In part one of my conversation with Brad Duea of Restaurant Revolution Technologies, he discussed the problems restaurants have with off-premise digital business—online takeout, delivery, and catering—and his efforts to find solutions.
In this second part of our conversation, Brad tells us what he believes is the most important quality for success in business, including the key business advice he received in college that he now passes along to his own children.
Brad Duea currently serves as CEO of Restaurant Revolution Technologies. Revolution is a SaaS company that partners with chain restaurants to grow their off-premise business. Brad has spent his career at the forefront of the digital and mobile revolution. Brad has been an integral player and leader in the digital transformations of several industries, including music, communications, retail, home entertainment and the restaurant industry.show more
Prior to joining Revolution, Brad was the Managing Director / General Manager, Americas-Pacific for Sonos, Inc., the inventors of multi-room wireless audio. Prior to joining Sonos, Brad was SVP, Marketing for T-Mobile USA, the “uncarrier.” Brad was the senior marketing executive responsible for all product management, including the sourcing, positioning and delivery of over $5 billion in value added services, devices and accessories.
Prior to joining T-Mobile USA, Brad served as President of Napster, Inc., the pioneer in digital music, which Best Buy, Inc. (NYSE: BBY) acquired in 2008. Prior to Napster, Brad served as VP of Worldwide Business Development and Worldwide OEM Sales for Roxio, Inc., the digital media software company with market-leading applications Creator and Toast. Prior to joining Roxio, Brad was VP of Corporate Development for PeopleSupport, Inc., a leading provider of integrated e-customer relationship management solutions, and a corporate lawyer with O’Melveny & Myers LLP.
Brad holds a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California, and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law.show less
DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!
Brad Duea 0:00
I think a lot of times people are so interested in passionate about bringing their vision to life, that they overlook some of the fundamentals such as, Do you have good margins.
Alexander Ferguson 0:19
Part one of my conversation with Brad Duea of restaurant Revolution Technologies, he discussed the problems restaurants have with off premise Digital Business Online takeout delivery, and catering, and his efforts to find solutions. In the second part of our conversation, Brad tells us what he believes is the most important quality for success in business, including the key business advice he received in college, that he now passes along to his own children. But I’m excited to continue our conversation and really understanding your ability to come in and revitalize a company and pivot and, and scale it and to be able to keep adding energy. You’ve done this a couple times now, though, with your current position, what kind of the process that you had to go through to to make changes and the hurdles you had to overcome that another business leader could gain your insight from that?
Brad Duea 1:17
Yeah, I think, um, I think one of the things that I have always done is really love to learn. So, you know, I got an undergrad degree, then I got my MBA a law degree, all that was really, because when I dealt with my dad and the family business, he will he had a lawyer when he needed help with legal issues, or the business person with finance and selling the business. So I love to learn. So when I go into a new industry, I really try to study what is happening? And most importantly, what is the voice of the consumer? What is the consumer, one team in this space? And what are the trends? So when I looked at this, it was delivery digital, right. And it was, it was something that wasn’t possible before smartphones, at least not at scale. And there wasn’t really the delivery from third parties. And so there was there was not only this customer voice, but the enablers were there. And then it was okay, what are the customer dynamics, we’ve tried single units, and those are challenging to get as much scale off of single units. You know, 70% of restaurants go out of business in the first three years. So you want to work with ideally chains. So I tried to look at the kind of the fundamentals of the market. And then I’ve had experience in software hardware subscription. And I must say, I absolutely love software. And we are in a subscription economy, everything from music, movies, everything. So I look at those dynamics, and then said, Okay, this is the model, the consumer wants, these features, this type of partnerships. And then we went about putting together partnerships with DoorDash, Postmates, Uber, building out the group ordering, integrating with different loyalty programs, and then adding skill set to the team. As we were able to start scaling,
Alexander Ferguson 3:19
can you share any specific tactics that you found have have worked over the past three years of being able to now first make that pivot and then really start to gain some traction with initial customers that you’re like, Okay, this tactic actually worked well, that you would recommend.
Brad Duea 3:36
I think a lot of times people are so interested in passionate about bringing their vision to life, that they overlook some of the fundamentals such as, Do you have good margins? Is that a good customer segment? How big is the market? So I, I really like to go back to the fundamentals of, okay, what is the problem you’re trying to solve? How are you doing it in a differentiated way? For us? We’ve actually invested a lot in intellectual property and patents, but you know, how are you doing it in a differentiated way? Is there a market fit? Like customers listening to that? And can you actually make a business out of it? So for example, while answering phone calls for the restaurants was great, because you took them out of the restaurant. The pricing was actually negative gross margin, right? I mean, we were we weren’t even earning enough to cover the calls because it was percent of orders small tickets. So it’s not just bringing it to life or driving revenue, but it’s about fill filling a customer need listening to them. And doing it on a model that is fiscally sound any
Alexander Ferguson 4:48
books or podcasts or podcasts or reading material that you found helpful to grow as a business leader that you would recommend others?
Brad Duea 4:56
My son, I would actually start my son In college, he’s a sophomore, and a junior in high school, and I tell him read the Wall Street Journal every day. And even if you can’t read it, read the column. And I remember when I was a freshman at UC Santa Barbara, my econ professor told me that, and now it’s like 30 plus years later, and I’m doing it. And it just, it helps you get so familiar with the business language. And the like. You know, the other one, I would say, the strengths finders, where you really look at people’s strengths, and then try to let them play to their strengths. And instead of a review being okay, Alex, you did this great, but let me tell you, where you, you know, it’s more about how can we really lean into your strengths and then get other team members to cover you? If let’s say you don’t like to do the analytical part or some other aspect but I really believe in that. You know, I can go on but those probably two quick takeaways.
Alexander Ferguson 6:03
Awesome. Thank you. That concludes the audio version of this episode. To see the original and more visit our UpTech Report YouTube channel. If you know a tech company, we should interview you can nominate them at UpTech report.com. Or if you just prefer to listen, make sure you’re subscribed to this series on Apple podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcasting app.