Give an Ovation: A Podcast For Restaurants has hit 100 episodes!

When we started Give an Ovation 10 years ago (February 2020 馃檮), we weren’t sure exactly where it would lead. But as the COVID-19 pandemic began shortly after, it became clear that Give an Ovation could become a valuable resource for restaurateurs. Especially as the restaurant industry, which doesn’t exactly love change, experienced unprecedented change.

Over time the themes and messages of our guests have changed with the industry as a whole. To oversimplify, you could say the first 50 episodes were focused on surviving, the next 25 on reviving, and the most recent 25 have discussed thriving in what has become the new normal, or the “new better” as host Zack Oates would say. We’re excited to see what themes emerge over the next 25 episodes (and perhaps more importantly, will one rhyme with “thriving”?).

Regardless of the state of the industry, we thank our amazing guests who have brought thought leadership, insights, and have helped us celebrate hospitality. So today, we’re giving the last 25 guests an Ovation with a knowledge bomb from each of their episodes!

Feel free to watch this 4 minute video above or read through the quotes below! And in case you missed our 50th or 75th episode celebrations, you can view them here!

Quotes from Guests 76 – 100

76. Chris Rumpf, Flyght, “Once you give up your food to a last-mile partner, you know, delivery partner, like it’s gone…What are you gonna do before then?”

77. Steven Simoni, Bbot, “Hang in there. The pandemic’s going to end. I think the future will be pretty bright for those that make it through.”

78. Miguel Ortiz, BOHA!, “You know, you want to make sure that whenever you bring in technology that you think about the big picture.”

79. Andrew Boryk, Lunchbox, “A lot of companies, and a lot of restaurants, and just in general, they’ll look at it as like, ‘Oh this one solution can fit all’…That’s far beyond the case.”

80. Matthew H. Smith, Modera Group, Tocaya, “If you just really think creatively, there’s little things you can do that are inexpensive, or all together free that can differentiate the off-premise experience for your guests.”

81. Shawn Walchef, Cali BBQ, “We run our business and we run our media the same way do our barbecue – and that’s low and slow.”

82. Molly McGrath, Light Work Kitchens, “But once you internalize it, and you’re like, ‘Oh wow my food is doing more than giving me energy. It’s controlling how I’m thinking and how I’m feeling,’ it’s like – [mind blown].”

83. Christy Lamagna, Shedwool, Life Lived Strategically, “Go ask people what they want. People want to give you their opinions; they want to be heard.”

84. Kelly MacPherson, Union Square Hospitality Group, “The only way to kind of evolve and really understand what’s happening in the operation, and whether it be from an internal operation perspective or from a guest perspective, is having strong data.”

85. Amy Mills, 17th Street BBQ, “We all have to play in the same sandbox. Life is long, it’s not short. Life is very long and you need each other.”

86. Chip Klose, Chip Klose Creative, “Creativity just invites you to come to the table and to release the status quo, to release what you think it needs to be.”

87. Andrew Martino, Ghost Truck Kitchen, “So when we talk about the ‘Amazonification’ of restaurants, that’s really what it is – it’s big tech companies weaponizing the data that we gave them essentially to use it against us.”

88. David Bloom, Capriotti’s, Wing Zone, “That’s the paradigm, I think that some restaurateurs don’t get. And that is, it’s not about what I want to do as a restaurant owner/operator, it’s what does the consumer want?”

89. Edward Zimmerman, The Food Conector, “You may have the best price a 30-unit chain can get, it’s just not the best price.”

90. Kyle Inserra, SABRE, The National Restaurant Owners Podcast, “People aren’t clamoring for restaurants to reopen because they’re hungry, we know for the most part how to feed ourselves…We want to go there for the experience and the connection to other people.”

91. Alan Magee, Church’s Chicken, “When you think about guest experience, we talk about putting the guest at the center of everything, right? But for that to be really effective you’ve got to focus on your team members.”

92. Preston Junger, 7Shifts, “Obviously a great product, a great software is one thing, but the people that power it are everything.”

93. Alonso Casta帽eda, Savory Restaurant Fund, “So if you want to futureproof your brand, in my opinion right now, do anything you can to have systems in place to digitize as many customers as possible.”

94. Bill Stavrou, Foodhaul, “Even if the food’s great, the space is beautiful, all of the above. When it’s all said and done, when you leave there the thing you remember is how you were treated. What was that overall experience? That’s what really typically resonates with the consumer.”

95. Warwick McLaren, Global Franchise Group, “Again, you have to recognize that the goalposts have moved now. And so the way that we were doing business 12, 24, 36 months ago has changed forever.”

96. Mike Bausch, Andolini’s Pizzeria, “If you train the customer that only when we ding you with a deep discount do you come in, you’re training them to be, for lack of a better term, bottom feeder[s].”

97. Pete Peng, Jetson AI, “The ideal user experience is just really being able to just talk to whatever device it is.”

98. Wade Allen, Brinker International, “But I promise you, if you aren’t dedicating resources and dollars and time to thinking about the future, you’re gonna fall behind or you’ve already fallen behind.”

99. Edward Zimmerman, The Food Connector, “It’s not different for distributors. They don’t want to spend the time negotiating price, they want to spend the time servicing you.”

100. Jacobe Hollins, McDonald’s, “People who do take hospitality serious, you see a difference there and you always remember that…You will remember how you felt.”