Skip to content

A FREE Contactless Solution For Your Restaurant! Let’s Take A Moment With Shama Hyder

Shama Hyder:

We were the first two to come out and say, “We will offer full contactless solutions.” I know Rom, you’ve been pretty much sleeping in your office trying to get restaurants onboarded with this technology. If there’s a restaurant that’s listening out there and regardless of whether they’re like an enterprise chain or they’re a small mom and pop, what’s the one thing that you would want to tell them that they should do right now and what’s the one thing they should really be thinking about as soon as they open back up to actually take customers again?

Rom Krupp:

The first thing is don’t give up. There’s some brands that feel that the business is not there, that’s not enough, and they give up. So, first of all, don’t give up. This is a time to experiment and innovate. You can try menu items you never had dared to because they weren’t exactly on brand. You can try curbside, you can try delivery. Don’t look at it as a profit exercise. Look at it as an exercise to learn your brand. Experiment with your brand. Experiment with technology.

Shama Hyder:

Hey everyone, Shama Hyder here. I guess our let’s take a moment today became let’s take two. Sorry about earlier delays if you tried to watch this live earlier. We were having some technical difficulties, but it seems like that’s very much par for the course right now in this new world that we are all living in and trying to figure out not just how to survive but hopefully really thrive in this world of COVID-19 and working from home and just so many things have changed with social distancing and so forth.

Shama Hyder:

And my goal with these live videos is to be able to highlight different areas of business of our world that are going to be forever and fundamentally changed, and to give you the skills and strategies and tools that you need to be able to succeed in these times and the soon to be times. So today, I’m joined by a very special guest. His name is Rom Krupp. Say hi, Rom.

Rom Krupp:

Hi, everyone.

Shama Hyder:

Rom is the founder and CEO of OneDine. He is also a veteran in the restaurant and hospitality space, also one of my dearest friends. And probably Rom, you’re probably one of the smartest people that I know, like hands down one of the smartest people that I know. And that’s how I often introduce him. I say, Rom is the smartest and also the most ethical person I know, which is a wonderful combination.

Shama Hyder:

We thought for this specific live, let’s take a moment this week. We’d really focus in on restaurants and hospitality, because I feel like this is one industry where we’ve seen massive change, massive disruption, and we’re going to continue to see more.

Shama Hyder:

So Rob, can you give us from your perspective what you’re seeing right now? What did the world’s sort of right before COVID-19 look like, what it looks like right now and what it might look like in the very near future. So, just sort of give us maybe like a 360 view.

Rom Krupp:

Sure. First, thank you for the kind words. And with an intro like that, I’m going to try to live up to that. So, prior to this, the restaurant space, it’s a growing space. People were spending more money in restaurants than in grocery stores. That pivot has happened about four or five years ago. More and more outlets are opening. So, the industry is experiencing amazing growth estimated to be at almost 900 billion this year before the crisis.

Rom Krupp:

With this crisis, restaurants had no advanced notice. Literally one day, government goes on TV, tells us to start social distancing, shut down dining rooms and all that money shifted away from restaurants really to grocery stores and online ordering, and restaurants that were equipped to handle it. Restaurants that had drive throughs and a high presence in delivery. They’re doing okay. Some are actually thriving, but most of just doing okay.

Rom Krupp:

But restaurants that heavily relied on an in-store dining, found themselves with a business model that doesn’t work. So, a lot of innovations coming out of it, both technological and non-technological innovations. But one of the things that the restaurants are looking for beyond the immediate solution and social distancing will end, but it will have a long tail.

Rom Krupp:

The longer this lasts, the more people’s norms are changing. People become more and more conscious into things like viruses and germs in general, not just viruses. So, I think people are going to be more aware of what they touch, how food is being touched, how food is being prepared, how they’re taking payments. How much interaction do you have with exchanging things.

