You are now listening to made to order, a hunger rush podcast series, a show dedicated to new technology that is helping restaurants adapt and thrive in a new marketplace. Here's your host,
Victor Beltran. Welcome everyone. This is made to order, a hunger rush Podcast Series. I'm your host, Victor Beltran. Today we got a very special guest. He's our he's my colleague. He's fairly new to the company, our chief growth and Customer Officer, Mr. Dean Thompson. Dean, thanks for taking the time and coming on the show.
Victor, I appreciate you having me. I'm just really excited to be a part of the hunger rush family. And I love the way you say it, because that's how I look at all of us as we're all colleagues here.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Before we get into it, a little bit about yourself. I know you're from Ohio, correct?
Yes. I'm a buckeye. Yes.
So a big football fan. Yes, totally. Which is also here here in Texas. Right. We also have that. But the weather I'm sure is probably just dreadful for you. Right. It
is right now. You would not want to be enjoying the winter weather in Ohio. So also you don't miss the I don't miss. Don't miss the winters. I'd like the summers there. I'd like to trade my summers from here for there. But no, definitely not. But hey, I've got you know, paid tuition for two kids to graduate, one from UT and one from Stephen F. Austin. So definitely support the Texas schools as well.
Absolutely. So what was it like growing up in Ohio? And where did you end up going to school,
I grew up on a farm, I probably the only person working in our industry that can drive a combine. In fact, I went home for harvest this year, and got up into combat with my dad for a while. So I grew up in that way. I went to college at Bowling Green, which is near Toledo, Ohio. And my first job was working for BP Oil and Cleveland. love Cleveland, great city. It's like a best. It's like a big small city. You get all the benefits of a big city but not the traffic. And all right, it
makes sense why you're a sports fan. Yeah, that's a huge Deutschtown
totally, it total underdog fan. Right?
And it was it the fact that BP Oil was there that drew you to that that was
their headquarters when they got their US presence, they bought Sohio. And so Ohio, was headquartered in Cleveland. And my first job was in retail systems. I supported the gas stations. And so literally in every gas station, we bolted a computer to the back wall, so nobody would steal it. And that is how the employees clocked in and out. That's how we did all of the sales information, taken meter reconciliation, and that's how you would monitor to make sure the tanks weren't leaking gas anywhere, all of that kind of stuff. And so I had to support the gas station managers,
what type of challenge to this new technology present?
You absolutely had to be able to translate technology into how they talk and they think about the business. And one of the things I did when I I asked them to go and spend a day or two with a gas station manager. And at first they looked at me like I had three heads, why would you ever do that? And the reality is, how was I ever supposed to help them do their job better if I didn't know how they did their job? And so that's actually what they let me do you learn quickly how to talk to people, and what what was acceptable to them. All right, and definitely a great experience. And really, one of the reasons that I came to hunger Rush was the opportunity to get back to something like that retail, where you can look at a restaurant and just see where you can make an impact for those people and helping them make their business better. And and
obviously, there's there's the correlation of with the gas stations, you know, the it's kind of the same thing now, right with total with the pandemic with, you know, people go into online ordering. Yep, this has forced the restaurant owners to become tech savvy. Absolutely. And so this is a perfect fit for you, right, you get to come come in and kind of kind of help in that in that process. Correct?
Absolutely. Absolutely. And a big part of what I'll be doing as we evolve all this is I will be spending time with our largest customers and so that they've got someone on the executive team that they can see is very invested in their success.
So I mean, I think you kind of touched on what I was about to ask you, but what that's part of what your vision is as as your new role here at ungarische. Yeah,
I mean, a lot of times when people talk about customers, they talk about metrics that aren't really important to the customer. They talk about stuff like upsell and cross sell and our customers don't care about that. You know, when people think of that kind of help That's not what it is. A customer is held to something that means something to them. Are you helping them get more people in the door? Are you helping them get more orders from those people? Are you helping them increase the ticket sizes? Are you giving them other ways to get product out? Be it different delivery options, different ways to order, stuff like that, at the end of the day, we have to be thinking about what are we do that's beneficial to them. And so that's how we will be measuring our health with the customers, we will be looking at our products, what are the different things that our products can do to save them time and money and let them concentrate on running the restaurant, and actually scoring those kinds of things to see how we're doing, and then spending the time with our customers to help them get more out of what they're already paying us to do today. That is the best way to help our customers succeed?
And what are some of the variables that are going into the equation for for the customers health?
