« The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe

298: Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fryer

2023-02-07 | 🔗
Dan McMurtrie, a venture capitalist and lifelong entrepreneur, discusses how a fluke injury ended his promising baseball career and sent him on a mission to save mom-and-pop restaurateurs. 
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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This would be so number two hundred and ninety eight of the way I heard it and when I say would, what I mean is is is happening jack? This? Not some future prospect. It's actually happening real time. Yes, indeed, it is, and if it had a title and it does, it would be And it is is, out of the frying pan and into the friar. Did you mean they fire mike. No, no, I meant to be incredibly, clever while quoting guest directly. Who is A friend of my name, denmark, mercury, He says in the course of this fascinating interview out of the frying pan into the fire, and what he's referring to is the chasm his life, the giant
career shift. That happened when he abandoned his dream to play major league baseball and decided instead to be an entrepreneur and then eventually created a tool which I want to talk to him about that. He believes and now I believe, can save the restaurant industry when we change the format of the broadcast. I thought for a while. I wanted to change the name and call it people. You should know right, because by large that's what most of our guests are- and this is a guy who I know who I wanted produce the world too, because if he pulls this off chuck and you ve met him jump join me for thanks giving dinner this year and a couple years. I guess before that at this guy's place he lives not too far from me here in northern california, and you probably know people like this in the sand
Did you think you know em, they're, sort of friends friend an acquaintance she get to know, I'm a little better and then you'll learn something about them. That makes you go really really you're into that right. Right. Right, and so what I learned about this guy dan is that he was a really good baseball player played professionally. Briefly, for the mets was in the mets farm team was in a number of farms. Systems is a pitcher, and all is very good, but then he met a guy who remain me of our old friend, fred king right, the teeth, or who became a mentor who, in case is really more like you know, ascend say right, like pat, what's his name in the karate kid wax ike's off. Mr me Oggie dan mc mercury's, MR me oghee was a pro baseball player, name might marshal, and if europe
fan, and even if you're not he's worth a google Michael, I shall only stood five feet. Eight inches tall, but he was one of the greatest longest relief pitchers. Ever this guy can a pitch six seven innings a day day after day after day after day after day is working and his skill on the mound was real remarkable he was a difficult guy. I think people weren't quite sure how to react and relate to him because he just broke all the rules. He did everything differently but marshal had a way of thinking about pitching, there was unique and Dan really became enamoured of him and move down to florida spent months down. There are living in a trailer and a motel six, not far from where might marshall live and learn to pitch all over again, and I want to give up the whole story, but Dan wound up with a ninety eight mile, an hour fastball and a golden ticket
to the CY young. But something happened to Dan and that didn't work go, so we needed to reinvent his life reinvent his purpose, and now this guy it is on the verge of completely transforming the restaurant industry he's created tool, that's allow restaurant tours to hopefully not go out of business and shock. We ve talked about it, but how bad would you say, the problem is right now the existential perfect storm facing restaurant tours, oh, it's a hideous or with inflation number one and in the post covert days it's really difficult. I mean all. Restaurants typically have a very, very small margin by five percent and that when your prices go up, you can't just keep charging your cost.
summers more and more and more. You know, which is what they kind of have to do, and so they need a way to find. They need to find a way to keep their prices the same so that they don't have to. Business, so they can live to fight another day. Look like I got to as my grandmother used to say, a bee in my bonnet over this thing, because not enough people are talking about it. Parents are going out of business faster than in any point in my memory. I think, maybe ever it's not just violation, crumbling supply chains. It's not just prices, its workforce. It's the ability to higher. Is so many people I know in this, business are screwed and no one is coming to help them and my friend Dan has created software. That is in play right now, in hundreds of restaurants and its transforming things, I think thousands yeah, I think you could
on the verge of boiling the ocean and transforming a giant industry, and I think the way he's doing that aside from being a really good business man. He had a really good mentor, who taught him how to throw differently and think differently and how to trust the process So if your baseball fan, who enjoy is chewing swallowing things by god. This is the episode for you, out of the frying pan into the friar right after this doo doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo down. If you run your own business these days, the odds are pretty good you're looking around right now and wondering what the actual is going on. crazy regulations, higher taxes, runaway inflation, clog supply chains and now, on top of everything else, a labour market filled with people who don't want to watch the word labour all this. Uncertainty means that its critical, even more critics
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one of the kind financing offer on the number one financial system for growing businesses, net, sweet, dotcom, slash my loves sweetheart MIKE Well, I'm going to this is a pity audience, so I will say that thirteen of which you might have seen in boulder among all the great sports movies it Kevin casa should only be allowed to do all these great unless a yellow stones. Amazing are true right. You know it is for the love of the game right you
up wanting to play. You know little league, you want to make your high school team. You wanna make your you know. You want to try and playing college if you have the work ethic and the talent and the will to persevere right, and I think what sports teaches you, which you know other things can and the military has ways of teaching in these lessons, but is the discipline of really enjoying the struggle and the perseverance when you get knocked down, and is you move up the lahti? What you realise is that talent starts to get equal right. Everybody was in all american, you know if europe starting to play pressure sports, getting sign but would separate choose your ability to to keep working either when you get injured or keep working. When you have slumps, because the guys you're playing gets her pretty good right
and when put sometimes that you know you have bad days, you need to have a very short memory, especially if you're short reliever cause when you walk in the club past are likely to have the videotape planning of the guy hitting a ball five hundred feet off you on a loop, yelling. You you giving agree it's gone and you've got to like who threw that pitch right. You know because you're in the next night- and you learn replace superstition right. Every athletes are notoriously superstitious, so if somebody's on a roll. You know other players have mercy on them. Like they'll cut up their socks, your guys won't wash their underwear. I mean crazy gross stuff, but it's an interesting community. It's perpetual childhood, but I had the good fortune of meeting a guy named MIKE Marshall, who I considered desert. Sorry, dan, but you can't gloss over. You can't gloss over grown men, not washing their underwear. No, you can't it's really offensive. Are there any examples of this? I'm not ask you to name names, but you know
How long does persist well at that, Why is the street goes on the street? The players would usually do something did get in the locker and make sure that something happened that so that the player didn't have the option to extend that for a period where it became outrageously sleeve answer because we rode buses. you're not like flying around and I forgot to chuck shook infancy, different type, the street It was a great study in human nature and in that time, right like I, I met again marshall in the best way to explain the kind of his emo would would be that is kind of like the crowding kid he was a guy that was five put a who played aaa baseball a shortstop hurt his back had to have this surgery and have fused at the time was getting his phd in biomechanics in canada.
