Practice English Speaking&Listening with: What Does The Future of Restaurants Look Like?

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This fall we are launching one of our newest concentrations,

restaurant management and experiences for our master's program, MMH,

Master of Management in Hospitality.

Courses in this concentration include the future of restaurant business,

a course in financial modelling and economics of the industry, advanced food

and beverage operations and experiences, which explores concepts, service models,

technology, and automation to better understand the operation of a restaurant.

And there are other electives such as food marketing, design thinking, and

entrepreneurship.

We are currently accepting applications, so if you're interested please contact us.

Now I'm pleased to introduce Kealoha Pomerantz,

graduate from our very first class of MMH.

She's culture and operations manager for Real Food Consulting,

having worked with them for about four years.

Prior to that she has experience in Hillstone restaurants and

smart meetings among others.

We are very proud of her accomplishments and

looking forward to see what she does in the future.

I'm sure you're going to enjoy the panel.

So Kealoha, take it away.

>> Thank you so much, Dean.

I'm very excited about this restaurant concentration [LAUGH].

I wish it were there when I was there.

So I encourage anyone interested to sign up.

I'm also thrilled to introduce our guests for today's conversation and panel.

We selected all of them very intentionally.

They have very diverse backgrounds and very diverse passionate perspectives

on this topic and on this industry, which is the future of restaurants.

So just a small goal, right, to cover in an hour.

So I'd love to introduce them and then set the stage a little bit for conversation.

First we have Frank Scheutzendorf, who has built his 25 year international

hospitality career within really the high end luxury hotel market.

In 2016 he transitioned really out of that into the world of hospitality education.

And he's taught at leading institutions in Europe, hospitality schools in Europe.

As well as being actively involved in a lot of forward thinking hospitality

entrepreneurship projects.

He brings an academic perspective and a French point of view, which is always fun.

And he has also with ESIC, the partner school that BU MMH students

are able to study and really converse with and collaborate with.

So that's really wonderful.

We also have Kiana Estevez, who is determined to create solutions that

are inclusive and empathetic through experiential dining.

So she's recently created Aisle Nine, which is a social food movement

that empowers people to step outside their comfort zones and

really equalize the cultural differences through virtual community experiences.

So she brings an exceptional entrepreneurial perspective and

very much a proud Gen Z perspective, which I always love to hear.

We also have Parker Doyle on the call today, who joined the Mosley Group

over three years ago and is already very much a leader in their innovation and

project management space scross the firm's very holistic and

integrated disciplines of expertise.

He's supporting client initiatives across multiple operating segments,

both domestically and internationally, and he has a passion for

transforming the way the world perceives and interacts with food and beverage.

So his view is many things, but for this panel that have a strategist and

a consultant, right, that sort of 30,000 foot view, the broad view,

of this industry, which I think is critical right now.

And last but certainly not least,

Derek Domino has been in the restaurant technology industry for over eight years.

In 2013, he was one of the founding team members that Toast as a PLS company,

and helped them scale to an 8 billion plus dollar [LAUGH] valuation.

No small feat.

And most recently helping them launch Toast digital ordering products, so far

before we knew that was going to be vital, including the take out consumer app.

Currently, Derek is the VP of sales at Bbot,

expanding digital ordering into the dining room.

So he has just an enormous amount of technical and sales knowledge, and

the tech space, right, restaurant tech space which we all forget about.

So I think that's super vital to this conversation.

So those are our four amazing panelists.

And before we jump into the questions, really I just wanted to set the stage.

I think we all know why we're talking about [LAUGH] this, but in case

anyone's forgotten, COVID apparently is over in the United States but

it has been a grueling year and a half for everyone, And certainly,

perhaps most of all, we think most of all restaurants or food service businesses.

So for those who have survived, the future looks incredibly uncertain,

and there's really no one who is able to give concrete answers.

I don't know that we'll find those answers or the crystal ball in this conversation.

But really the goal was to have an engaging dialogue around what the future

might look like.

And hopefully spark some questions in you all and

just some different perspectives on this topic.

So hopefully we go a little bit beyond the obvious, right,

the questions that are written in all of the articles right now.

And really just hear from a panel.

So I will ask questions, I'll direct them to you, the panelists,

I'll tell you which one will be for each of you but also feel free to jump in if.

So let's get started.

So for our first question I'd love to hear from Frank and Kiana in either order.

Frank, you can go first.

How do we get people to really start or stay working in this industry?

I think that's probably top of mind for everybody, right, this labor issue.

So what do you feel about that?

>> I think there's been a big shift in the industry.

I mean, with the arrival of technology companies, we have a lot of people

that seen that it's easy to make money in other industries.

But we've forgotten the essential component of what food and beverage and

the hospitality is all about.

It's really about taking care of people and working with them through people to

get the end product to our customers, which is really what it's all about.

And to spend time with the customers and connect on a very human level.

So obviously there's a cultural difference between what's happening

in the United States and how operations are run in the United States as opposed to

what's run for example, in France or in Europe because we pay salaries here.

And it doesn't matter how the operations perform,

we get a salary at the end of the month.

In the United States It's more about the minimum wage and

then based on the performance and based on how much volume you produce,

you get paid and you can double your salary with the tips.

But it's all about also dealing with how we

manage those employees and how we retain them.

It's a very different mindset that we have going on today with a Millennial mindset

that we deal with, where we have to be closer to employees.

And we have to really engage with them,

we have to really allow them to express themselves.

And that top down corporate approach, it just doesn't work anymore today.