Rom Krupp:

I think right now, we’re looking at door handles as the enemy. We kick it open. We don’t even touch it. You do that for three, four months and it’s hard for a lot of people to go back. Yeah, some people will go back the way it was, but a percentage of population won’t go back early. And until we have a vaccine or really effective treatments, I think there will be a lot of mitigating controls around all of hospitality to make sure that customers and employees and team members feel safe to work and interact.

Rom Krupp:

So, in the airline world, how does seating and planes look like? And hotels, how does … Think about people have to clean your rooms and the exposure they have. I mean there’s going to be a lot of changes there. And then when you think about restaurants, some of the most dirtiest things you can get into restaurants are menus, printed menus.

Rom Krupp:

So, how do you keep those clean? Do you go to disposable one time use menus? Do you go to contactless payment as a standard? The U S has been notoriously behind some of the other Western world and even some of the Asian markets where payments are much more advanced there. And now, we were kicking and screaming into EMV, just smart chips.

Rom Krupp:

We’re going to leapfrog now and get into a more contactless world. So, I think restaurants have to look at it as not just a short term fixed. We’ll do curbside and meal prep kits and even selling raw ingredients. They need to think of also longterm. How do they look in day one of reopening and day 365? Because there’s going to be a long tail to this as I keep saying.

Shama Hyder:

I think it’s interesting. If you look at Germany, I feel like there’s other countries that are already setting the precedent for what it might look like for when we get out of this. And so in Germany, they are getting back to business to some degrees. They’re lifting the lockdown as I understand it, but they’re limiting gathering.

Shama Hyder:

So, you are going to have 50 or less people at a given thing. You have to wear masks when you’re in public. And then when you were in restaurants, you’re actually limiting how many tables you can have and how much distance. They have protocols that we have to follow. So, this really changes.

Shama Hyder:

And I know you’re talking to brands every single day with OneDine, right? The full contactless solution, which I’m really proud of by the way to be a part of. And I love that we were the first to come out and say we will offer a full contactless solutions.

Shama Hyder:

I know, Rom, you’ve been pretty much sleeping in your office trying to get restaurants onboarded with this technology. If there’s a restaurant that’s listening out there and regardless of whether they’re like an enterprise chain or they’re a small mom and pop, what’s the one thing that you would want to tell them that they should do right now and what’s the one thing they should really be thinking about as soon as they open back up to actually take customers again.

Rom Krupp:

Yeah, sure. So right away, the first thing is don’t give up. There’s some brands that feel that the business is not there, that’s not enough, and they give up. So, first of all, don’t give up. This is a time to experiment and innovate. You can try menu items you never had dared to because they weren’t exactly on brand. You can try curbside, you can try delivery.

Rom Krupp:

Don’t look at it as a profit exercise. Look at it as an exercise to learn your brand. Experiment with your brand. Experiment with technology. Keep some employees engaged, core employees that you need to maintain continuity. Because if you lose your employees, think about the market post opening. There will be a lot of people out there, very talented people that were maybe anchored to certain brands for a long time, then that will be on the market and are open to rehire. So in general, you have to have some continuity.

Rom Krupp:

What they need to think about right now is how do they take this time to emerge better, smarter, more equipped to tomorrow. Are meal kits here to stay? There’s companies that built their whole business around meal kits. Restaurants can come up with meal kits. Not every occasion will be a dining out occasion for a while. How do we maintain the dining in? How do I take my favorite dish from a restaurant as a meal kit and I go prep it in my home?

Rom Krupp:

Which brings a whole different question. How do restaurants gain back the business they lost to a grocery business? And the grocery businesses thriving. Somebody told me in that industry that every day is like Thanksgiving right now in sales volumes.

Rom Krupp:

That money didn’t come out of nowhere. That money completely got poached out of the restaurant industry. So, in some respect, how do the restaurants should be rebuilt and how does it take back and even increase by offering more services? I’m not saying they should sell toilet papers after this. What I am saying is they should really look at the opportunity to take four or five favorite items and create permanent meal kits out of them, which will introduce an agenda item that I think needs to happen out there, which is how do restaurants universally get qualified for SNAP? Because the moment you start selling unprepped food, why can’t you tap into …

Shama Hyder:

Can you tell people who don’t know what SNAP is, what SNAP is?

