The 50th podcast!

Give an Ovation ( was started to help give insights from restaurant leaders to navigate these crazy times. We started a few short months ago and have already reached 50 podcasts!

We are thankful to all, founders, CEOs, VPs, brand managers, interns and more, who have joined us on the podcast up to this point and have helped us make it what it is!

Each podcast has brought its own unique voice and perspective to the table. We’ve discussed topics from reviews and guest recovery, to new normal and post COVID-19, to marketing and hospitality. With every new episode came a new knowledge bomb… an insight on how to better your business and take advantage of your resources. 

 “Your job as a business is to make sure that the most people possible know about your business,” Bruce Irving of Smart Marketing Pizza said. 

We wanted to center our content of the podcast on taking action with data driven decisions and on how to create a brand that always has one eye on innovation and reinvention. We push our audience to see things at a new angle, for example, ways to overcome the COVID landscape and how to earn the trust of your customers and employees.  

“Constraints and challenges are just this fertile ground for unbelievable innovation and creativity.” Scott Porter, founder of San Diablo Churros, said. 

We’ve had several guests share with us about the importance of keeping the end in mind and building strategies to have the best time and channel management, while being flexible.

So, with the end in mind, we wanted to express gratitude to all those who helped make Give an Ovation possible and–with your help (share it, listen to it, be on it, etc)–it will continue to be a source to help tens of thousands of restaurants!

Feel free to watch the video above or read through the quotes below!


1. Derek Morgan, Ovation, “Texting is by far the number one way your customers want to hear from you.”

2. Seth Weinert, Ovation, “It’s crazy to me how you can build a business and have all these transactions happening, and not even know who these customers are.”

3. Joe Desimone, Source One Hospitality,  “People aren’t concerned anymore about resume jumping.”

4. Nate Mills, Atmosphere, “Your brand is who you are. You are only as strong as your brand.”

5. Bruce Irving, Smart Pizza Marketing, “Your job as a business is to make sure that the most people possible know about your business.”

6. Seth Weinert, Ovation, “We need to show that we’re taking the necessary precautions and making sure that we’re keeping the communities healthy amongst everything that’s going on.”

7. Rev Ciancio, Yeah! Management, “What can I do right now that’s going to affect my business positively moving forward?”

8. Chris Horton, Brushcreek Luxury Ranch Collection, “Take this time to put together something awesome as far as your content goes.”

9. Joey Ngoy, TFN Media, “Now is the time to be on social…even do some TikToks! Start dancing!”

10. Ethan Cisneros, Thirst, “I’m trying to make sure I can squeeze out every second of revenue that I can.”

11. Bruce Irving, Smart Pizza Marketing, “Never underestimate the value of communication with your customers.”

12. Fred Langley, Restaurant Systems Pro, “Set yourself up to come out this stronger on the other side of it.”

13. Chris Morin, Chris Goes Viral, “Businesses – they get the order wrong. Where they have amazing content, but if there’s no eyes on it, then it doesn’t really matter.”

14. Jake Lyman, Hownd, “Being flexible like that, I think, is key in times like this.”

15. Derek Williamson, HigherMe, “There’s just not going to be the time to do this old-school hiring process.”

16. Kyle Vorkink, Ovation, “Hey I couldn’t find your guys’ apartment, but I left it at the pawn shop…Samantha ate my burrito!”

17. Rory Balkin, DonutDigest, “We are retraining people’s habits.”

18. Scott Porter, San Diablo Churros, “Constraints and challenges are just this fertile ground for unbelievable innovation and creativity.”

19. Josh Goodman, PourMyBeer, “You don’t want to have commission breath with your customers coming in the door, you just want to be genuinely happy to see them.”

20. Werner Lomker, Dominoes, “Procedures, and things on PowerPoint presentations, and PDFs are wonderful, but are they being executed?”

21. Ladd Biro, Champion Management, “The restaurant leaders that are ahead of the game, and are thinking through how they’re going to reopen, and what their restaurant of the future is going to look like…are the ones that are going to win and come out stronger in the end.”

