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Your Restaurant Sucks! | Donald Burns (The Restaurant Coach) | DH089

DH089 Donald Burns The Restaurant Coach

The Restaurant Coach Donald Burns wants to be a little voice in the back of your brain to remind you: “you can do it” — if you try.

Donald Burns (@therealrestaurantcoach) wants to help your restaurant not suck. The restaurant industry veteran, speaker, author, and coach, was a guest on our Digital Hospitality podcast where he discussed business coaching, mentorship, creating a good work culture, and more.

Shawn Walchef interviewing Donald Burns (The Restaurant Coach) on the Digital Hospitality podcast.

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Donald Burns The Restaurant Coach photos

As author of “Your Restaurant Sucks!” and the follow-up “Your Restaurant Still Sucks”, Donald Burns has helped inspire many restaurant owners in the art of not sucking at owning a business. His third book “Your Restaurant Culture Sucks” is next.

Those attention-grabbing titles almost didn’t happen. Originally Donald dreamed up the less-exciting name for his book series: Restaurant Unleashed. His expert editor wisely guided Donald toward a better title for his first book, Your Restaurant Sucks.

Your Restaurant Sucks! book series by Donald Burns, The Restaurant Coach (tm).

The non-sucky name came to him while recalling a conversation he’d had with restaurant owner who went on a rant about how: “My cooks suck. My dishwasher sucks. my bartenders suck. My hostess sucks. My managers suck. My location sucks. My guests suck.”

Donald Burns let him vent and finally sat back and responded, “You know, if your restaurant sucks, it’s because you suck running it.”

Mic drop.

“And he was a big guy. I mean, I’m 6’3” and he was bigger than me. Probably outweighed me by 50 pounds. He got all intense. He was getting up to get ready to come over to the table. I’m like, this is it. Just tighten up my jaw; he’s going to punch me right here.”

Then something important happened. Growth.

“He sat back in his chair, and I’ll never forget, he let out a deep breath. He goes, “you know, you’re right. This is all my fault.” And I said, “Alright, let’s get to work.”

Guess what happened next? Donald said that exact same man who complained about everything sucking around him, did a year of coaching and now he has the highest profits he’s ever made in his life.

People will send Donald Burns messages complaining about the titles of his books, but his response is the same as it was to the restaurant owner we mentioned before. “Listen, if you’re upset about the title of a book, your restaurant might suck.”

Donald Burns holding Your Restaurant Sucks book at different book tour stopsThat’s just what some business owners need to hear in order to grow and not suck.

Schedule a Call with The Restaurant Coach at:


The Restaurant Coach™

While there are many people who are restaurants coaches, there’s only one official “The Restaurant Coach.” Donald Burns trademarked the name 2008 after he saw the registered TM was wide-open to register.

Even The Restaurant Coach himself has long had a business coach. Just like a therapist needs a therapist, even a coach needs a coach.

Donald Burns Interview on Digital Hospitality podcast.

Donald Burns’ mission is to help motivated independent restaurant owners find success in the hospitality industry without having to give up their life to the business.

“The foundation of any coaching program to me is culture,” Donald Burns said on the Digital Hospitality podcast.

The Restaurant Coach testimonials“What separates the good restaurants from the great?” he asked. “To me, it is culture. And culture is created by the leader.

“Culture flows down, it doesn’t flow up and culture is created by you, the owner.”

But creating a thriving restaurant culture that doesn’t suck (and actually succeeds, too) takes effort and introspection.

“The ones who are most successful have actually taken this whole thing about taking culture seriously and they’ve taken an active role in creating their culture,” Donald said about restaurant owners improving their business’ culture.

“I say your biggest job as an owner is to be a preacher, is to be a culture preacher.

“And every day you’re preaching from the good book of your mission, your core values and your vision, what your standards are, what your expectations are.”

There are 6 things all restaurant owners should preach on every day, says The Restaurant Coach Donald Burns:

  1. Your Mission
  2. Core Values
  3. A Vision
  4. Your Standards
  5. The Expectations
  6. Words of Appreciation

All of those six topics are important, but especially the last one.

Question: What are the two most powerful words in the English language?

Answer: Thank you. 

“I’ll go in,” Donald Burns said on the Digital Hospitality podcast. I’ll ask restaurant teams… ‘I want you to be honest… Does the owner walk up to you everyday and say thank you?’ (Just) one or two people.”

Now is the time when you should make a note to thank someone who you work with today.


What was your takeaway from this podcast episode featuring Donald Burns (The Restaurant Coach)? Let us know or just message us to get in touch with feedback on the series!

DH089 Donald Burns The Restaurant Coach

Listen to Digital Hospitality host Shawn Walchef on Donald Burns’ The Restaurant Coach Podcast at:


Donald Burns | The Restaurant Coach




On this episode of Digital Hospitality, podcast host Shawn Walchef (Cali BBQ Media) sits down with Donald Burns, The Restaurant Coach™, VP of Restaurants Simplified, and author of Your Restaurant Sucks!, Your Restaurant STILL Sucks!”, and his latest book, Your Restaurant Culture Sucks!

If you are the owner of a struggling eatery and you think everything and everyone sucks, do some soul-searching? Is it you? Is it possible that you suck at running the place? Be honest with yourself. This might be your come-to-The Restaurant Coach ™-moment.

Donald Burns is not messing around. As a coach, he pulls no punches. He might pop you with tough love like a heavyweight, but if you are willing to learn and put in the work he’ll train you up. He is a coach who cares.

Restauranteurs under his tutelage get the personal touch down to text messages to “Check their numbers!” You got a handle on your KPIs? Your PNLs? POS?

No? Then, you should call The Restaurant Coach, Google “Restaurants Simplified”, and/or just read his book already.

You need a special invite to join Clubhouse. Not the case here. Listen to these two industry experts talk shop right now on Digital Hospitality. This show is for anybody who stays curious, gets involved, and is not afraid to ask for help.

(Intro and transcript editing by Digital Hospitality Specialist Tony Brown.)


Shawn Walchef: Welcome to Digital Hospitality. I am your host Shawn Walchef. This is a Cali BBQ Media production. Every single week we talk about Digital Hospitality. Every business needs to be digital first and every business needs to be in the hospitality business. We are so fortunate to have so many people listen to this podcast from different industries. And what we do know is if you are listening, you love to learn, you love to be better. And it’s our job to bring on people that will give you some knowledge, but that will also inspire you to be a little bit better.