So that's what we're seeing in the industry.

That's the feedback I'm getting with the students I work with,

that are going into the business as well,

to just be extremely creative in how we structure the operation.

To also have a vested interest as an employee,

maybe there's new business models that could develop to have employees

become actually shareholders of the company.

To really have them be 100% invested in the outcome and

to stay on board for a longer period of time.

And then above and beyond that larger organization,

it's also obviously important to work on the company culture.

To make it a long term investment for the employee and

to give them really the impression that it's not only about the money,

it's not only about the short term I'm being developed here.

My skills are being developed here.

I can become specialized, I mean, look at what happened in the craft beer business.

Look at what happened to baristas, for example,

there's been this whole level of specialization.

And that's something I truly believe that we should focus on in this industry,

to make it worthwhile to stick around and to really build your career.

So that's my perspective.

>> Yeah, that's a great point, Carrie, they're part of our industry but

we don't even think about having to translate, interesting.

Kiana, how do you think we get people to work here or to stay working?

>> Yeah, and thanks for setting the stage, Frank, I'll be honest,

I'm a little nervous.

I always just like, it comes from a place of excitement and

just brings me back to when I ran my first marathon,

something that's physically and mentally demanding and I think.

Where we're at right now, and having this conversation,

I'm gonna come in from the dreamer.

I'm coming in with that entrepreneur like I am the dreamer,

I am cautiously optimistic.

So really take that with a grain of salt with what I'm gonna share.

I think this last year has forced us to step into a place of so

much awareness from, a cultural appropriation standpoint.

And I think really grounding that in with the chef because chefs are the stars.

Chefs are the people who are creating our inside of our kitchens,

inside of restaurants and we have to as Frank mentioned, embrace that creativity.

The creativity that came out of a time of desperation.

And I think when we really can step away from the confines of a restaurant

menu of three lines and bringing in culture that are unreported,

cuisines that are unreported.

That's what's gonna get people into the door.

That's what's gonna bring this next generation of chefs to truly redefine what

a restaurant is.

And what we really seen is such a drive for social media within the food and

beverage industry because it's freedom.

Because there's no borders in the food that you're creating in the audience that

you're sharing your story with.

And by embracing that storytelling component inside of a kitchen.

It addresses the toxic culture as well, that we've seen for so

long in this industry.

So, how do we bring the diversity of stories and

the food creators into the space?

>> Yeah, that's a great point.

I mean we are seeing so

much, quote on more type diversification of foods available.

But there's an endless number of regional cuisines and

small niche dishes and items that so few people get to discover.

So, I think that's an excellent point and I think as much as we all roll our eyes at

this trend reports that get put our every year.

They are getting away from tacos being the newest thing to crickets or

things that were historically not known of.

So I think that's an excellent point, thank you.

Parker, do you wanna add anything you feel strongly Parker's off mute area?

[LAUGH] >> No, It all comes back to the employee.

The employees the most integral part to the consumer journey,

creating brand loyalty really comes back to the small touch

points that an employee adds to the consumer experience.

And I think that with the introduction of technology, with what you're seeing

with Eric at the bottom, what he's done at toast, he knows that anybody.

Technology is here but it needs to be used to enhance the consumer

experience alongside the experience of the employee.

The employee is what leads to everything that the consumer experiences in

the restaurant.

It's integral to make sure that the employee has everything they need

to succeed.

In order to give the guests what they want and make sure that frequencies they're in,

they're willing and able and excited to come back.

>> So while I have you partner, we'll move on to question two,

which is really how does the brain touch on this part of the business model and

this can be interpreted many ways.

Of restaurants need to change moving forward, right?

How can you reimagine this traditional restaurant business model, which is make

very little money, work strictly hard, right, live in the four walls.

So, talk to us about that business model.

>> So the questioning of the business model is not just

a during in post pandemic issue.

The business model of restaurants has been questioned for decades.

Pre pandemic we saw restaurants in California that were adding surcharges to

cover the rising minimum wage and healthcare costs.

And some restaurants had success, but the thing was is that often the ones who

did have success were hiding it at the bottom of the menu.

And were transparent with the costs that were associated with it.

And when it comes to an overall business strategy, every restaurant operation and

brand is so different and there's no solution that is one size fits all.

It's extremely important to develop the business model

strategy that is directly connected to your brand strategy.

And what I mean by that is your brand is at the center of everything that you do.

Profit sharing, higher wages, tip non tips.

These all have implications on the brand that you're developing and trying to sell.

It's really all interconnected and a brand is the sum of multiple touch points,

all of which matter and beyond the basics of your business.

A strong brand needs to stand for something and

employee wants to work for a brand that stands for something.

Something they believe in, something they want to come to work and really fight for.

And that brand needs to have a distinct voice speaking throughout the menu,

the store design and communications.

Really deliver a differentiated consumer experience.

And you really can't have success anymore if you're not authentic

brands cuz consumers can sniff that out extremely quickly and easily.

So authenticity and speaking from the heart and

really proving it, I think is at the core of a business strategy.

>> Yeah, and I think that answers your question as well,

I think that's a great point.

And when people ask well, how do I make these decisions about tipping?

It comes from your brain, right?

It comes from those things you've already decided that you stand for.

So Derek, I'd love to hear a little bit from you as well what you

feel about changing the business model what that might look like.

>> Sure, one of the things that's become a cliche,

at least in the tech world is COVID did not change consumer trends

it accelerated consumer trends by probably 10 years.

