Think Community! – I am inspired by all of you

Well, the end of another week.

Had my feet well planted this week. So that always feels great.  Something about not traveling on the road this week.  That made space for a different rhythm during the days.  Next week, it’s wheels up!  Again.  I know, that’s a good thing right?  After all, if not for face time with great people, what fun would it all be?  It’s always been about the people for me.  Always.  I love what I do at MonkeyMedia Software.

Today something really amazing happened!  I mean really amazing.  I mean, when I put out the idea of making a documentary film for the restaurant industry with the idea of donating the effort and proceeds to Prostart, I never imagined it would turn into this!

My “Cadre de Compadres” has been feverishly working on our restaurant documentary film, Back to Basics.  That’s what we call ourselves.  The Cadre de Compadres!  Given to us by the mayor of our little world in North Hollywood, Chase Leblanc.  He’s helping me on the script.  Among many other things.  (Hey Chase, how’s the script going anyways?)

Think community

Anyways, Back To Basics is picking up incredible momentum.  You see, as the project grows in scale and opportunity, so does the effort and resource requirement.  Like any growing venture, it’s becoming demanding.  But that’s a good thing!  Thing is, we are just small people over here, trying to do small things.

Well, it turns out that its the small things that matter.  The many small things, turns into the BIG things.  One small thing at a time.

Well today, a member of our restaurant community, a very important leader, came forward with a $10,000 cash donation to the overall expenses of this project.  We’ve decided to put the money, along with an additional $5,000 cash donation from another donor, into the endowment fund to help with the overall costs to help get this project done.  This does not include the endless labor of love that 30 other people have already provided to this project.

When you have people like Ed Rensi, Jon Luther Sr., Ron Shaich, Jim Vinz, Don Fox, Paul Mangiamele, Al Bhakta, Kat Cole, Carin Stutz, Dawn Sweeney, Roz Mallet, Ari Weinzweig, Peter Romeo, Darren Tristano, Chris Lowe and Bill Cunningham starring in a documentary, people take you seriously!  

And so, I leave you with one thought today.  Think Community!  Maybe together we can raise more than a million dollars for the education of our young people.  The next generation of leaders.  Very important for all of us.  That I know.

Not only will you be feel great about helping, if you invest in the right places you might even make something amazing happen!  Just look at this project.  Something out of nothing.

If any of you would like to support this project, please know that your community would be very, very grateful.  Just reach out.

Me?  I’ll focus on the small things!  Seems to be working.

Have a great weekend!  And thank you from the bottom of my heart.

When I’m on the Road, I’m moving forward

Hey there:

Just came off a whirlwind road trip!  Like a boxer training for his next fight, road work is important for a growing business venture.

I’d like to tell you it’s easy, but that would not be the truth. Its tough.  Mentally and Physically.  It’s tough on your family.

For those of you that travel for work and have families, I am sure you will agree.  Especially if your business has a quick pace to it.  Well, as it grows, it gets faster. At least, that’s how it’s going for MonkeyMedia Software.

Our team is  fighting hard every single day for the efficiency and scale of our customers’ catering operations, and its going great!  Thing is, we’ve got to keep it going.  So, more road work is needed.  More site visits, more on site training and workshops, more hands on the street kind of effort and of course, more software deployments.

I dream that one day, the off-premise market will represent 50% of restaurant revenues.  That’s $315 Billion in annual sales, based on today’s revenues.  In reality, it will be more as consumers change their buying habits.  Ok.  I’m lumping in all delivery for takeout, catering, mail-order and licensing revenues into this number.  The countless ways that brands can extend their services outside the four walls of the restaurant.  Anyways, regardless, it’s a big number.

Ok.  I did say it was a dream!

So why do it?  It’s got to be worth it, in the end  so the whole effort and investment makes sense, but in the meantime, until “that day” comes, it has to be more meaningful in the moments.  Otherwise, it just too hard.  You have to believe you are doing the right thing to continue, or you need to change strategies, no?

Well, I’ve got the “believe” thing and the “strategy” thing pretty much in check.  So, I just continue.  That’s a good thing right?

So, I say, It’s got to be the journey.  The day-to-day.

So, I was thinking to myself, “I know what it is that I don’t like about being on the road, so what are the parts that I do like about it?” seeing that it’s a big part of my job.  And I do love my job!  So, I had better focus on the great things because there are so many!

So here are my top “likes” , if I were to capture the moments in between over the last few weeks.