We’re so fortunate that because of technology and one of the things that we talk about, how did a barbecue business become a media business? It’s because of the smartphone, because of all of these tools that we now have. We’re building on the backs of giants, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates and all these incredible tech entrepreneurs who have built this incredible device for us to communicate.

We’re able to meet people that inspire us, not only meet them, but learn from them and learn from them for free through podcasts, through books, through all these just incredible resources.

And today, we have an incredible guest, somebody that I’m fortunate to have met over another app. We met through Clubhouse. On Clubhouse, the new app. So hopefully you guys are on clubhouse. If you have an iPhone, I highly suggest you get on to clubhouse. If you need an invite, DM us. I will find a way to get you an invite. Incredible platform. It’s like live podcasting. So as a podcast host, it’s essentially opening up the platform to anybody that listens to the show to come in and ask questions of the guests that we have on.

Donald Burns is our guest today. And I met him on Clubhouse. We have been on a couple of Clubhouses together. And Donald, welcome to the show.

Donald Burns: Thank you, sir. I really appreciate the invite. And it’s an honor to be on your show today.

Shawn Walchef: Well, thank you so much.

Shawn: Can you please outside of me knowing exactly who you are, because I’ve been digitally stalking you, has a pulse in the industry. What you’ve been doing is incredible, the brand that you’ve built for yourself. Well, let’s just start with this.

Shawn: You have trademarked the name The Restaurant Coach.

Donald: The Restaurant Coach.

Shawn: How did you do it and why did you do it?

Donald: So my journey started back in 2008 when the economy crashed. I was doing consulting back then. From 2005 to 2008, I was doing consulting. Then the economy crashed in 2008. So I hired a business coach to help me kind of rework my business model. And he took me through his coaching process. I was like, man, you know, I really like this coaching thing. It’s like a lot better than consulting.

Consulting is like I come in, you’ve got a problem, I fix your problem. And then, alright, thanks a lot, I gave you everything you need. Here’s the check. All right, everyone, have good luck. And then I’d call back six, eight months later. How’s things going? Well, you know, we never implemented, you know, we never really got started. You know, things got busier. We got distracted… And I’m like, damn… So then when the economy crashed and I got through this coaching program, I asked my business coach, I said, hey, do you certify people to be coaches? He’s like, yeah, actually, I have a program, of course.

So I actually, back then I went on to Google and checked it out and there was no one in 2008 calling themselves Restaurant Coach. I’m like, this is perfect! So I said, you know what? I’m going to be The Restaurant Coach (TM). So actually trademarked it and in 2009 I launched The Restaurant Coach brand and I’ve been doing it ever since 2009.

Shawn: That’s incredible.

Donald: So now if you Google ‘restaurant coach’… Everybody’s calling themselves restaurant coach.

Shawn: I love the story. And I mean, Donald, the thing that I appreciate the most is because of these platforms, we can have conversations like this. There was something that you said on Clubhouse that really resonated when you were introducing yourself. You know, there were five speakers, thanks to Rev for getting that dialed in for us. He’s actually one of the reasons that you and I got on that email to be on Clubhouse. But one of the things that you said was what you just referred to, which was, consulting was just fixing the problem. Coaching, I got to work with people. I got to work with these restaurant owners. You’ve worked with over 2,000 restaurant owners to help them work — not in their business, but to work on their business — and that’s something that anybody that loves leadership, we learn about it, we hear about it, we know it should be right. But how do you do it?

Donald: Exactly

Shawn: And accountability.

Donald: No one gives you a roadmap. Everyone, every consultant in the world says, hey, Shawn, you got to work on your business, not in your business. All right, that’s great.

Shawn: Yes.

Donald: What do I do when, like, you know, I’m two line cooks short? And I’m getting blown up with phone calls for catering. And I don’t have enough people. And what do I do when I just feel like I’m just trying to keep my head above water?

Shawn: Correct. So we have a lot of people that are in the hospitality business, whether they own restaurants or don’t own restaurants, but maybe they want to be in the hospitality business. But I think it’s important even for people that are in digital marketing, people that listen to this podcast, to think of it because you’re building a business to help other businesses. You know, I have a business mentor. I have multiple business mentors, but one of them is David Meltzer. And that I’ve been doing for the last year. Every mentor is different. Every coaching program is different. Can you walk us through how you do your process?

Donald: So just like everything you should have… And if you’re looking for a coach and this is the one thing I’m going to tell you how to shop and find a good coach. Number one, you should always talk to someone first to make sure that you resonate and that you guys click because coaching again, it’s not a short term fix. It’s not like consulting where, you know, I’m just going to come in and fix your problem.

Coaching is actually a long term process. And I always warn people up front, depending on how long your restaurants have been running amuck, is going to take me half that time to get you on track and is going to take me probably a couple of more months after that to get you going in the right direction. Because what we’re talking about is habits. And I say this in both of my books. I have two books out. “Your Restaurant Sucks.” “Your Restaurant Still Sucks.” I’m working on my third book. “Your Restaurant Culture Sucks.” It should be out in April. And I say all the time, all business problems are people problems. What coaching does is works on the people problems.

Shawn: And how do you work on people problems?

Donald: Well, number one, you got to make sure that you resonate with people and make sure that Number one I can’t work. I probably I turn down probably more people than I actually take on as clients today. And that was totally different back in 2009 when I first started, I took anybody because I was just growing my brand and stuff like that. But there’s some people just are not coachable. And what I mean by not coachable is that they’re just stuck in habitual patterns and habits and mindsets. That’s just kind of keep them stuck and their limiting mindsets. I would say there’s in coaching, there’s a big thing out there we call B.S. Right? A lot of times I say, hey, what’s BS mean to you? And a lot of people say…What would you say?

Shawn: What’s the BS?

Donald: What’s BS, right?

Shawn: Yeah, what is it?

Donald: What does BS usually stand for?

Shawn: Bullshit?

Donald: Yeah, well, I say in coaching, we call them belief systems.

Shawn: Belief systems. Yeah. Correct mindset.

Donald: A lot of people have these belief systems. I’ll give you an example of one. There’s no good people out there. These kids today…

Shawn: I can’t hire anybody. Yes.

Donald: Yeah, but unfortunately, when you believe that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for you, so the first step when you’re going to work with you, if you’re trying to find a coach, no one should always talk to them, make sure you resonate with them, make sure that number one, that they’re kind of their model and their alignment should be in kind of a line where you’re going. Number two, they should have a process map. Every great coach I know has a process map. We take you from point A to point B, and it depends on how they go.