22. Bo Bryant,, “Diversity is probably the most critical element of being able to manage any kind of critical blow to one part of your revenue vertical.”

23. Nico Nieto, Roti Modern Mediterranean, “I would advise that you put one foot on survival mode and that you put your other foot on reinvention mode.”

24. Donald Burns, Off The Range Ventures & The Restaurant Coach™, “If you just think you’re gonna open the doors…and everything’s gonna be just like it was, you’re basically in denial.”

25. Scott Johnson and Symon Perriman, FanWide, “I mean the big thing is, you’re gonna have to change things up,” Johnson said. “You gotta get ready for the new world, and technology is gonna drive it,” Perriman said. 

26. David Maloni, ArrowStream, “You’ll be surprised how much your creativity and your grit will pull you through.”

27. Stephanie Jarm, Stephanie Jarm Consulting, “We can collect as much data as we can, but that doesn’t do anything for us if we’re not taking action.”

28. Mark Kelnhofer, Return on Ingredients, “We want to make sure we have data-driven decisions.”

29. Fred Glick, Amergent Holdings, “Balancing this triple bottom line of becoming an employer of choice, a destination of choice, and an investment of choice was life changing.”

30. Danny Klein, Food News Media, QSR, FSR, “This current COVID landscape and then the days to come is going to provide a real opportunity for restaurants to earn trust.”

31. Jeremy Staub, Box 8 Creative, “Social media. I mean honestly, that’s the key, right?”

32. Joe Mediate, Webocity, “They’re on social media, they’re on their mobile phones. So shouldn’t we talk to them there?”

33. Brock Weeks, Savi Solutions, “If you have good data, it should point you to where questions need to be answered.”

34. Sean Taylor, Up To Par and Taylor Hospitality, “If you’re hiring on your values, generally everyone is growing in the same direction.”

35. Lee Houghton, Yesco, “Then your message better speak to that demo, and not necessarily a generic message saying, ‘Come to my store. You’ll love it and you’ll buy something.'”

36. Tom James, Overall Reviews, “It’s crucial that you explore new opportunities to connect with them and show them how valuable they are to you.”

37. Henry, “Hpatt” Patterson, Rethink Restaurants, “We’re about kaizen. We want to continuously improve.”

38. Dave Loveland, Keel Local Alive, “There’s a legitimately big advantage to shopping and eating local that I think people are realizing.”

39. Cory Warfield, Shedwool, “We’re gonna see the world come together in a way that frankly, we’ve been needing.”

40. Kelly MacPherson, Ovation / Union Square Hospitality/Former CIO RBI (Popeye’s, Tim Hortons, Burger King), “The only way to evolve and really understand what’s happening in the operation, and whether it be from an internal operations perspective, or a guest perspective, is having strong data.”

41. Kelli Laube,, “We really have an opportunity to make someone smile… and people are so starved for attention.”

42. Sean Vazan, Lucky Diem, “Any time you have to change the customer’s path to purchase is when you see pretty steep drop-offs.”

43. Dr Ben Chapman, North Carolina State University, “Part of a culture of food safety… is to really reinforce how big of a deal this is.”

44. Ann Rolke, California Restaurant Association, “I think restaurants really have to figure out their point of difference within the community.”

45. Steven Mandernach, Association of Food and Drug Officials, “The reality is we’ve got a lot of information about what essentially the carriers for the vaccine and that sort of thing, so really what we’re looking at is the little tiny piece of the vaccine that relates to this individual virus.”

46. Crafton Bryant, Metro Diner, Bloomin’ Brands, “It doesn’t matter if you’re 3 units, 20 units, 500 units, whatever the case may be, you’ve got have a sense of being nimble.”

47. Bradley Bloch, CFO2, “Alright, I’m not gonna get that sales lift, where within my organization can I be more efficient?”

48. Bruce Reinstein, Kinetic12, “The one thing you can never do in the restaurant business is look at what you did yesterday.”

49. Erle Dardick,, “Really what’s happening is we’re in the time of channel management.”

50. Tanvir Banghoo, Freshii, “The mistake a lot of brands make is, they don’t have the end in mind.”