he from michigan state and taught himself how to pitch, and he literally took, as he said, Newton's laws applies to everything, including throwing a baseball. Now this was crazy. Talk right when you're in baseball, where most people like didn't understand anything about physics or about the true mechanics of force. Application right like force, equals mass times acceleration. He would talk about all these formulas. I met him when I met a famous surgeon named Jim Andrews who did bo Jackson's hip and Jim is one of the top two three orthopedics in the world, and I want to see him in alabama and I dunno bo problem and- and he said you know, I have a ulnar nerve problem. He goes look I'm a carpenter. You don't need me to work on your arm. You need to go, see, might marshall. He can help rehabilitates who's that guy. So I talk down to zero those flawed and he's living in a trailer
right and he had made plenty money in italy a he lying around from in his trail. He didn't care about the money he was. He was your pitch in baseball and his fifties site the flat on their made. Him he's doing all these kind of crazy drills he's built like in a human anvil and I'm watching him throw and all these contorted movements- and he asked me to throw- and I I had an elbow problem and it was bothering me- and we finish me- throwing We sit down and he said I think you can throw one hundred miles an hour and I looked at him like he had three heads right like I threw you know high eighties low nineties, I was kind of a sinker type, pitcher control and he said no. You have like abnormal flexibility. You know we can change. you and try to do that, and am I in ok, so I moved to florida living in a motel six, with a written rooms by the hour and I'm driving
every day to train with this guy. Who literally is gonna complete the reshape my mechanics after I'd gone, twenty eight one in high school and watch very few games in twenty years of pitching and he's like well we're going to start over and I'm like. Okay, sorry, dan, but you're in what farm system at this point was at the mets. At this point I'd I was in college. It was my junior in college, I'd gotten and turn on. My knee, I did my knee reconstructed came back the next year in her my elbow so it in pitch for two years, and I saw a stepped out of school
went down to rehabilitate my arm, because I wanted to see if I could play again, and so he basically rehabilitated me and would like walk up to me and give me a bucket of balls and he would say step here and throw over there and it was all completely different mechanics and I had to trust it and then we would be throwing twelve pound shot puts, and all of this was in my arm hurt in places I didn't know existent. He just watch me throw for five minutes, say something and then you just leave and I'd say MIKE. I need some help. He goes. Learning is an intensely personal experience when you're pitching in the big leagues sixty thousand assholes out their yelena you, I'm not going to be there when your hands we he should step here and throw there. And then you just leave wax on works off right and when I realized was, I had to trust the process, and that was really hard
as I had to give up on everything that I'd had what I thought with some success with, but he said my job is to make you the best. You can be it's not to me you better than anybody else, because you may not have tools to be better than everybody else, and that was a big light bulb for me to garner. It was kind of an eastern kind of zen way like growing up. It always be to be better in somebody else, and I get that, but it was self defeating right. It wasn't really healthy mindset and, frankly him teaching me to say how good can I be right was really a shift for me mentally to really appreciate like when you throw the ball whether to ball or strike, whether the guy hits it over the fence, whether he hits to the infield or outfield they drop it. You can't control any of that, but you can control the quality pitch, and so I train with him poor for four years and Yeah she's in every area would keep kind of reinventing me, which would make me crazy, because I kept getting better and I got up to where I was thrown.
