Restaurant Rockstars Episode #303

A Possible Labor Solution for Restaurants

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Everyone is searching for restaurant labor solutions.

Today’s big restaurant issues continue to be: labor, prices, shortages…

In this episode of the Restaurant Rockstars Podcast, I’m speaking with Sam Zeitz, CEO of www.grubbrr.com Grubbrr offers one such solution with their self-ordering technology and digital restaurant kiosks.

Listen on as Sam tells us:

  • What the “restaurant of the future” looks like
  • How this technology combines order by phone with speed, convenience and ease of payment
  • The way Grubbrr offers Upsells & Suggestive Selling to increase the guest check
  • Leveraging “Artificial Intelligence (AI)” for most popular or profitable items
  • How to keep guests informed and notified by text and the “Progress Board”

And of course, the on-boarding process and timing to get your restaurant set up..

Watch or listen to see if this might be one restaurant labor solution that could work at your place!

Rock YOUR Restaurant. Roger

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Guest 0:00 And it’s not that we’re intentionally trying to go out in, replace jobs. Candidly, today, these are these are jobs that can’t be fulfilled. Right. And if you look at other industries, this should have occurred a decade or two ago. And we used to go to the airport, and we used to see a ticketing agent. And that ticketing agent got replaced by a QR code on your smartphone or Bank of 40 kiosks that never have a wait. Roger Beaudoin 0:33 Welcome back to the podcast. Thanks for being with me, you’re probably struggling with the labor crisis and rising prices and the supply chain issue and all the other elements that are making it really hard to do business today in the restaurant space. Well, you’re gonna want to stay tuned to this week’s episode because I have a possible solution for you. So stay tuned. Don’t miss it. Intro/Exit 0:54 You’re tuned in to the restaurant rockstars podcast powerful ideas to rock your restaurant. Here’s your host, Roger Beaudoin. Roger Beaudoin 1:09 Rock Stars, your team are the foundation of your business, and every shift, they’re leaving impressions with your guests in your restaurant. Now every impression counts and they have to be positive. Training is the key and absolutely essential to providing what I call amazing dining experiences. But effective training takes time and commitment. If you had to do it yourself. Well, imagine a staff training tool that’s completely customized to your restaurant, brand, and restaurant. It teaches your entire menu and what makes your restaurant brand special. Then it trains your team, your entire team to sell because sales are the lifeblood of your business. Now, it’s also important to recognize rising talent in your organization. This tool also trains future stars to become leaders that can run your business for you. I call that an exit strategy. Now this tool is called serve Learn more at SRVnow.com. That’s srvnow.com Check it out. Roger Beaudoin 2:10 Every day guests are asking your servers one simple question that can make or break your bottom line. That question, what do you recommend? Studies show that 92% of diners will order whatever their service suggests. So if you’re not already doing everything you can to harness the influence of your frontline team. It’s time to start. I’m excited to introduce you to spark plug in all in one customizable incentive management platform designed for restaurants. sparkplug fully automates sales contests, goals, commissions, letting you build incentives, track real time metrics and fulfill prizes in one dashboard. Over 1000 businesses are using sparkplug to motivate and engage their front of house to ensure they always have the perfect answer when asked what do you recommend? Now you can too sparkplug is free to try and is offering my podcast listeners $200 off their first sales incentive. Visit sparkplug.app/rockstars to claim your $200. That’s sparkplug.app/rockstars. Roger Beaudoin 3:17 Welcome back, everyone. This is the restaurant rockstars podcast and the most pressing challenges right now are obviously the labor crisis and inflation and supply chain issues. So today’s guest is a possible solution to that. His name is Sam Zeitz, and he is the CEO of grubbrr. Welcome to the show. Sam, how are you? Guest 3:37 I’m doing great. Thank you for having me on today, Roger. Roger Beaudoin 3:40 Well, thank you, you know, technology keeps moving forward. And it’s all about safety and convenience to the guest today. But what you’re offering is really interesting I was I was inspired by your website and what I saw, so I’m really glad that you’re here. But as my audience knows, we always talk about the backstory. So how did you become the CEO of grubber and then we’re going to talk all about what grubber is. Guest 4:02 Well, actually, I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and I figured you needed one or two things you either needed money, or know how and I had no money. So I figured I’d better go get some some know how so I ended up going and getting a law degree. And then out of law, I ended up working in a large firm called Skadden Arps. And the great thing about working at Skadden is they were very kind that every year you were there, they were kind enough to give you three years of experience predominantly because you were working 120 hours a week. Um, but that experience allowed me to really discover the the FinTech space, and I ended up ultimately getting into the FinTech space. And then about four years ago, I met a gentleman named Bob and Asher, who had created this product that is grubber today. And when I sat down with him and I saw this I’m like, it was clear as day this is the future this is where everything is going for the restaurant industry. And we partnered up to create what you see today grabber in its product lineup. Roger Beaudoin 5:08 You know, that is that is a really good story. And it’s interesting how old is the technology now or how long is Grubber been operating. Guest 5:16 So five and created what we’ll call the MVP about, you know, seven years ago when he first got the idea, and grubbers about four years old at this point. So the tech, you could say goes back and the idea back about seven years ago, when bobbin was actually out to dinner on on Valentine’s Day, and, you know, was, you