I have a nine-step process map, I basically call it and I call it the Restaurant Owner Academy. And it kind of goes back to when I had my first restaurant. When I opened my first restaurant I knew I was a chef for years and I knew how to be a chef and I know how to run a restaurant. Kind of…I did not know how to build a I did not know how to market, I did not know how to build a profitable brand, and I really didn’t know how to build a world class team. So, like a lot of owners, I was basically in denial and I was telling myself a B.S. bullshit story in my head. You know, I’m just under the radar. Next month’s going to be different. It’s going to be better next month and then next month came in and next month’s going to be different. Could be better next month. We’re just under the radar. And I had a really well, very, very successful businessman who used to come to my restaurant lot. And one night he sat me down after he had dinner and he says, you know, I’m worried about you. I’m like, you know, and I gave him the same…. We’re just a little under the radar. We’re just we’re kind of like the best kept secret. He says you don’t ever want to be the best kept secret in town. I was like, damn, he’s right.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: And then he kind of told me some honest truths. He goes into and, you know, you’re a great chef. Know, we love the food we love. I love coming here. My wife and I love here. We love the staff. We love the service you have. The food is incredible. But, man, he goes, I’m worried you’re not going to make it as a business because, you know, the place is like half empty. And he said, I’ll make a deal. I’ll give you I’ll give you some time each week to mentor you, if you will take this stuff, if you take time. Dedicate it, but then will I teach you, you need to apply it. And we made this deal. We made this pact. And a year later, my business was totally one hundred eight degrees opposite direction. I was turning away one hundred reservations on Friday and Saturday night. It was packed all the time. Profits shot through the roof actually sprung. Actually got me to the point where I started having investors coming at me and I opened up a second restaurant and I attribute a lot of those things you taught me to that, you know, someone just actually just saying, you know what? That’s like my first book, you know, your restaurant kind of sucks, you know?

Shawn: I think so much of it is truth. It’s understanding that mirror philosophy of when you look in the mirror, are you willing to accept the truth? It’s one thing. I mean, it’s it’s the same thing in alcoholism. I’m a recovering alcoholic. And until I take step one, which is admitting that I’m an alcoholic, I can’t do anything about that. Once I admit that and then I ask for help. Now there’s a path. How much of your coaching goes to unlocking what people need to know themselves and holding them accountable versus I mean, yes, you are a business coach, you are a business mentor. But how much of it is actually spent working on the actual owner?

Donald: I would…

Shawn: The owner themselves once they’re willing and ready to say, yes, Donald, please, I need help. My restaurant sucks or maybe my restaurant doesn’t suck, but I know that my restaurant can be better.

Donald: Yeah.

Shawn: I know that the potential is there for my restaurant.

Donald: I always say I get two types of clients either people come to me from desperation or inspiration. Desperation is things that are really bad and you finally hit the bottom of the barrel and you’re like, I got to do something about this. I can’t operate like this, I can’t live like this and killing myself. I’m not making any money and that’s desperation. And then the other end is inspiration. People are like, like you doing really great man. You know, I think I could tweak this a little bit more and I think I could really take this to the next level. If the people in the middle, they never call me because they’re complacent, they’re happy, they’ve settled.

Shawn: Or they’re in denial.

Donald: Or in denial. You know, things are good. Things are OK.

Shawn: Or they’re ones that you don’t want to work with as well.

Donald: So yeah, I like the people from either end of the spectrum. So in going back to your question, how much of it is about mindset? Most of it is about mindset, but you can’t you know, no one no one signs up because I need to work on my mindset knowing everyone signs up because they want…

Shawn: Increase our profitability.

Donald: Right. I want more profitability. So I always say I sell you what you want and then I give you what you really need.

Shawn: That’s good.

Donald: That’s what coaching is all about. It’s like, all right, cool. Yeah. We’re going to work on your marketing. We’re going to work. And you probably work on your team work and work on your menu. Those are the things they want. But along the way, I’m going to start really start tweaking and fine tuning your habits. And it’s subtle and you don’t realize it. But eventually I’m going to kind of hate to say I’m going to brainwash you. I’m going to brainwash you to new kind of ways of thinking. Because the number one thing that holds restaurant back, like you said, is the restaurant owner, it’s them. It’s their mindset it’s their habits. I have a poster. It’s not you can’t see it right here, but it says your restaurant is a reflection of your habits.

Shawn: Yes,.

Donald: Plain and simple.

Shawn: It’s great.

Donald: It’s plain and simple. Yeah.

Shawn: Yeah, it’s it’s amazing to think I mean, it’s not just restaurants, but it’s the thing that makes us great is also the thing that holds us back.

Donald: Exactly.

Shawn: I mean, especially now during the coronavirus, the amount of people that I’ve talked to in restaurant media and other owners I’ve talked to. And it’s so much of the focus is on all the things that are going bad, on all the things that are limiting of, you know, I built this great restaurant and now all my sales are down, as opposed to getting back to that start up mindset that made the restaurant owner, who they are. So many people want to open up a restaurant. They never even get to that step because people have gotten to that stuff. They’ve built the stuff, they’ve built the culture, they opened the business. And then now something external has happened. But they’re not using it as an opportunity to retool and get back to that original mindset.

Donald: Exactly. When coronavirus hit all my clients. What we did is, it seems to me, is a vanity metric. And unfortunately, we get stuck in a lot of these vanity makes you another vanity metrics is likes.

Right, you can’t deposit likes in the bank.

Shawn: Correct.

Donald: But sales are another vanity metric. And in a time you’re around a group of

restaurant owners, they start throwing out. We did two point five million. Oh, well, we did two point seven million. Oh yeah. Two point eight million. But then I always, I always come back like well how much, how much profit did you guys make.

Shawn: Correct.

Donald: That’s shuts em up right away, you know, like three percent. Wow. Great. You know. So when, when covid hit all my clients were the first thing I did is I said the guy get off these vanity metrics. Don’t worry about the sales numbers itself. Let’s refocus your attention on profitability. Let’s go back to the basics, let’s build a solid, solid foundation in a solid, profitable business model. So we went back to the drawing board and we started actually reworking everything and we kind of went right back through my kind of coaching model I have. The first part is always foundation. So the foundation of any coaching program to me is culture. Because, you know, think about this Shawn in your market, you can buy all the restaurants in your market, can buy from the same food vendors, right? You got the Ciscos, U.S. Foods, Shamrock Foods. You guys can’t buy from the same people. You also all hire from the same labor pool. It’s not like your trucking people in from Montana. Well not yet…

Shawn: Correct.

Donald: But you might be.

Shawn: Correct.

So if they’re good and got hospitality quality of their blood and they believe in our mission, we’ll bring them wherever.