the upper nineties, and what did that feel like that? to suddenly be able, I mean look. People need. Understand the difference right. The difference between us, Eighty eight miles an hour, fastball and a night before my on our fastball, its just six miles an hour. The difference you know people go to they like games and they sit in. You know like a stadium and they'll sit in the box and they'll, throw a pitch and they'll try and hit it, and it might be is sixty right. A pitch in the eighties right is, would be a you know, typically, a fast college, pitcher of very fast college pitcher right and some pros. I mean Greg Maddox, who have probably the I think, one of the greatest pitchers ever write wasn't overpowering, but he just would be brains and with how good a pitcher he was not a thrower, but to go from ninety to one hundred. Ok is if you
you're. Looking at it, you go from saying, and I see the pitch coming into. It's sounded like a strike. It looks like a great like these You just did this really which sounds like thank god that balding hit me like. I was sitting in a box in the body and mind through a hundred ganem, Rudy cnn, and I'm He was a little while, and so I would get it I would get in the back right corner the bark batteries box right anyway. He would ask me when he is warming up design that, if he let one loose, there was no way I was getting away of right, but it would come out of his hand and literally could barely he could see a boar right could see it, but it was like- and it was like- there's no way like how do these guys hit that right and so anyway, I learned. What do you feel like it was? The way
I trained you to throw. Was he trained you with the physics of building up your decelerated right, your ability to stop your arm? And you know he said all your power was in your landing leg, not your push off leg and all these things are true and make perfect sense. But if you're talking your traditional baseball people at the time, he was blackball because he help curb flood, aren't free agency right. He was kind of a locker room lawyer in court was the first guy that got a free agent contract and mike was also the the guy when Tommy John here now the tommy john surgery, Tommy John, was a famous picture for the dodgers and tourist elbow up and mike worked with the gentlemen, a famous orthopedic named frank job at the current job clinic whose pass away, but he invented, the tommy john surgery and mike worked with frank job on based on biomechanics how to create how to do the surgery on tommy
and then my rehabilitated, tommy and then Tommy pitched. He wasn't. The power picture was forty pitched. I don't have ten or fifteen more years right and so MIKE Mike was a monk like he. He used his own training in his own, throwing in pursuit of the perfect way to apply forced to a baseball and I ve never met anybody else like that in any other career. It reminds me very much of what a japanese sword psmith might be, or the complete and utter relentless commitment to your craft. Ok, not for anybody else. Right not for me who was watching not firm But because it was singular in its purpose in that
already right when you're learning your training or you're doing that work. It's awfully hard to be because everybody is so distracted right in today's world and makes it if you're sick go and throw your arm doesn't know you're sick. We through every day I am, but it was a routine and by the end of it I could get. I could literally, you know, get up in the bullpen because they moved me to short relief in three pitches and be at full speed, because my arm was so well conditioned and I could I mean it wouldn't be optimal every day, if they'd pitch me every day, but like he threw thirteen games in a row in the big leagues he threw two hundred and twenty innings in relief. Today, starters don't throw two hundred innings
is that Dan yeah he still holds like two or three records. Again. I can safely say that some of his will never be broken, based on how the the games being managed, but he would say today if he were alive. Sadly, he just passed away several years ago with alzheimer's, but he kept records his work that I wish at some point. Some smart people at mit or some people would get together that really understood physics and really look and deconstruct his all of his work in his analysis for the game, because so many people getting hurt, but he would say look I was no physical marvel like I look at these players that are far more gifted than me said, you're more gifted than me, but people get hurt in it.
and careers, and ultimately, I got hurt through freak accidents drive which happened. It's part of it which ended my career, but it didn't diminish what I learned from him about work and about singular focus and about respect for how hard it is to be good at something right, whether its pitch in a baseball, whether it, you know being a writer whether its music, whether its anything, the people that are the best in their field, have talent, but they usually outwork people to very rarely like most talented athlete I ever played against him and was with was dearest robert, but he didn't have the temple He should a broken every record by that's amazing man that right there is the point of everything we ve said so far yeah. I remember talking to fancy the game at the same time
who were more into it, and I were. I was in the baseball for a long time and you're are right. He was like from another planet. Strawberries was yeah, I mean you see, people in every field, right where you feel, like god, touches him and say you're an athlete right or europe, and they have every physical attribute that, like he was on the cover sports illustrated at eighteen and nineteen, and he was six five. He had probably thirty inch way. He had a back like a cobra. He could throw, he could run like gazelle he could hit for power. He was in new york at twenty dominating, with Dwight gooden, who was another very gifted player in a really nice guy and they both got caught up in drugs and other things that get exposed to when you're in the major leagues and world as a way of finding out and fight down your weaknesses right or europe proclivities. If you will end and for them they didn't have handlers right and drugs and things destroyed their careers
you have a peace of mind when you know that you can look back and say I did the best with what I was given. It doesn't mean that is going to guarantee the outcome we want. Lots of things can go wrong, but you don't want to look back and be bs yourself, which Everybody can do and say well, I could run hard. I could have done another push up. I could work tartar right. Because you're only lying yourself at the end of the day. Just accept Are you willing to do the work necessary to be excellent or to be able to compete at the level you wanted to? peta, regardless of whether you were five eight like mike. You know I'm no physical marvel or I could throw a baseball and then that's just what's required right, and so I've seen him releasing. So then, four years with Marshall. Yet I live in a motel sixes reinventing the whole thing. How did you put it? I love it, trusting the process right
A new process is handed to you by this send say in this very specific, very, very codified industry of major league baseball and taken to heart and you. How hard were you throwing at your peak ninety seven, ninety eight and the teams knew that I was true with mike and didn't like it and I'm kind of You know Guerrero whatever Brady's trainer but like they saw the you know the improvement of me going like what's going on and at the end of the day
it it's hard to look back and imagine how much I had to trust this guy, who you know, was clearly still teaching college coaching college baseball living. You know very modestly, but that's all he cared about wright, had plenty of means, and he was so kind of like a monk and he's telling me to do stuff like step with my opposite foot and throw forty five degrees that way and throw a eight pound shot And- and I was pretty good- you know I was good enough to get signed and good enough to you know, get signed by the mets who were the best. Organization, baseball and he's still telling me. That's not the goal you want to win the CY young. You want to be as good as you can be, then we're going to deconstruct the machine and start over and it's hard to be learning when you're having setbacks right cause? You always it's easy to go back to what you had a little success with right, but that may not get you there.
