Running the Bases with Small Businesses

Doron Friedman - SpotOn

April 04, 2022 Randy Rohde & Doron Friedman Season 2 Episode 15
Running the Bases with Small Businesses
Doron Friedman - SpotOn
Show Notes Transcript

Running the Bases today with Doron Friedman - Entrepreneur, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Spot On.  SpotOn is one of the fastest-growing software and payments companies with comprehensive, cloud-based technology for small, midsize, and enterprise businesses in the restaurant, retail, sports, education, and entertainment space.

Doron is an entrepreneur who loves working on industry-changing ideas and leading companies from startup through growth stages. The co-author of 12 patients, Doron was the founder and CEO of Arroweye Solutions (a FinTech 100 company) for approximately 10 years and is currently CPO and co-founder of SpotOn. As CPO of SpotOn, Doron is leading product innovation with a focus on equipping small, midsize, and enterprise businesses with tools that empower them to not only run and grow their business but connect meaningfully with customers.  

We talk about his early days as the Bagel Cafe owner and explore how he migrated to establishing technology companies.  All along the journey - keep the relationship with the customer as close as possible.

Of course, we explore a little baseball and how SpotOn is now operating in a number of MLB stadiums - plus we talk food, management, and the need to build a solid team around you.

To learn more about Doron and SpotOn visit: www.SpotOn.com

*** Save up to $500 on a new payment terminal or point-of-sale with SpotOn, visit spoton.com/offer for more information. ***

Interesting Items We Discussed:

MLB Food Fest

Chicago's famous Vienna Beef

Isla Vista Bagel Cafe 

Get the Book - Amp It Up: Leading for Hypergrowth by Raising Expectations, Increasing Urgency, and Elevating Intensity 

Get Local SEO and Digital Marketing information from 38 Digital Market

Listen and subscribe to our show on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcast, iHeart Radio, Pandora or TuneIn.

Follow 38 Digital Market on our Social Accounts:

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Youtube

Instagram

Follow our guest today at:

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Instagram


Randy:

I'm Randy Rohde and I'm fascinated with entrepreneurs and small business owners. Plus I love baseball. Every show I sit down with a small business owner and we discuss their running the basis of entrepreneurship. We throw the ball around on strategy management, execution and innovation, plus a little fun baseball. Hey, thanks for joining us today. Settle in, grab your cracker jacks and you know what they say. Okay. It's a great day ball game. And I have to tell you, , I am super excited to speak with today's guest. He is both. All right, so I hope you're ready for this. This is a good long intro here. He is both a small business owner, as well as one of the co-founders of a major financial tech company. And is that is rapidly changing the industry for small to medium-sized businesses. He's raised on the east coast, grew up in a large loving family. Connecting with people in a meaningful way, was ingrained in our guests from the very beginning. After graduating from the esteemed Wharton school at the university of Pennsylvania, our guests decided he didn't want to go to the investment banking business so much as he wanted to go into the restaurant business. And in 1991 at the age of 21. He headed west to California used his entire life savings, opened his first bagel cafe near the campus of UC Santa Barbara. And then a second bagel cafe opened four years later. And then a third deli restaurant followed through a unique customer experience and interaction. He recognized an opportunity and in 2000 he founded arrow eyes solutions in Chicago with two partners, which was his first financial tech. In 2017, he co-founded his second FinTech company called spot on and spot on is currently one of the fastest growing software and payment companies in the industry offering modern systems and technology for small and medium-sized businesses across multiple models in venues and industries. He's an entrepreneur co-founder chief product officer at spot on owner of cafe bagel, and father of two children residing on the north side of Chicago. Please welcome to the show to Doron , Friedman to Doron . Welcome. Glad to have you. Yeah, no, it's super exciting. So here's the first question I have to ask you this you're in Chicago, you're on the north side. Do we share a love for the country?

Doron:

Um, I do like the cup to have to tell you, I grew up in Miami beach. We didn't have a baseball team. We're all in that football, basketball. Uh, the only team that I actually loved early on, I remember Reggie Jackson and the Yankees that was, I just loved watching Reggie Jackson. So I had this infatuation with the Yankees cause we didn't have a team. Uh, lo and behold, uh, you know, w w we got the Miami Marlins, I guess the Florida Marlins, uh, you know, they changed their name three times, but, and, uh, the irony is they ended up winning world series before the cops did.

Randy:

And that was the

Doron:

craziest thing. Uh, I was so fascinated that when I was in the stadium, I went with an investor for the first time when I moved to Chicago. And they were playing the white Sox baseball story. The first time I actually ever saw a baseline being in my life wasn't Chicago, and it was a consequence, uh, the white Sox and we hosted our client on a rooftop, three innings. I had to go and socialize Liberty. I couldn't even watch the game and cause that's supposed to get everybody. And then all of a sudden I walk up to the edge and there is Sammy Sosa mine to go ahead. And the first swing about it, every slot in my life was a Sammy. So it's a home run, uh,

Randy:

to get the cuts. Oh, that is a great story. That is a great story. Wow. First experience on a rooftop too. So those are always fun. I've done a couple of those experiences as well, and those are, that's just a party non-stop that is absolutely the best

Doron:

they own the most passionate thing I ever seen in my life. I remember when I went to that first game. I sat in the, uh, with the investor, they're playing the white Sox again, and they ended up being the white Sox, instant, anything, uh, just Anthony and look at the white Sox fan. He goes, you gotta go probably slow. I was passively. I never seen anything like that. Almost sports.