1.  Validation – Feeling of Accomplishment fills my heart

Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than the happy faces of  the catering teams of our  customers!

2.  Learning – Fast Casual Executive Summit fills my brain with great information

My Facilitation of the CEO Discussion panel along with Tom Feltenstein. Great conversation and insight from Frank Paci, Don Fox, David Rutkauskas, Phil Friedman and Dean Loring.  I am so lucky to learn from these great leaders.

3.  Friendship – Making new connections with like-minded leaders

Great to meet you Wally Doolin! Love your passion and admire your leadership.

4.  Community and Fun – Laughter creates community, trust and sharing

Here we are shooting our “annual tradition” video. Soon to be up on Youtube! Great people, great fun.

5.  Teambuilding – Building Culture and a Team

I am very lucky to be able to serve the 32 team members at MonkeyMedia Software. They make sure things are ok at home as we do our road work.

When it comes to our business, when we are on the road, we are moving forward.  

Enjoy your day.  Thanks for stopping by.  Travel Safe.

Erle

Back to Basics – The Allstate Way

There’s alot going on this week.  My team is at MUFSO. New customers to focus on.  MonkeyMedia Software is working with Rosati’s Pizza now.  Helping them to get their catering program aligned amongst franchisees and franchisor.  Educating their team members, with catering certification and of course, implementing some great software to help them support the program.

Rosati’s is an amazing brand.  Lot’s of history.  A wonderful family business now being managed by its 5th generation of Rosati’s.  A true Pizza empire.  Here’s an old shot a few generations ago.

 This photo really got me thinking about the old days.  What it must have been like when life was a bit slower.  Not easier, but certainly slower.  Was it better?  I don’t know if it was, but certainly it was slower.

I recently had the good fortune of meeting much of the Rosati family and now I understand why this brand has had so many generations of success.  Deep commitment, solid core family values and just good people.  After all, it’s the people that make a company so great.  This family understood that it was all about community.

Once you get inside, you can see how each generation has fought hard to stay on top.  The vision has changed.  But it needs to in order to survive and be strong in the long run.

So, this got me thinking.  About our film project.  Back To Basics – The Future of the US restaurant industry in a Global Economy.

This film project is getting support from amazing people in an amazing industry.  I spent some time this week asking myself why this project is resonating with so many people?  Sure, we’ve got support from the National Restaurant Association and Coca-Cola.  Why?  We’ve got leaders like Ed Rensi, Jon Luther Sr., Ron Shaich, Ari Weinzweig, Paul Mangiamele, Al Bhakta, Carin Stutz, Roz Mallet, Dawn Sweeney, Kat Cole, Don Fox, Jim Vinz, Peter Romeo, Chris Lowe and Darren Tristano.

Sure we are committing all of the net proceeds of the film to Prostart under the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation.

All of these elements make for a wonderful and powerful project.  But, that’s not enough.  We have to deliver a compelling story.  Something that will resonate with the general public.  The restaurant industry employs 13 million workers in the US.  The restaurant industry represents a land of opportunity.  Just look at the Rosati family.  Immigrants who came to the US with very little. Through hard work and dedication, they built a future for their grandchildren and today employ hundreds if not thousands of people.

This story of immigration, hard work and building a future is the backbone of so much that we all have to be grateful for.  That’s what is so compelling.  We have to continue to tell these stories, to keep them alive and tell them again and again.  We need to try and put the essence of this success into a bottle, a syllabus if you will, so that we can teach future generations the characteristics of entrepreneurial success.  At the same time, we need to teach future generations how to be better business managers.  How to utilize the public markets at the same time not selling their souls for money and greed.  They need to be responsible.

We all know that money does not come easy.  It’s scarce and as a community we need to manage it responsibly.  After all, collectively, the restaurant industry handles more than $630 Billion per year in the US alone.  That’s alot of cash.  We can either be responsible or reckless, the decision is ours.

So, I was really trying to get my mind wrapped around this whole idea.  What is “going back to basics” all about?  It’s frugality.  It’s simplicity.  It’s logical.  It’s community based.  Basic works.  It always has, and always will.  We’ve got to focus on the core and basic elements.

Then, I found this Allstate commercial.  Ok, it’s a television Ad.  But, it speaks some truth.  I especially like the part where the narrator suggests that we need to go back to basics after each recession.  Allstate has survived 12 of them.  So, I thought I’d post the video here.  If Allstate can survive 12 recessions, then why can’t the restaurant industry?

It’s in your hands!  Enjoy your Saturday.