And that when you look at the adoption of digital ordering,

where it was going in a quantum leap,

and now it's just where it was going to be 10 years from now.

And there might be a dip back down of course because of dining and coming back,

but For the most part, it's going to stay a pretty high good mix

of all ordering in restaurants is going to be coming from off premise.

So, one of the things we work with with restaurants is every new

business plan that I've seen COVID really laid bare that,

you can't just have one revenue stream.

You need multiple revenue streams, you need multiple channels,

one of the words we say is omni-channel, you need to have a kitchen that can handle

orders from multiple sources, different kinds of order types and different,

just different kinds of clientele.

And if the guest wants something, they want convenience,

you have to give them convenience.

If they want high touch from your brand, you have to give them the high touch, and

that's one thing with restaurants that they're figuring out.

How is that, how do you have those different kinds of service models,

different kinds of guest experiences out of a single restaurant?

And that really changes everything from top to bottom from the whole

business plan.

Most restaurants that we've seen now they're coming in with a digital

first strategy right?

They're thinking through what is my online presence going to be?

How am I going to have direct channels of ordering?

How am I going to be handling those orders in the kitchen?

What does a floor plan of my space look like?

Is it more kitchen focused as opposed to the dining room,

because I'm going to have half of my sales going out the back.

What does my access loading zone look like?

So I've delivery drivers coming in, but

they're not in my waiting area It's changing the whole entire business model.

So we're working a lot of restaurants and

how do they renovate their spaces to support this new In a world, but

it also is going to change the real estate landscape.

Flagship retail is evolving, real estate companies,

[LAUGH] are figuring out ways to market their spaces and

adding new features like loading dock access,

in bigger commissions like kitchen spaces.

So it's, where is it going?We'll find out a lot of

restaurants [LAUGH] are experimenting.

That's one of the things that's kind of exciting about right now is,

a lot of restaurants went out of business.

But that create a lot of greenfield for new entrepreneurs to come in with new

concepts in this new digital age and I'm excited to see where it's gonna go.

>> Yeah well if you take nothing else away from the soundstage and

write down the word omni channel,

[LAUGH] I also feel we all strongly agree on that one point I think, and

moving away this historical ego around, I do this and this is how I always did it.

And that's all I wanna do right, so, exactly the next point if the guest

wants it and you would like to make little bit of money probably get them.

So, reimagining this business model is sort of all fine and well, except who's

gonna pay for it Aand there may be implications for these types of decisions.

So I'd love to hear from Kiana and Parker, and of course, Derek and Frank jump in.

What are implications and

that could be many different things of creating restaurants or

concepts that pay well and are equitable and are sustainable and are responsible.

Right and any other words you want to insert,

good businesses are positive implications, negative implications,

all of the above so, Parker, you want to start us off.

>> Well, all of what you just said, that's the future and we can't run away from it.

We need to realize that the future, as we've all said,

alluded to, we're not just in a labor crisis and I hate that word.

We're in a wage and benefit crisis and we're in a major reset period that

requires us to be so much smarter and more purposeful with our decision-making.

And there's no reason why creating restaurants that pay well and that

are sustainable need to remain as single unit operators or have fewer restaurants.

They just need to ensure they're smart, and tactical with their brand strategy,

menu, operations, store design, and their technology stack.

All those things need to communicate together and

work together in one direction.

And what's really interesting during the pandemic is operator's found

much success with smaller menus that really celebrated hero items and

cross utilized ingredients and an extremely high percentage.

They realize you don't need 10 skews and

brand on your menu, you can survive with two and

use them in a few places you don't need 15 skews of lettuce ones only use on LTO.

You can cross utilize them at a very high percentage and

in consumers our understanding of that and you need to develop an operating

system like Derek said, that's able to efficiently flex up and

flex down during off peak day parts that can be run by one employee or five.

They don't get in each other's way and instead of adding 15 steps for

dropping off a delivery order it needs to be a pivot in the kitchen it needs to

be a pivot for dining, a pivot for delivery, a pivot for drive through.

That really all works together in does not make employees mad when

they see a delivery order because we all know working in kitchen,

sometimes you see things are like, I wish this wasn't this way.

And this all brings us to the store design, which really encompasses all

of these factors of brand and menu and the operating system.

And this really the store design It tells the story, material choices,

the consumer flow, the touch points that are in there.

A sustainable restaurant may be lead certified or

may have you points into the kitchen that may showcase fresh produce.

You really need to showcase what you're doing to to guests these days.

It all comes back to technology to in being able to analyze and track data.

If you're not on top of your data, realizing what your data is saying it's

really no good It's a living, breathing organism that's changing every single day.

If you're really not on top of your data and realizing what the menu operations and

guests are saying, you're not going to succeed in this day and age.

>> Yeah first and foremost think of it as a business [LAUGH].

>> Yeah.

>> How to joy ride so, Kiana, I'd love to hear your opinion as

well as implication of yeah, I agree this is the future, but

how do we create that and what might be there good and bad.

>> And I think we have to be real for a moment,

what are the implications of not doing this?

One and a half million job openings right now, an industry that does not look so

attractive from the outside or the inside in a lot of aspects.

And I think what's most interesting for me is that the first

part of the equation is that let's just raise our prices.

Let's just raise our prices and that's our answer but you have to understand that

there's that gentrification component of we're pricing out the community.

And from the guest standpoint, it's taking that step back and

seeing the restaurant experience from a place of more gratitude of maybe we

don't eat out 60% of our paycheck because we want a higher quality.