Absolutely. So you've got to go through and look at the products that they own, how many restaurants that they have, making sure that they're leveraging the product at every single one of those restaurants, I call it adaption. And then within each of our products, what are the key areas where they will get value. And so we actually put a weighting on each of those in terms of their importance. And we measure if they're doing it today or not, and being able to centrally measure that with our products. And then our customer success team then spends time analyzing that and then coming back and saying, Oh, you're only doing four out of the 10 things that are very valuable. And so they'll go and talk to the customer and educate them on what the other six things are explained to them how other restaurants get value out of that. And when the restaurant is ready to take advantage of that they train them on how to do it, they make sure it's turned on set up so that they're successful that so that's the actual what I call product stickiness. And then there is what I call a customer pulse. Every time that we're touching a customer and talking to them, we need to be figuring out what their pulses, are they upset because they've had a printer issue, are they happy, because they're opening up a new restaurant, we need to be able to factor that touch every time in there to actually generate that kind of score that factors into what's healthy for them. And then the last piece is, whenever we're interacting with them from a support perspective, we need to get a read on how happy they are with support and how happy they are with the product. And you're able to combine all of those things, and you get to ultimately a customer health score that's meaningful to the customer, right. And so we'll be able to go in and look in our Salesforce and see each customer what is their score, are they green, yellow, red. And if they're not like you can drill down to figure out what we can do to do something. And then our customer success team has plays, you know that they run so that they can help the customer ramp up their health score, get more out of what they already own. Ultimately, a happy customer is going to buy more from us in my previous life, a happy customer, but 35% More than a regular customer. And when you look at how much of your business is invested in your install base, it's so important to take care of those customers.
Yeah, did you know that sounds like obviously relationship building, right? The reason why there's a happy customer is spending more because of that relationship, right? And it's the same thing with you know, why? Why do you go eat at a restaurant where maybe, maybe they don't make the best steak, but the service is awesome. The hostess you have that rapport goes so so you go, you go after because because of not just the food, but because of the relationship,
right, and we have to flip the lever, right? You know, we don't want to just be in a reactive relationship. And we don't want the only time that we reach out to them proactively to be when we're selling them something, when our customer success group is reaching out, we want them to be doing it with something that's valuable for the restaurant, we're doing something for them, not something for us. If we do that really well, we will ultimately benefit. Right? Right. And if it was them together, we've got to do that part first.
Completely agreed. You know, it's funny when you were talking about the health tech and I recently went to the doctor, right and you know, you go to the doctor, and then they give you a report and you know, just your blood levels and you know, and so forth. And it's kind of like what we're doing here right? We kind of get we've kind of given the customer like hey, here's some preventive health care, you know, like this, you take these steps. This will keep your restaurant healthy. Yeah, and not only healthy, but it will thrive.
Well, and once we do that there's a ton of other stuff that we'll be able to do for them down the road like starting to do some advanced data analytics, where we can start to say, hey, the guy down the street doing this, he's getting this much more success by doing these things in his restaurant, be an online marketing, through what we do with some of the menu, find nine fold stuff, be maybe even inventory of what may be selling better or not. And we'll be able to make them even more efficient and better ideas on how to run their business, right, you know, almost like great content on how to be a great restaurant tour. And I think, if I look even further than that, is our ability at some point to maybe even help them do centralize purchasing. So if you've got a restaurant, and you've only got one or two or three, you're not going to have a lot of purchasing power with your food vendors. But if we can help bring our customers together of that size and get some centralized purchasing power, then we can now do something that's very beneficial to them. And that goes right to their bottom line, like that's money right in their pocket.
You mentioned earlier, you come from the oil business, what are some of the ideas or strategies that can be transitioned into the POS marketplace?
I think the biggest thing is making sure that you communicate with your customers in terms that they communicate in, alright, you can speak their language in their logo, like you've got to be able to learn that and speak to them that way. Don't speak to them in terms of technology and analytics, you know, I'm not going to go talk to them about Power BI and data scientist and stuff like that. I'm going to talk to him just like what I said, Hey, based on some analysis, here's the way we think you can make more money, right? Here's how we think you can get more traffic into your restaurant. And let me show you how other people are doing it. And so we've got to be able to serve that up in a way that they know. Because, you know, some restaurant tours are more tech savvy than say they were 10 years ago, but many aren't. So we've just got to be consistent in terms of speaking the restaurant language.
So we're almost in 2022, which sounds crazy, because this year it will be distributed. And we're glad right? We got this use of weather. Yes. So what are some trends that you're that you see approaching us in 22? What What direction are we headed? What are some plans you might have?
Great, did you ask that I was just literally reading some about this recently. And I mean, look, there's some stuff that's going to continue, right, it's going to be very hard to still hire people. And so anything that we can do, that helps alleviate some of the people side of it in terms of helping them automate certain things be an order taking, or the analysis of their business, or how they would market right, anything that we can do to automate something people heavy, I think that will continue to be a big trend going forward. Because it's hard to find people. When you give them anything that we can do that helps them train them and get them up to speed quicker. And you know, through lessons and courseware and stuff like that online training, or even little short videos on how they do stuff within the products themselves, that make the ramp up of those people quicker for them. Those are two things, it'll be very important in terms of the people side to our customers, because they struggle with that right now. You know, the other thing is, look, we just had another, you know, we have the omachron variant. This isn't just going to go away anytime soon. And so they're going to continue to need to do things like curbside delivery, delivery in general, get very good at delivery, all you know, online menus, online, ordering all of those kinds of things. I don't think that they're just like during COVID port, this is I think will be the year that solidifies it. This is part of your business going forward. If you want to be a restaurant tour, you have to be able to let people order online, you have to have a strategy on how to drive customers online, to your to your store, you've got to have loyalty programs that rewards your best customers, you talked about that personal interaction and them getting to know you, us being able to automate that feel of that loyalty that they're taking care of like that will be very key to us, also helping them grow their business. So I would say helping them with the manpower helping them with the loyalty and being able to automate those and get people trained as much as possible. Those are the big things. I think that will be driving the business next year.
