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Building Authentic Connections with Restaurant Owners Uncorked Podcast

Shawn Walchef of Cali BBQ Media approach content creation and networking is a testament to the power of authenticity and vulnerability in the digital age.His willingness to “look stupid” by consistently posting on social media allowed him to connect with people he wouldn’t have otherwise. Walchef’s commitment to storytelling and consistent online engagement has not only allowed him to build a network of like-minded individuals but has also positioned him as a valuable resource for other brands seeking guidance in enhancing their video content strategies.

“I’m just willing to look stupid and sound stupid on the internet, and I connect with other people.” says Walchef in his interview with Wil Brawley, co-owner of Schedulefly and host of Restaurant Owners Uncorked Podcast.

At the core of Walchef’s philosophy lies the mantra “Be the show, not the commercial”. He advocates for businesses to share their authentic stories, including failures, successes, and unique approaches. According to Walchef, the traditional marketing approach of pushing commercial messages is less effective in today’s social media landscape. Instead, he encourages brands to embrace a narrative approach, allowing audiences to connect on a deeper level with the genuine experiences and challenges faced by the business.

As a member of Toast’s Customer Advisory Board, he emphasizes the value of being around industry leaders who share insights and experiences. The sense of community, fostered by platforms like Toast, creates an environment where industry professionals can come together, share knowledge, and collectively contribute to each other’s success. Walchef’s involvement in such communities demonstrates the transformative power of collaboration and shared learning in shaping the future of the hospitality industry.

Watch and listen to the entirety of Walchef’s interview with Wil Brawley to learn more about his thoughts on the creator economy, being the show, and the power of community. 

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Intereview Takeaways

Sound Stupid. Get Connected – Shawn Walchef is a big believer in content. His persistent pursuit of storytelling and consistent posting strategy has allowed him to make connections that would have been difficult to make otherwise


Be the Show! “Be the show, not the commercial” has a mantra that Shawn Walchef stands on. He believes the businesses strive through sharing their story, not simply trying to sell products.


The Power of Community – Feedback is necessary for companies to improve. As a part of Toast’s Customer Advisory Board, Shawn Walchef is able to be around other industry leaders which affords him the opportunity to learn and grow.

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Cali BBQ Media

Digital Hospitality is an interview-based video podcast hosted by business owner Shawn P. Walchef (@shawnpwalchef) and produced by his Cali BBQ Media company. The weekly digital series explores the ways successful businesses and entrepreneurs have merged old and new with innovative digital strategies that harness the power of the Internet and social media. Shawn is the founder of Cali BBQ Media and creator of the Restaurant Influencers podcast on Entrepreneur Media.


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