know, experienced long wait times, and a frazzled manager and a restaurant. And when he actually inquired on how to how to potentially help the the idea was born. Roger Beaudoin 5:55 You know, I gotta remember, when we were kids, you know, there was this cartoon called The Jetsons, and it’s amazing how some of that technology 50 years later has actually found itself, you know, in our modern lives, which is really sort of incredible. And, you know, I just have to remember, some of those episodes had this technology where, you know, they pressed a button on some machine or some computer before there were computers. And literally, food was instantly created, and you open the door, and there it was. And I know that that’s part of your business model now. So we’re going to talk all about what grubber is, but before we do, why don’t you give us your vision for where this company is going, and what the restaurant of the future is going to look like now and then in the future? And then we’ll talk about, you know, the labor crisis and how you’re a solution to that, and how, you know, rising prices and all these problems, you know, well, I should probably say what rubber is grubber is a, it combines a digital kiosk solution with software that you’ve developed, that literally, it displays, like all the food in the menu of a restaurant overhead on boards. And then there are these large kiosks that you know, guests can order from. And then there’s QR code technology and all this kind of stuff. So you’re gonna tell us all about that. But tell us about where we’re going, where Where can this possibly keep going? Guest 7:15 Well, first, I also grew up watching the Jetsons you remember that show? Right? Absolutely. You know, I think it was the Flintstones and the Jetsons, you went from one area to the other? Yes. But you know, at at Creber. Our core belief is that the cashier is obsolete. And it’s not that we’re intentionally trying to go out in replace jobs. But candidly, today, these are, these are jobs that can’t be fulfilled, right. And if you look at other industries, this should have occurred a decade or two ago, no different than what happened with tellers at banks, right? The teller disappeared and got replaced by a combination of ATMs and online banking. And we used to go to the airport. And we used to see a ticketing agent. And that ticketing agent got replaced by a QR code on your smartphone or Bank of 40 kiosks that never have a wait. So that part of airline travels is actually great up until probably time you hit TSA, but that part of it is has been improved. And that should have happened in the restaurant space. But for the fact that labor was just so cheap, so inexpensive, that candidly, most most, you know, owners and managers just threw labor at the problem, instead of actually solving it through through technology. Now, given what’s transpired between COVID You know, Joe Biden being elected president, and one of his four pillars being this $15 An hour minimum wage, and then the great resignation, these have all drawn the, you know, this issue to the forefront. And, you know, there are restaurants across the country that have limited hours or are closed on occasion, because they just can’t find the staff to work it demand has come back in, you know, an unbelievable manner. Right? The problem is, can the restaurants actually fulfill from a labor perspective, the demand they have from the consumers, and that’s where we might not solve 100% of the problem, but we solve half the problem. There’s the Roger Beaudoin 9:34 key now, we already talked about rising prices, and this is already a slim margin business to begin with. So any you know, anyone listening this podcast knows no one’s getting rich in the restaurant business unless you have 500 restaurants across the country, that kind of thing. But so now we’re talking about all this technology that sort of replaces key people because restaurants are losing money by like you said they’re closing hours to closing days even though the demand is there. They’re losing revenue because they can Can’t service the customer when the customer is there. So here’s a solution that allows you not to cut back hours or even close days, because you’re eliminating certain positions, but you’re giving the safety you’re giving the convenience and the sort of wow factor of a new technology that makes it simple for the guests to order. And, you know, I really love some of the features too. And we’re gonna get into the upselling. And how this is actually a revenue increase here, which is, you know, that’s speaking my language, as well. So the only thing is, we’re not completely replacing everybody in the restaurant, because positions are still required, but it does minimize the amount of people you need to serve the guests in order to meet the demand of sales that come in on a daily basis. Guest 10:42 Maybe if we can get Rosie from the Jetsons, we can, we can solve the rest of the problem. But we are we are solving half of it now. And then we also have some technology with our kts. That’s pretty advanced, that starts to make the back of the house more more efficient. So you can run more production through with less people. But you know, today, I would say I’m pretty comfortable in saying that we can solve half the labor issue. And what people aren’t aware of is that this technology is both accessible and affordable to even the small business owner, right? Everybody sees the headlines, McDonald’s spent a billion dollars on kiosks. Clearly they work clear the lead the value propositions, they’ve, as you succinctly stated, We they reduce, you know, expenses on the opposite side with labor, they increase revenue by increasing the average ticket and they improve the customer experience through eliminating walk away clients and weights it aligns in incorrect orders. So the value proposition is there nobody questions that what they question is, wow, McDonald’s spent a billion dollars, I don’t even have a million dollars, how can I afford this, and they just write it off and assume it’s not something they can do. But what we ended up doing last year is we partnered with Samsung. And Samsung is the largest manufacturer of cell phones of TVs, digital signage, etc. In the world. And much like we had a vision of where the future was going. Samsung had that same vision and they saw this as kiosks is going to be what everybody is, is going to be ordering