We wanna bring a higher standard of living for those inside of a restaurant and

how do we award those who have their sustainability as Parker mentioned,

with their latest certification?

How do we award the diversity the equitable

practices from a way that makes someone want to spend that extra dollar?

Because you see a three star Michelin, that's worth me giving all my money.

However, do we take step back and

understand that there's a lot of staff back there that aren't being paid.

That are doing this as a stag because of the name, because of its credibility.

So, how do we really have that conversation of,

I'm gonna go to that restaurant because they're actually paying their employees.

They're actually providing a living.

And I think that's the first place from the guest standpoint.

And then, for us restaurant owners and consultants, how are we

leaders like how do we set a trend because you only have to be right once.

It's not going to be something that's figured out by 2025, 27, 35.

It's gonna be a constant experimentation and moving it up and down.

How well can we pay our chefs and it's just experimentation.

And If you're being a leader by saying, I'm paying my employees well,

I'm practicing sustainability and diversity that's not a bad way to go.

So that's sort of where I feel from that.

>> Okay, can I add one thing to that if you don't mind.

>> Yep.

>> I'm sorry if I'm talking too long actually, I apologize.

It's usually an issue but, [CROSSTALK] I really believe that to Kayla's

point about raising prices a really great example of a restaurant

brand that just raised prices and did not get in trouble with triple A.

Triple A just raised prices by 5% for in store.

Diving in 10 plus percent for their off premise,

but they did this alongside increasing their wages to $15 and

increasing the benefit package for their employees.

If they did this three years ago, they would probably get yelled at and

we get mad but because of what Brian the CEO, there has done and

the culture he's created.

And when they announced the increase in prices alongside the push towards

a better overall workplace, it was extremely positive the response they got.

It has not affected sales at all.

And that's a really great example of how you can increase prices, increase wages.

And, you used to get in trouble for that but

in the age that we're in now, it's all about marketing and

the perception that connects with the brand of real food with integrity,

and it all comes together in this new age of restaurants today.

>> [CROSSTALK] Just for a second.

I really agree with Kiana and with Parker and sorry,

Kiana, if you wanted to say something and I'm cutting you off here?

I just want to touch on the, we touched on the word authenticity.

And we talked about that from a restaurant perspective and

what she brought is always a really great example.

Because they also decided not to use the machine to cut the onions but

to cut them by the hand and

with the real knife because it's just provides a better flavor.

And they absorb the cost of obviously of paying the headcount to do that.

But authenticity also has to do with how authentic are we

allowing the customer to be when he's coming into our restaurant?

So are we putting the customer in a box?

Or are we allowing the customer to be who he wants to be?

If he would have gone into a three Michelin star restaurant because we

touched on three Michelin star restaurants.

A moment with Kiana you would ask the customer to wear a jacket and a tie.

If the customer is wearing a designer jeans that will cost you $2,000,

you're putting this customer in a very awkward position.

So I think we really need to pay attention to that allowing the customer

to be who he wants to be.

And maybe to order what he wants to order at what time he wants to order.

Maybe it's an all day dining solution.

Again we have to think outside the box and create how we can operate that but

that might be also the future.

We touched on omni channel and again going into this more elaborate cuisine.

Very interesting the one of the really big palaces in Paris has kind

of ended a contract with a really high end Michelin star chef.

And now he's going with a very young chef that has won a top Chef award in France.

But what he's bringing to the table is not necessarily culinary excellence.

What he's bringing to the table is leverage, media leverage because he is

being surrounded by influencers, which he can attract into the hotels.

So is that maybe also something we should add into our omni channel strategy?

How can we attract those influencers to get more, the media work for

us because it is very difficult to do scaling in our business compared

to IT business for example.

So that might be an opportunity.

And then everything about Lean operation is also something from

the way we set it up building resilience.

Like Parker, you said setting up a to go counter home delivery counter, and

really making sure that we optimize the business and maybe we created kiosk 2.0,

that is completely autonomous that we just plug in the authentic food and

beverage offering and customizing how thousands is automated.

Kind of creating those hybrid operations,

is something I think that we'll see pop-up in the future.

And if you look at Japan, Japan is always been doing this thing,

always have these vending machines.

They never had a 2.0 vending machine.

But they've been very smart about this for decades.

So this might also be something that we can see evolving in the future.

>> Yeah, absolutely.

And Frank, I mean, you're already mentioning some technology,

but I'd love to know a little bit on your opinion of

how technology will play a role in reinventing.

Right is there some back of house technology that you feel strongly or

that's being utilized in France or in Europe?.

I think we're all fairly familiar at this point with even if

it's a gimmick of the robot of the locker, things like that, but

are any things you think are emerging or important or internal technology as well.

>> From our perspective in Europe, which is always kind of 10 years behind what's

happening in the United States, which is true,

we're always very much more resilient a little bit to see what happens.

But then, the wave approaches.

It's very much still focused on the craft of specialization and we have a lot of

more like we mentioned this as well like one dish wonders, like popping up,

like you're really specializing on that dish that makes you famous.

Which have nothing to do with technology.

So we're pretty much still very old school I think.

And maybe Derrick, you have a couple of comments in regards

to technology more than I could provide here at this panel.

I just think that it was very interesting to read a couple of weeks ago.

This is a colleague that sent me the the information from essay that Kayak

the online booking engine then they are moving into restaurants.

And they're moving into hotels.

So they are building a Kayak hotel of a restaurant.

So this is big tech now meeting and converging with hospitality food and

beverage.

