And i’m richard weil and i’m joined today by our senior consultant, sandy clark, who’s going to introduce our special guests. So, sandy, please, if you would. I am thrilled to introduce ted vong.
Ted vong, a business in colorado springs called short stop. Does drive thru burgers and a lot of catering in the catering season. When I asked ted before we came live, how many years he said, 28 all restaurant tours? No, if you have made it 28 years, that is heroic in our business.
So, ted, how are you and your family and your staff and everyone coping through pandemic? Thank you for asking. We’re all doing well. Everyone is safe and healthy. Employees are very well motivated.
They’re very thankful that they’re still working. Considering the circumstances I don’t think I can ask for anything better. So what are you doing at short stop?
To adapt to what’s going on right now. There are a few things that we’re doing. I feel that it’s extremely helpful on our catering side with the mobile units that we do have.
We’re reaching out to companies like king soopers, sam’s club, people that are employing quite a few people ever worked in a lot of a lot of hours.
We’re reaching out to them to see if we can come out and you have discounted price and offer them lunch or dinner. We set out for three or four hours where they have multiple shifts.
And for example, we just got done doing a catering offer king soopers, we brought our trailer out. We set up in an environment where meets cdc guidelines, social distancing as far as, also servicing their employees only an hour x amount of people coming out all at once.
So we’re making their meal on site. So they come to the window, order you they don’t have to make any money transaction. They basically ordered the food and we make it and headed out individually and doing all our again following cdc and health department regulations and keeping your head of state.
That’s one that event on a kicker inside to keep our food trucks busy. And then the inside the restaurant, the challenges that we’re facing number one was when we got the information that, all sit down restaurants are getting close down, but drive-thrus and take-outs are able to stay open.
So the first thing I did was got my management staff together and say, okay, here’s the situation. You know, everybody’s kind of concerned or we’re gonna get laid off or we’re going to stay in an operation being in the business for over 28 years. I had a feeling that we’re gonna drive in this situation.
This is our niche. This is all we do is drive-thru and take out what that being said, there’s gonna be some challenges will be facing a lot of sit down restaurant is gonna be looking at how are we going to stay in business and transition into takeout and, curbside so they can see business to keep their in point?
Some of these that we came across what are customer is going to do. Are they gonna you know, frequent restaurants that are open? What are some of the supplies that were gonna look it running into shortage of like, for example, clean supplies, gloves, sanitizer, disposable mainly disposable.
Because when you transition from sit down into takeout, that increases the amount of paper product that needs to go out the door. So once we identify those issues, we went straight to our vendors.
We have. You know, I understand that you’re wearing this. We work with you in the past. Immediately. We met with our vendors.
You know, we have primaries and secondaries and third source to get the product that we need to do to run our business. And we sat down with them and identify these are the key items that we need to stay in business.
And what are some of the anticipated problems that you guys were seeing? Or we’re gonna have truck shortages, but we’re gonna have shorted justifying cleanings, or even paper items of and luckily, because of our experience in the industry, some of the concerns that we brought up was a valid, you know, trucks being turned around and not getting deliveries of shortages of cleaning, supply incentive, sanitizing solutions and gloves and the paper products automatically went from, you know, average usage. Too high demand because all restaurants now switching over to using paper products for deliveries and support, so the next up that were mainly instead of just in reactive.
I felt that we were very proactive. And as a business owner, I think when you have any advice, backing up to anybody is when you’re a business owner, do you absolutely have to take responsibility for your business and you and only you know your business better than anybody else.
You know what you need. Identify those areas of concerns and be proactive and go out there, get the things that we need, what’s were identified, all the areas that we, like paper products and cleaning supplies and all our main items.
We used nathan’s and some of our proprietary burgers. We reach out to all the vendors to let him know that we’re in anticipating an increase in sales because of the fact that we are, , this is what we’ve been doing for 28 years, and I believe we’re gonna drive in this business. And I believe we estimate a 50% increase in sales, and right now we’re hovered right between 50 to 60% on increase.
So by passing that information into our vendors, we were able to stay a step ahead of most of the people that, you know, that was still trying to figure it out or has not had the experience working in this type of environment.
With that being said, we have the facility to house a lot of extra paper product that we need, like bags, burger wraps containers, to-go containers as well as some of the things that we need to keep like sanitizers and gloves in order to stay open by help those.
So we were able to get that product in, and some of what heads up from some of the vendors who say these are some concern areas, your burger wraps is gonna be cut off. We’re not getting our trucks in, or your you know, hotdog containers are not coming in.
So we actually plan for a back up plan and went on to the internet and found some companies that actually has that product and now we’re working closely with those companies ordering on a regular basis of keeping her shipment coming in.
The advantage of that is, we take advantage of a different type of shipping companies like fedex and ups, and, the united states postal service is as opposed to just relying on the trucking industry.
So, we were able to stop our some of that stuff to keep us open, and so far it’s been working really well. And finally, I think that one of the big things that has helped us out in this whole situation is give it back to the community.
Through all rough times, our customers have always been there for us, and in this situation, most of our customers lost your job in that environment of so we put up a sign on her company on a company window that if you know anybody in need, are struggling or just lost, your job shouldn’t benefit from a free meal.
Just have him come see us. And so and that’s what we did. And there was times where we just say between this hour and this hour. Anybody that needs a free meal come see us and we did that.
And the response I got from the community was just so amazing. Even though we were just doing is a thank you to our customer that helped us out to the past.
It has come back and our community supported back. Yeah, through this whole situation’s so what a great way to thank everyone. Exactly. And that’s what we wanted to do. Was just saying thank you.
You know, you helped us when we were going through rough times, and we want to say thank you and help you through this temporary situation.
Anything else that? Anything else that on q public can be doing to be more helpful to your industry. I think for the industry as a whole, if you’re working and you’re able to come out and keep yourself safe to support any local businesses, that’s in your area.
You know, we as small business or any business greatly appreciate any kind of effort or attempt share our facebook page.
Or business page on your social media tell friends and families which experiences are you know, just kind of get the word out there and more importantly, businesses that are transitioning from sit down to take out, um, or, you know, curbside service.
Maybe show a little compassion. It, uh, some compassion and that they were going through some challenges. You know, I think that goes a long ways.
Absolutely. Ted, I want to jump in. And first thank you for sharing that. I loved hearing about how you immediately jumped into action and start identifying problem areas. And then you went into solutions right away. Thank you for sharing that with everybody.
And I just want to ask this one question and it’s, you know, we’re all here. We’re here to support restaurants to support this industry.
What do you see? That we maybe can be doing more of or should be doing that kind of lacking. We just want to make sure we’re doing everything possible. I’d love to get your thoughts on that.
One of the biggest challenges we’re seeing right now or you made your food vendors. Are having a really hard time trying to adjust to.
Could have supported who want to support. More importantly, I would recommend for any businesses that are out there, you know the use of your company and what you need in your company.
Reach out to the vendors, talk to yourselves, share that information because they’re brainstorming right now trying to figure out what kind of products to bring into supporting us.
And if they have that information, I believe they’ll be. You know, they can streamline things a little bit quicker, as opposed to trying to figure it out internally.
Excellent. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it, richard. You want to wrap things up for us? Well, that we just can’t thank you enough for your time this afternoon. We know you’ve got businesses to run, and, it’s really wonderful to listen to your take on the process and best wishes to you, your family and your and your staff and all your restaurants. And for sure, all of our friends in colorado springs still can’t thank you enough, but that’ll wrap it up today and bye for now. So thank you.
Thank you. Thank you, ted. Thanks for having me.