I mean, I completely agree with you, especially when you look at the big thing for restaurants is like labor shortage. That's a huge issue and One of the things that we have to realize is that, you know, as humans, our best trade is adaptability. So we noticed, okay, there's a labor shortage, what what can we do to help you total? And like you mentioned, you know, marketing, curbside pickup delivery service, we are providing all these things, currently what has happened to restaurants or they're having trouble filling these these roles? Yep. And as we have stepped in, and said, Okay, A, B, and C are no longer available. What can we do? What hole can we fill? What toolset can we create, in order to alleviate them from this issue, because at the end of the day, people are going to go out and eat. That's just fine. And, and granted, some of them might not want to eat indoors, but there's they'll do the curbside. They'll do that. The joy drop off with the food. I mean, this is where we're going.
I mean, case in point, my son in law told me about an experience he had a few weeks ago, he was going to the pizza place to pick his pizza up, you know, and he was going in there. And like the phones, it was a Friday night, the phones are just going off the hook. And the manager is saying, like, unplug the phones, like like, literally, we can't, we can't do this anymore. The people I you know, I've got two people answering phones, I need them making pizzas, right. And so so that's a perfect example of somewhere where we could help them to automate the ability to do all of that ordering. And not only that, but do it in a way where we make sure the orders right every single time we make sure it's confirmed by the customer, you know, so we not only do they not have to have people answering phones, they don't have to redo orders, they don't have to fix mistakes, you know, so there's labor and you know, food cost and stuff that we save him as well, like, that's going to help them a lot and think of how many orders they lose because somebody calls and it's busy or they're on hold too long, removing those obstacles or things that will just drive right to the bottom line for our restaurant tours.
Yeah, and I think that goes to the point where, like you said, don't just call someone else, we're in a time where competition is fierce. Absolutely. And with the internet, with the ability to communicate rapidly to anyone in the world. You can't you can't you can't sit on your hands.
People expect stuff now, right? Look, look at what Walmart and Amazon are doing. You know, it started off with free two day delivery. And now you know, a lot of times you order something, you may get it that exact same day. So people expect that kind of convenience, they expect to be able to do things online, you know, there's, there's a group of people that still want to talk to someone, and we can still automate that piece to take the order. But there's people who don't want to talk to anybody, right, they want to do it through an app, they want to do it through a website, we need to be able to handle all channels for that customer.
Ya know, the bar has been set really high. And it's one of those things where, you know, and it happens, right, you people sometimes take a little bit of time to, to catch up to adapt, and you'll hear restaurant owner sale, I'm fine. I don't need a POS, um, I'll pull out the calculator, do my tag, add the tax, but that moment will eventually come where you will see where it's that rush hour and the phone's ringing off the hook and you're losing business, that moment will come either, if that moment doesn't come it's because your business isn't progressing. Totally. So it's one of those things where it's, it's inevitable, it's not Do you want to change, it's when will you change.
Plus, these days, when you're looking for somewhere to go eat, you don't pick up a newspaper or something like you get on an app you get on Google, you get out like so even if they don't want to do a lot of the back also, the ability to market online and drive people to your you know, restaurant, you have to at a minimum embrace that if you want to basically get people in the door. And so, you know, they're, they've, there's no reason to not do it today. And I don't think you can run a restaurant and not have some type of marketing activity that happens like that.
I'd like to close by asking you, what are some predictions regarding the direction of online ordering, as well as the overall restaurant experience?
I think we will get to the point where people will be removed in the ordering process. Somehow or other it'll hold on electronically. Right? There's there's text to speech has evolved so much that you know, it's the ability is there for us to do these things today. I think we'll get to where the way we think about marketing is completely digital and not analog. Right. The you know, very seldom will you be worrying about sending out a flyer with coupons. Most of your audience you hit will be electronic. I don't think the mailers will go away anytime soon. But I think down the road, that'll eventually be where we're at. I think of my 95 year old grandfather, he's got a cell phone. He knows how to use a cell phone. Right. And, you know, he's never been on the internet, other than through his cell phone. So even, you know, people that didn't grow, have learned to use these tools and are continuing to use them. So those are things that I think will be happening. And I think, our ability to just help them manage the restaurant better. Our ability to gather what we learned from other restaurants, and help develop best practices for them will be key to them just being better. restauranteurs. Right. So it's not just the IT stuff like better customer service skills, stuff like that.
Yeah, I completely agree. Those are definitely a direction that we're headed. Dean, thank you very much for coming on the show. Really appreciate it. Folks. Have a good one. Thank you.