Donald: But what separates the great what separates the good restaurants from the great, from the understanding? To me, it’s culture and culture is created by the leader. Culture flows down, it doesn’t flow up and culture is created by you, the owner. You’ve created a great culture in your brand. And that’s why your brands have really rise to the top, because you’re pushing the brand. You’re always big about the media. You’re always big about connecting with the community. You’re big about giving back. You make it fun. You have a culture that attracts people to you.

Shawn: Well, that’s you know, that’s part of the greatest gift that we’ve been given as owners and people in hospitality is what we talk about. It’s this opportunity to publish media directly. I mean, we spent five years getting ignored by all the local media, anybody that was doing anything online and magazines and newspapers, radio, we were just like, well, we’re just going to do it ourselves. We’re going to start tweeting. We’re going to start posting on Facebook. We’re going to start doing Instagram. We’re going to start doing whatever we can to let not just our immediate community know, but let our partners know, let everybody know this is who we are and this is what we’re doing. And was it easy to do? No, it wasn’t easy and wasn’t out of survival.

We picked a very difficult location in 2008 to open up our restaurant, but that gave us that dependency on the Internet, that dependance on social media. And that’s something that…Your clients. Who are the most successful of your clients, what do they do that sets them apart? Because everyone you have students and some of the students sit in the front of the class, they ask all the questions, they do all the homework. Other ones, they go, yes, Donald, OK, I’ll do that. And then they wait till next week. They didn’t do their homework, and you go I hope he doesn’t ask. I hope he doesn’t hold me accountable.

Donald: The ones who are most successful have actually taken this whole thing about taking culture seriously and they’ve actually taken an active role in creating their culture. I say your biggest job as an owner is to be a preacher, is to be a culture preacher. And every day you’re preaching from the good book of your mission, your core values and your vision, what your standards are, what your expectations are. I say there’s six things all owners should just preach every day. You should preach your mission, core values, your vision, your standards, your expectations, and then words of appreciation. What’s the two most powerful words in the English language?

Shawn: Thank you.

Donald: There you go. And then I always go in, I’ll go in, I’ll ask restaurant teams, they’ll say, hey, honestly, and be honest, I said, I know the owner staying right there, but I want you to be honest. How many times a day? And does the owner say every day, does the owner walk up to you every day, say thank you? One or two people.

Shawn: I mean, honestly, I don’t it’s hard it’s very hard to do, but it’s important. And that gets back to why coaching is so important. Why mentorship? What’s the difference between mentorship and coaching?

Donald: Mentorship. Basically, a mentor is someone who’s kind of they could be in the same industry or maybe similar like I had a mentor who was a different he was in a different business. He’s basically teaching and coaching and he’s working with you basically on a weekly basis where to me, coaching is more of a consistent nudge. I’m like that little voice in the back of your head every day, you know, and in fact, people will say, like when they after they’ve known me and coach with me and then they read my books, they go, I read your book, man. I hear your voice in my head. I’m like, that’s where I want to be. I want to be that little voice in the back of your head just kind of saying, you can do this. You know what you need to do, stop messing around.You know?

Shawn: What I’d love for you to tell me? Because the more that I consume your content, you’re an incredible follow on Instagram, on social, on YouTube, on Twitter. I love the content that you put out because so much of it is mindset so much of it is gratitude. So much of it is foundational in culture and how to treat people with respect, but also how to get the fuck out of your own way, get the fuck out of your own way and get busy doing work that’s actually going to be productive work for the growth of your business. Choosing a title Your Restaurant Sucks is a bold choice.

Donald: Actually, you know, I came from a came from a conversation. I’ll tell you the whole story. So the whole story goes like this. My actual original title for my first book was called Restaurant Unleashed. And I had a I have a really great editor. His name’s Doug Crowe. And Doug was like talking to me one day. He’s like. We’ve got to talk about the title of your book. I’m like what about it? He’s like, I don’t like it. What you don’t like, unleashed, Restaurant Unleashed! It’s gonna be awesome! Like, no, dude, it’s not good. Tell me some stories about interactions you’ve had with some of your clients. And I was telling this story about this owner I had.

And I’m sitting there one day and we’re sitting across the table from each other, just like you and I were sitting here and he’s just venting. Everything sucks. My cooks suck, my dishwasher sucks, my bartenders suck. My hostess sucks. My managers suck. My everyone…my market sucks, my location sucks. My guests suck and I just let them vent. And then I finally just kind of sat back and I just calmly said, you know, if your restaurant sucks, it’s because you suck running it. And he was a big guy. I mean, I’m pretty…I’m six three. He was bigger than me and he was a bigger guy, probably outweighed me by fifty pounds. And I thought he got like all intense. He got like he was getting up to get ready to come over to the table. I’m like this is it. Just tighten up my jaw. He’s going to punch me right here.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: And then he got like halfway up on the table and then he got this look in his eyes and he sat back in his chair and I’ll never forget. He let out a deep breath. He goes, you know, you’re right, this is all my fault. And I said, All right, let’s get to work. It took us a year of solid coaching, but then he did a hundred and eighty degrees where now the guy barely you know, this this was a guy who was working like 80, 90 hours a week in his restaurant, did not have any time with his family complaining, complaining, complaining, didn’t trust anybody on his team. I got to do everything myself. These people don’t want to work to now he actually makes highest profits he’s ever made his life. He spends two months a year on vacation with his family.

Shawn: That’s amazing.

Donald: Yeah, totally 180 from where he was to where he is now. And it all started with just basically, like you said, admitting that, hey, man, you know what? They’re right. This is all my fault.

Shawn: Yeah, so then you went back to your editor?

Donald: Then, I went back to my editor. My editor heard a story. He goes, that’s it right there. And I go, What goes Your Restaurant Sucks! I’m like, Oh, damn, that’s good. I like that. That’s why he’s an editor. My like damn that’s good.

Shawn: So then you publish. Did you get any feedback? Like, was there any negative feedback towards the work.

Donald: Yeah. So yeah. Yeah, yeah. So a lot of people I get messages all the time from people that you don’t know me. How you know…. So then my response is always this. Listen, if you’re upset about the title. I said number one did you read the book? And they say no. OK, I’m going to throw this out there. If you’re upset about the title of a book, your restaurant might suck. It’s a title of a book…

Shawn: It might be just what you needed to hear.

Donald: Have you read the book? It’s not about saying your restaurant sucks. It’s about making sure your restaurant doesn’t suck.

Shawn: Yes.

Donald: Yeah.

Shawn: So after this first book, publishing this first book, first of all, why? Why did you write the book?