on. And because of their their background, and the fact that they’re the largest chip manufacturer, they they were able to bring to bear a kiosk that isn’t $10,000, but a retail price of $2,500. So now all of a sudden, the hardware isn’t so expensive. It’s better quality in our software is not, you know $150 million in five years of development. But you can have it for less than $200 a month and you can be up and running in a week. So what we’ve done by partnering with Samsung, is we’ve completely democratized the kiosks and this technology making it available to everyone. And the great thing is it’s instantly a creative. And what I mean by that is the minute you put this technology in your establishment, you’re now throwing more money to the bottom line, you don’t have to say, Oh, the return on this is going to be two years or, or six months or even two weeks. It’s instant. And you know, for each cashier position you can eliminate, you’re gonna save over $6,000 a month, you can get hardware software, you can get not one but two kiosks for less than 10% of that price. So there’s a significant pickup right there. Most of our clients and we tell people that they will see a 12 to 22% uplift in average ticket. And many of our small business clients are seeing a 40 to 50% increase in the average ticket. Now, assuming you know beverage costs, food costs, you know, call it a 75% March and you could see how that sends quite a bit of value to the bottom line. And then you’re eliminating the walkaway clients. You’re you’re eliminating in accurate orders. How many times have you gone up to the cashier and said, I’d like a cheeseburger with extra pickles, no ketchup, and they’re like got an extra ketchup, no pickles. And what happens is the consumer gets the hamburger, they’re disappointed. They have to wait while the restaurant makes a new hamburger. So that’s a you know, a poor, you know, experience for them. And the restaurant managers upset because he took a perfectly good hamburger and threw it in the garbage. So clearly when you’re entering the order yourself, it’s accurate all the time. The other thing is you talked about You know, the adoption, over 80% of consumers would prefer to utilize digital technology than to speak to it to actual human being. Roger Beaudoin 15:12 Wow, that’s quite a statistic. And I would not have guessed that. Guest 15:16 Yeah. And that number is actually, you know, increasing at a pretty rapid rate. Roger Beaudoin 15:20 Now, are there different sizes and configurations and models of the hardware itself? The kiosk itself that fit a variety of uses? Is it primarily fast casual, but there are also full serve applications as well. Tom, tell us about that. Guest 15:36 Yeah, so let’s talk the solution. So the future, so we say, you know, we believe the cashier is obsolete. And I gave the example what happened in, in the banking industry and in the airlines. But what’s going to happen in our opinion in the restaurant space, is it’s going to be replaced, the cashiers going to be replaced by a combination of kiosks, mobile ordering, and online ordering, whether through the company’s website or third party delivery service, like UberEATS, or more DoorDash. So when you look at it this way, people consume in different ways. Some people will just walk up to the kiosks, some people will want to use their phone and they might, you know, tap it either to the you’ve seen a lot of the QR code popping up these days, we have QR codes, but we also have NFC chips, which are even easier. So instead of having to take the camera out and take a picture of the QR code, you literally just tap your phone, and it instantly appears. So there, there’s mobile ways of doing that. And the reason I bring that up is based on the use case, there’s different combinations of that technology. So in a QSR, or a fast casual environment, you would you would put a combination of the the kiosks online clearly for those that are going to pick up or have delivery, and then mobile with the you know, it would be the other solution. When you deal with something like a full service restaurant. My my personal take is if you’re going to, you know a Michelin starred restaurant, or or a high end Steakhouse, you’re probably still want that experience of the the waiter or the waitress to come over. And, you know, intake intake your order, however, now you’re outfitting them with that technology, that mobile technology. So you make them more efficient that they’re now entering it there instead of writing it down. Because what happens is that waitstaff then goes to a point of sale system, right, and then enters it. So everything we’re trying to do is eliminate friction. And if you’re able to now enter it at the table, as soon as you enter it, it’s hitting the KDs, or kitchen printer, the kitchen now knows about this order. The difference is when the when the when the waiter takes the order, and writes it down. If he gets stopped two or three times before he gets to that point of sale system, the cashier or that cashier, the kitchen, is unaware that that orders actually been placed, even though the consumers at the table, they’re there, their clock is ticking. So it creates, you know, a more accurate order. Because once you start duplicating things, you make mistakes, you get it in you know more seamlessly, and you can answer questions, because there’s, there’s technology in there. So somebody says, Oh, well what comes with that? Or whatever question they have. If they’re not as an experienced waiter, they’ll be able to answer that because the information will be right there at their fingertips. Roger Beaudoin 18:41 Got it. Now, modifiers are a big deal. Now, you already mentioned extra ketchup, extra pickles, this that and the next thing and multiple, you know, restaurants that have different menus obviously have many ways to modify a dish. Maybe the guest orders a salad and there’s multiple add ons, you could have scallops, or shrimp or chicken or something on the salad. I mean, there’s all these different things. There’s a certain amount of onboarding that goes obviously with this, tell us about the onboarding process and how your team works with the restaurant to upload a menu and all the different things that when a guest comes to use the kiosk, all the choices are there, it’s very crystal clear. I also want to talk about the upselling feature kind of walk us through the whole, you know, the whole