In the latest episode of Hospitality Hangout podcast, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “ The Finance Guy” chat with the authors of “Delivering the Digital Restaurant: The Path to Digital Maturity,” Meredith Sandland and Carl Orsbourn.
Sandland, co-author of two books, “Delivering the Digital Restaurant, Your Roadmap to the Future of Food”, as well as the new one “Delivering the Digital Restaurant, The Path to Digital Maturity.” Sandland says, “My background, I was at Taco Bell for many years, leading development there and building lots and lots of Taco Bells and started to wonder, why are we building all these Taco Bells next to malls when no one goes to malls anymore? That seems kind of weird. And that planted a seed which only grew when we tried to enter Manhattan and I thought, why are we paying the world’s most expensive real estate prices when 40% of our sales are going out-the-door delivery.”
Orsbourn before meeting Sandland was working for a large oil and gas company but spent 15 years in the retail space. “I wanted to speak to folks that had made that transition from big company blue chip world into the startup environment and a mutual friend of Meredith and mine introduced us and it was through the conversation there that Meredith said I’m doing this thing in ghost kitchens now and at that time I thought well this is a doozy, isn’t it,” Orsbourn said.
Sandland who had joined Kitchen United explained the logic about why ghost kitchens made sense and Orsbourn was immediately drawn in. Orsbourn also joined the Kitchen United team and helped them build out the operational model.
Orsbourn talks about every big restaurant chain in the U.S. that was looking to explore ghost kitchens and trying to understand the digital disruption that was happening, He says, “When you’re doing something new, it’s not easy to help people see that future, especially when there are hundreds of millions of dollars being plowed into this space and a lot of restaurants at that time were very begrudging towards the whole idea of this and that’s where the genesis of the initial book came.”
They talk about digital maturity and how an operator can recognize where they fall on the digital maturity scale. Orsbourn says, “A digitally mature restaurant is, and there’s a story that is told in this, Jimmy, as you go through it because, in many ways, a fully digitally mature restaurant is one that in many ways needs to reorient its entire business model towards what it’s gonna take to become digitally mature.”
To hear about digitally native restaurants and holistic technology plus get the answers for Trivia Tuesday check out this episode of Hospitality Hangout.