni who at the time was the chief executive officer at Bbot choose who he would have the better odds in beating at Scrabble. Michael Jacober, CEO of Blanket gets asked about Clue, Clockedin’s chief executive officer, Eric Smith’s question was a round of bowling. Smith sounds like he was going to choose Frischling but picks Schatzberg. To hear all of the best of who would you beat answers to the questions they asked CEO of Ingest, Daniel Meth’s challenge response to Slip N’ Slide, Targetable, CEO, Andrew Nash pick his odds for Gin Rummy, Minnow’s CEO, Steven Sperry’s choice for Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, who Mighty Quinn Barbeque’s co-ceo, Micha Magid picks for Pin The Tail On The Donkey, Josh Goodman, chief executive office of PourMyBeer answer for thumb war and Dispatch Goods CEO Lindsey Hoell gets asked who she has better odds of beating at Yahtzee. Ivan Matkovic, CEO of Spendgo gets asked who he would have better odds of beating in a game of risk. Matkovic picks Schatzberg. Tune in to hear the challenges and learn who Scott Siegel, chief executive officer from Curbit, Clayton Wood, CEO of Picnic, Rob Carpenter of Valyant AI, Kimberly Smith, chief executive officer of Copia, Taj Adhav CEO of Leascake, Zack Oates, Ovation CEO, Brandon Barton, CEO of Bite, Gary Goodman CEO of Yumpingo and Agot.AI CEO, Evan DeSantola on this best of episode on Hospitality Hangout.