scenario from start to finish guest ordering, getting their food, the kts in the back of house. I mean, there’s a whole process here that I saw on your video and I want the guests listening to this podcast to see the video but if you could just walk us through the whole process that’d be great. Guest 19:39 Yeah, I you know, it’s clearly one of the things that separates us from everything out there is not only do we have modifiers but we have sub modifiers of that that can drill down as as far as creative as the you know, that restaurant owner wants to get and it’s, it’s unlimited. So we have applications, you know what we call with like old builder For for those types of restaurants that that are on those types of concepts, we’ve got solutions for for donut shops, we’ve got some solutions for for pizzerias, where literally you could have over 6 million different permutations of a pizza, because of the different types of, you know, items, and do you want it on this on half and this on a quarter, and then what, however you want to set it up in your establishment, you were able to do it. But on the modifiers, it allows you to also do what we call inline upselling. So if you want extra Turkey, or you want a premium ingredient like avocado, or you want extra of something, you can now select it yourself. And then maybe it’s an extra 50 cents or 75 cents, sure, but now you can customize it and get exactly what you want. So better consumer experience in generating extra dollars. Now the other interesting thing is you mentioned other add ons, maybe not a modifier, but let’s talk about sauce. And this This was become material with with a number of our clients. Because what up? What happens today, if you walk in, and let’s say you’re in a wing place, and you say, Oh, I’d like extra sauce, what happens? The cashier reaches in, grabs a handful tosses it in the bag. and off you go? Well, in reality, you might have wanted two extra sauces, they gave you eight, and six of them get thrown in the garbage, right? Wait. But the reality is that business owner, he’s paid for all eight of those sauces. That’s right. But now what we’ve done is on the kiosk, you want extra sauce, no problem. 25 cents, how many would you like, I’d like to I’d like three. So now it went from what has been Torricelli been an Expense Center, it’s turned into a profit center. So if a guy wants 32, sauces, great, we’re gonna make a lot of money selling sauce. And the same thing on the modifiers that allows you to get exactly what you want. Without fear that you know you’ve been in this long line, you get to the front, and it’s your time to order. If I start going, Hey, what looks good today, or I start doing that the guy behind is going to give me one of these on the back of their head, right? You know, that the kiosk allows what we call the hover effect because you can put as many kiosks as you want in the establishment, you can now eliminate those lines and people can spend more time in looking at the the food items and they will buy more people buy with their eyes. If they see a line item like on a menu with half a dozen, you know, chicken parmesan or spaghetti or pizza versus seeing high resolution pictures of these. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve actually witnessed consumers utilizing one of our kiosks. And they’re like yeah, I bought both just because they both look so good. Roger Beaudoin 23:04 Not answering your phone is one of the quickest ways for your restaurant to lose a potential customer. But between serving in person customers and dealing with the kitchen, it’s hard for staff to prioritize incoming calls. That’s why your restaurant needs pop menu answering simple questions that keep your phone line tied up can be handled without pulling a staff person from your in person hospitality. Reclaim the power of your phone. Pot menu answering is powered by artificial intelligence to answer the simple questions most people call in with like, do you have outdoor seating or what are your hours within the pop menu platform you can customize answers for your restaurant and choose the voice your guests here. Plus create customized greetings. Pop menu answering picks up your phone 24/7 365 days a year turning every phone call into an opportunity. Plus pop menus full collection of tools helps optimize your restaurants website and menu streamlines your ordering experience and assist in retargeting to enable you to build long lasting relationships with your guests. Get help answering your restaurants calls now with pop menu answering. And for a limited time my listeners can get $100 off their first month plus an unchanging monthly rate at pop menu.com/rockstars Go now to get $100 off your first month at popmenu.com/rockstars Roger Beaudoin 24:30 Dessert required. Do you recommend professional food photography before all this stuff gets uploaded? I mean, or do people just pull out their iPhones or their you know their Samsung galaxies and take photos and then is that quality high enough? Or do you recommend it really? You know, because this is a sales tool now. Guest 24:46 Yeah, so runs the gambit. So originally when we first started, we did that and it took forever to deploy a client because they were busy and who’s gonna go make every day They don’t have they have and take a picture and bring in a photographer. And there was the cost to do all that. So typically, what I’ll say is mid market and up, they typically already have photography done. They’ve got got those, and they’ll just, they’ll turn those those pictures over over to us or they’ll applaud them. For for small businesses, it’s a combination, they say they have a hamburger, we’ve got a library of, you know, 50 different hamburgers, they can either select the one that looks most like the hamburger that they’re selling, or as a as they put it in there, or use it as a stop gap, and then take the picture and upload it. So it’s a combination of we can load up with with stock imagery of different items. And then they can replace those items that are truly unique to their establishment. But you know, a lot of these items aren’t that unique, right? If I want a Coca Cola? Well, they’re good with one of our pictures. Yeah, of course, yeah, right. On the modifiers, a picture of a tomato is a picture of a tomato, now we’re gonna give them 10 different choices of a picture of tomato, but, you know, it is what it is on that. So it’s truly, we