So if they're, now moving into that space,

I think there will be a lot of a huge learning curve of what they can add and

provide, and to kind of tie all these individual comments

that we've provided on this panel.

It will turn into a best practice model.

And it will just be a matter of time for other future generations or

other business models to adopt that model and improve it and

really accelerate that innovation process.

>> Yeah, that's a great point.

I certainly do wanna bring there again.

[LAUGH] Not that no one's opinion is better or worse.

But, yeah, Derrick, I know you have strong feeling on how the technology rule.

Affects of the future and the rear man.

>> All right, and finally, my topic.

Now, [LAUGH]- >> This is why in that prevalence.

>> So I think honestly, technology is like one of the common,

the thread throughout all of these conversations.

As it touches every single piece of it.

Whether it's the labor.

Whether it's real estate.

Whether it's guest experience.

Technology is actually the core infrastructure,

what allows these experiences to happen.

So I think what Frank said is spot on, like there's going to be,

and Parker, around like just the, and actually all of the guys.

[LAUGH] But just like the brand, what brand are you going to have?

And how are you going to use technology to give your guest the experience they want.

And I'm not gonna take credit for this.

There's CEO of Toast, former CEO of Toast, Steve Simoni,

still president and co-founder.

No, that's my current boss.

Steve Fredette, [LAUGH] Steve Fredette, a real visionary founder of Toast.

What he used to say was, technology is gonna create a situation where

ten years from now there's going to be food factories and food art.

And there's going to be completely automated experiences,

where I just hit a button and food shows up at my door in 15 minutes.

And that's inevitable, that's where consumer trends are.

And if I want that convenience, that is going to be available.

But if I want a high touch experience, that will also be available.

I'm just gonna have to pay a premium for it.

And I think restaurants are going to have to figure out,

where do they wanna live on that spectrum?

My current company, we did QR code ordering and payments from the table.

And a lot of people talk to us around, that's gonna eliminate jobs.

That's going to change all the guest experience.

I like paper menus.

Great, if you like paper menus, that's experience you want.

In your restaurant, you should only offer paper menus.

And I think if you wanna be completely self ordering,

you can be completely self ordering.

And if you wanna be hybrid and give a guest,

the choice of which menu would you like?

Would you like this, order for it yourself.

We like to order with a server.

And give the guests the choice.

And if they come and they say, you know what, completely self service restaurant?

Not for me.

I'm gonna go to the restaurant that has more of a high touch.

And I think the restaurants are gonna have to figure out,

where do they wanna live on that spectrum?

What kind of experience do they want to offer the guests.

And I think it's gonna become really synonymous with their brand.

And we looked at this ten years ago, Red Robin,

Chili's, Applebee's, they rolled out these Z asks on the table.

It became synonymous with their brand.

That's a restaurant where you can go and play games while at little tablet.

And people go there,

because they want their kids to be able to play games on the tablet.

So I don't need to bring my iPad, I already have one built in.

[LAUGH] So that is the experience they choose.

And I think, also Frank said this like the one hit wonders.

I think a lot of restaurants are gonna have an omnichannel.

A lot of restaurants are gonna choose, I actually wanna do a little bit of both.

I wanna have my high touch experience, my premium offering,

come in the restaurant we'll take care of you.

But I also have,

each one of my top selling items I make a little virtual brand around it.

And I can cross utilize all my ingredients and

have five different ghost brands that come out the back.

And I can order on an app, a couple of buttons.

And I'm getting a really well made affordable dish that's high

volume at the back of a fine dining restaurant.

And that's going to be the new norm.

I think, when restaurants, and we're seeing this now,

every business model, they may want a high touch component, but

they also have multiple revenue sharing is going at the back.

Whether it's catering.

Whether it's a virtual brand.

Whether they're leasing out their space to utilize that kitchen

space when you're not in a high volume dinner operation.

And it's just sitting vacant the other 80% of the week.

How do you use that?

So it's gonna be interesting.

[LAUGH] >> I heard someone say, wait, wait, wait,

they have not for over a year had any conversation with either.

It'll be interesting or we'll see how this goes.

So that's exactly how I feel about it.

[LAUGH] >> None of it is settled.

It's a lot of innovation happening right now.

>> Yes, absolutely.

So to that point, I think we will skip to our last question to all of you.

So we can go ahead and start a couple.

We'll start with Kiana.

And that is really, what is happening?

Or a couple of things briefly that you're most excited about for

the future of restaurants or of the good service space.

Obviously, we've touched on food service being outside of the four walls.

So, Kiana, you're the dreamer.

[LAUGH] What are you most excited about?

>> For me, I think it starts off with understanding that last year gave

us a privilege to understand our food differently.

From an individual, from a restaurant experience, and also just as a collective.

And if it wasn't for that, where we had to be at home and

preparing dishes and truly savoring and understanding ingredients,

we now can understand that we are willing to pay a premium for it.

We are willing to try new things and be eager about that.

So that's where I see the future of it from like a guest and

experience standpoint.

There is going to just be a larger diversification when it comes to

reported cuisines and disruption along that line.

And the other thing I think I'm most excited about is seeing how do we really

define what a restaurant is anymore?

And who's inside of it?

And what the role of a chef truly is?

It's not just creating the art.

And to Frank's point, it's bringing in influencers.

It's that virality component.

It's a crucial part of the equation now.

And to see the creativity that's gonna be brought,

I am nothing short of excited and hungry for the next step.

>> That's all right, that's awesome.

All right, Parker, what are you most excited about a lot?