Rom Krupp:

Yeah. So, it used to be called the food stamp system, but now it’s called SNAP. And SNAP is the way for the federal government to funnel people of low income or unemployed money to buy food, essential food. And today, it’s very limited in the restaurant industry. Very, very limited.

Rom Krupp:

There’s some restaurants in some States get exempt for certain products like pizzas that are unbaked to take home to bake. Now, we’ve got meal preps and raw ingredients being sold out of restaurants. Before this crisis, 40 million Americans were on SNAP. After this crisis, there are estimated 60 million more will join. That’s a huge financial budget that today is almost only in the grocery world. It should come mostly to the restaurant industry in a limited capacity, right?

Rom Krupp:

I don’t think you should be able to go and order a ribeye steak with it that’s cooked. But if you’re buying ingredients to meal prep, why not? Why not be another channel? [crosstalk 00:10:53].

Shama Hyder:

I mean, the rules say that you have to have raw ingredients, right? It can’t be cooked, which is why restaurants can’t offer it right now with what they have as is.

Rom Krupp:

Correct. But right now, they should be able to. And I think the USDA should take an action right away to immediately enable all the restaurants to sell on ingredients.

Shama Hyder:

I know you got a Change petition for that right now.

Rom Krupp:

Yeah. We just started a Change.org petition to try to drive that. Because I think the USDA could make a decision instantly that enables all restaurants on those products to accept SNAP.

Shama Hyder:

I’ll put a link down in the comments, guys, so you can see it and sign it.

Rom Krupp:

Yeah, that will be great. We just launched. We really think that, that wallet … Restaurants need to be able to tap that wallet, especially with the unemployment we’re about to see in the long tail. I think restaurants need to be able to accept those dollars, especially since to some respect, the lack of preparation and the overnight closing of dining room is what causes such a severe damage to the restaurants.

Rom Krupp:

I think restaurants add a month or two preparation towards closures. They could have built technologies and plans and menus and everything to be ready day one as opposed to react in an emergency, catastrophic way.

Rom Krupp:

So again, back to that, I think restaurants in general need to think about post-COVID world because we might deal with this before vaccine and treatment for 12, 18 months. We don’t know. Everybody’s guess is probably as good as mine. So, how do we go to …

Shama Hyder:

[crosstalk 00:12:19] your guess is probably better than most people’s.

Rom Krupp:

Time will tell. History only remembers the good guesses, not the bad ones. Everybody is a Nostradamus in hindsight. So generally speaking, I think though, this is the time to prep the dining rooms. They can’t wait.

Rom Krupp:

We had a no notice to change and adopt to close dining rooms, but now we know dining rooms will eventually open. Dining rooms have to be prepped today. Actions need to be taken today. So, when it does reopen, because it can be in a week, two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, whatever it might be in your state, in your area, in your county, are you ready for that day? Are you ready from a printed menu perspective? Are you ready from a hygiene, from table layouts, from checking your employees and potentially your customers for temperature?

Rom Krupp:

I mean, the government is talking about, and some countries are experimenting with testing people and giving them a certificate that they already had it, so they’re immune. So, let me ask you a question. Who joins society, the immune people or the non-immune people?

Rom Krupp:

Because if we can only test 10 million people, 12 million people, what happens to the other 300 million people? Do they stay home until they get sick or until there’s a vaccine? Or do we do the reverse? So, what do you do? I mean, there’s a big challenge. We’re dealing with a mass population. So, how do restaurants and hospitality deal with that? How do they prepare so they’re ready for day one?

Rom Krupp:

If they wait and suddenly next week, your local government says, the governor says, “Next week, we’ll reopening.” What do you do? Are you scrambling again? And now brands that had foresight, and instead of spending this downtime, just shutting down the business to actually spend this downtime to reinvent the business, put the mitigating controls in place. They’re going to be ready for that business and you might not.