Randy:

Uh, yeah, it is a fun, fun experience. Well, again, thanks for being on the show. So let's get in a little bit of your background. So you grew up on the east coast, , uh, in the Miami area or in Florida. And then did you move north to the New York area at some point? Or

Doron:

I actually, yeah, I grew up in Miami at age four to 17, and then I went to the worst school and I never came back. Then I went to Santa Barbara, California. Yeah. Well,

Randy:

that's a beautiful place right there. Uh, so you're very close with your family. I think I've, I've read a lot of, , notes and stories in regards to, , the way you grew up and having people over to your house and just always sharing and conversing around the table. How did that experience impact your focus and vision, , in the way you approach business?

Doron:

No. W when you think about my approach to business today, it is personal. Like I did grow up in a loving family. I feel like, you know, my parents had it so rough. They're all survivors. Uh, they moved to Israel right after the war and it really affected the way we grew up. And my, you know, my first memories as a child, as a war. And, um, my dad was missing in action and it dates after the war, he was very sick and we came to the United States, uh, to go to the Mayo clinic. He ended up, we ended up staying here. He had to retire at a very young age, his Fortune's retirement. But one day we, uh, moved back to Israel to visit family. And we had a little apartment there and there was this gentleman waiting for us outside and he waited for three days. He said he came up to us and says, my son's getting bar mitzvahed. And I want you to be the guest of honor. I asked him to accept. This is, you know, this is the one we used to work for me in a diamond factory. So my dad, when he first came over from your national, had to work three jobs in order to split food on the table, you know, the punch of the food. So that's why all these entrepreneurs started developing is because they didn't have any. And so they had to figure it out themselves. And so eventually my dad struggled and eventually started cutting diamonds and then ended up owning a diamond bathroom. And this worker who came, uh, you know, it was waiting for us. I went to the bar mitzvah and I didn't realize that he, they sat us at a table with all this former workers and then twice stories about my father. I never, he never talked about himself. And I found out that day that, you know, he actually, when we left, he didn't sell it on your factory. He gave it to them. And unfortunately these employees, uh, they could not run the business and it would be. And so they're asking the whole purpose is asking to come back to run the business. And that I think shaped my life, uh, in a way that when you think about having someone care, like police care so much in one, it for you so much, it's such a special feeling. And I don't know if I'll ever be as good as my dad, but, you know, that's what I strive for this with. You know, the people who work with us make it be like a part of the family and, and this sincere,

Randy:

that is a great story. , let's flash forward to today. Just give us, we're going to touch on spot on, in greater depth here in a little bit, but can you just, , for audience, , give us kind of a brief description of spot on kind of the elevator pitch, if you would, , and then we'll touch base on a few other things. I mean, if you think

Doron:

about SpotOn , Spot On is a technology, the technology. And really its sole purpose is to help small businesses grow to big businesses and, and to help people really run a business, whether it's restaurant, we have one of the best point of sale systems in the industry for restaurants. We have a retail point of sale system as well, but it's a platform where we offer you the ability to market to do loyalty, to see your analytics, to see the reviews on your business. We really want you, if you think about it, there's three constituents to running a business. You have the business owners, the management, you have employees and you have the consumers, the customers. And so our job is to build a relationship, to help the business owner build the best relationship with those employees. With those customers, be able to build a relationship in a way that's meaningful to them. So they actually commonly purchase goods at that business. And that's really our goal here. It's a, win-win probably the best job in the world. You help entrepreneurs, they put their life savings and you help them. You help them protect your business, protect the employees from keeping a drunk, especially in this pandemic time. It was, it was a coin. You know what we're telling you that if you're going to work hard, this is the time to do it. These businesses need you. And we needed to show that empathy and we need you to do everything we canvases.

Randy:

I think it's so great. , and one of the things I love about, , you and spot on, uh, specifically is, , you know, all of this in your purpose and your vision of spot on really began in germinating in your early experience as an entrepreneur. I mean, you were on the front lines, you were a small business. I'm going to go and start my own thing right here. And you understand, I guess what it's like to be on main street the challenges that are there and then the business that you're currently operating to be able to service those business. I love that. So I want to go back to kind of those early days for you. And I have a quote, I'm curious, I want to hear how this, came about and then how it evolved even. , so you went to, you went to school, , at Wharton, you moved out to California, opened your bagel cafe in Santa Barbara area, which is again, beautiful space. and then I have this quote from your father. My son went to Wharton to become a baker and he'll go to Harvard to become a chef. I love that. I, how did I, how did that all transpire? And I'm curious how it all evolved. And then also I want to hear about, , your thoughts on how your father. Influences influenced you as a business owner