can have them up and running in a matter of a day or two. But if they want to modify and customize it, they can constantly do that they can constantly change whatever they want in our back end is so so intuitive, that they literally just hit a button in a way they go, Roger Beaudoin 26:31 I find that the hardware itself, the kiosks are very clean and modern looking in appearance. But the the screen itself is that sort of branded to a restaurant with logos and colors. And the whole thing comes to life as if it matches the concept and the ambiance, the vibe of the place. Guest 26:47 100% Actually, you know, what appears beforehand is a video. So the client is actually able to put it upload the video, and it plays basically on a loop. So it serves as a a commercial for for the establishment. And a lot of times, so a lot of our clients are utilizing that to partner with some of their suppliers who will subsidize the cost. So for example, you could go to Coca Cola. And now if you’ve prominently featured Coca Cola in that video of your restaurant, Coca Cola will has marketing dollars that they’ll subsidize the price of the kiosk for you. Roger Beaudoin 27:28 Sweet. That’s that’s a definite benefit for sure. So a guest walks in to Joe’s restaurant anywhere USA and they’ve got this technology. So you see it, it’s self explanatory, there may or may not be a queue for it. And if there is a queue, there’s a QR code, they could scan it and load sort of the app or whatever to their phone and do the same thing from a phone or am I missing something? Does it work that way? Yeah. So So Guest 27:55 essentially, you can we have both the kiosks and a lot of our establishments will have QR code or NFC chips at the table. So a lot of people don’t even have to, you know, if you’re a frequent visitor of that establishment, you might just walk, grab a table, sit down, tap your phone, and then you know, order it if you’re tied to their loyalty program. Well, guess what, there’s your last three or four or five orders up here. And if you have some crazy configuration, because you like the cheeseburger without this, but you want extra that and everything else, it’s already there, you just hit the button, and you don’t have to go through that. Again. Roger Beaudoin 28:34 I’ve just placed my order. And it goes back to, obviously the kitchen display system that you talked about. And there’s some efficient processes there as well. So tell me about you know, the order gets placed, it goes to the back of the house or whatever. And now the order is being put together. So let’s talk about that. And then also, there’s sort of a progress board where the consumer, the guest can literally see is it in progress? Is it ready now? Or it’s already been picked up? So that’s a tool as well. Guest 29:04 So let’s absolutely so. So the the first bit of technology years ago was having a kitchen printer, right? As we write it down, they put the order on, they swing it around, and then the chef would grab the handwritten ticket I Roger Beaudoin 29:21 started there 28 years ago, that’s where we started before we got our first POS system. And then obviously, the printer went to the kitchen and you’d pull off the slip and still stick it on that thing. I mean, that’s old school. Guest 29:32 Right? So the next evolution was the KDs, the kitchen display system. And there you’re basically taking that same thing and you’re putting it on on a screen. But what we have the ability to do is to break that into as many stations as possible, depending on the sophistication and process flow of the establishment. And what I mean by that is you can have all the drinks, go to the drink station And, and you could have all the fries or onion rings or whatever else go to the fry station, you can have the sandwiches go to the sandwich station, et cetera. So that each of those areas is just focused on production of what they’re they’re working on. And they just they constantly saying, okay, more cheeseburgers, more hotdogs more whatever it is, and they’re throwing those on and preparing them. And then you have the expo screen where the the individual is now pulling together the different items and saying, okay, you know, two cheeseburgers got the two cheeseburgers I’ve got the milkshake, I got the fries, here’s the order. And they can either put a sticker on it and put it in the bag, or use a food locker or give it to a runner to run run to the, to the table. So there’s the ability to get as sophisticated on the kts as you want. There’s the ability even on concepts like bowls, see on these bowl builder type concepts, where we can have the screen literally mirror the workstation below that there, you know, the different baskets that reaching into. So if they’re grabbing, you know, chicken or pork or beef, what ends up happening is the screen gets highlighted. So now someone doesn’t even have to look down, they can kind of just reach and grab the items and put them in the in the bowl, and make sure that they’re doing exactly what was described. And if there’s an allergy, it’s blaring in red with an axe, right? Or if there’s double of something that’s notified, okay, great. I want extra lettuce. Okay, well, my I’ve got that. So we have the ability to create more efficiency in the back of the house, and to you know, bring people up to speed with with less training so that they’re productive in more efficient. And then taking a lot of, you know, the data in historically, there’s six to 12 different pieces of technology that will be in in a restaurant. And they’ve all been siloed. And what I mean by siloed is they don’t communicate with one another. What we’ve created is an ecosystem, where not only do we communicate with the different components of the grubber kick technology, but will communicate with the other components in your establishment as well. So if you have a legacy point of sale system, like an oracle or an NCR or a par, or square or Clover will integrate into that. And now we can start to use this data to provide information back to those restaurant owners that make them more efficient. So you can figure out what your true labor costs are for preparing food. You can figure out why Sally can produce twice as much as Billy and either apply best practices everybody should do with what Sally’s doing, and get everybody else more productive or Philly’s just not capable of it. We know we can move on from from Billy and bring somebody