In between that transition is really where you're in the space where you gotta like commit, and you gotta see it through and say. Well, if it doesn't work, I'm at peace with it. If it does work Bobby is good as I can be. But if I stay where I am, is that to be sufficient. Get me where I want to go, and it's really a weird kind of weird spot Doo doo doo doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo done friends. Let me be as clear as I possibly can about my stance on debt. There are of legitimate reasons that a lot of responsible people have credit card dead life happens, things come up the holidays, it kid gets married. The engine throws a rod. What and the next thing. You know you got a few thousand dollars on your visa and another few granddaughter mastercard. I get all that, but there no reason to borrow money needlessly and there
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I'd come slash. Row Elijah, hd sd are a m that comes lash rural and now yours chuck with the ponderous disclaimer in the style of James mason chewing, The scenery, remorselessly chuck taken away, subject to credit approval rates range from seven point. Nine nine percent, a pr to twenty three point: nine, nine percent a pr and include Zero point. Five percent, also paid discount lowest rate, requires excellent credit terms and conditions. I and offers a subject: change without notice. Visit I'd streamed dot com, slash row for more information. Here's what makes you interesting! Well, look you're in missing a lot of ways
glad. I know you, but the reason I think you're unimportant guest for this podcast is because you did trust that process. That Marshall taught you, but you also took it in the neck right I mean it didn't work out, you got hurt. Had you not been hurt? You probably would be far too busy to be on this humble little podcast, you know being a retired superstar at this point but tell me how you got hurt when what that felt like and then just know that we're going to shift gears and I'm I'm going to talk to you about trusting a new process and applying all the
the stuff. You learn from Marshall, into a pretty remarkable second act. Well, I get hurt multiple times I was born when I was born. I was a premier died three times right, so I was very sick. I wasn't supposed to be healthy, and so you know I had like bars in my legs like forrest gump, so my dad being a you know, kind of sees the world as a hammer and nail, and he didn't want me to be a sickly kid in the corner. So he he drove me pretty hard to not be a sickly kid and I'm appreciative of most of those lessons, although I think they could have been taught differently. He taught me a tremendous like to just work hard, and so then I I tore both my knees
up in freak actions. One was filled in the bond spring. Training do in pictures fielding practice in the morning when it was what grass was wet and I wish running up first base and cutting going up the line when I caught my spike slipped lock, I tore may see Ellen my media, collateral and ministries and before that in college, when I miss my sophomore year, I was just plain pick: a basketball like I'd done my whole life to stage open, made a cut on one of those rubber eyes. Floors in my right need locked in and completely blew me out, and that's kind of that whole thing of hyper flexibility being a reason. I could throw a baseball really fast right but like it also can put your joints and really vulnerable dislocated positions if you're getting an awkward one. So I had that surgery and then came back from outer, no six or so near operations, and then
my elbow but didn't require surgery, and then I ended up getting to where I was at the pinnacle. I mean I felt like I was really ready to to put the show on the road, and I had a situation where I slipped and I dislocated my shoulder in the middle of a game and pitch- and I remember you know, throwing the pitch and my spike slipped on the ground and laugh and then I thought my shoulders pop out a member goal. That's never had that was weird like which has happened, and you know I'm in a professional game and I'm like Oh man like what do I do like did that happen is, I was just so. I walked around the mound get on the mount. You know look over this runner on first base, and so I decided to get on and try and see if I can log on over to first base the mom's going to go with it right
and so I lobbed one over. It felt you know weird, but it didn't come off, and so I decided to throw a pitch to the hitter, and you know I went in full speed through one and it was like whitewash and it was I dunno what it was. Maybe it was eighty five instead of ninety eight right and the hitter popped it up. It was the last out of the inning, and I realize I talked to the skipper he took me out. They sent me home because they said look. You know we gotta figure out like. What's up with your shoulder your I was on the path, then I was with cleveland to get called up to the big leagues and I rehabilitated my shoulder and came back the next year and as hard or harder, and I was with the yankees, but I had lost my motor control in my hand, my throwing so I was
I could throw the strawberry through a brick wall, but it would go everywhere like wild thing, like you know that moving airily, sure yeah end, and so my previous four years, freshly average like one point, two walks per nine earnings, which means I had great you know, really got grill so lazy. I ended up Going and throwing and walk in thirteen thousand rowan time right in the end they left me out there in spring training is, I was stolen, so fast, it's like well what's going on, but I was wild up and down. I wasn't wild in and out so when the ball would come into my hand would go numb right, because my shoulder would dislocate.
Funny story run jittery, you might know who is a famous yankee pitcher was down as a stronger, and so they kept me after in spring training to try and for ya like what's going on with his arm cause. I I had one of the best arms in the organization at the time in terms of velocity and they brought him out to do work out with me and a bunch of the players. It always complained about extra hitting they said, see you know, go out to the field for it. Three thirty extra bp, I say, go out there and they see me walking out and they're all like no way not only did it so they will. the cage up and they've got like five major league minor league, pitching instructors and coaches they're behind on the cage, good or is behind me and between the cage and the backstops about sixty feet, and you know I'm getting loose, and I throw my
first pitch is like in bounce. It comes up pits the catchers on the ground. Rolling around and Guidry throws the ball. Hitters nervous, get back in there, though the next pitch and it literally sales and goes above the cage and sticks. In the fence sixty feet back all the cultures of staying there, and there like this now, like turn like out of a movie look at me and I turned around a good those who mean, though it gets in between those two and so they did explored surgery on my shoulder and found out that I'd put a lot of size on to protect the injury. But basically, I'd that I'd strip the shoulder joint and that at a fine motor skill that there was no way to repair it without doing a big shoulder reconstruction and limiting your rotation, which basically eliminate sure ability apply force and that in my career