Donald: Well, because I felt there’s…like a lot of people…in my coaching journey and stuff like that. I keep really documented notes from my coach and from my coaches coaching sessions. And I found there’s tends to be patterns, there’s patterns to success and patterns to failure. And if I could help people just understand that the one thing holding you back, it’s not your market. You know? It’s you. If you can get a hold of that and say, you know what, I’m not doing what I need to do as the owner. And then it goes off, so back to that thing that all consultants say, oh, you know, Shawn, you need to work on your business, not in your business. That’s great. How do I do that? You know? Well, it starts with number one. Like I said in my roadmap, we start with foundation and I look at like building a house. If you’re going to build a house Shawn, would you just, like, start putting up frame like a wooden frame on dirt?

Shawn: No.

Donald: No. What would happen? I mean, you could you probably could, but how long would the house last? Not too long, especially California. Get some crazy rain and mudslides. So we got to start with a solid foundation. To me your foundation is number one behavioral strengths. You got to know what you’re good at. So we use the behavioral assessments. So I understand what you’re good at, what you’re OK at and what you suck at. I also want to know about your team. Do I have the right people on the bus and do I have the right people in the right positions on the bus? That’s a big thing that people don’t know about is that I hired these people, but or I promoted someone into a management role or a leadership role. But we think we did it because we thought they’d be a great leader. We didn’t ask them if they want to be promoted. We just assume what we know is best for people. That’s not true. So after we have the assessments, then we go into your core values. I call it the triad. We talk about your mission, your core values, your vision. Then we get really clear on your standards. So I say all business problems are people problems. The other side of that coin is all people problems are communication problems. And the communication problems are usually lack of communication or miscommunication. And I’ll give you a great example of miscommunication, you give me I work for you, I’m closing up tonight at your kitchen and you give me a checklist and on the checklist. it says, sweep the floor. So I go and I sweep the floor and you come in and looking down. I swept before I go. Yeah, I go, dude, you just swept, like, right between the equipment. You didn’t get under your equipment, you didn’t move stuff around. You move the tables, get behind the stuff. Shawn, all you said was I’ll sweep the floor, so I swept the floor you know? Damn, you’re right. I did not clarify my expectations.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: Yeah.

Shawn: So true, it’s amazing when you talk about systems and procedures like, you know, when we first started our restaurant and thinking of all the things that we know in our head as the owner and as managers, this is our expectation of what somebody that we hire to be a dishwasher that we hired on a server. They need to know these things, you know, until we got to the point where, you know, five years down the line, seven years down the line, where we’re actually implementing processes, procedures, training, checklists, communicating what is expected on a daily basis.

Donald: Right.

Shawn: Were we actually able to see results. But also there was a shift. We had a hiring shift where we stopped hiring for experience and we started hiring for hospitality.

Donald: That’s huge. That’s huge.

Shawn: It was such a profound shift for us because we started to understand that we can teach anything, any job in our restaurant we can teach. But what we can’t teach is hospitality. We can’t teach somebody to care about coming to work on time. We can’t teach them to care about another human being. If we can’t teach them to care about taking…being polite to their fellow workers, we can’t teach them to care about what we’re trying to do in the community. But we can hire for that.

Donald: Yeah, yeah. Definitely. It is so true.

Shawn: Can you explain more about your philosophy on hiring?

Donald: So my philosophy hiring is just like yours. Hire for personality, train for skill. And then the other thing about hiring is that a lot of times we set people up for failure because we don’t train them adequately. You know? We do what I call the front end. It’s the front end load, so, Shawn get started at my place and you do the two day follow. Shawn follow Joe around for two days, do what he does, what he says, and then you’re on your own. Right?

Shawn: Sink or swim.

Donald: And then we think that we figured, well, to be yeah. We trained him to be great. Yeah. It’s like that would be like me going to the gym one time and going that’s it. I’m never gonna have to work out again. I went to the gym once. I’m good.

Shawn: I think that’s so important. It is something that’s so overlooked. When we were hiring people with experience, we’re assuming that they already understand how we want our business to be run because they had worked at wherever Cheesecake Factory or Chick-fil-a or wherever was the assumption is there that they’re going to do what we want them to do here. So follow this person and then just go ahead and do it and not only do it, but we also want you to think and tell us what are we doing right and what are we doing wrong? But then tell it to us when we want you to tell it to us.

Donald: Exactly. Yeah. Clarity. Equals power. OK, clarity is huge and like you said. Here’s the thing and tell me if you’ve ever said this before, because I know I had when I had my first restaurant, they should know.

Shawn: They should know. Yeah, absolutely.

Donald: Yeah, well, they don’t know because they’re not doing it right. So, you know, whose fault is that? Oh, that’s my fault. I always say there’s two sides of a coin. There’s always two sides of a coin. One side of the coin is they don’t know. And every time I’m in a situation where I’m not getting performance I want or the results I want, I always take the first side of the coin. Is my responsibility as the owner or the operator is to understand, like, you know what? I did not clarify exactly what my standards are, what my expectations was. And I did not show them exactly how I wanted done. That’s my fault. Now, after I’ve taken care of that side of the coin, the other side of the coin is they don’t care. And like you said, I can’t train people to be kind. They can’t train people to care. I can’t change personality. So then they’re just not a good fit for your organization then.

Shawn: How do you find out when you do assessments with new clients, how do you find out or how do you help them find out and identify who are key players and who might need to be fired?

Donald: Well, a lot of it is personality. So I usually do a lot of times I do a 360 assessment. So I ask them some questions and I’ll ask them questions. I have a whole list of questions. I ask them to understand their personality and how they see basically what their frame of reference is. People either have two different kind of points of view. We have what’s called locus of control. Locus of control is there’s an internal locus of control, external locus of control, internal locus of control means I am in control of my destiny. I can change things. I can make myself better. External is like that’s just the way life is. Life’s not fair. You know, I just suck. And that’s just the way things are. You know, if someone has an external locus of control. They’re never going to step up and take the bull by the horns and really run with it. They’re always going to have to blame somebody. You call it victim mindset, whatever you want to call it, it’s the same thing. So when I’m doing assessments, I’m looking at it. There’s four basic behavioral traits we’re looking at. We’re looking at dominance, which is your take charge trait, extroversion, which is your people trait pacer patience and we look at formality or conformity. Dominance people are being natural leaders. They’re the kind of people that are going to step up. All right. Let’s get something going. Let’s do this. Let’s take care of it. Extroverts, your natural kind of people, people-people-persons, the ones that are talkative, natural salesman, stuff like that. People high pace. They love routine. They love steady. They love constant, doing the same thing over and over and in people high formality they love attention to detail. They love numbers. They’re very analytical. You can see it right from that. There’s certain job positions in my restaurant or I need certain people to have certain traits. I’m someone who’s like I need a line cook to has high pace, who want to come in every day. And he wants to do the same job over and over, same routine over and over. Doesn’t get bored. I need that. You know, I need the worker bees.