Doron:

all the way through high school to be an investment banker. I stayed in man. It was my dream. Uh, I, you know, I struggled a little bit to get into the ward and school. I didn't get in right away. I went to your support for a little bit. That's straight A's in they're block and I got accepted and it was a crazy feeling that something in me, as I got my job offers, I don't think this is what I want to do. I think I want to run a business like my dad and my dad absolutely 100% with you, but my older brother to get into becoming an entrepreneur or for me, he was totally against it because he struggled so much in new art and he knew it wasn't for everyone. And so, um, you know, coming in out of that environment and then starting a bagel place, it was. Very difficult. He said, I'm not helping you at all. You're on your own. You get nothing for me. And, uh, so I went ahead and found a business partner and she was supposed to fund the business and I was supposed to run it. She's wealthy. I didn't have that much money. And I had a little bit, and I can't forget. I click. And then my job offers, I met with her father and her father said to me, he was ruthless ruthless. And he basically said to me, it was a drone deal change. You have to put up 50% of the money. And she did put up some money. She's going to work. I said that wasn't the deal. That's not what we agreed on. And he said, I know you turned on your job offers. This is your only choice. And so I borrowed actually I took my money or $10,000 for each one of my siblings, which was a lot for me. And, um, I worked my butt off and. The, you know, it didn't do what I couldn't believe the first day of visits. So, you know, this is a lesson for all business owners. I can't forget that, that first day that we opened my labor was $300 more than mine. It's incredible. And, uh, long story short though, you know, the business struggled. And one day the, the father says, shoot, my partner would travel all the time. And he says, uh, I'm coming to the billboards on Santa Barbara. I want you to meet me. And, uh, we went there and he said to me, we need to buy out my daughter and you need to pay. And so this is a lesson in business, right? And I said, why, why are you doing this to me? I'm 21 years old. And here you are threatening me. He goes, if you don't do what I say, I'm going to get my Beverly as attorneys. And we're going to bankrupt. You. And I thought, wow, that is so shaping. And so you asked what my father's impact on me was, uh, the only that right when I walked out of there, it's a good point for us. A little decision. A gentleman came up to me and he certainly was thrown. I'm one of the, most it, the wrong, but he said, I want to go to successful business days and imagine Biltmore in Santa Barbara. And he said, I'm sorry. Then overheard that conversation. He says, don't listen to them. Or that means that you tell them to go piss off and you go do and run your business. And then, you know, separately, bad work. And, uh, I made a decision. I didn't wait 24 hours. And, uh, I told them, I said, look, you do what you need to go. I'm gonna go run the business. You want assume you're gonna Sue me. That's what makes you feel good? Go ahead and do. And lo and behold, a week later, the Sydney is probably his attorney sent me a letter and. That's the first time I ever asked my father for help, you know, and I told my father what's going on. It tears me up, you know, is it through any business? I'll take care of it and calls me back two days later, he says, you own the business and assets would be what you said. He said, look, you wanted to, you know, I don't want my son and it's when you just give us some money, then we take a business. He said, well, we don't want the business. And he goes, what do you want? More or less? And, uh, he did in the end, what happened? He said, and he said, the guy said, he goes, I want to own what my daughter would be like a failure and said, we'll pay you your money back. And you pay the extra $35,000, whatever it was. And, uh, you tell her she was a success, but don't make us do it. And that's what ended up in, obviously my dad, you know, having fought the fight words, that was a very intimidating. And so the deal with Simon that's really that shit. My, my, my life a lot, I know there's some bad actors out there and it's, I never want to be that, man. I want to be able to treat people with kindness, honesty, sincerity, and I will never threaten people.

Randy:

you muster on, in the business get over that incredible hurdle, , and you were doing everything. I mean, you were, I, I'm only imagining a bagel shop, but, , and especially in the early days, you know, you're the guy coming in your bacon, are you doing all of that? You're like, I'm putting in the 12, 15 hour days, whatever it takes, kind of K

Doron:

yeah, we paid it, uh, an instance speaker, you know, uh, $5,000, you know, if there will give you we'll work for you. And we learned how to make bagels the old fashioned way in New York. And I had this great idea. I thought it's an amazing idea that I'm going to also be also the cafe that's open till late at night. And I came in, I did the dose, I bake the bagels, I roll the bagels. I service the customer. I did wholesale deliveries. And then we closed the cafe at 11 o'clock at night. And I realized I basically didn't performance rates. I paid it in probiotics and I didn't realize, okay, I got it. Stop doing everything. I cut that my hours, we were just open to like three o'clock was that late night hours weren't working anyways. And I went ahead and let the bakers and trusted people to do work, which was, you know, critical. Um, that was, uh, you know, doing everything is failure. You gotta find people you can trust. And that's when things started going well. After I brought on my partner business started to boom, because. So interacting with customers. And if you want to be an entrepreneur, you got to love talking to your customers. You gotta love your customers. You gotta listen to the customers. And I loved it. It brought me such joy, but it wasn't great for my social life, but they wouldn't want me to bagel, man. But you know, wherever I went, Los Angeles, New York, everything. Uh, people, I run into people, I call it the bagel. And it's pretty funny.

Randy:

Uh, I love that you mentioned about that. You got to love your customers because we've had so many of our guests really, , kind of hammer that home as well. And just talk about how you have to communicate. You have to talk, you have to engage with your customers continuously in order to really understand their needs, their wants, and how you can solve their, uh, their, their challenges or provide a solution for them. , I love that you're in Santa Barbara. I can just imagine we were just there a few years ago and, uh, it's such a great space. I can imagine, you know, college town you're hanging out there and stopping and go, let's go grab a bagel. So you ran this, uh, and then you expanded. So now you're running like two, three different shops at, at, at one point, when did it click with you in regards to technology? Because you're really on the edge on the front end of, so in 91, you know, the internet is not, you know, throbbing at that time. , and as you're in business and you begin to recognize, Hey, these, uh, computers and personal computers is a great thing. Here's the internet. And at some point you began to recognize that technology can be an asset for small businesses. , what was the early implementation of that for you?

