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Give an Ovation

Author: Ovation

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An ad free resource for restaurateurs. Listen in to learn from industry leaders how to grow your restaurant, turn your customers from strangers to relationships, and to leverage data and marketing tools to increase your revenue all during COVID-19.
76 Episodes
Steven Simoni is the CEO of Bbot, a company that started by producing robots that would deliver food and drinks to tables and transitioned to a software service that helps restaurants and hotels run more efficiently with happier staff and guests. With a flourishing company and an highly technical background, Steven brought unique expertise to this episode of Give an Ovation where he and Zack talk QR codes, robots, brand health, and tips for restaurants in 2021. Thanks Steven!
Chris Rumpf is the Founder, CEO, and El Conquistador oficial of Flyght, a company that unifies restaurant technologies. He and Zack Oates talk the four must-do's of 3rd party, technology integration, and how your restaurant can unify the guest experience in 2021. Thanks Chris!
Kevin Seo is the CEO/Co-founder of FoodFest Live, a pandemic-born digital events and media company that helps restaurants thrive. Kevin brought energy, insight, and his absolutely contagious laugh to this episode where he and Zack discuss restaurant social media, data, and what marketing looks like today. And no, unfortunately this episode doesn't touch on Search Engine Optimization for those wondering. Thanks Kevin!
Sam Oches is a musician-turned-foodie who is currently the Editorial Director at Food News Media, the company behind the QSR and FSR magazines. As one of the top people to follow in the food and beverage industry and the host of QSR's Fast Forward podcast, he brought so much value to this episode. He and Zack talk about 2021, and what will stick around in the industry post-COVID-19. Thanks Sam! 
The only thing that may make you hungrier than listening to this podcast would be taking a look at the @utahgrubs Instagram page, which is run by our guest, Olivia Gochnour! Olivia's food photos have attracted over 65K followers, and on this episode she teaches how restaurants can boost their social media feeds with gorgeous pictures, work with influencers, and more. Thanks Olivia! 
What does a conversation between two podcast hosts in the same industry sound like? A lot of energy and well-spoken advice! And good sound quality on both ends. Jen Kern is the current CMO at Qu POS, a company reinventing the POS system for the modern age. She has over 20 years of experience in marketing and tech, and also brought many valuable insights from her podcast, Restaurants Reinvented. Thanks Jen!
Christopher Sebes brings 30 years in the hospitality industry and whole lot of expertise to this episode of Give an Ovation. As a board member of Valyant AI, ShiftPixy, ItsaCheckmate, and Results Thru Strategy, advising restaurants is kind of his thing. So don't miss his thoughts on S.A.A.S., P.O.S.'s, and more (not just acronyms). Thanks Christopher!
Gonca Esendemir is the real deal! She is a co-founder and the Chief Marketing Officer of Flatbread Grill, a fresh casual Mediterranean bakery based in New Jersey. Flatbread was started by Gonca and her two sisters and has gone on to experience wild success and press attention from the New York Times, Inc. Magazine, and others. On this episode she tells her story and gives some thoughts on the "next normal" of the restaurant industry. Thanks Gonca!
Devon Harris is one of the founding members of the Jamaican Bob Sled Team (yes, the one you are thinking of ) and a three-time Olympian who is now a published author, accomplished speaker, and the founder of The Keep On Pushing Foundation. You don't want to miss the inspirational stories and advice he shares on this episode of Give an Ovation. Thanks Devon!
Kevin Tinsley has been helping restaurants with their print and digital media for 23 years. He got his start in the industry working at the Hard Rock Cafe in Chicago (along with Steve Carell) and now specializes in ghost kitchens and online ordering. He and Zack talk all the above and more. Thanks Kevin!
After he and his wife experienced the frustration and hassle of running fundraisers as Slim Chicken franchisees, Charley Donaldson co-founded DonationScout to make the process seamless. He and Zack Oates talk why restaurant fundraisers are important, some best practices, and how DonationScout can help. Thanks Charley!
Jordan Mellul is the VP of Operations at Qwick,  "an on-demand staffing as a service platform that connects service industry Professionals with food and beverage shifts in real-time" ( He also helped grow Uber for five years during their early stages, so he brings an experienced perspective on the gig economy to this episode of Give an Ovation. Thanks Jordan!
Marqii is a booming tech company helping restaurants manage their menus and other digital information across all online platforms and free up employees to do what they were hired for. Their co-founder and CEO, Avi Goren came on talk why they've seen success in the pandemic, and give his insights as to how restaurateurs can succiid right now. Tune in for some great content. Thanks Avi!
CJ Ramirez is the Executive Vice President and Marketing Director at The Absolute Brands, a flavor-packed collection of off premise brands, powered by the fan-favorite Dog Haus. He and Zack Oates discuss listening to your customers, syncing marketing and operations, and a little bit about Ovation. Thanks CJ!
President and CEO of Return On Ingredients, author,  and educator Mark Kelnhofer is back making his second appearance on Give an Ovation! This time, he and Zack talk innovative ways of lowering expenses on ingredients, labor and more. Thanks Mark! 
Peter Venti, Founder of, and Tom McNeill, Director of Growth at discuss their website and how it can help diners and restaurants during these challenging times. They also talk about what's working and give a slew of creative ideas for restaurants to increase their revenues. 
TJ Schier is the president of SMART restaurant group, a successful Which Wich franchisee, author, and speaker (when it's allowed) with decades of experience in the hospitality industry. He and Zack Oates talk the transition from in-person to off-prem dining, menus, and more. Thanks TJ!
Ian Christopher, Galley Solution's CEO and co-founder came on this episode of Give an Ovation to talk about how Galley Solutions can help restaurant operators not only understand their food costs, but also gain insights about the inner workings of their restaurant through data and make the digital transition successfully. Thanks Ian!
This episode features John DiLoreto, the current President of Flipdish North America. He and host Zack Oates discuss Flipdish and showcase the importance of restaurants establishing their own digital presence by looking at what happened to companies that didn't. 
Michael Rolland is one of the co-founders of Lodel, a delivery platform for local business and niche markets. He had some awesome things to say about Lodel, getting the most out of delivery, and more. Thanks Michael!
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