Shawn: Yes.

Donald: The problem is, is like we’ve got this really great guy. He’s a line cook, doesn’t have a lot of natural dominance or extroversion, doesn’t have a lot of natural leadership, don’t have a lot of natural people traits or communication skills. He’s the next in line. Let’s say he’s next in line to be sous chef. Sous chef gets fired or quits. Right. So we promote this guy automatically just because he’s been there longest. We think that’s the right thing to do. It’s not the right thing to do sometimes because he doesn’t have the personality traits that’s going to help him thrive. I’m basically setting him up for failure because I’m promoting him into a position where he’s not a behavioral model for it.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: Yeah.

Shawn: So do you advocate people from hiring from within?

Donald: Yeah, I do. If they have the right behavioral traits.

Shawn: And then when do you find out if you need to hire from without to grow to scale?

Donald: So after I’ve done usually a survey of the team and I’ll find like a do a team assessment, I’ll find out where the gaps are in the team and then we’ll fill in the gaps.

Shawn: OK, great. I’d love for you to talk more about your new venture that you are doing with this restaurant, KPI Mastery.

Donald: OK, yeah. So it’s actually we have a I have another company. It’s called Restaurants Simplified. We just rebranded it actually.

Shawn: Perfect.

Donald: The Restaurant Simplified. Basically one of the number one things we found is that…

Shawn: So, wait you rebranded Restaurant KPI?

Donald: Yeah. Restaurant KPI’s now called Restaurants Simplified.

Shawn: I like that better.

Donald: Yeah.

Shawn: Good job.

Donald: That was the thing because, you know why?

Shawn: Feel like you have another editor?

Donald: No, no. That was like me and my business partner’s sitting around like, you know, what’s the number one problem? That goes back to the thing we know what KPIs are.

Shawn: Correct.

Donald: Key performance indicators, but not everyone knows what a KPI is off the top of your head.

Shawn: Yes.

Donald: People weren’t coming to the site because they’re like, I don’t know. But when we solve your problem Restaurants Simplified. Oh, I’d like my restaurant to be simplified.

Shawn: Yes. Life should be simplified.

Donald: Life should be simplified. So what we do is we have this proprietary patent software where every day and what we’re doing, again, we’re giving you what you want, but we’re going to teach you what you need. And what we do with this program is we basically create new habits. Most people look at their numbers once a month and it’s usually at the end of the month when they get their numbers back.

Shawn: Which numbers are those that most people…

Donald: Usually the PNL? Yeah, we usually it’s a PNL.

Shawn: Hopefully, right?

Donald: Hopefully they look at it once a month.

Shawn: Hopefully they look at their weekly PNL if they’re in the restaurant business.

Donald: Hopefully they do.

Shawn: Yes.

Donald: But you know, even on a weekly basis by then, it’s like playing a game, the Super Bowl on Sunday not calling any plays and then wondering why you lost.

Shawn: Yes.

Donald: And it’s easy to tell you why you lost. You didn’t call plays as they happened. So what our system does, the KPI software, which is part of the Restaurants Simplified. So it’s a mastermind group. Basically what it is and what we do is we take you through again. We have a process map. We take you through nine different modules. We teach you about certain key performance indicators. We have like money metrics, time metrics. We have marketing metrics, we have people metrics. We help you kind of understand each of these metrics and then what you do every day as you go in. And it’s a simple process, takes like five, ten minutes. You get numbers from your POS system which are easy to get.

Shawn: You have the integretion with all the POS partner…

Donald: You plug em into the system and then it gives us a really cool dashboard. Because if you look at your car right now and you had different gauges on your car, different dials, if you really looked at the analog of that stuff, it’s actually a really complex code. And if you if I put up the complex code on your dashboard, you would like I have no idea what all that means. Right. But I used to give you a little gauge and you see where it’s in the red or it’s in the green. All right. I’m good.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: So what we do is we basically we coach people daily basically on their dashboard. And there’s like I said, there’s 12 different key performance indicators we look at every day.

Shawn: That’s great.

Donald: What happens is when we look at them every day, then we can take an action plan. So what we do is we create this new habit at night, your team, not you. You have someone on your team who’s responsible for putting the numbers in in the system at night. They put in numbers. Every morning you get usually a notification or I call it a nudge from us to make sure you check your KPIs, that you check your KPIs, that you check your dashboard.

Shawn: Email notification or push notification from that?

Donald: I usually I usually is. It’s a text message for me.

Shawn: Text message even better.

Donald: It’s usually me like nudging them. Yeah.

Shawn: Hey, hey, hey, look at your numbers.

Donald: Then we usually pick one KPI that we’re focused on. You know that we’re trying to improve each week. So and there’s different types of KPIs. There’s basically there’s linear KPIs and there’s multiplicative KPIs.

Shawn: OK.

Donald: I know those are big words. So linear KPIs are basically. We could increase guest count, I’ll use that one, for example. So let’s say in a lot of marketing, companies will say, hey, I can get you 20 percent more guests. That’s great, man, I love 20 percent. Let’s say you’re doing 100 guests average a day, so now 20 percent more. I mean, 120 guests.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: That’s going to increase my that’s going to increase my sales. But unfortunately, you don’t understand it also increases because now I’ve had to increase my labor, have had to increase my overhead.

Shawn: You understand that. But the marketing company doesn’t.

Donald: Marketing company doesn’t understand that. Right. So then a multiplicative KPI is something that actually has a kind of compound effect, like let’s think about like your interest compound rate. So guest check averages a huge one. So. Marketing company says, hey, um, increase your guest count 20 percent. I say, I’m going to come in. I’m gonna help you increase your guest check average 20 percent.

Shawn: Much better.

Donald: Much better.

Shawn: Much better. Compounding…

Donald: Compounding across…

Shawn: Compounding interest, always.

Donald: And always, it always works, because I don’t need more staff to increase guest check average. I just have to train my staff better.

Shawn: Correct or better menu placement or better optimization on your mobile.

Donald: Just better training. I have a program, a workshop I teach called Neuro-Selling. Neuroscience where I go and work with your service team and it’s about an hour class and by the end of the class they have tools that will actually increase their guest check average and increase sales 20 percent.