so the one thing I always had for me going for me, which was pinpoint control before I could throw hard, and even when I was growing heart, was gonna taken away from me with the, injury- and I remember, sitting out there in the middle of a game right where they leave me after walking eleven twelve guys in a row in a game and how humiliating that was. But I never let up. I just kept, though, in the hell out of it, but I just you know why I couldn't you know, control it right and. And I learned a lot in that because it was just nothing. I could have ever imagined, like all the work to get me to there and then have that happen was just like. they want me to be. I'm sorry to ask you to relive that, but I really appreciate you doing it. I just think it's important as we shift gears to talk about,
the business man you ve become and the initiative europe evolved, and now I just this really want people Understand that it's not about building on successes right. It's about building on failure to a certain extent, but I think also trusting. in these processes that you learn along the way so shock unless you have any specific baseball questions, I want to get us to the real the real hard This now and I know you're baseball junkie too. So last chance. If you want pick his brain, I'm good mike So then a sum up, you know we ve got a guy. Who lotta skill lie, discipline, a bad break and really that's not unusual, then I mean how many athletes actually wind up in this situation, usually all of them right at some point
it's got a winning record, though yes I'd, say ninety nine point: nine percent, you know the one percent that can leave under their own term or one tenth of a percent that leave on their own terms, are the unicorns rain. Maybe it's earl strawberry, yo, a victim his own excesses- and you know- god knows- is a long list of that. But by and large its twisted ankle its screwed up elbow it's a blown out knee right, and so here's where it gets interesting to me, because I was never a very good ballplayer. I was ok. What's interesting is what do you do? right when all of a sudden, your world changes- and you take all your passion and all your purpose and you funnel it into something new you ve come
it, a tool that it sounds like could have a real impact and save a lot of businesses. Well, thank you and appreciate the setup because again, I think it is somewhat instructed. But when I finished baseball is living in Tampa had the good fortune to give up just a quick ramp up is. I met the founders of outback steakhouse, who are, I think, the greatest restaurant tours of their generation and their big sports fans and they're are still friends today and I said well, how hard can it be to start a restaurant chain? I'd done pretty well. In my academics, famous last words, I'm a god like go out of the frying pan into the fryer. They help teach me the restaurant business. I started a small restaurant chain and built about seventy stores in seventeen states in four years, and I had the blessing of learned seat masters, and so I learned all the systems process controls. You know how to buy, how the supply chain worked and I burned out and we sold that and I vowed to never
it'll be involved in restaurant operations. Anymore, got out of that and pursued some other things. And then a friend and former business partner was a founder of one of the founders of t mobile and he bought a restaurant equipment company in two thousand and ten and he did knowing about the business. But he was a big tech investor in E commerce investor and he asked me to sit on his board and it was the direct to consumer selling restaurant equipment, and I didn't know anything about that. I realized in the first board meeting, but I learned how google made all their money, and I said I love google, but I hate our business. I said I can't help you and he said well stay for awhile. Six months later he was looking at a twenty five million dollar loss and I said well, I can't help you. I don't understand this business and he said what would you do and I said well, if you don't want to shut it down, which I respect, I would build a b to b platform and I would take it to cisco with and asked the largest contract grocer, who I knew from a former life, and I would see if we can build a b to b platform
with them. So I wrote the strategy and the plan for him and helped him recruit some people and then he was nice enough to take the shot and he went and I brought Cisco in and we rolled it out and they ended up buying it two thousand and sixteen. But in that process he did okay and it got me back looking at the restaurant industry, which is pre coated far harder than it was when I was running restaurants, and that I thought that it was fundamentally broken primarily in the supply chain, and so I started to think about how you could change the industry. Told me if I'm overstating the but you're, trying to save the restaurant industry, and so I guess my first question is save them from what from an outdated business model and think we're trying to help the small business owner core survive today and hopefully, thrive is there in a very difficult place, the likes of which he had never been in? Well, I mean help
to understand the degree because business is business. It's a nice fight in a phone booth right, it's competitive and the weak guys you're supposed to go out of business, but it feels like here. This is different. All of a sudden, like a perfect storm of stuff, because chuck you tell me now in l a I dunno how many restaurants I've been with you two in the last year, but I can't think of one that doesn't have a sign that either says we're hiring or more often than not a bigger sign. That says sorry for the crappy service you're about to receive, but have our staff didn't show up or sorry were closed? do you know or for lease those signs, listen. Fifty percent of their restaurants in santa Monica, where our offices are gone, or turned over and there's something new. Their lot of restaurants never recovered during covert after covet sudan. If it's that bad
I mean it's catastrophic here in San francisco. Its collapse It is in santa Monica, what's it like in the rest of the country where, unlike the cost of living is a lot lower right. I mean everything's lower Is this different? While it may be slightly worse in california, because it's a lot harder to run a business here? I think, but about one hundred thousand plus restaurants closed during covert income and attic ovid. You know it's the second, the industry's second largest employer in the country, so it matters right, a lot of jobs and a lot of them are small businesses like we go to so today. The problem the restaurants have that survived. Coven is that they, you know a lot of people left the industry. They can't find people to work and they gotta pay a lot of money form and
in all their you know stuff they buy to make your food has gone up in prices tremendously since coven and they can't keep raising prices because we all have seen it. You know how expensive it can be. And the restaurants are making any more money. It's just that their two biggest expenses have gone up in ways they ve never seen. Ten. Twenty thirty percent in industry were around. reach five to ten right. It's like they make a lot of money. These people are working very hard for very thin margins. People should know my buddy, my geller, on this podcast about a year ago and he's been restaurants, supply the live Hey guys, not really the livery guy, but it he takes orders Sometimes he delivers he does whatever he asked to do to keep his clients happy and heat me one time he said not a week- goes by where multiple people Won't pull me aside and say: hey, I'm thinkin about opening a bar, I'm thinking about