Doron:

So maybe the teacher technology and business? Uh, I think, no, I'll be honest. I'm just new on Harteau is working and how I had to use all these different systems. And, you know, when I looked at technology, I watched the.com all around me and everybody's succeeding and taking things to another level. And I remember getting this box of chocolate when my former managers for the holidays and it didn't have a clock. I know she wrote it's beautiful cards and it's a little line message. And that's what I noticed. There's a technology gap. And so what we went ahead and, uh, you know, I said, well, I wish there's gotta be a way to go ahead and say, read parts of gifts. So I went online and I searched it and I saw that the biggest retailers in the front, you couldn't do it. Couldn't do it. Nobody could do it. Right. And, uh, one of my customers, like I said, I love to talk to customers. He was this techie and he knew so much about technology. I didn't know anything. And I said, I think this, this, this idea I don't need technology. And then basically instead of that, I'm going to do my own research. And he says, look, if you could pay, he came back and said, if you can find investors, I will go into the city. It's a perfect time. I know under my parenting, uh, this guy who was commissioned to work in air force, one was ex military. And then I call him one of my best friends in college. And I asked him, I said, look, I don't want any of your technology people. And you, he was in a management technology program at Edward schools engineering. And he started off with, I interviewed this guy for me. Now my friend loved this idea too. It says, I can do the software for you guys and I could become apartment. And he goes, but you need to find the investor because I don't have the money to do that. And, uh, so I, I found the first person I actually called. I told my dad, yeah, he was the successful entrepreneur. Of Estee Lauder to Israel. And I told him that the idea, and I said, because I want to invest and you need to get your confidence up and we need to go for it. And so that's it not a lot, not a ton of money, but invested money. And we still, this, this, this, and, uh, I just like, I did my bagel place. I found a product that works in other situations, right? That's what the biggest one here. I was an east coast visit all my friends. Are you risking the bagel restaurants? None of the university campuses on the west coast, I had to go from the west coast, had a bigger places. So I said, this is a coal mine. I need to do this. The same thing really the way that's how I came up with my first apology business. That's it. Every gift I get, that's not simply the internet as a greeting card. So it's time to apply what people do in real life to the internet. And that's how we started the business.

Randy:

So that was, that was arrow eye, right. Arrow ROI. So very cool. So now let's move forward in through today's world. And so now, um, you're rolling with spot on and let me go back to the quote, I think, um, on spot on, uh, in the description, , spot on is one of the fastest growing software and payment companies with comprehensive cloud-based technology for small, medium size and enterprise businesses in the restaurant, retail, sports education, and entertainment space. you founded spot on then and 2017 with a couple of guys. , and now what's the world of spot on today. Uh, you went from zero, I'm assuming as most you on day one of any business to, what do you have now? Something like over 30,000 businesses, clients, customers that you work with.

Doron:

Yeah. I it's. You have to pinch yourself really. Right. Um, it is why the fastest growing companies, it's obviously it's a different level of stress and you have to really care when it comes back to your customers. The reason we grew so fast is it was really scary when the pandemic we had, like when, uh, when everything shut down that March and we're like, what are we going to do? Our biggest competitor at that time laid off half of snap. We just released 600, 360 million. And then later. And, you know, we center ourselves, these businesses need, that's what I said before. And I think that decision to not fire people in that decision to comp and give money back to the businesses really changed the trajectory of our business. Even in the middle of the pandemic, all of a sudden a month out April is terrible. Uh, may we had record numbers June, we hit record numbers and we just started launching technology and figuring out ways to help these businesses. So we get online ordering because people were no longer coming into the restaurants. So we have to watch on my own even a little earlier than we were. Right. But we said, let's get it out there. They something's better than nothing. And these businesses are so creative, so adaptive. They're using our technology in a way that wasn't intended to, to help themselves grow. And, uh, it, it was absolutely fabulous to watch these visits. It gave us more confidence in that emphasis on the customer that amputee that our team showed really, I think, resonated with businesses, small businesses, and we felt their pain. I owned a small business, my business shut down on it. It was closed. So we had to figure out myself almost nothing. And, uh, so we knew we felt the pain on the front lines.

, Randy:

I rattled off all of these different industries., you're in restaurants, in business, in education even, uh, uh, which I find kind of fascinating as well, but you really aren't across all industries though.

Doron:

Yeah. So we, we really believe in supporting most businesses. We're not, you know, we're not perfect at everything in the business, but we separate our world into restaurants, retail, and services, basically businesses to think about services or any business. That's a spa, a salon, your pool, cleaning anybody that needs appointments. Um, that's a services business in retail. It could be a retail shop shop. It could be a laundry mat. It could be anything, uh, it could be an auto shop. We do really well at auto. Um, so when, when you think about the business, we separate into those two camps. We have a disposal platform. It's that shared services basically, where we give you the ability to market to your customers, we'll give you loyalty. So, you know, you know, which customers stop coming in, most businesses don't know which person is not walking into their retail stores. And we recently, you know, added re you know, we had also, we add reviews before when we first started the company, but we've recently created our own point of sale system, um, from the ground up for retail. So the reason we did that was we noticed that a lot of business out there either started online and they tried to get into brick and mortar and some started in retail and then ended up purchasing e-commerce companies. Some of these larger companies, it's just too difficult, it's not connected. And so what we did is we built a omni-channel solution where we get your website. It's we, if you want us to, we have econ. We have a point of sale for your, for your retail shelf. And we said to ourselves, if we can build something from the ground up to make it so simple, stupid, simple for anybody to use, that's what we need a great, but net powerful. So the idea is that you can go ahead and say, I want, you know, I create a kind of along with it, this is my kind of things that I'm on sell these items at the farmer's market. I want to sell this item at my retail store, this item, these are my crisis for e-commerce because my shipping costs are really high and we just make it so easy for you to pick those different channels and really put your catalog and stuff. And that that's, and then we can, obviously, once it's there coming in, we start learning about your customers. So marketing, then you can give them a loyalty offering. And so we sit down and we think about is how do we take that business and empower them to grow it? And that's really our focus.