Shawn: Wow.

Donald: And I got an easy technique to increase dessert sales 50 percent overnight.

Shawn: What ask?

Donald: Well, OK, I’m going to give you this one. You’re halfway right.

Shawn: I’m halfway there.

Donald: When you ask is the most important thing. How many times you’ve been to a restaurant, and be honest, I’m done with my meal, the server walks up to grab my plate and they ask me one of two questions would you like to see a dessert menu or did you save room for dessert by then? I’m full.

Shawn: Always. We always train our staff to tell them to leave room for dessert. Prepare them.

Donald: Exactly. As soon as you take their entree order, you always put it. I call it an embedded command. It goes from neurolinguistic programing. An Embedded Command is something I want to put in your head like a seed and I want that seed to bloom while you’re having your meal. So soon as I take your entree order, like, hey, hey, what am I going to get for you? I’ll have the barbecue brisket. Oh, fantastic. The barbecue brisket tacos. They’re great. You’re going to love them. Oh, by the way, make sure to save room for dessert because our double fudge brownie is to die for.

Shawn: Yes.

Donald: And then now you put that seed in my head, make sure to save room, because you will want dessert. OK, great. Yeah, increases dessert sales overnight. If you put it right in the right spot, ask but ask you the right time.

Shawn: That’s so true, so true, so important.

Donald: Timing is everything, right?

Shawn: Are there any other key performance indicators? Let’s talk about marketing for a minute here. Marketing is obviously something that we’re very passionate about. Tell me about key performance indicators for marketing.

Donald: For marketing. I like net promoter score myself. I think net promoter score is huge because that’s that tells me how loyal are people are about recommending my brand to other people.

Shawn: How do you measure that?

Donald: They just send out a survey, you can do something. A monkey survey is something like that. How how likely you to recommend us to it, to someone else, how likely you are to recommend us to someone, to a friend of yours on a scale from one to ten?

Shawn: And then what about social review sites like Yelp and Google and Trip Advisor?

Donald: Social review sites? I’m a big, huge fan. I love Google myself. Yelp. I think Yelp can be very tricky and it can be manipulated a lot. And unfortunately, Yelp has really control of what reviews get seen and what don’t get seen, but where Google is the number one search engine world. And if I’m in any strange town, if I’m flying in to work with somebody, first thing I do is I go to Google and say restaurants near me, you know? So I always look at Google first. So number one managing your Google placement, your Google My Business is key and you’d be shocked how many people don’t. Manage their listing.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: I know that’s like low hanging fruit, that’s like social media marketing 101. You should need to manage your social media presence. And then the number two thing is like, what do you guys do, make my content engaging? I would say there’s 13 different emotions to marketing. Most people play one emotion, hunger. There’s so many different emotions out there. There’s compassion, there’s community, there’s tribe, there’s family, there’s humor. There’s so many different things out there you could play on. That we just like we seem to be one dimensional in our marketing, which that’s one of the thing I have to say about the Cali BBQ is it’s so multidimensional. And if anybody out there are following me, I’ll make sure you’re really following his stuff, because I’m a big believer in modeling, seeing someone doing something that’s doing it right. And then just kind of like alright man I like that. I like, you know, when you did your help wanted ad you were on top of the roof, I mean, stuff like that stands out like, damn, I remember that, you know.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: And that was months ago.

Shawn: I appreciate that. And that means it means a lot to me. And it was it’s actually funny because it’s it was during Clubhouse that Kyle Inserra was going to be a guest on this podcast coming up. But him and I were going back and forth and he was just talking about the way that he’s built his marketing. And it’s through lifestyle. It’s actually not lifestyle marketing, but it’s business lifestyle.

Donald: Yeah.

Shawn: I was like that’s just a great way to position it because that’s ultimately, when people ask me, they go, well, why are you posting pictures of your kids or why are you posting pictures of the Chargers or why are you doing all these things on your accounts? When I go, well, this is my life and this is who I am as a restaurant owner, and I’m not just going to sell somebody ribs every single time I go onto Instagram like, no, this is the old hickory that we use to cook the ribs. But yes, this is us tailgating. And even though it has nothing to do with barbecue or this is a different barbecue restaurant owner that we’re friends with, like we’ve become friends with so many other people that own barbecue restaurant businesses. And it’s not about us. We never we don’t believe in best, best and worst. Thumbs up, thumbs down. Like, that’s not the world we live in. We live in a gray world. And more specifically, you want to have content that’s compelling.

Donald: Exactly.

Shawn: If you’re excited to post it, I mean, all the stuff that you’re posting, I laugh. You put up a restaurant meme that I mean, it’s funny because it’s true. Why does truth vibrate the fastest? Because to post content that makes somebody stop scrolling and go, wait, that is actually very true. He’s talking shit about my restaurant. But that’s very true.

Donald: It’s true. Yeah.

Shawn: Why does truth vibrate the fastest?

Donald: The truth vibrates. It’s the very first quote in my first book. It says, the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

Shawn: That’s not from The Shawshank Redemption. Who’s that from?

Donald: That’s actually from Joe Klaas. It’s a quote from Joe Klaas. The truth will set you free. But first we’ll piss you off.

Shawn: Yes.

Donald: And again, I know you’ve gone through addictions and stuff like that. We’ve all had our challenges. The first thing you gotta do is just kind of like, you know what? He’s right. No shit, I could do this better, I could be a little bit better. I could be a better owner. My father trained me when I was when I was a young chef. I started 15, like a lot of people washing dishes. My dad was a corporate chef, but my dad was like the Gordon Ramsay of his time. He was the yell scream type. I mean, it was horrible. I mean, I hated it when I was 18, he told me it was in my blood. I said, I want a transfusion. I want to do this shit. It sucks man. And then I went to the military and then I went into the Air Force. I actually went into para rescue teams. But when I got out, I went back to college and I could get jobs in restaurants in college because I had experience from high school. And then without my dad yelling, screaming at me, I found out I really love the restaurant industry. But the problem was my early business model of what a chef was, was like that I had to yell, scream, break people down.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: Yeah. So then I realized after I was like, I cut my turnover rate so high, how come no one wants to stay? And I did a lot of things like a lot of other people did when I was a young chef in my twenties, like, you know, well, they just don’t get it. They just don’t want it. They’re just not a good fit. No, I was an asshole. Let’s be honest.

Shawn: Yeah.