Rom Krupp:

So, my recommendation to restaurateurs is act now. Think about everything in your building. Are your doors only swing outwards? Do you have to double hinge doors so people can use their foot to open and close doors on the way out? They’re not touching handles as opposed to having an employee wipe it down every few minutes, which still might not be effective.

Rom Krupp:

What are you doing about your POS stations between employee usage? How are you going to handle credit cards? How are you going to handle menus? How are you going to handle silverware? Are employees going to wear gloves? Do you have a source for those gloss? What’s the routine around changing the gloves? What about face masks? What do you do with face mask as far as service?

Rom Krupp:

You know what, I saw this great innovation came out of … I think it was a mother, daughter that they realized that people that rely on lip reading can’t lip read because of masks. So, they cut a piece away and put a plastic …

Shama Hyder:

Yeah, there’s a transparent … Yeah, so you can actually see. That’s right.

Rom Krupp:

Right. But he also sees the smile. We’re going to the hospitality industry. You want to have people smiling at us. It’s going to be very creepy if everybody serves us like it’s a hospital cafeteria for a while. So, there’s a psychological [crosstalk 00:15:16].

Shama Hyder:

I saw the doctors and nurses, they’re printing the pictures, like their photo ID and posting … On there, just a regular printer and putting it on their clothes so people know who’s behind the mask, so patients feel comfortable with whoever is treating them, which makes a lot of sense.

Shama Hyder:

So, I think anytime you’re giving any type of care, whether it’s hospitality or even healthcare, it’s the same concept, right? People want to connect with a face. They want to feel like they can …

Shama Hyder:

It’s funny because if you look at digital trends and things like that, the use of emojis, right? Use of emojis or even they’ve done studies where even just showing a person’s picture next to their Slack profile, whatever, it increases empathy, It increases how we talk. We don’t see them as robots. We see them as actual human beings and it changes the tone and the timber of our conversations.

Shama Hyder:

Rom, I know it’s what I’ve been telling brands and businesses across the board is that this is a great time for you to prepare. You were caught off guard perhaps by this, but this is your chance not to be caught off guard because if you really sit down and you do this exercise and you say, “What do we know is going to change in our business?”

Shama Hyder:

Even in businesses that … Look at hotels and lobbies. How do you restructure your lobby so the chairs aren’t next to each other? You and I have talked about airplanes. [crosstalk 00:16:38].

Rom Krupp:

Elevators.

Shama Hyder:

Yeah. And you made a great point about airplanes. When is the next time you’re going to be comfortable sitting shoulder to shoulder to a stranger? Probably not anytime soon. And of course, airlines have made a lot of money by putting people, squeezing them in sardines as many as possible, and I feel like that’s going to change.

Rom Krupp:

I read an article. I don’t mean to cut you off, but I read an article right before this. One of the airlines that I won’t mention actually said that their research showed that people actually won’t even get closer. People want even smaller seats and more tight. I’m like, “Really?” I fly 100,000 miles a year sometimes and I’ll tell you, never in my life I thought about, “I need less space.”

Shama Hyder:

Yes. It’s amazing what skewed market research can … What you can get out of there.

Rom Krupp:

You ask only the CFO of the airline, I think. That was the only control number.

Shama Hyder:

Oh, man. Yeah. Yes, nobody ever. And you’re right, I think we’re going to think … The other thing that you’d mentioned when we were on our call and it really stuck with me is you said, “How many days does it take to change behavior to create a habit?” And we know through psychology and behavior studies that it takes 21 days. 21 days for something to be really ingrained in us.

Shama Hyder:

So, we’ve had more than 21 days. Going through this in the … So, it is going to change a lot of our habits, right? Do we lean in and do we shake hands with people? And so if you think about it from a hospitality but also broader business, how many people are going to want to venture out, wait in lobbies, in waiting rooms?