Randy:

Through all of that is as you're reciting all the great things that you're doing. And in my mind, I come back to some of your earlier comments about engaging with customers, uh, and the importance of that. and the services that you're providing for these small businesses and enterprises is that you really aren't removing barriers, , from the business owners, from engaging with their customers. So you're taking all of that technology, all of those obstacles about, you know, so I'm in digital marketing. I know I talked to people and like, I don't know anything about a website. I don't know, you know how to do this or did it do that. And you know, it becomes a burden for the business. And you provide a solution in all encompassing solution that they can go online and deliver services and goods, create a platform for their customers. So it removes those barriers then on that engagement. , so I think it's, it's great that it's really holds true to the core of what you really wanted to do at the very beginning. That very first bagel that you dumped into the fryer or a boiler or whatever it is,

Doron:

you have to boil these two by fours in a gas rotating oven. Uh,

Randy:

you do know your stuff. That's good. You

Doron:

know, I can still make a bagel.

, Randy:

I want to talk a little bit about culture and, , I have this great quote from one of your partners that says we really try to do business with empathy . That's one of our core values is keep it simple and be the merchant. Can you elaborate on that? Maybe talk a little bit about the culture, both internally in your company and as well, the culture that you have with your customers.

Doron:

So we have, as you said, well, over 30,000 businesses that we work with and we haven't struggled as entrepreneurs, my partners are side can be added, added a truck in high school. They didn't grow up wealthy and they struggled as well. So we both had those early struggles as entrepreneurs. It was tough. And so we ha we know what these businesses are feeling when you faint in front of an oven and you're stuck in the weeds that you can't grow your business. And I know that these business owners are doing the same thing. W our job is to make it as simple as possible for them to connect with your cousin. We need to, you know, I, that empathy is driven to all my colleagues, every one of the people who are it, they have to seek the customers when their customers are down or something's not working, or there's an issue. We get involved. I was on a call yesterday with a customer. There was an outage and we weren't even related to us. Uh, you know, if the network went down and the customer was really frustrated, my apartment's co CEO and I'm chief product officer, and one of my few last points out the restaurant we got on the phone. I mean, imagine we get a bunch of calls with customers all the time. We get on phone calls with the sales rep, representing it on the front lines of those customers. That's the only way you learn when you, when you listen to the frustrations, that's how you make your product better. And I so proud of our team that they really are passionate about connecting with our customers, learning from them. And, you know, we have this, you know, you see the responses, usually they say on it, just simple around it. And that's what we did yesterday. We there, this person had an issue and he wanted the changes and we're on.

Randy:

So you've had this incredible growth, some of which organically, , some of which I think over the last couple of years, you've, done, have done some acquisitions and mergers. Bringing on some new partnerships. that is a challenge you've gone. You've raised more money from an investment standpoint as well. , I think now the company's valued at, I don't know, I'll say 3 billion is a number that we came up with back in September. and this is just in a number of years, like five years or something like that. That is a significant run rate. , how have you guys been able to manage that? , and keep the momentum going and keep everything running in the right direction.

Doron:

I think you just have to have a strategy and a mission to help these businesses. If you're focusing, creating world-class products, a world-class customer service, you're basically all that you get everybody aligned with that mission to go ahead and help these businesses succeed in scale that drives everybody into the right direction. Is it easy? No acquisitions, difficult. We talked about how we got into baseball and football, and we bought this company called appetize, which has over like 60% of all the sports centers. We thought we knew what it was like to be an entrepreneur. And entrepreneur believes that how do I get from one business to a thousand? And they always have that dream. They went to ended up with my first business, but I'm going to open two more. I'm gonna open five more. And so we want to advertise with the idea. We want to be able to have be part of that journey and that dream from one location to thousand locations. And that's really been our focus and it made things a little easier. And it's, if you have the empathy for your clients, if you hire the right people, I would say we hire smart kind people. And if you're not kind of, you can't work in this company. And so having that mission, we don't lose that many people on my product team. I haven't lost a person a year and a half in technology. That's really rare, but it's these colleagues. I have to give all the credit to my colleagues. I mean, they're unbelievable. They work hard. They care about our customers.

Randy:

I appreciate it. You mentioned appetize because, , I love baseball obviously, and kind of running with a basis, uh, as a theme of our show. So you guys are, you know, that particular, , business opened up, , quite a bit of new, um, venues, I'll say for you, which is, , in sports stadiums and college campuses and that type of, uh, enterprise. , I, from what I understand you are in Dodger stadium, Yankee stadium, are you serving the Cubs as well? Are you in regularly?