Donald: And then I realized that if I needed then I started thinking and I started having some self awareness, like, you know, I didn’t like it when my dad yelled and screamed at me. So why am I doing it to other people? It’s not really me. You know what my style is? To be more, encouraging more and motivating more, hey, you got this, be more steady, more consistent, more constant, gentle pressure. And then I kind of adapted my whole leadership model to be more of like a coach, I guess. Back then I didn’t even know the word back then, but that’s what I kind of became. And my turnover rate started dropping down. I actually started having people come to me and say, hey, I heard you run a really great place, or you teach people a lot. You train people a lot. Heard people are learning, I’d love to come work for you. And that’s when it kind of like light went on. Angel sang.

Shawn: Yes.

Donald: It’s like, wow, there’s a different way to do this. I have to do it…I have to be an asshole and I can get great people that want to work with me.

Shawn: Speaking of different ways to do things, I saw a post on Foodable. And I know you’re an expert for Foodable, an expert for Forbes, HotSchedules, nightclub and bar shows. It’s incredible the the depths of where you’ve been on stage speaking, giving all this incredible industry knowledge. But on Foodable, they were talking about trade shows. And I know those are something that are so valuable to the industry, but it’s said that trade shows are dead. Obviously, another attention grabbing your restaurant stocks, trade shows are bad, but nonetheless, it compelled me to click on it and go and look and dive deeper. But as somebody that’s spoken at all these incredible different trade shows, National Restaurant Association, Western Hospitality, you name it, you’ve been there and spoken at them. What do you see for the future?

I say I see the big, huge, huge food shows probably dying off, but I see more intimate, intense, kind of more like local smaller kind of getting-togethers are going to happen. Like I’m hosting a small workshop in April in Scottsdale and I call it the Restaurant Owner Boot Camp and I’m only inviting 12 people. And is going to be a small, intimate two day thing, but, you know, that’s where I’m moving more towards and it is and we’re going to start speaking again. I’m going back to Nightclub Bar Show. I’m going back to Western Food Show, the New York Hospitality Show. I’m speaking at a Texas Restaurant Association show. But I think the formats are going to be a lot smaller. The stage is going to be smaller. But you know what else could be better for owners? Because you can get a little bit more attention during that time to talk to me afterwards, where I mean, I’ve done stages where I’ve had seven hundred a thousand people in the audience and it’s just so big and the agenda is so wrapped tight that, it’s like you’ve done. All right. Thank you so much. Have a great day. And then you’re off and then the next speaker is on because they’ve got to keep that thing wound up where I think it’s going to go back to more intimate conversations, more talking and then more stuff like this to where we’re going to be able to talk to people. I have more mastermind groups now online than I’ve ever had before. And it was all because of covid. I had to make an adjustment. I couldn’t go out and do the speaking I used to. I couldn’t go out and do one-on-one working with clients at their restaurants because most of them were shut down at the time. I don’t think food shows are dead. And Paul Barens is really great at writing really catchy headlines. Yeah, I saw that was like what? Cooking shows are dead?

Shawn: He was doing some incredible, incredible work over there.

Donald: He does. He’s a guy he’s really talented at getting people’s attention. But I don’t think they’re totally dead. I think they’re going to they’re going to morph a lot.

Shawn: I agree. Anybody that’s listening to this, obviously, hopefully you’ve learned why it’s so important to hire a coach, to have a coach, to have a mentor if you don’t have a coach. I mean, asking for help is something that David Meltzer, my mentor, really put in the forefront. And it’s something that I didn’t even realize. But my grandfather had really taught me that my grandfather was an immigrant from Bulgaria who spent he was born to be a farm boy. He literally read every book in his village because his grandfather gave him this love of curiosity, this love of reading. But he’s the one that taught me how, you know, no matter what your circumstances are, if you ask for help, there’s somebody there that’s willing to help you. If you’re willing to be a student, there is a teacher. So anybody that listens because even if you’re not in the restaurant business, go out and look. If you want to get to the next level, if you want to improve, first of all, you wouldn’t be listening to this podcast if you didn’t want to improve.

Donald: True.

Shawn: The fact that you do listen to this. We are grateful for that. Any any parting words, Donald, for anybody listening to this podcast on this new world. This brave new world.

Donald: Yeah, this brave new world is, you know, don’t don’t feel like you have to go it alone. It’s like Shawn mentioned, you know, I still have the same business coach that I had hired from back in 2008. He’s been with me that long.

Shawn: That’s amazing.

Donald: Granted, we don’t talk every week like we used to. We talk usually once a month now. But I still have the same coach. You know why? Because I find coaching is very valuable. I have mastermind groups I run. I’m also in other mastermind groups because you know why? I want to become better. Restaurants become better when the people in them become better people. It’s that simple. And if you feel like, you know, you’re going alone, you feel like it’s a tough road, no one understands me again. I travel all around the world, all business problems or people problems. Doesn’t matter whether you’re in Canada, South America, Europe, Dubai. I see all the problems are the same. You’re dealing with human beings, you’re dealing with emotions. And people are complex, and you need someone who understands people problems, who could help you solve those things when you get those things solved. Trust me, the business problems take care of themselves.

Shawn: And Donald, Ian our writer is going to write up an article, Stover will put links to all of your social profiles and all of your books into this. If you guys are listening, please follow Donald on Clubhouse, follow me on Clubhouse, sign up for notifications for when we’re on talking. We’d love to have you on stage talking. And hopefully you’re inspired to join a mastermind group, the power of talking to other people that are other owners, other people that are in sales, other people that are in marketing. I know personally, just by putting on this podcast and talking to people that are news anchors, people that run news stations, people that are in sports entertainment, people like Donald Burns, it’s been life changing. You know, it’s been life changing to talk to people that have multi book authors, people that speak on stages. And I’m only excited for how many more stages, you know, how much of a bigger impact. I know that it’s hard for us, both of us, to conceptualize how big this internet thing really is.

Donald: It’s Huge.

Shawn: As Donald said, these are people problems. This is why Digital Hospitality so important for us is that we know it’s so much bigger than barbecue. It’s so much bigger than what we’re doing. If we can have an impact, if we can have a voice, then you can have a voice. You can have a voice in your village no matter where you are in the world. All these tech giants, they’re creating all this opportunity for us to share what we do. And if we can share that, then we can help that local charity that you love. There it is, the smartphone. Donald’s holding it up.

Donald: Most powerful thing in the world right here.

Shawn: Most powerful thing in the world. Once you’re ready to turn it on and use it for all the good that you want to do, the world is the world’s limitless. So thank you, Donald, for your time.

Donald: Thank you, Shawn. I appreciate you so much, my friend.

Shawn: Stay curious, get involved, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Thank you, guys, and we’ll check you out next episode.



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