Shama Hyder:

So, even if you’re a healthcare practitioner, I know a lot of people who put off, of course, planned surgeries and planned procedures, because they don’t want to be in the … I understand. They don’t want to be in a place where you have other sick people perhaps with the virus or not. And so I think you have to … This is a great time in your business to think about all these things and say, “This is our moment.”

Shama Hyder:

See, I think really smart businesses aren’t just thinking about what do we need to do to mitigate. I think they’re thinking about what do we need to do to take full advantage, and not in a creepy way by far or not … This isn’t opportunistic, like selling sanitizer for 10X or something ridiculous and completely … I mean terrible.

Shama Hyder:

I’m talking more about, thinking about how can you be the first. How can you really own … So, I did this video recently and I talked about airlines. They’re going the opposite direction according to a study that you’re talking about, which is a terrible idea.

Shama Hyder:

The idea, the thought that I had was all these airlines are sending out these very, very bland vanilla emails saying, “We follow procedures. We keep things clean.” And it’s like, “Yes, this is what you were supposed to be doing this entire time.”

Shama Hyder:

That doesn’t help people any saying, “Oh, we spray down our menus with this.” You were supposed to be doing that anyways. There’s like a basic, sort of the ground floor that’s expected. I think this is the opportunity for the airline to say, “We are the most hygienic, cleanest airline in all of the skies. We are the safest.”

Shama Hyder:

This is a time for someone to really own that moment and to see that we are the first. I mean, look at OneDine. I know how hard everyone has been working on the team and the focus to say, “We’re offering a completely zero contact, full contactless solution.” That’s powerful. I know it’s just a matter of time before competitors jump on board and try to [crosstalk 00:20:23].

Rom Krupp:

That’s okay. There’s enough restaurants to serve everyone. I mean, I’m for one encourage competition. It drives innovation and we alone cannot solve the problems for every restaurant in the country. There’s a lot of restaurants, a lot of businesses, and I could spend a lifetime and not get to a market share that’s big enough. So, [crosstalk 00:20:43].

Shama Hyder:

And now you guys see why I love Rom so much and why I think he’s such an outstanding person. I think to your point, Rom, this is a time for people in the industry to really be leaders. And this is what I keep trying to explain to people and say, “This is your moment.”

Shama Hyder:

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. We’re talking hospitality, we’re talking restaurants. But really, at the end of the day, it is about what value are you bringing to your customers based on the things they care about now. They care about now.

Shama Hyder:

Rom, you shared a really interesting story with me before where a CEO of a chain I won’t name went in, gave their credit card and then said, “I don’t want the credit card back. I don’t want to touch it again.” So, I think we’re going to see some major changes in that regard for what we as consumers, all of us, consider acceptable.

Shama Hyder:

And I think the businesses, the brands that really win are the ones that can think about this. And this is your time. This is the time and space. Think about it, and to enact those things, because even if you say … For example, Zen Media, we’ve been remote for 11 plus years. This hasn’t changed much in terms of our infrastructure, how we deliver to clients.

Shama Hyder:

But I know so many people that were never dragged into this. They never wanted to work from home. They never allowed for remote working. So now, it’s a whole layer of other things to contend with. So, that caught you off guard. This situation, what’s coming, I feel like really shouldn’t catch us off guard, because we know. You can just look around and see how people are different, how your customer base is going to be different and then you have to cater to that.

Rom Krupp:

In general speaking, society sometimes is more aspirational than the technologies and tools that are given. And for the first time, I think in a long period of history I would say is where technology and innovation was more aspirational than when society wants to be.

Rom Krupp:

So, we had the means and tools to do amazing things before this and culturally, we then adopt it. What we’re doing right now, I’ve been using video conferencing softwares for 18 years. But at the same time, I can tell you to every sales rep probably that I’ve ever worked with, clients wants to see us. They want to see us face to face. It’s not going to be the same thing. We’re not going to close the deal on us. We fly 1,000 miles and go see them for 20 minutes.