Doron:

Not really yet. And I really hope we will be,

Randy:

uh, I'll do what I can to help you with

Doron:

them. So I love that would be a dream. Going to the Cubs games and senior product there, it would be so amazing. But I did get to, you know, as a kid, I want to do it in Yankee stadium now, but I finally got to go to Yankee stadium because after we purchased, I went to a MetLife. I went the stadium, I got really neat. I went to Madison square gardens, things I've never done in my life, met the people who run these businesses and they have such a difficult job. Could you imagine a football team has to make money 24 hours a year to make money. And it's super liberal that your pride helps them do that. But.

Randy:

Yeah. Yeah. Um, well, this is a good transition. So you're, I'll say you're relatively new. You didn't maybe grow up with, uh, loving baseball, but so, , it is that time of the show though, that we call is where we get to ask you a little bit about, uh, baseball. And if there's something that, uh, you know, our research team goes through and they go in and find out some stuff, , kind of relative to your niche being that your roots, we will say are in food and in the bagel industry. Uh, so we kind of went back and followed that route. And so we started looking at food in the MLB, you know, we could not find any stadium. So this may be something for you, another, uh, venture and possibly could not find any stadium that mentioned bagels, uh, that there are offering bagels or a bagel shop in the stadium. There's so many food venues, right? Nobody that we could find anyway, that had, uh, bagels. We did go. And I didn't mention to you, I went on line and went, uh, I love the Eagle, the Eagle, plus I think that's what I would be ordering. Somebody on our team was like, they'd like that earth wind and fire bagel that you're offering. So you got some good stuff. All right. So here's, here's where we're coming around. The seventh inning stretch, , MLB food fan Fest. Have you ever heard of that? It's relatively new, right? I have not. Uh, so evidently they started this back in, uh, 2018 in New York and it's a two day I would love it. I would take tickets to this thing all day long, two day M L B tasting event that showcases ballpark food and each of the 30 nationwide ballparks bring their signature dish or entree. , and then if you're attending as a fan, you can go around and taste them along with all of the other kinds of fun, MLB things that they would bring. So that is the, the food fan Fest. So they hadn't been, uh, New York in 2018 Los Angeles in 2019. and as I said, there was no bagels going on there. A lot of sandwiches. Of course you can imagine, you know, cheese steaks. Yeah. Cheese steaks from Philadelphia, the permittee brothers out of Pittsburgh, uh, Blaine, a beef in Chicago. Right. Um, uh, so here's the question for you, which stadium brought, the deli pastrami sandwich. One stadium brought a signature sandwich that might be close to your heart. It was the deli pastrami sandwich.

Doron:

Yeah.

Randy:

Do you know, do you know who brought it or, or maybe what stadium even, or what team brought it? You know,

Doron:

it's, uh, the guests that I would have, first of all, we bought appetite since September of last year. So this is a kind of a new business for me. I'm learning still a lot, but if I, you know, the natural guess would be the Yankees or the Mets, but I don't think you'd be asking me that question if it were the anchors or the meds. So my guess is.

Randy:

I love that you go. Like, I don't think he'd be asking me if it was the anchor. Well, I'm sorry. It is the Mets. And then I think, well, maybe we shouldn't have asked you that one. Yes. So Joan is Delhi, uh, um, and they actually fly their corn, beef and pastrami in from Chicago and a bunch of other stuff that they bring in. They fly it in overnight and they smoke it. , and I have some notes in here though, about the way that they do it is that it takes that they come in like 20 hours. Yeah, here it is. The team gets there, their pastrami there, their cooks at this data and get their 20 hours before the gates open. And then they start to smoke. Embrace the pastrami. Uh,

Doron:

yes, it's a real good, strong, so they probably get Chicago. They probably get it from Vienna. We used to do that in my belly as well. It's called double steamy. Hypersomnolence you get it astronomy from Vienna and then you steam it the night before and then, uh, like an hour and a half, two hours. And then the next day you would come in and at the time you put in as theater, probably half an hour to put in the frigerator after that, and then a half an hour before you start serving it, you put it in steamer and it makes it more sun, but it doesn't make it. So it just crumbles. So that's basically, and that's my guess is what they're doing.

Randy:

The, you, you know, your stuff here. This is good, actually. Yeah. You're still, your roots are in food. Um, yeah, and they, they do about 800 pounds per game day as what they end up serving. I mean, that is a lot of pastrami.

Doron:

So you said it's going to Jonas, St. John's valley,

Randy:

Santa Barbara. That's the place and at med stadium is totally crazy. All right, well, let's get back into it. So, uh, Doron , so you mentioned, , a bit about the pandemic and, and we talked about the sports teams. Uh, let's talk a little bit about how the game has changed since the pandemic. I mean, you've grown dramatically since even in those last couple of years during the pandemic, you've tripled your customer base. do you see that this trend of small businesses embracing technology, continuing pursuit of technology to aid their business, you see that trend, you think continue.

