Pizza Expo Podcast Episode 8- Greg Zepeda
[00:00:00.000] - Rev and Eric
All right. We are back for another live, great conversation. We're in the Marqii booth at Pizza Expo 2021. Super excited. Someone said 2019 the other day on something.
[00:00:10.950] - Rev and Eric
[00:00:11.260] - Rev and Eric
I laughed I'm like, yeah, no, it's 2021.
[00:00:13.330] - Rev and Eric
They were trying to feel the retro vibe.
[00:00:15.720] - Rev and Eric
[00:00:16.120] - Rev and Eric
With Greg. Greg, it's Sylvia Neo Napoletana.
[00:00:20.940] - Rev and Eric
What does that name mean?
[00:00:22.230] - Greg
So to be honest, we got the name from my mother who, unfortunately, is no longer with us anymore. You know, she passed in 2019. So our logo in the dove is kind of like, everything, like to memory her. You know, the logo is like a blessing. So she blessed us. She was able to provide something...
[00:00:38.300] - Rev and Eric
She gave us you.
[00:00:39.430] - Greg
And she actually gave us like the financial funds to like just chase our dream.
[00:00:44.120] - Rev and Eric
That's great. I love that.
[00:00:46.000] - Rev and Eric
Did she like pizza?
[00:00:46.860] - Greg
She loved pizza. Yeah. And she would actually always take my crust, which we would bump heads about because that's the best part.
[00:00:53.650] - Rev and Eric
I have to have this conversation with my five year old. I give them fun nicknames to try to get him to eat it. Try to call them the bones.
[00:01:00.230] - Greg
[00:01:01.670] - Rev and Eric
So Rev and I met you and your wife at Pizza Rock the other night. You had just come back from a seminar with Siler. Siler Chapman. And what did you learn from that? Name two or three takeaways that you're going to go back and do now.
[00:01:15.920] - Greg
Follow your dreams, that the money is there. You know, a lot of people think, like, you're not going to reach, like, a living or you're not going to be able to make ends me. But you are. And he kind of gives you, like, the structure to follow that. And that just be hungry. And don't give up on your product. You know, there's ways to like make the money and go for it. And he provides you with that formula.
[00:01:35.760] - Greg
But just so much information, like, for us, the main part I took away that we're on the right track, I guess, just reassurance. Because you don't know how good you're doing from day to day.
[00:01:46.110] - Rev and Eric
How long has the business been around?
[00:01:47.360] - Greg
So I've been crazy about pizza for two and a half years, but we've probably been running around for, like, six months now.
[00:01:53.630] - Rev and Eric
Okay and it's a truck, right?
[00:01:54.610] - Greg
Yeah, it's a truck. It's actually a...truck and we pull it with our pickup truck so.
[00:01:58.440] - Rev and Eric
Really? What kind of ovens do you have in there?
[00:02:00.940] - Greg
So it's a wood fired...oven. It's a 140. I think that's the size of it. So it's all wood fire. We use almond wood and then just all organic ingredients and try to put out the best product we can.
[00:02:10.760] - Rev and Eric
It's just funny for me to think that there's a fire on a vehicle.
[00:02:13.460] - Rev and Eric
and it's okay, right?
[00:02:14.620] - Rev and Eric
No it's cool, more fire, hotter, hotter. Like OK.
[00:02:16.930] - Rev and Eric
Now I want to come back to something you just said talking about. Sometimes we go through life, and this isn't just a pizza thing, it's a life thing. We go through life sometimes and we wonder, are we doing okay? Right?
[00:02:27.680] - Greg
[00:02:28.100] - Rev and Eric
And you come to an event like this and it almost validates like hey we're, we're on the right track you know, and sometimes it's good to hear that. Good to feel that, like, hey, we're okay. We're okay. So, are you mobile seven days a week or are you six days a week? What are you doing?
[00:02:42.240] - Greg
So we still have our full time jobs. So it's kind of a balancing act working, yeah.
[00:02:47.750] - Rev and Eric
That seems to be a theme of these conversations we're having.
[00:02:50.300] - Greg
So we work our 40 hours a day, like when my job is mandatory overtime, you know, so it's a grind. It's probably, like 90 hour weeks sometimes just to make that Saturday event. But when you're passionate about pizza it just bites you and it doesn't let you go. And it's worth every second of it.
[00:03:03.380] - Rev and Eric
Any plans to get away from the full time job?
[00:03:06.090] - Greg
Definitely, yeah. That's kind of why we took Silers class to see, like, hey, is it possible? Are the numbers there? And he just like laid it out for us saying it is, like go for it, chase your dreams. Like, you'll make money doing this as long as you do it right.
[00:03:17.200] - Rev and Eric
So you're doing Neapolitan style, which I'm guessing is probably about a twelve inch?
[00:03:20.900] - Greg
[00:03:21.590] - Rev and Eric
And what do you charge out of your truck for, like, a Margarita pizza?
[00:03:24.150] - Greg
So our margaritas are going for $14.