I'm sure.

>> What?

A lot, and I'll try to keep this concise.

But I wanna echo what everyone's saying.

And I think that as an industry overall, we're getting smarter, stronger, and

we're still here.

And I think that's the key.

We were still here.

We survived.

We're happy, and we're back, and we're ready for guests.

And I think that as an outcome of this pandemic, we've all realized,

it gets especially I've realized the importance of restaurants to

their communities and their daily lives.

They're the community meeting place.

They're where you meet with family and friends or where you celebrate.

And they're such an integral part of our daily lives.

And that's where memories are made.

And I of course look forward to sharing more food and drink with family and

friends as an outcome on this, in the months and years to come.

But acknowledge that younger consumers are pushing for

a new heightened standard of excellence.

They're really expecting restaurants to check all the boxes of hyper convenience

value in authentic food, in cuisines, all at the touch of a button at their phone.

And they're really not Willing to settle for two of those three or two and

a half of those three, they want all of them at the same time.

I think that's really exciting, and with my focus on multi unit concepts,

I think we're gonna see more concepts that are plant based.

At the cuisines I think that we're gonna see a growth of cuisines like

Mediterranean, and if you said that 20 years ago, you with thought that's

crazy if I think that concepts like Kava or Luna grill based in San Diego.

I think those are the next type of concepts are poised for

growth across the country not just in millennial based cities.

I think that's throughout the country in the Midwest as well.

It's gonna be great to see those new types of food throughout,

it's not just burgers and fried chicken tacos anymore in our industry.

And I'm also a little different from restaurants, but food service in general,

I'm really excited for the growth of convenience store food service programs.

I think that she stores are realizing that food service is an extremely profitable,

attractive business and that the tobacco, beer, wine and gas and

petroleum is dying, It's dying slowly so they have time to react.

But the world worksheets the world are really eating the lunch and

dinner of the Jimmy John's, the subways in the Jersey Mike's.

And they're who to watch cuz they're the ones getting food from the same

exact commissaries as the biggest food service providers in the world and

their food quality is really great and they're getting really smart and

they're hiring really great people.

So I think that convenience stores are a huge place to watch or food service and

realize that they are a direct competitor.

They're gonna influence consumers and

really start to eat the sales of major food service chains.

>> I agree it's a space I work in as well and everybody rolled their eyes [LAUGH]

before Not only that country clubs, results are mentioned, right food service.

Food is everywhere at this point.

And I think that's a very exciting thing.

And I think we've traditionally seen that as a negative, right?

They're gonna eat lunch, but

it's actually great that you can get food everywhere now.

That's all, so thank you, Parker.

Frank, where's your excitement?

>> I think we don't really have a choice because it's such a mature industry we

have to eat to produce energy to be productive, I mean, there's no option.

We don't have an option, It's just a matter of who's gonna be

the first mover of coming up with some really new brilliant idea.

I think quality is gonna be improving,

we have kind of a more accessible, high quality food product.

We see it in these low cost supermarkets that are all promoting the premium which

is really democratize the kind of the access to this, too, which is great.

So I think in general the quality should be really taken care of, and

looked at, and will improve.

As I mentioned the convergence with tech, between tech and food and beverage.

I think there's gonna be a lot of creativity with new up and

coming chefs and millennials that started out that have great ideas.

And I also think that this business is something you can start out very small

when you think about it, you can just start start baking something,

something something in your own oven.

You call Uber Eats and delivers it to your doorstep, so

you can start with a small batch.

And so it's really cost efficient to begin if you're really into it.

I'm very excited about continued fragmentation.

I mean, 20 years ago you'd have fine dining family, dining, casual dining.

Today, how can you categorize that hole in the wall selling like that?

That one dish 100 right or the corona in New York City.

So it's all over the place and I'm really excited to see where it's gonna take us.

I'm very curious how we're gonna continue to share that dining moment as a family,

as a group of people where we sit down and

we get together because of food because it's such a heritage.

We have of how we consume food to not lose that moment and

I think there's gonna be new models popping up for that and yeah,

I just think we all have to get ready for a really good time.

So it's gonna happen.

>> Awesome, all right, Derek was this out of your excitement?

>> All right, I'm gonna try to finish on something very profound.

>> [LAUGH] >> I actually I'm the tech guy and you're

probably thinking I'm gonna say something tech related, which I am really excited

about everything tech and that could be a whole pot, whole podcast of itself.

But actually one [LAUGH] of the things I'm actually really excited about

is I'm actually a huge fan of remote work in by definition,

restaurants cannot be remote work.

Somebody has to be there in the restaurant.

And I think that's what's creating this quote unquote labor crisis is everyone

went home, and everyone's like railing on universal basic income these checks

like nobody wanna go back to work.

It's actually also known that labor pools fundamentally changed like

before it was like a set amount of people in this town that as my labor pool.

Now it is everyone went back home, they're getting jobs all over the place.

And now you as a restaurant owner are actually competing with the whole world

[LAUGH] for that person's time and job.

And I think that's a fundamental change in the restaurant industry that is really

disruptive.

And if I have a choice of getting a salary and

working from my couch, we're getting paid $2 an hour.

[LAUGH] I'm working crazy hours like it's not that hard of a choice.

And I think that this is going to force restaurants to pay a competitive wage and

actually offer benefits.

But that also is a constraint that forces restaurants to innovate.

They have to change their model because pre COVID,

you couldn't know I've looked at so many P&L statements, the restaurant owners.

