Pizza Expo Podcast Episode 5- Michael Androw
[00:00:00.000] - Rev and Eric
We are back for another exciting episode of "Who's at Pizza Expo".
[00:00:05.470] - Rev and Eric
We go for the original names here, you know. Really thought it out.
[00:00:08.740] - Rev and Eric
We're at the Marqii booth. We are with World Pizza Champion Mike Androw. This this isn't live, so just a couple days later. World Pizza Champion Mike Androw going be announced tomorrow. Right?
[00:00:21.300] - Michael
[00:00:22.030] - Rev and Eric
Tonight. So excited for this guy. Yeah. So excited for this guy E&D Pizza, Avon, Connecticut. Right. How's Expo been today?
[00:00:31.810] - Michael
Wonderful. Always. Never disappoints.
[00:00:33.880] - Rev and Eric
How many have you been to?
[00:00:36.300] - Michael
Like, at least a dozen.
[00:00:38.040] - Rev and Eric
I think that's the winning number today.
[00:00:40.270] - Rev and Eric
That's a pretty good number.
[00:00:41.470] - Michael
That makes me the oldest, great, thanks.
[00:00:43.410] - Rev and Eric
One of the things we've been asking about...
[00:00:45.790] - Rev and Eric
This Is my first, so.
[00:00:46.540] - Rev and Eric
We've been talking and there's been a lot of plant based toppings here. Is there a place for that in your restaurant?
[00:00:54.810] - Michael
To be determined, to be determined. I don't have a lot of call for it, but it doesn't mean that if I didn't put it on the menu and offer it, it might take off. So, I have to wait and see and get back to you with a better answer on that down the road.
[00:01:10.430] - Rev and Eric
So, the restaurant, you had dine-in, Covid hits, you switched completely to a delivery carry-out Delco unit, and then you made the decision to go full Delco forever. Still feel good about that.
[00:01:24.780] - Michael
[00:01:25.780] - Rev and Eric
Will you ever feel good about that?
[00:01:27.750] - Michael
No, never. No, never. I mean I was raised in this business and to have a restaurant with no seating is just completely odd. But we're still busy from open to close seven days a week. So, if ain't broke don't fix but you know, I think at some point we'll go back, but we don't know where this is going to end. I mean we see, we thought it was over and it's back again so, who knows, we'll play it by ear and see but yeah, it's odd. It's very odd, but it works.
[00:01:54.690] - Rev and Eric
Yeah. What do you think about the rise of virtual restaurants?
[00:01:59.580] - Michael
It's, uh, virtually interesting.
[00:02:03.930] - Rev and Eric
A very safe answer.
[00:02:04.830] - Michael
I'm not a huge fan.
[00:02:07.200] - Rev and Eric
[00:02:11.160] - Michael
There's a customer for everything. There is a customer for virtual restaurants. I am not that customer. I want to know where my food comes from. Not just some name of a restaurant that doesn't exist or it's in the back of the industrial building. It's not a knock on the quality. You know, I have no idea, could be the greatest thing in the world, but it just don't sit right with me personally.
[00:02:32.080] - Rev and Eric
Right, right. We are...Marqii is sponsoring us. We're going to be talking here in about an hour on the big stage, and we're going to talk about some social media, some marketing stuff. And one of the things I talk about is pizza operators that don't take advantage of their own Facebook page to promote their brand, themselves, their business. And you're a guy that I feel like does a great job of that. You talk about your family, you talk about your community, you talk about your business, too. But people connect over like, your kids but how many people here walk up and talk to you about Enzo?
[00:03:01.920] - Michael
I get a lot of that.
[00:03:02.860] - Rev and Eric
A lot? You should talk about your family. People connect over that.
[00:03:05.200] - Michael
World Pizza Champion and people know my kids, my oldest kid more than they do me.
[00:03:09.300] - Rev and Eric
Right. That's why I don't put my wife on social media or my kid, because I don't want you to stop knowing me.