Doron:

Yeah. So I know we have big clients that are really good representation, that if you, when the epidemic hit, they started using QR codes to order at the table. They started, uh, they started to, um, do online ordering, and then all of a sudden businesses start opening up. And the ironic thing is, is download, ordering. Didn't slow down that much technology. So my biggest challenge is starting opening up. They have all these influx of orders around the same time, and then they have all their customers showing up. For me, it's not the same size kitchen. And so they couldn't service their customers. They couldn't get orders ready in time. So we had to build technology that basically sits. I can only handle a certain amount of orders every 15 minutes. And that's how it's evolving. It's this was a paramount. When people went to online to contact with the QR, you're seeing it in the stadium, they in their Cassius, you said Hawker to come up and down. Now it's cashless and there's certain laws in some so that you can, like in certain states you can give somebody a beer. So you get ordered through your equipment and go pick it up somewhere else. And so if you look at stadiums and sports agents, big taking the same technology that we saw in restaurants, right? Announced on squats. If kiosks self service checkout, you have your coven back of the CT scan the QR code. They know what figure at they can deliver your food there. Or you can go pick it up and know what restaurants are around you. So, you know, imagine the there's certain restaurants that decided to stay late. They can't order from that data. So based on where you're sitting, you have to figure out the technology as to where you can actually order from. And that's one of the other things that appetize does. And it's pretty cool.

Randy:

I love the technology, the introduction of technology and the expansion of it through the service industry, because I'm just imagining myself I'm at regularly and I need, uh, another, you know, bevy just get a scan, the QR code, boom. Right. I'm like, it heightens my love of the game and the experience I'm having, because I don't have to leave my seat. I'm like, yeah, I'm right here. You know? And I don't have to wait in line and, you know, miss and watch the game on the little 12 inch screen above that. Yeah. , that is, uh, amazing. I think. So, , what do you see around the corner for spot on, you know, you guys have grown so much so fast what's, you know, next year. Yes. I

Doron:

think, you know, so you have bathrooms, which is not spot on. We're going to go ahead and, you know, build better suite technologies and really start, you know, continue that innovation to make sure that the customer experiences, uh, games are amazing. That's fine. The next set of things is how do we still add technology that allows businesses to sell anywhere they want to sell? Whether it's, you know, selling out a third party, selling online, you are closing at a farmer's market, how you funnel all that in such a way that still makes it, they can grow their sales. They can still keep their service quality. So that's what pacing and things of that nature come integrate. Now we have pacing that does, um, based on dollar amounts and things of that nature. We need to be able to say, okay, select the items aren't going to be paced. Like for example, your pizza. You can order as many sounds as you want. It's not going to slow them down, but if you want to order your, your, your honestly only handles repeat this route hour or 15 minutes. And so we're going to get smarter and smarter with that. I think the future also is it's. How do we take the data of these customers and how do we increase? If you think about businesses, they are struggling immensely with labor, uh, getting employees to come in. They're struggling. If you know, the, the labor has gone up every year, you know, inflation, you have to pay in what like California labor went up 50% minimum wage over the past. What five, six years. How does someone who ran $300,000 in labor and makes a hundred thousand dollars a year deal with $150,000 of extra labor? Right. It's very difficult. So we have to use technology to make things really efficient. Number one, uh, whether it's it's our handheld, you know, something as simple as having a pre-selected tip on here. Helps businesses, keep their employees, pay their employees more without costing any money for their business. So just simple things. And that's what we need to continue to do is really evolve that and then use AI artificial intelligence for those people that should go ahead and learn what customers like and to increase the average purchase price. So if we can take the same customers and have them spend more money, that really is going to help these businesses, and we will only offer things that these customers really want to be offered, you know, interrupted by all these crazy ups. We don't believe in that it has to be meaningful for the customer.

Randy:

Yeah. And you talk about, you know, some of those experiences. So again, I think about my experience, you know, if I'm at a restaurant and I'm sitting there and just the way that technology has, and I really think it's come through, you know, since even the pandemic or it's been embraced more. , but like the handheld to be able to like, just do my transaction, , right there at the table, I don't, you know, the, the server's not having to like, here's your ticket and then they go away and then they come back, take my card. And I don't know, you know, this whole dance, instead of they're like, okay, you're ready. And they can just take my card and they scan it. Boom. And we get it done. And, , a quarter of the time maybe that it was taken before so that they can continue to go on and serve their other guests. , I love as well. I don't know if you guys are with this where they've got. A QR code and just pay my transaction. Uh, my, my ticket right there, um, without even having to do anything with a card, we

Doron:

to imagine how long it takes, how many times he sat, waiting for someone to come and get the best service in the world. And all of a sudden your server got busy and you're waiting for your check. You almost takes away that incredible experience because you need to get out of there even, especially if you have kids and that 20 seconds or something like that. That basically you're out, you got a receipt, 20 seconds. You stand up. You're good. Apple pay you're out, you're out the door. That's

Randy:

incredible. Yeah. Yeah, it is incredible. And I completely agree it, it helps con continue or, or ride that continuity of great experience. So it, it doesn't give any, , excuse or any opportunity for the guest or the client to have a bad experience. That business is removing that you mentioned about challenges. And I want to ask you, , this, and you talked about payroll, obviously the, the rising costs of payroll, um, from your perspective, because you do work with so many small businesses, What are you seeing as some of the, the major challenges that they're facing and some of the ways that you seeing that folks are overcoming those challenges, or maybe some, uh, some things that you and your organization can help them overcome.