[00:03:26.610] - Rev and Eric
[00:03:27.920] - Greg
We just do simple ingredients, just the tomato, Fior Di Latte cheese and we use Caputo flour with the fresh Bianco canned tomatoes, and then just got olive oil on top. And people love it. Honestly, like we have crazy pizzas. We have, like, an al pastor pizza, which is like street taco meat on top. And then we have a carnitas pizza. But people just love the Margarita.
[00:03:50.040] - Rev and Eric
Is that your biggest seller?
[00:03:51.240] - Greg
Yeah. Margarita. Definitely.
[00:03:53.370] - Rev and Eric
So, If I came to your shop, to your truck, what's your signature? Is it the margarita or is something a little different?
[00:03:58.910] - Greg
Well, people talk about us for the carnitas pizza.
[00:04:01.130] - Rev and Eric
Do they really?
[00:04:01.710] - Greg
[00:04:01.950] - Rev and Eric
I would like to talk to you after having one.
[00:04:04.490] - Rev and Eric
Yeah. We need to have one of those, it sounds delicious.
[00:04:09.210] - Greg
Let's take a walk and get some.
[00:04:09.420] - Rev and Eric
So this is your first Expo, then?
[00:04:10.850] - Greg
[00:04:11.280] - Rev and Eric
What do you think so far?
[00:04:12.310] - Greg
It's great. So many people, you know, everybody that we look up to on Instagram, like you guys, are here. So it's like ah, I get to sit next to you guys and talk to you.
[00:04:18.370] - Rev and Eric
Awwww. So I look up to Eric.
[00:04:21.060] - Rev and Eric
I look up Rev.
[00:04:22.410] - Greg
There we go.
[00:04:23.160] - Rev and Eric
And we both look up to Marqii. We look up to Marqii, these guys do a great job. Have you seen anything cool today that you're like, "we got to get that"?.
[00:04:32.640] - Greg
Yeah. The electric ovens look great. I would love, like, if I ever get a brick and mortar, I would love to go electric just because, like, the three different decks, you can put different temperatures and cook different styles of pizza, you know. So that was like...
[00:04:43.560] - Rev and Eric
By the way electric oven sounds less dangerous on a truck than fire. I just want to keep that theme going.
[00:04:49.740] - Rev and Eric
Right. So where did you get the truck? Was it already built? Did you do it yourself?
[00:04:53.200] - Greg
So we bought it second owned, actually and it was off of Craigslist, yeah, so that cut our start-up price in half.
[00:04:59.200] - Rev and Eric
[00:04:59.640] - Greg
You know because for an oven like that, you're looking about, like, 32 grand.
[00:05:02.400] - Rev and Eric
[00:05:02.770] - Greg
So we got ours for, like, about $12,000. And it was really lucky. It's not the most prettiest, you know, little bumps and bruises, but...
[00:05:11.180] - Rev and Eric
[00:05:12.273] - Greg
[00:05:13.110] - Rev and Eric
I looked you guys up on Instagram the other day after we met. Apparently, there's some rumors out there that she's hard to work with...(points)
[00:05:23.960] - Greg
Oh yeah haha she's the boss.
[00:05:24.193] - Rev and Eric
Is that the truth? She's hard to work with and work for?
[00:05:24.760] - Greg
She's makes every pizza, "oh refire, it's not perfect", "Refire, it's not perfect". Gotta listen.
[00:05:29.430] - Rev and Eric
Now, do you guys have any kids?
[00:05:30.780] - Greg
No, not yet.
[00:05:31.420] - Rev and Eric
Okay. I was wondering if like there were kids running around and trying to do all that.
[00:05:35.680] - Greg
No, not yet. We're trying to wait. We're trying to just get the business settled, maybe leave something for them later on, but um, just enjoying it. Enjoying the process of trying to just start something for ourselves.
[00:05:45.560] - Rev and Eric
It's very cool.
[00:05:46.880] - Greg
[00:05:47.480] - Rev and Eric
Um, you're on Instagram. You on Facebook?
[00:05:50.970] - Greg
No, no Facebook, yet.
[00:05:51.230] - Rev and Eric
No? Why not? Is that by choice? Like, we just don't want to yet or what?
[00:05:57.100] - Greg
Yeah, just because pretty much like I said, we have full time jobs. So it's the easiest for me to run, like an Instagram and, like, maybe a Tiktok. You know Facebook I know is like more people that want you to respond and if you don't respond, they really take that to heart.
[00:06:08.150] - Rev and Eric
Right. I get asked by operators all the time, "Oh, what social media site should I be on?" The answer is as many as you can consistently manage and if that's one and then do that one really well.
[00:06:18.290] - Rev and Eric
I will tell you one of the things... Marqii employees here...
[00:06:25.120] - Rev and Eric
One of the things that Siler Chapman does really well is he has a text program through my friend Jill Haas. Have you thought about doing that? Doing a text program at all? Where hey, we're at the corner of Main and and whatever today come see us from five to eight.