A restaurant: what's your advice? What do you think- and he told me that never once in sixty years of being in this business, has he ever encouraged anyone what he does Is he looks of square in the face? and he says, listen to me- don't do it, it will break you. It will break your heart. You will fail. statistically, there's not one ounce of good news on your side. Don't come to it now. Thank god. People do right because we have choices today, but it you know, he's just walking around saying. I told you so right now, because I can't think the tough for time to run a restaurant, then postcode yeah. I mean I think that now
true and restaurants, don't really aren't armed, they do anything about it right. They haven't labour. They have to pay to get them to show up as best they can, so they can run the kitchen or take care of the guests right and that cautious continues to go up and the supply costs keep going up so restaurants, I don't really, you know historically haven't had any tools for doing about that right. They don't have time to meet with all the vendors. They don't have a perching person, they don't have buying power, so the deck is stacked against them. So they've kind of accepted the price increases and hope that, at the end of the day, this money in the bank right to pay the bills right and it's scary that way right dude, it's terrifying. mean when you say hope, there's money in the bank. How much more does the average restaurant owners have in the bank at any given point in order? to remain operational well before
going into cover with the average small restaurant would say that is a mom and pop it had about eighteen days working capital in the bank, which is very thin right arms, equipment. Breaks is amazingly when it's two weeks flattened occur from you'd help. You are right to two years this is nothing. It's nothing and the government didn't really have an effective way through the loan programme to deal with restaurants. They didn't dumb handle that well complicated, but eighteen days is nothing a piece of equipment breaks. Your registry system goes down. These are many thousands of dollars of equipment you yet to replace. So it is really an act of passion right that mostly people We know that IRAN, in these things, you're doing it because it's in their blood they love it. Doo, doo, doo, doo dumb. I sat a pretty interesting. We started in virginia beach,
the speech to four thousand people at the local convention centre and then after vegas, for it bigger event for the national home builders and then another one after that for one of the big to counting firms in the country- and you know what I learned. I learned at the spirituality industry is officially booming, like rio. Hotel in vegas is sold out. Every restaurant is book, solid, and every event organizer. Why talk who told me the same thing: we're hiring and we're paying top dollar and such a service positions, its managerial and back office positions to everything and they're, not alone health care, a calmer are also exploding as we speak, and if you need to hire qualified canada as asap for any of these industries were really the other industry, you need zipper crew and right now you can try it for free, add zip, recruiter, dotcom, slash, roll their power,
the full matching technology finds you. The qualified candidates that you're looking for and those candidates will all receive a personal invite from you to apply for your job. That's why four out of five employers who post on ziprecruiter, get a quality candidate within day, one see for yourself go to this exclusive web address, tries it recruiter for free, zip, recruited outcome, slash, wrote again zip, recruiter, dotcom, slash, slash, r, w e, zip recruiter, smartest way too high. Smart ass to air sidebar. A couple beers back, I it was after the freddy gray riots in baltimore. There was
lot of unrest, and then something else happened, but basically restaurants were shut down for about three weeks I personally know of fourteen that didn't reopen. So that's what we're talking about it's like there's, so different things that can screw you over. If you're trying to run a restaurant, but the number that couldn't reopen after being closed for three weeks- cut it tells you everything you need to know, think of how long the restaurants have been dealing with that kind of thing across the whole country, slim margins and three weeks is longer than eighteen dig a hole. Yes, she would stay. I realize I can't survive terrible pressure live under right and it leads to all kind of stress and issues that people that work in the industry make it hard right, a lot of mental health issues and things because it is so stressful right and a lot of these people more
reaching their houses to open a restaurant, and they don't have a lot to help right the bottom and if they don't really have the tools necessarily to help them right and that's were in a word attempting you're trying to help in that regard and solve a problem form. So you said tool three times and you ve said armed twice, so it really. I mean metaphors matter and it's like we ve talked about this before, but David versus goliath ends very different, if the little guy doesn't have a slingshot. That's how I think of the tool that you ve made. So just describe it as though chalk is a small, simple child, with no great capacity to track anything too complicated and chuck You listen to this explanation if you or anything that the reptilian part your brain, doesn't fully embrace and and send up to the medulla oblongata and then back into the cortex, raise your hand and then we'll use simpler language copy that
so today, the number one expensive a restaurant is the food and supplies they buy. Ok, they own here buying power. They don't have a purchasing person and they don't have time causer busy running the restaurant eighteen hours a day So the only way that they can, you know, find better pricing or new products or new suppliers is they have to take meetings during their operating hours. Right and reps have to come knock on her door, which costs the sellers a lot of money and oftentimes that they show The restaurant tours busy, like maybe serving lunch, may be serving dinner. He heard being a restaurant or are called and these repsol, the reps for the manufacturers, the purely budgetary lines of food. For this- these are the distributor, reps they're, going out sand I want to know: what's in your pantry, your home chalk, cause, I want to go shopping for you at pasco right, but the red say, and I need to know what you buy. So I can figure out how can sell you some right. That's my job and so the rest
tour right. The only way they can do it is to try and take that meeting, and then they have to print off whatever they buy and give it to a rep, and then the rep has to go figure out what they can sell and then call them up and say I come back and see you and then they give him stuff and then the restructuring to look at it and see if they think the products imagine forgot. If there's a savings amidst hours and hours and hours of time and you to do that on a fairly repetitive basis, because prices change so most restaurants would never even attempt to do the work right. They just accept the pricing they have And with no way to really verify it right, if I'm buying trash bag is very different than if I'm buying a trifle right, I need to have money to pay for the travel, so I need to try and by the trash bag as cheap as I can so. Basically, we just strip that process out and said: hey if you just put your pantry items in our cities.