And it was a matter of if I offer my employees' benefits,

it goes from a 3% profit margin to I'm losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I'd literally cannot offer them health care, and they're in a really tough spot.

This Is now a forcing factor to pay staff minimum wage,

change your business model, figure out ways to bring in new revenue streams or,

implement technology just to be more efficient, like pre COVID.

The business model wasn't exactly a great business model if I have [LAUGH]

a choice between starting a restaurant with a 20% profit margin or

starting a business with a 20% profit margin or a restaurant,

which is gonna be a lot of time and maybe 2% and 90% failure rate.

Like it just wasn't a great business model to begin with.

And I think this is forcing restaurants to rethink that.

Just COVID blew it all up and now, we're trying to rebuild it from the ground up.

We we have a blank slate, and

I think we're seeing a ton of innovation of how people are getting creative.

And also I think restaurant workers will be paid a minimum wage,

like a living wage, and I think that's gonna be a net good.

There might be less restaurant workers but

the restaurant workers that are, working in restaurants will be happier.

And I think that's going to be as we come back and

restaurants are part of our communities.

If I choose to work in a restaurant, I want to do it because

I love working in service, but also I can afford rent.

[LAUGH] And that before COVID was, that was a trade off.

Like I want to work in a restaurant ,but I'm gonna scrape by with five roommates.

[LAUGH] And biking an hour to work.

And that was the life of so many restaurant workers pre-COVID

>> Yeah, the world's not good.

I think you're very profound early in the morning.

Cuz I think overall that if it's not slowly leaving,

hopefully we feel like this industry is having a net good.

So I appreciate all for your time, and your insight, and

your excitement, and your similar thinking.

You all seem to have mind that think a like.

I'm going to turn it over to Professor Leora Lanz to share a few questions

that came in for the panelists.

>> Thank you, Kay, and thank you to our panelists and to our friends at SHA.

And for those who are attending today who I don't know, my name is Leora Lanz.

And I am a professor and faculty chair of our graduate program,

which is launching this new restaurant management and experiences concentration.

So, thank you all for being with us today.

There are a couple of questions that came in, Kay.

First is from Casey Fuentes.

Thank you, Casey, for joining us today.

Casey wants to hear from one or more of you about the different technologies.

The challenges of navigating the different technologies to manage the various aspects

of the business.

Back of House, Front of House, the online ordering, the loyalty, the kiosk.

Frank, I see you sort of nodding.

I don't know if you wanna take that question.

We do have a few more questions.

So I wanna make sure we get them all in.

>> No, I mean, again, I'm less on that really cutting edge technology, but

I know it's not the guns, it's the man behind the gun, right?

So you have to be able to know how to use the technology to make the best use of

that technology.

And there are so many systems out there.

And it's also a risk of over-killing kind of the purpose of it.

So you have to, I think technology is great.

Outsourcing, subcontracting,

some components might be a little bit also a good idea.

Instead of wasting your own time or hiring somebody to do that accounting job or

to do some kind of an analysis.

So that's why I was just nodding, because I think there's a lot of talk and

technology is great, but it has to serve the operator as well.

And it has to be as efficient as possible.

>> And let me just add to that, if you don't mind.

>> Go ahead, Parker.

>> When my team develops technology solutions,

you can bring in the five best providers in their individual categories.

POS, KTS, Back of House management, if they do not work together or

integrate, it's completely useless.

And the analogy that I use is, it's like developing your own car.

It's like bringing in a Mercedes engine, Toyota doors, a BMW steering wheel,

and bringing all these components together.

And it might work, and it might chug along.

But it's really not gonna get you very far.

And it's extremely important to bring in technology when you're developing

a restaurant concept in the beginning.

And Derek, probably knows all these technology providers are just forgotten

about to the end.

And they're just kind of thrown in there and piecemealed in there.

And it's extremely important to bring them in and

ensure that everything can talk to each other and work.

Integration's extremely important.

And that's why a system like Toast that provides and

has that great integration connections with so many of the best in class

providers, I'm not to sell Toast here, but they're really great.

And that's why they're expanding, because they don't pay per integration there.

And they have so many solutions that work together at a cost effective rate.

So I think it's really important to look at integrations when you're developing any

technology solution.

To really ensure everything's working together in one direction,

instead of having a car that barely moves.

>> And maybe if I can just add one point to that.

I think that a lot of hotels are also moving into technology and

are adopting technologies that the customer really like using, right?

For example, you will now find in hotels that don't have a lot of food and beverage

offerings that they will allow customers to order off Uber Eats for example, right?

So that they can deliver.

So, again, you're putting the customer at ease.

Or you have some kind of an online purchasing.

You have some kind of an online shop and you're allowing people to order through

WhatsApp instead of having them go through the online shop.

So those are smart moves, I think.

To allow customers to continue using what they use best,

>> Fair enough,

I'm gonna move on to some of the other questions, and thank you, Parker and

Frank for those insights.

This is coming from one of our alums, Ayesha.

She wants to know what advice you have for some of the F&B companies or

industries that are still going through COVID struggles.

Due to their own country's or location's restrictions with this rage of the virus.

How can they have an edge and stay afloat with these challenges?

Tough one, any thoughts?

Ayesha sounds like we're all kinda afraid to go there?

This is a tough one.

Any thoughts on how we kinda have came through it here in this country to see if

there's any takeaways that we could share for folks in other destinations?

>> I think not, and I don't wanna talk all here.

But I think that it comes back to health safety and

transparency with your consumers.