in, that’s more productive. Roger Beaudoin 33:05 I call this the business of 1000 details. And you’ve got more important things to worry about than calculating and paying your monthly sales tax on time. Well, that’s what Davo comes in. Davo puts sales tax on autopilot for restaurants. devil uses sales tax data from your point of sale system to set aside the exact amount of sales tax you collect every single day, and then files it and pays it when it’s due on time for your restaurant every month. Davo takes just five minutes to set up. And once it’s up and running, you never have to worry about paying sales tax again, Davo costs 49.99 per POS connection per month, and your restaurant can try Davo for the first 30 days free devil was created by a successful restaurant chef and owner who knows what’s important for your operation. Time is money and you’ve got more important things to focus on, like pleasing your guests. You can’t put a price on peace of mind, why not try Davo for the first 30 days at Davosalestax.com. Roger Beaudoin 34:06 Let’s talk about machine learning and artificial intelligence and where that plays into this. Guest 34:11 Yeah, so there’s a few different places that we’re utilizing it today. And a lot of the reporting and in some of these modules that we’re adding will will have a lot of that tech. But clearly when we talk about upselling that’s, that’s an area where we are using AI and machine learning. So you know, we’ve all heard about upselling for years, you know, you go into a burger joint and you say I’d like a hamburger and shake in the first question back to you is Would you like fries with that? That’s great. If I’m ordering a hamburger, I probably you know there’s a high likelihood I’ll take fries. But if I walk in and say I’d like a salad, probably not going to buy fries. But if presented with you know an option for a fruit cup or a healthy drink, I might be inclined to buy that. So when you What you need to do is customize the upsells based on the products that that person has ordered that other people like that would have ordered, no different than when you go on Amazon and you’re present, you’re buying one thing. And you’re presented with 100 options of other items that completely resonate with you that you didn’t even know you want it. But you’re like, wow, that that’s good. Or when you go on Netflix, and all of a sudden, you’re you’re being presented with movies or TV shows that you’re like, hey, I hadn’t heard of that before. But it really sounds good. Roger Beaudoin 35:34 Yeah, recommended for you based on past choices. Guest 35:38 Exactly. So that’s really what AI and machine learning is doing on the upsell it. Now, on the menu boards, we’ve done something pretty unique in that, we’re now taking different pieces of data like whether time of year, time of day, in order frequency, and we’re now able to adjust the order on the menu board. Because people read venues from left to right. So if I’m presenting the most likely option to you first, you’re probably going to make your selection faster, and you’re going to move on. And we’re able to do that by taking in to account all of these different pieces of disparate data to change the ordering of the menus to ultimately present selections that resonate more with consumers given that at that point of time. So yeah, and it could be different in different locations. Meaning, you know, it might be really cold out in Boston in February. And you know, there might be a present presented with hot chocolate or something, a warm drink. Versus here in Florida, it might be an iced tea option. Roger Beaudoin 36:58 You say optional? Is that possible to present? What signature dishes might be available in a restaurant are the most profitable items that we really want our guests to purchase? I mean, it’s programmable, regardless, as opposed to using that feature, although it’s a great feature to have. Is it customizable? Yeah, Guest 37:17 I mean, not only that, we have an ability to change in real time. So let’s, let’s take a different example. Okay, let’s say you run out of avocados, there’s no more avocados in the restaurant. Well, now you can take guacamole off the menu. So now not only it’s not even on the board, you know versus you know how many times you see like white out or you see a piece of cardboard covering an item that doesn’t look good know, the item, you can either have it completely removed Yeah, at since it was never there. Or you could put sold out if you want to show that it’s still an item and it’s sold out. Optionally, you want to change pricing, you can change pricing in real time. So if you want, you know, at five o’clock, there’s a happy hour, and it’s 7am price changes at seven o’clock, it goes back it changes again. If you want to have surge pricing, you know, a concert breaks out across the street, and all of a sudden, there’s heavy demand, and you want to increase the prices you can or you don’t I’m sitting on a lot of bail X, you know, type of beer, and I need to blow through it. Well, I can lower the pricing and make that a promotion to until I’ve moved on from from that stock Roger Beaudoin 38:34 is an estimated wait time available to the guest once they place their order versus Oh, I got an errand to run down the street. And I’ll come back knowing Oh, I’ve got 10 minutes before my order. It goes up on the ready board and then I can pick it up. Is there that sort of a notice? I know you notify the guests when the food is ready. But do you give the guests an idea of how can you tell? I guess how long it’ll take before the food comes out? Guest 38:57 So the answer is yes to that. And then depending on the establishment, how they want to present that. I mean, look, I was at a restaurant the other day, and it was one of our locations. And they put their toe in the water. So they had through they used to have three cashiers, they now have one cashier and two kiosks. And it was funny that what they the staff did, they were still so many customers that consumers would go to the kiosk in order, and the orders would go right in. If a consumer went to the cashier, the cashier started off by saying, oh, there’s about a 45 minute wait, because what they were trying to do was stop people from ordering so the kitchen could get caught up of course. Meanwhile what they were doing is driving the clients out of the restaurant. And then I wasn’t there but I then what I heard this is