a cloud one time by sending us what you buy and we loaded in simple. Then it allows the suppliers distributors to see what you need right, what your shopping list is and if they come in store by chance they know what you buying. It can just sit there and say here's to products. I can tell you, and here is the prices I can offer you and I can do it from the comfort of my office, twelve or fourteen or sixteen hours a day or I can do a digitally right like price on and just published a price and then the software does only analysis right and we're. gets more interesting, we can run that service for restaurant, that they could never do for themselves that they need to do periodically. So just so, I'm caught up the distributors because I'm Small restaurant I've put all my information in to your software and then the distributors there they see what I need right now
they can offer me prices for the things that I need and it's not just what I need. It's a collectively, a bunch of restaurants, sort of pulled together to get that price lower and lower. As I correct well, that's the second step. The first step is: we can do it for you with one restaurant, something you can't do yourself right and we could help. you manage. That say for some of the categories are, however, what mattered your business right. We would weak know how to help you with that, but the second benefit is restaurant towards you know each other and through our partnerships in like we can help you, if you want pull your buying volume with other restaurants in your area and consolidate that part, single volume and then take it to qualify distributors, most of whom may already be buying from or wood and help the distributor cell cheaper
they after knock on doors, is often right, which cost him a lot of money right. So then, what's taking so long for software to transform all of the inefficiencies in the restaurant business, the way it transformed the innocent. Currencies in the travel business and I you're gonna be some consequences to this right. I mean travel agents, don't really function anymore, other way they used to twenty years ago, we're all travel agents Thanks to somebody we go kayaking on price line and at a glance I can see exactly I'm flying to new york tomorrow, and I'm on alaska- and I don't fly Alaska much but I'm just going to name names. United flight was three times as expensive. Same ral, exact, same airports. Now, Why they haven't drop their price to be more competitive. I have no idea, but man,
I appreciate an opportunity to look at one page and see exactly whose charging why but my head explodes when I think about the fact that even on alaska, the odds I'm gonna be sitting next to people who paid something different for their seats. So it's crazy, crazy industry that I sort of understand, but the restaurant industry is that times a good jillian, so I mean wow yeah, I mean the average restaurants buying four hundred and fifty different, unique products right from fourteen vendors, different people. How do you stay on top of that? And how do you know how your prices compare to others right? Everybody would like to know that, but the bigger thing it's because it's so
expensive. For that information, do you get exchanged between the buyer and the seller, right, yeah and so by eliminating all that friction? It takes a lot of the selling costs out that right now the restaurants are paying for right. The great question part of that question is that restaurants are different. You have to eat the food. I want to parse out two different things right. One is all products aren't equal, so when a restaurant tours or chef is thinking about this, they have menu items that are holy grails right that are critical to their dishes, that they buy from certain suppliers and be damned the price right, because they think it is so important what they do, but that still a very small percentage of what they buy in dollars- seven, eighty percent of what they buy- that comes in the back of the door that isn't mission critical, like trash bags claims by his dry goods. All of that which is most of the dollar's, ok
are all made by the same hundred or so manufacturers in the world right just put indifferent boxes, so you can't afford that really expensive stuff. Unless you can save money on this, seventy or eighty percent were were really focused right here why you gotta, keep raising your menu prices till you know patrons can't afford it. and if we can help you lower cost, then it alive. How's the restaurant, the ability to pay more for their labour so thing that they ve gotta figure out. Something's gonna give right now it's broken. They can't raise your price. Labour and food supplies are going out of sight and the other, way to solve? That is if somebody intercede on their behalf and help them managing their perching using technology either for them individually or to bring them together to lower costs so Where is the national restaurant association and all this, whereas the federal government
a lot of people in this industry, as you know, and of them got the money they were promised. It just didn't work out. I've spoken to the nrl before, again. The national restaurant association are aren't they different and our aid, but honestly, I'm not sure any less controversial right now, because I don't understand what they're doing to help well they're, uniquely positioned to help and to date have not chosen to embrace yet the opportunity you know are responsible to a lot of different stakeholders, but I do think that they're in position to help, as are others that are the advocates of the restaurants, the state, restaurant associations and others right these small business owners of the life blood of those most of their these players right there are the most profitable customer to most every distributor there, the most profitable
like everybody, I'm not trying to throw the honorary under the bus. I just know that people. I know any industry they pay. Their dues are a part of this association and it just seen like right now the threat is existential a hundred thousand restaurants going out of business that quickly. That was really before inflation really showed up. That's before the supply chain started, to crumble, that before seven million otherwise able bodied men just took themselves out of the workforce and decided now I'm not you know I mean it. I just can't imagine a more terrifying time. I get worked up about it dan because, it's so easy for people who are in the industry to look straight through it and not see it. We're so used to being able to order in thanks to grub harbin door,
dash and breeds, and were so used to be able to walk down the street. You know it's not oh gosh. I hope the restaurants open its, whom is it pizza? Is it so she is at stake. What am I gonna have tonight? People have to understand: that's all about to crap the bed. If so, think doesn't happen and chock full disclosure man. The reason I wanted Dan on here is because, three years ago, before the lock downs, I was over at it house, and he told me what he was working on and I did want to be rude, cause he's there with his lovely family in his wonderful mom, and I'm just sit here gone. Are you out of here? frickin minded you're trying to boil the ocean, it's the biggest swaying you could possibly take in the software space, and I just Whatever nice idea, it'll never work go on his website now go and simple one. Two, three
restaurants are actually signing up for in real time dan, so on right now, here forty six hundred plus restaurants, twenty six hundred plus distributors, annualized restaurant purchase volume, five billion over five billion dollars. That's a lot of money, lotta people buying stuff through here. So the question buried in all of this who d doodle? Is you did it like? Three years ago you were like yes, I'm going I push this enormous boulder up the hill, and then you used a bunch of words. I didn't understand, but like it's happening right now, so credit MIKE marshall, credit, you're. Incredibly patient wife credit your own bull, headed in this, but I mean it feels like you could actually pull this.