[00:03:16.320] - Rev and Eric
Right but well, but we live in this world where how many people walk into your restaurant? How many times does somebody walk into your restaurant like, "I know the owner?" I think it's okay to let them know you, to connect because you're part of that community, you live there, they should know who you are.
[00:03:29.350] - Michael
That's part of the philosophy I preach. I'm not, you know, my pizza will sell itself. My pizza is good, my pizza is good, you know that. Great. It's like the old Quentin Tarantino, I know the coffee is good, I buy the effing coffee.
[00:03:41.161] - Rev and Eric
[00:03:41.590] - Michael
And it's the same thing with pizza. That's not my goal. My goal is to be your friend. My goal is to be your friend. Anyone that's ever taken a Sales 101 class, first thing they always teach you, become friends of your potential customer because people buy from their friends. Some people get annoyed from here to the moon about that. "Oh, I know owner." I don't. I love it. Do you really know me? No. You know my name. That's good enough.
[00:04:04.990] - Michael
Everyone's going to say, "we're going to go to this place, I know the owner." My friend has a restaurant. Great. That's what I'm here to do. I'm in the friend making business.
[00:04:16.050] - Rev and Eric
How do you distill that attitude to your staff? Like, how do you get them to think that same way? Not blowing up your spot but like, that friendliness attitude.
[00:04:27.420] - Michael
I mean, honest answer? It all comes down to dollars and cents.
[00:04:29.940] - Rev and Eric
[00:04:30.490] - Michael
It comes down to dollars and cents.
[00:04:31.200] - Rev and Eric
They get paid a dollar every time they mentioned your name?
[00:04:34.450] - Michael
No, no, but they have a tip bucket that fills up. And they are the most congenial, warm, friendly, welcoming staff. They're not foolish, they know what they're doing.
[00:04:46.180] - Rev and Eric
Well, yeah, that's a great idea. It's a great motivator.
[00:04:49.600] - Michael
But you know, I get reviews all the time. "Food was great, staff, unbelievably friendly". I'm like that's what I want to see. That's what I want to hear. I don't want someone walking in the door and standing, looking around. I want, the minute you walk in the door, I want someone greeting you with a smile. Open arms. Come on in. Been here before? What can I get you? That's what I want. And my staff has been trained to do that. And they embrace it because they see the difference in their own bottom line.
[00:05:13.830] - Rev and Eric
[00:05:15.700] - Rev and Eric
How do you do that when everything is delivery and order online? How do you have that same personal attention?
[00:05:22.370] - Michael
Take out. People come in, pick up take out. And people are very generous with gratuities to the counter staff. You know, on a busy night we'll have 6 or 7 counter staff up there. Answering phones, putting orders together. Get people in and out. You know and it's managed chaos but they know what they're doing. And people come in and they're just like, wow, everyone seems so friendly. They're moving at a fast pace. They just fly and getting people in and out of there. It's just a well oiled machine and people just you know, keep throwing bills. Few bucks for college, few bucks for college, few bucks for college.
[00:05:55.990] - Rev and Eric
So what you are saying is, Eric is not allowed to work there?
[00:05:57.996] - Rev and Eric
[00:05:58.590] - Michael
Have you seen him in shorts?
[00:06:00.560] - Rev and Eric
Well, I thought this is about friendliness. Not ugly leggyness.
[00:06:05.430] - Rev and Eric
And my ugly legs. Are you doing third party delivery or is it all your own drivers or both?
[00:06:10.230] - Michael
No, I don't have my own drivers. I do third party delivery. Yes, but I don't use the national chains. I use a locally independently owned third party delivery service.
[00:06:21.430] - Rev and Eric
A little less cost? A little better service because he's local?