horrible. They turned one of the kiosks around because they couldn’t keep up with the orders. So just coming in. Yeah, yeah. So So there, there’s the ability yes to to put, Hey, your orders going to right now we’re experiencing 10 minute, five minute, 20 minute wait time. And this way you notify the consumer into your point, hey, if it’s going to be 15 minutes, and I know it’s gonna be 15 minutes, I can place my order, I can go next door to the to the drugstore or whatever, run that errand and then come back and pick up my food. And by the way, I get notified if they if they enabled the text messaging functionality, it’ll text them and let them know exactly your order has been placed, oh, now your orders ready, and then you can come pick it up. You also mentioned so that’s one piece of technology, notifying you when your orders ready. The order progress board is another piece of technology that can be placed throughout the restaurant that lets people know, okay, your food is being prepared, your food’s now ready, you can go pick it up without having to kind of hover around, you know, increased congestion at the pickup area. The other functionality we have is throttling. So we can down prioritize different types of orders based on that type, you know, how the manager wants to prioritize? So if an order comes in, do you want to give priority to the person standing in front of you? So those orders go right through? Do you want to prioritize? You know, you know, online orders, do you want to prioritize delivery orders, do you, you can adjust all of these different things. So that you can do that certain of the third party delivery services started to come out with penalties if orders take more than next time. So you know, you could prioritize those to prevent getting hit with those extra fees. So there’s a lot of different ways that utilizing the technology to make the decisions that the manager if he was there running the entire thing, or the owner was they would do. Roger Beaudoin 42:02 Now the technology also eliminates the need for a counter person to pass the food to the customer or the guest. And you’ve got these lockers that go back to that whole Jetsons thing we talked about there, the very contemporary looking a series of copies or lockers with the door and your food is placed inside. And then I saw we’re going to talk about the video in a moment. But again, I saw the gentleman who placed the order using the phone to sort of scan the machine to open the door because it’s locked and no one else can touch that food. Is that correct? Guest 42:34 Yeah, I mean, a very real problem that people are having these days is with pickup orders. Because you know, you order Roger Beaudoin 42:41 the food by mistake the wrong order, that sort of thing. Yeah, well, I mean, Roger, Guest 42:45 you go, you see the order. It says, Roger, you grab it, you walk out in your in the car, you’re gone, right? Well, there’s more than one Roger in the world. Yes. And you know, the problem is that you grab somebody else’s order. Now, when you come back, they’re not going to take the order that you just brought back. So now your order has to be repaid, most likely, and their order has to be repaid. And you know that that’s the honest mistake. You got people that just go in and grab foods. But of course, this this issue is happening multiple times every day to most establishments. So just eliminating that and eliminating the people hovering around. Because everybody’s ever, you know, think about some of the busy establishments. Every time the staff will cold, drop a couple more items. Everybody goes and grabs it. Now you got 30 people touching the somebody’s order. And looking up No, that’s That’s not mine. That’s not my Roger Beaudoin 43:44 right. So I’ve seen this happen. It’s happened to me, it happens every day. And lots of chain restaurants that shall remain nameless. But yes, it does happen. Guest 43:53 Yes. So by putting the food lockers in there, and you’re, you’re you’re solving that you’re solving for the congestion. And the consumer who ordered online, yeah, they just show up with their phone, they scan it, boom, one of the doors lights up and pops open and they grab their food. And off they go. They don’t have to stand in line. They don’t have to wait to speak to anybody. It’s a simple process. Roger Beaudoin 44:22 And if I forgot my phone at home or lost my phone or whatever, I can still have someone open the door and you know, give me my Guest 44:28 100% There’s no and then the kiosks still will do both they can print out that that receipt or you can pull that order. Roger Beaudoin 44:37 What’s the standard timeline to be up and running? You know, an audience member listening this says Wow, that sounds like just what I need. I’m gonna you know, check this out. They get in touch with grubber How long before like, What’s that process like the onboarding the timeline and I’m up and running and it’s it’s working for me and I’m very happy with what my decision? Guest 44:54 Well, we’ve got clients that are up and running in literally a day or two And then you know, we’ve got clients that want some sort of customization or changes. So it depends on on the establishment. typically larger chains will take longer, why they have a number of customizations or integrations that maybe they have out of their their own proprietary point of sale system. And we need to work with them to integrate that. Maybe they have a loyalty program, like a punch or a level up or, you know, pay tronics in, they need that integrated. So we, you know, we have the most of these certifications already completed, but we still are dependent on the third party to certify each instance. So, yes, if you’re a punch client, we can definitely help you out and integrate that very quickly. But then punch needs to just say, yep, everything looks good on your side. And as long as they move quickly, that can be done very, very fast. If if they’re delayed, because of whatever reason, then that could add some some time. But it’s really, you know, the establishment and their, their menu, we’re going to create the menu. And if they’re happy with it, they’re good. Or if they’re like, Oh, I gotta get these pictures. And so there’s a lot of it’s dependent upon the clients in, you know, whatever they need to do on their end, Roger Beaudoin 46:28 the reliability of technology has come light years ahead, but back in the day, in the infancy a