Off, and so my question is: is this exciting terrifying or just something you always figured out just assumed who's gonna happen all the above, depending on the day. It's always terrifying, but are kidding aside. I think that the industry has to change. This will happen. We spent in a more time and resources and think we have a unique experience to solve it. So I think it's going to happen because ass to happen again, you're saying it's going to happen, but isn't it already happening? It is already happens just not on the scale mean on massive scale layer which aki about a man right, so that everybody is going to be asked on talking about like proof of concept and all that and launching unrolling out is already done right now. It's like
it is a million restaurants and we think call it six hundred thousand of them right could benefit from our software. Mcdonald's isn't going to use it! Companies like that that have had tens of millions to build their own software right but shorter people that can spend tens of millions as we have to build it. People can come in and get the benefit of it, and so now it's about how do we scale as many restaurants coast by bringing the buyers together. We the sellers lower their costs and it's not right. You know any more complicated than that, but let me say the same thing in a slightly different, less charitable way, I couldn't have you on the pod cast three years ago, because a sound of crazy, it just sounded only with respect. I get right did just sounds like you know. Yet I I like baseball, so I'm going to learn how to throw it. Ninety eight miles an hour: oh okay! Well, good luck, check back when you do it, why you did it? Ok, so
you, tell me this thing and I think our I well. That will never happen again to watch it starting to happen, I haven't introduce you to my buddy, the human calculator. I've told you about scotlands bourgh right. so this is the same thing to me. Like scott was on this podcast like a year ago and told me about his quest to get lambert. Will he believes is the true inventor of basketball into the basketball hall of fame and subsequent. We move the basket hall of fame from Springfield massachusetts to hurt him in new york. Now, that's crazy! That's ever gonna happen hazy. Are you kidding me but chuck? I knew Scott from the old days. And I know what certain people can do: jagged little pills, who way up all agitated because the world's not exactly the way they want it. Well guess: what! Last week the national debt
of football association agreed to put lambert will into the hall of fame Mary. Did it and so on I'm not trying to turn this into a commercial for simple one the theory, but you really should try it. If you're in a restaurant, I'm saying if there are people in your life who are taking a big wing every now, and then somebody actually does it. So that's why What is your just a kind of frame the? tally of what you're trying to accomplish and to give me an update publicly so that if you actually, drag this thing across the finish line. I can take my the credit for putting up out there before anybody else, it's funny.
in he's series, as I can be, it isn't sane any idea that is outside the status quo. I don't want to use the term disruptive because it's just cliche but like anything that is opposite of how something's being done, will will often be viewed with disdain or depending on who doesn't want. They want to kill it right, because if you have all the gold, you wanna keep it. If you have a process that may be benefit you, it's just change right and change is happening and technology is changing. Every industry and technology is going to changes. It already is right, we're just attacking it in a very unique way to really attack the supply chain and perching and information to help the restaurants survive right now, and I think that that is not to be underestimated. People don't think about it, because we see the
restaurants being busy going out, but their costs are continuing to go out of sight. Most of them are not making any more money, even though they may be doing more sales, but if their sales fall off they're more vulnerable than ever to going out of business. Their fixed costs for adequate- oh, yes, But if you don't have any great sympathy for the plight of the restaurant or if you have any real empathy. Ok, then, You still have skin in the game. That's really the final point. try to the extent I'm able to do this to make people relate and empathize with the farmer and may we have focused too much on this end of the food chain, because I really do believe that the fact that one and a half years,
of our population is feeding three hundred thirty million people three times a day. It's a freakin miracle, yet right and the problems that all farmers are surrounded by every day. Just strikes me as herculean, but I dont know that I've thought fairly or in depth enough about what it takes to open a restaurant and to stay open in this day and age, but you have, and so for the sake of the hundreds of millions of people who don't own, a restaurant tell me again why they should give a damn. Well, if you care about your local restaurant down the street and then staying in business right because you enjoy eating their and build a lot of great family memories, all the reasons we love or local. We love all restaurants, but then there in a very difficult place and is going to get a lot more difficult in my pain in the next
for months there, not out of the woods with covert inflation, is real and is impacting your favorite restaurants in a way that you see when you go to the grocery store and they can afford to keep raising prices to us as consumers walking in so if something doesn't give they'll be funded. I know restructuring restaurant to close. So if I own a restaurant, I should go to a simple one: two three dot com and check it out. If I like to eat at a restaurant- and I know the manager of the restaurant that I like to eat at, I should tell them to go there. Is that right, yeah I mean we're going to offer our software for free to help restaurants right now, and we know they're in a difficult time, and we know frankly, the industry is in a difficult time. Everybody's struggling so it'd be great to do let us build the community restaurants who can come together to help each other. I mean this is the ultimate the restaurants coming together to help each other is a real
great thing and doing it on their own without any assistance from the federal government or anybody else, it's them coming together to help reach her. That's it. and no one is coming to save you guys know I'm. working now to the local No one is coming to save you. The feds are not going to save you, your customers can afford to pay. Whenever you need to charge them the workforce, not going to rise up and start working for you at whatever wage you can afford to pay None of that is going to happen. The national restaurant association is not going to save you right if you're david the businesses goliath, my friend, and is made a sling shot, and you know I swear. I wasn't gonna make this a commercial, but let's call it appear say if you're in the business and you want to arm yourself with a tool that just might work. Take it from denmark
mercury, a guy- you said not up stuff here, throw their do it differently, trust the process, get your surgery lick your wounds, reinvent yourself and then crawl back in the ring, quit making excuses and boil the frickin ocean? I don't know if it's going to work then, but I swear to god. If anybody can do it, you can we're pulling for you with if we can't do it alone, but we're here and we're having a lot of success and we're looking forward to having more success of helping people be more profitable and I'll. Keep the local restaurants open. That's the thing! That's the thing! Man chuck! You set it right, it's a hell of a thing. You know it's one to see help wanted signs everywhere, but it's in there thing to say closed just out of business man, I'm you know
big fan of anybody who is doing anything in any industry to try and help people in that situation so keep at it. Then MC moratorium, poland for you. Thank you. Thank you chuck, thank you and I'm assuming I can get a free meal out of this at some point in the future. Next thanksgiving, fair enough argument, patios by here, I like what you have won't you please. Is your new year still fallen flat? Do you
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Transcript generated on 2023-02-08.