Doron:

So I think you touched on labor. So if you have, you know, what we have with a handheld devices, with Gerard codes, those things, what they do is they allow these servers to basically serve more customers as a server in a restaurant walks miles. And so if you can reduce the back and forth. So, you know, usually when someone comes up and asks for, uh, you come up and you get a drink work, I get the gin quarter. So what do they do? They go in there and you think of Drake, what do they go back to the. They put in the drink order and then they have to come because they want you to get a drink order right away. So now imagine if we can go ahead and scan it, you're going to get drinks right away, put certain from your table. And you know, if you're hungry, you can start ordering your food immediately. And you're on their handheld. They order the food that I have to go back and you basically accomplish all that. The customer is happy with it, even if they didn't want to use it to you. I put to order just the fact that the person can come in and say, ah, let me put your drink order and send it to the kitchen. Not only is that servant not walking back, but the kitchen is not getting any data because what happens is the server where they do that. They could drink water. They go to the next thing, we'll take another check or another drink order. So they don't have to make so many trips. And then all of a sudden the bartender gets inundated. All these drink orders all at once. So this really makes even a kitchen and a bar as she worked for. And it increases the value of that surface.

Randy:

That's good stuff. I love what you guys are doing. It's making the world a better place. So we

Doron:

try, you know, we're not perfect for sure. We'll make a mistakes. We do try our,

Randy:

so here we are Doron . We're at the, uh, the bottom of the ninth. , and this is where I ask if you have any advice for the rookies in the game. I mean, you've been around, you've been on the bus for a long time. how about some advice? So for those folks who are just maybe starting out in business or who already are in business, and they're maybe looking for some guidance, some words of wisdom.

Doron:

Yeah. I think one of the things that I learned, I had a professor who was very interesting guy. He looked like John Lennon spoke perfect Mandarin and he would give us a pass at the Autodesk. And one day, uh, with janitor, you know, this guy comes in all the time. It's clean our roads and we see the janitor there. And so the question on the task list, what's a janitor's name, not a single person, passed the test. What did that teach you? It really teaches you that everyone in an organization plays a role and you need to reset everybody verbalization, and they're there to help your customers, helping you do your job to the best of your abilities. And so that brings up the idea. You know, if you care about all the people work in understanding what each one of them does, they are pivotal role in the success of your business, whether it's customer service, whether it's your cashier, whoever it is, your bigger it's the people who are working in the middle of the night, you know, baking, baking. Each one of them, you have to show that compassion. You have to let them know that they're special. You need to listen to them because you've learned from them. They don't things you don't know, and they can teach you this. So that's one piece of advice. The other piece of advice is you hire people who really make up for your weaknesses. And if you did that entrepreneurs, you, you would, you would think that, you know, their grade, their operator using entrepreneurial depression, a lot of ideas. If you look at studies of entrepreneurs and you ask them what their desk looks like, it's usually really messy, right? They're not organized. They're just thinking they're distracted, baby. So you really need to figure out what your weaknesses are admitting to yourself and then hire people who compliment those weaknesses. In my realization, I have these great pie. People who are that know process and like process way more than I do. And we're a good balancing act because I always tell them, I don't want the process to become a. I want the process to help us get the product to the right people. And I think that bounds, it will important. I think the next thing is delegate. Remember that those first days in my cafe, I wasn't doing a good job. I wasn't listening to my customers. I had no idea what they, you know, what was going on the product. Cause I was so busy doing everything else. I couldn't get my head above the weeds. And so you really need to delegate and allow people to do the work and they'll do everything. So if you micromanage you, people won't want to work for you and you will not be able to do a great job. And I think entrepreneurs are special. Three don't give up, just don't give up. You know, if you can't figure out something, fail fast and then pivot, that's it really, you know, I read a book, everybody should read it at the amp it up. And basically it's it tells you about, you know, be a driver hydro. Don't hire passengers now hire people who will help them grow their business and do things really well and drive the business forward. And I think that's really smart and, and that's, that's another thing that people should do. But I personally think all entrepreneurs and business people are, they think this we'd love entrepreneurs. You're the lifeblood of our economy. Um, you know, hard it is, uh, we're here always to help, but you know, we have a special place in our heart project. Thank you for what you do here.

Randy:

Well, thank you. I'd tell ya. And thanks for being on the show and I truly actually really appreciate and respect kind , the way that you approach business, because, uh, you really do approach it with a level of humanity and empathy , service mentality, I think, , wanting to help your clients and customers. And, , it's like. Position and, , to promote. So, , appreciate that. And thank you for being on the show. I do want to share as well, uh, folks that, , their own in the folks that spot up are providing a special opportunity where you can save up to $500 on a new payment terminal or point of sale was spot on and we'll have, , the URL it's spot on.com/offer. We'll have that in the show notes. You can go and check that out and, uh, I appreciate that offer for audience, uh, Doron that's great. , all right. Any last thing, anything that, uh, you maybe wanted to say that we didn't get to?

Doron:

I mean, uh, I'm humbled to be on the show. I think it's great. And I really just want to wish all the entrepreneurs that watch this show. I wish you the most amount of success and. Whenever we can do it out the album, we would love to have the app, but really just keep doing what you're doing and help this economy grow and enjoy what you do too, because it's really special.

Randy:

All right. All right. Well, thanks really appreciate you having me on the show and folks. That's the ball game. Thanks for joining us today. If you like our show, tell your friends subscribe and we'll see around the ballpark. Running the basis with small businesses is brought to you by 38 digital market. A digital marketing agency, committed to client growth with lead generation higher conversions and increased sales connect with us today at 38digitalmarket.com.