I think that you have to have a strict guideline in place in the back of

the house, and ensure that your team members feel comfortable back there.

It was proven during the pandemic that brands like Starbucks that had

high brand loyalty, people still went there.

And that's because the trust they had in that brand and the operations, and

they knew they could get there conveniently.

It really that contactless free environment,

I think adapting with technology and utilizing the QR codes and

things of that nature can really advance brands.

And it's really cost effective now.

There's solutions out there that are extremely cost effective for

QR ordering and ordering ahead that can really make it easy.

But that's also extremely difficult if you don't have an efficient kitchen and

a streamlined menu that go alongside that.

And that's why it's all holistic.

That streamlining your menu,

having efficient operating system that you can pivot and

really serve all of these different ordering segments is extremely important.

If you're still serving all day and trying,

if you're a pizza concept still trying to deliver burgers or fries,

you gotta take the burgers and fries off your menu.

You gotta just deliver the pizza.

It's the best thing that delivers and holds up its quality.

You got to know who you are, and I think that's the key.

>> Thanks, Parker.

And Ayesha, hopefully some of those elements in what Parker just shared

helps with some of that advice that we're looking for.

There's another question here that references, Derek,

you mentioned that the pandemic really accelerated certain changes

across the spectrum of restaurants.

And you found yourself most grateful for

having really progressed in that direction.

Where do you see things that you're respectively putting your efforts towards?

What do you think benefited most?

What do you think sort of, that acceleration,

where do you think the most positives came from?

We'll start with you, Derek, and if somebody wants to add.

>> That's a good one.

I felt like chicken a little, like pre-COVID.

[LAUGH] Like, sky's falling.

My God, these app companies are hurting restaurants.

These commissions like, people don't understand when you order through an app,

it's really bad for a restaurant.

And restaurants are getting squeezed.

And it was a slow burn.

People didn't realize it.

There wasn't much awareness.

The amount of times I've had conversations, even with my family, and

I told them this, post all over my social media and they still don't read it.

They're like, DoorDash is bad for restaurants, I should order directly.

[LAUGH] Isn't that the same?

And I think there's just an incredible awareness about this now.

Everyone's talking about it.

It's in the New York Times, it's in mainstream.

I think that's A good thing.

And I think that's forced consumers to think about how they order.

And hopefully, they become more conscious about this, and

they choose the channels that support the restaurants, because the profits of that

restaurant should not be siphoned to some guy in Silicon Valley, like a tech guy.

I get it.

[LAUGH] I want to support the restaurants.

And I think that has created an influx of direct ordering channels.

If the press a button get food in half hour was only available via an app,

via Uber Eats.

And I think that what Parker said, that technology is getting incredibly

affordable, and restaurants are realizing this technology exists.

I can have my own press a button and

get food in 30 minute channel without paying 30%.

And restaurants are adopting their own first party channels.

And Kiana, you mentioned this earlier.

How do you have your direct brands, your followers,

your direct channel to the guests, your direct messaging, Instagram,

that loyal consumer base, how do you get them ordering directly?

Restaurants are realizing that, so I think that's a good thing.

[LAUGH] >> I don't know Kay if you wanna sort of

end with any last thoughts on what you might have even seen that accelerated.

That was sort of a good thing coming out of this.

>> I mean, I agree with everything that was said.

I think absolutely, technology was at the core of all these conversations, and

at the core of every conversation that will be had now and forever in the future,

and should have been for the past few years.

But also, yeah, I mean, [COUGH] I don't know if I felt like Chicken Little, but

I feel very optimistic about the future.

It's sort of a tough love approach.

I think we probably all five share, which was we've been saying this for years.

And it's not a I told you so, but it's certainly that the time has come for

everyone to wake up about this industry, and take it seriously both from the guest

perspective, and from those working in it from the ownership, and our level.

So yeah, and to Kiana's point, it will be a daily minute by minute, hour by hour,

day by day rebuilding that will hopefully be in the right direction.

My greatest fear is that we go back to the way it was.

And I think that's probably impossible at this point.

So yeah, I think this is all great.

And we already said this, we can have five of these conversations and

still not cover everything.

So [LAUGH] hopefully everyone is talking about it, thinking about it.

And there will be more of these I'm sure in the fall incoming semester.

>> Well, on that note, we are at the one hour mark.

So I really wanna thank Kealoha for moderating this,

an alum of our graduate program, and a real supporter of our school.

Thanks, Kay.

And Derek, and Parker, and Kiana, our alumni, and Frank,

our colleague in France, and our alliance partner with our graduate programs,

thank you all for this conversation.

And Katie, your point, we could probably have many more of these and

not even hit everything with what's going on in the changes of the restaurant world.

And for anyone on this call who's interested in learning more about our

school, or our program, feel free to reach out to our school to find our contacts

through our website bu.edu/hospitality.

But thank you for joining us today.

This was really thought provoking and insightful.

And as I said to Kay, when we were first talking about this conversation and

planning this panel,

we thought maybe it's different restaurant concepts we'll talk about.

Well clearly, we didn't even go there.

We just talked about what's going on in the world today, and in society.

And restaurants are a part of our society, and

they have to be the center of our communities, and

the soul of our neighborhoods, and we need to pay attention to this.

And I think everything we heard today, we just need to do take full force and

move forward with the future, so there's no going backwards.

It's only going full steam ahead, Kay.

So thank you, panelists.

Thank you for everyone who joined us today.

Thank you all for who support our school, and we'll see you soon.

Thank you so very much.

Have a great day.

>> Thank you.

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