[00:06:39.380] - Greg
Yeah. That's actually her idea. And she's been getting a lot of vendors phone numbers and stuff and business cards.
[00:06:45.110] - Rev and Eric
[00:06:45.110] - Greg
Yeah. She's the mastermind. She's the backbone, you know.
[00:06:49.550] - Rev and Eric
Yeah, I knew that.
[00:06:49.550] - Rev and Eric
Do you just call yourself a pizza puppet?
[00:06:51.100] - Greg
Yeah, right haha
[00:06:52.930] - Rev and Eric
[00:06:53.680] - Greg
What's next? She just throws the guest tickets at me.
[00:06:57.910] - Rev and Eric
That's awesome. So you're going to be here for the next couple of days?
[00:07:01.440] - Greg
[00:07:01.590] - Rev and Eric
You're coming back and checking it out? Have you been any demos or anything?
[00:07:04.380] - Greg
No, we haven't. We thought we kind of had to pay for them, so we didn't know.
[00:07:07.990] - Rev and Eric
No, a bunch of them are free.
[00:07:08.950] - Greg
Yeah, so tomorrow we're going to try to wake up early and just come in...
[00:07:11.590] - Rev and Eric
There is a demo tomorrow or there's a conversation tomorrow sponsored by Marqii, Me and him and Scott Weiner. What time? 3:30? 3:30. And you're going to get three marketing hacks, which that's the three of us. But you're going to get three tips and then we're just having just some Q and A, hand out the microphone and let's just talk and for you, you know what, you should probably be on Facebook.
[00:07:36.470] - Greg
[00:07:36.710] - Rev and Eric
You can link them together and whatever you post on Instagram, it goes to Facebook. He should do that, right? You think...
[00:07:41.120] - Rev and Eric
I would disagree.
[00:07:42.190] - Rev and Eric
You disagree? Oh, I love to disagree.
[00:07:44.536] - Greg
Oh here we go
[00:07:44.590] - Rev and Eric
[00:07:46.240] - Rev and Eric
Should you be on Facebook? I would say it is valuable to be on Facebook. But if you do not have the time to do it the right way and you can't get it done the right way, then it's not worth doing, like, half assed.
[00:07:58.970] - Rev and Eric
[00:07:59.950] - Greg
You feel the same about Yelp?
[00:08:02.750] - Rev and Eric
Now, you know Marqii can help with your uh you know...
[00:08:06.300] - Rev and Eric
Not that we're here to pitch you on Marqii but Marqii helps you manage Google, Yelp, Facebook, Bing, FourSquare, Trip Advisor. But all the places where people go are managed with one. I would say that if your customers are coming to you through Yelp, then you should be on Yelp and talking to them.
[00:08:23.020] - Greg
Okay. Yeah, because I feel like, we just don't have the manpower, yet to like iron out all the mistakes before we get those bad reviews and be like, "hey, there's just two people" you know but people in California love using Yelp to find anything, so you know.
[00:08:37.830] - Rev and Eric
[00:08:37.830] - Rev and Eric
[00:08:38.920] - Rev and Eric
So here's how I see it. Okay. You should be managing all the channels at which your customers either discover you or are talking about you. So if you have customers who are on Yelp talking about your business, you should be on Yelp. If they are there, you should meet them there. And if they're not on Facebook, I'm not saying it's not valuable. It's definitely valuable. But you got to prioritize where you know you can manage.
[00:09:06.800] - Rev and Eric
Now, I will say this; one out of every five page views on the Web is Facebook.
[00:09:14.610] - Greg
[00:09:14.610] - Rev and Eric
Here's a crazy stat for you, only 50% of the restaurants in the US are on Instagram.
[00:09:19.020] - Greg
[00:09:19.930] - Rev and Eric
[00:09:21.770] - Rev and Eric
Yeah. Doesn't that seem bonkers?
[00:09:22.780] - Greg
Yeah, I thought it'd be at least 80%.
[00:09:24.220] - Rev and Eric
No, on Facebook it's way higher, but it's really one out of two restaurants is not on Instagram.
[00:09:28.840] - Rev and Eric
It almost seems silly.
[00:09:32.220] - Rev and Eric
If your customers are there, you should meet them there.
[00:09:36.620] - Greg
I like that, that's a good rule of thumb.
[00:09:38.620] - Rev and Eric
Well look, we don't want to take all your day. We know you got a bunch of stuff to do. Thank you for coming. We've got a case of Perfect Crust pizza liners, that I was told shipped yesterday.
[00:09:45.370] - Greg
Yes, thank you guys.
[00:09:46.230] - Rev and Eric
So, they're heading your way. So try those out. Siler Chapman uses them. I love Siler, he's my boy. Um but thank you guys, it was great to meet you guys.
[00:09:56.318] - Greg
Thank you guys, thank you guys for having me.
[00:09:56.950] - Rev and Eric
Wishing you guys the best.
[00:09:57.020] - Rev and Eric
[00:09:57.720] - Greg