point of sale systems, you know, restaurant customers would have to pay very high maintenance contracts. And, you know, if your system went down, it would cause chaos within the restaurant, and you would call your support person or the support company. And they would sort of triage the situation based on the severity, and you might get somebody on the phone right away. Or they might call you back in a half an hour. Meanwhile, you’re trying to show my squad in your restaurant? What’s your software support? And are there any issues with software support based on the technology today? Guest 47:02 So the great thing is, we actually will know and be notified if there’s a problem in an establishment before they even know. So I’ll give you an example. Their their internet goes out their internet provider, if it goes down, you know, it happens, right? Of course. So we’ll be notified. And then we can call a lot of times we’re calling up the restaurant and saying, hey, you know, Mister restaurant manager, did you realize that your internet’s down and they’re like, really, and all of a sudden, they’re like, oh, yeah, and that or they’ve, somebody went, Yeah, somebody was in there playing around in the IT closet. Great. So so that that can be fixed. And there’s a lot of proactive stuff. We have the ability to to handle everything from a software side remotely. So it doesn’t require any technicians to go in there. Everything can be handled remotely. And even when we talked about things like internet, our software was designed to even be run in an offline mode. So if internet were to go out, you’re still able to transact business, you’re still able to connect everything through to the kitchen, you’re still able to order, you’re still able to process credit cards. And then as soon as the internet comes back on, everything that’s queued up will then connect into the point of sale and handle it, but all your your orders will be completed and your payments will will all go through. So that we have that that type of functionality on the hardware side. Yeah, you know, occasionally we get all kinds of crazy stories, we’ve gotten people that break in and try to steal things, we get people that, you know, take a hammer to it, or a baseball bat to it. You know, if something’s physically broken, then then we have on site people who will come out into a hot swap and replace the, the the hardware. Yeah, there’s people break in and try to steal all kinds of things. Roger Beaudoin 49:06 Well, that’s terrific. Well, there you have it, folks, new technology that again, helps you deal with the labor crisis and rising prices. There’s so many benefits and Sam, thanks so much for bringing all these things to light for us your website. Of course, I can see behind you is grubbrr of course, but for those listening to the podcast, it is spelled grubbrr.com. And there’s a terrific video that I spoke of a couple times in this that I really liked the audience to check out because it really walks you through the entire how it works and what’s cool about it and what the convenience and safety is for your guests. And of course that’s at grubber.com That was the restaurant rockstars podcast. Thanks for staying with us. Stay well, everyone. Roger Beaudoin 49:50 Thanks, Sam for being with us on the podcast and giving us one possible solution to the labor challenge and rising costs and all the other challenges operators are facing saying thanks also to this week’s sponsors, Davo, popmenu, sparkplug and SRV the restaurant training app at SRVnow.com. Can’t wait to see in the next episode, stay tuned and stay well. Roger Beaudoin 50:15 Guys, I’ve always believed in systems to run a really effective restaurant, they say you have a system if you can walk away and leave your place for a day, a week or a month. And it’s just as successful, just as profitable when you return, if not more. So. Now the staff are really the foundation of this. And it all comes down to the word empowerment, you know, if you’ve got really great people, and if you can develop those people that have your back, and to run it as if they owned it, treat everything as if they had to pay for it. That’s a super powerful system. Once you have the staff in place, it really comes down to three things. It comes down to one staff training, development, recognition and rewards to create what I call your dream team, how to empower your team to think and act like owners and to treat everything as if they owned it, and had to pay for it and to deliver amazing guest service experiences to your customers to serve and sell because sales are the lifeblood of your business, not allowing order takers on the floor. But teaching everyone to recognize opportunities and make suggestions that we know that customers will enjoy and appreciate. It all comes down to training, training, training, number two cost controls and maximizing profit. You need to know your critical financial numbers on a weekly basis. And it only takes 10 minutes, but you need to understand these things. How about your daily breakeven how much it costs you to open the doors to your restaurant each day. Inventory is not just walking around and figuring out what your order is that week. It’s knowing the true value of your goods on hand at any given point in time and you need this information to be able to calculate your true food and beverage costs. Your labor costs are also important and running a weekly labor analysis against sales. If you know these things, I can teach you how to maximize your profit and control your costs. And then number three is what I call marketing firepower and affinity. You know, affinity is defined as a really powerful sense of loyalty and belonging where your customers become raving fans. And they’re like an army of brand new ambassadors spreading the word for your restaurant. Well, all of this is included in the restaurant rockstars Academy. If you really want to take your restaurant to the next level, post pandemic, things are heating up customers are coming back. Now’s the time to really maximize your opportunities, maximize your sales and profits and create that dream team staff. Check it out at restaurantrockstars.com It’s the restaurant rockstars Academy. Intro/Exit 52:51 Thanks for listening to the restaurant rockstars podcast for lots of great resources, head over to restaurant rockstars.com See you next time.
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