Rom Krupp:

But the reality is, is the cost of that travel, the cost of the effort. It’s all baked into the final price we’re paying that they always want discounts on, right? So, it’s kind of an oxymoron. But at the same time, so technology has been way ahead of where society has contactless payments. Order ahead. This is nothing new. There’s no major breakthrough innovation.

Rom Krupp:

In all the technologies we’re using right now, nothing is really a breakthrough innovation in a long time, but just culturally, we needed disruptive events to actually adopt. And for me, I know it’s going to hurt some industries, but for me I think this is a positive change where we’re actually catching up to what’s available to us. Because to some respect, it was a ticking time bomb to a lot of things, right?

Rom Krupp:

From companies wanting very low margins, because they feeling like they’re forced to spend travel money and trade show money that … It’s like a pay to play at this point. If you don’t participate, it’s table stakes. We don’t participate, you’re just not going to have any reputation to now, can we be more virtual?

Rom Krupp:

There’s certain business models that have been broken and irrelevant for a long, long time, but they still survive because of the cultural part of it. But with every old things that are outdated and are going to phase out, there’s room for new innovation.

Rom Krupp:

So, the beautiful thing about being a technologist and always future thinking is we can get people to catch up to what we’ve had around for 20 years. Now, they’re going to be forced into catch up, which now will spark a brand new line of innovation back to the competition.

Rom Krupp:

You can monetize video conferencing, you can monetize these technologies, virtual trade shows and now it’s going to force people to innovate the next version and the next innovation as opposed to right now, we’re playing with, “Oh I’ve got better quality video. I have better quality audio, HD audio. Is there anything but HD audio? Am I tuning into AM for this conference call?”

Rom Krupp:

So, I think, again, this will drive innovation. I always look at 2008 and the financial crisis. Look at HDTVs. HDTVs have been around years prior to 2008, but there was nothing that drives to culture to go buy new TVs and adopt a new broadcasting system. So, it was hard. It was hard to sell it, and price of TVs were high. And then the crisis came out and the government sent us a bailout check. And I can’t remember the exact numbers, so I won’t quote it, but a significant number of people used that bailout check to buy flat screen TVs.

Shama Hyder:

I remember that, actually.

Rom Krupp:

Overnight, HD became the standard and now we’re pushing 8K a few years later. So, I just think that sometimes disruptive events … You got to be empathetic to the bad of them. Casualties are never something you want to consider, and nobody advocating that we should have negative events. Transformational events like this can be also positive, not just negative.

Rom Krupp:

So, I think businesses right now have to reevaluate. What technologies that they didn’t want to adopt, they should adopt? What business culture they should adopt? What’s available today and then drive companies that build technologies to now think about tomorrow. We’ve taken care of today and now let’s think about tomorrow. So, where’s restaurants in 2030?

Shama Hyder:

And I hope that everyone watching this will heed that, because I think you’ve said some really important things wrong. Innovation is often thrust upon us, right? And this is a time for people to embrace that to be able to think long game. Change is often painful. It just is. It’s the very nature of the old caterpillar into a butterfly thing.

Shama Hyder:

And I think sadly, given the changes brought forth by a pandemic, of course, there’s loss of life. People have lost loved ones. It’s not an easy time by any stretch of the imagination. But I think in terms of what you do, I guess, from a business perspective and how you’re able to use this lens to get sharper or better, stronger.

Shama Hyder:

I think all of these things are really valuable. So, thank you so much for joining us today, Rom. Hope you guys enjoyed this. Let’s take a moment with Shama. We’ll be back next week. And if you have questions, leave them in comments. I promise we will try to answer as many as possible. Thanks for watching guys.

Rom Krupp:

Thank you, Shama.

LET'S GET STARTED

What's your moment?
Daily videos to ignite your momentum

What's your moment? Daily videos to ignite your momentum

Receive daily videos with strategies, best practices, and litmus tests for discovering and igniting your moment.