[00:06:25.060] - Michael
The service is what it is. You know, there's accountability there. I might have an order that sitting on the oven for 25 minutes, and there's no driver there yet. I can pick up the phone and call the owner of the third party delivery company and say, "hey, order one, two, three. Where's my guy?" He's on it. With one of the bigger national companies. I can't pick up a phone and call a call center in god knows where, Mars, you know and talk to somebody. First of all, you're not going to get someone on the phone for ten minutes. If you do, good luck communicating. That doesn't solve problems. There's no accountability there. So that's why I like this. I'm willing to pay, I'm willing to pay the fee because I don't have the aggravation.
[00:07:02.260] - Michael
I don't have to manage drivers. I don't have to be rehiring new drivers every two days. I don't have to worry about drivers not showing up. We need six of them and we've only got three. You know, that hassle is off my plate. I pay for that convenience. But again, to me, the biggest thing is just accountability. I want my food to arrive at your door looking the way I want it. And I know that with this company, someone is going to come in with a uniform with hot food bags. Not some guy who was just dropping off his last Uber customer.
[00:07:32.440] - Rev and Eric
Who's going to grab something, you know, carry the pizza box all sideways under his arm. And drop it off on someone's front door step like, I don't care. You know, that's not how I want my product represented to you.
[00:07:43.870] - Rev and Eric
I feel like a lot of, maybe less these days, but a lot of operators will be like, "oh, I don't want to add that expense." And so they find some cheap way to get around whatever the solution is ends up not delivering a great customer experience. And then the whole thing's kind of wishy washy and it if it's worth doing, right, it's worth doing it the right way, even if it costs money.
[00:08:01.770] - Michael
Yeah, I mean, you pay a premium for it, but there's a lot of different angles to look at that from. I know that's a very, has been a very heated discussion amongst some operators, but look at the cost if you're going to do it yourself. Like I said, you have to hire drivers, you have to you know insure these people, you are paying them. Then you have all the matching and Fica and withholding, all that jazz. Then you need someone that's going to be a dispatcher. I need to have a dedicated space set up, you know phone lines coming into them.
[00:08:26.860] - Michael
Computer set up, tracking drivers, who's where, who's going where next. And that's another person I have to pay. I don't deal with any of that, I don't deal with any of it. It's a cost, yeah, but how much am I really paying when I'm not paying all of that. And if my delivery companies taking a big of, you know, five grand a week, then you know, it's well worth it because we did a lot of sales. You know, so, there's two ways of looking at everything.
[00:08:55.660] - Michael
Right. Awesome. Well, I don't have anything else. You know what? Thank you for stopping by. Thank you. Thank you for being a Perfect...
[00:09:02.890] - Michael
He's out of things to say?
[00:09:02.890] - Rev and Eric
Well, you know we've done a lot of these today, trying for 10-11 minutes, so.
[00:09:05.910] - Rev and Eric
Thank you for being a Perfect Crust customer. Congratulations on being a World Pizza Champion. Going to be announced tonight. And I'll see you tonight for dinner. And I have to tell you, going through COVID and going through the last couple of years. We actually met, this is how we met. I posted an article on LinkedIn, he read it and said, hey, I want to get a sample. I sent him a sample of Perfect Crust. He started buying, and now I talked to this guy all the time. I love this guy, I love his family, I love what he is all about and all that happens because of social media.
[00:09:35.320] - Rev and Eric
You know what happens because we're connected in different ways and he sits down, he sits down with a freaking schedule of the Red Socks and the Yankees. And I'm now in third place. And I don't like this guy. I love him, but I don't like him right now.
[00:09:47.640] - Rev and Eric
You know but like perfect example. Like we've never met each other in person. And then we literally met each other in person like, I know exactly who you are, you know who I am like, it's kind of a cool thing.
[00:09:59.940] - Michael
The world of social media we live in nowadays.
[00:10:00.066] - Rev and Eric
Thank you brother
[00:10:00.115] - Michael
Love you guys, thanks.
[00:10:00.120] - Rev and Eric