The restaurant industry has always struggled with digital modernization. Sometimes you’re lucky if your favorite restaurant has a menu online, let alone the ability to place an order. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, what was once a useful luxury is now a crucial necessity.
Many restaurants have defaulted to ordering services like Grubhub and Seamless, but with high fees, restaurants may need a better solution. At least, Brad Duea of Restaurant Revolution Technologies thinks so.
In this episode of UpTech Report, I talk with Brad about his efforts to bring an affordable and fully integrated online solution for takeout, delivery, and catering—a timely conversation for restaurants struggling to adapt to a rapidly transforming economy.
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
Now as the restaurants begin to reopen, we’re trying to tie other elements. So for example, order on your phone, and we will assign you a table. You can walk in a restaurant, skip the hostess or host don’t have to interfere with the lines, you get assigned a table, your food can come out, you can add other items via your smartphone instead of the contaminated menu, and you can add drinks and then you close your checking tip.
Alexander Ferguson 0:38
The restaurant industry has always struggled with digital modernization. Sometimes you’re lucky if your favorite restaurant has a menu online, let alone the ability to place an order. What was once a useful luxury is now a crucial necessity. Many restaurants have defaulted to ordering services like GrubHub, DoorDash, and seamless. But with high fees, restaurants may need a better solution. At least Brad Duea of Restaurant Revolution Technologies things so on this episode of UpTech Report, I talk with Brad about his efforts to bring an affordable and fully integrated online solution for takeout delivery and catering. A timely conversation for restaurants struggling to adapt to a rapidly transforming economy. I’m excited to chat with you today. And boy, is this a timely conversation and a solution that your company brings. To start us off. Can you describe what you guys provide in five seconds? Very brief, sort of the point What do you provide?
Brad Duea 1:35
Yeah, we partner with chain restaurants to grow their premise business, which is out delivery and catering. And we provide an ordering platform to do that. So online mobile ordering,
Alexander Ferguson 1:47
online mobile ordering today’s day and age. In today’s environment, it is needed more than ever. Now, this company, it originally very began a while ago, what year would did that start?
Brad Duea 2:02
Company was founded in 2010. And had a great software vision. And then the prior leadership did a little more phone ordering for restaurants, which is not as an attractive business as online and mobile software as a service. I joined in 2017 and pivoted back to software as a service
Alexander Ferguson 2:23
and pivoting a business this this isn’t your first one first rodeo. A couple other ones, right? Yeah,
Brad Duea 2:31
so I’ve spent my career I started as a business graduate student, MBA and then a lawyer. But I’ve spent my career since then, and digital transformation. So I was president of the legal Napster during digital transformation of music, moving into subscription, then went to TMobile during the digital transformation of mobile communications with data plans and smartphones. And then most recently, the digital transformation of home entertainment with Sonos. So I ran the Americas Pacific personas.
Alexander Ferguson 3:04
Now moving to the restaurant space, they sure need you at the moment. So help me describe both the problem that you saw that existed before the pandemic, and now how it is escalated, probably there’s a better word that yeah, knee what’s described that problem that that restaurants have, and they feel what
Brad Duea 3:26
we’re really doing is driving this digital transformation of the restaurant industry. And I was pretty surprised that it hadn’t already occurred, but has happened is over 60% of the restaurant business is actually driven off prints. So that’s including drive thru any way that you get the food and eat it elsewhere. So we used to be pitching, okay, off premises growing. And only a fraction of that 60% About 5% is digital. And so our whole pitch was you’ve got to embrace digital, and let’s get there with an ordering platform online and mobile ordering. So when people went with us on our platform, we would actually power ordering direct from their website, and I’ll show why that’s important to the problem. And so some people weren’t quite ready and they said, I’m just going to participate in third party marketplaces instead, the DoorDash GrubHub excetera. Now you’ve seen through the pandemic, that restaurants cannot survive on that they give 30% of the order to the delivery company. They only know who the customer is they don’t get the customer data, so they cannot make money on that model. So our proposition has been let’s help you drive your off premise business and drive it directly from your website will match your look and feel and that will allow you to participate in the digital growth of the industry. The other thing we’re trying to show is that that whole guest experience, treat them with like give them loyalty points when they order on line, let them redeem their loyalty points when you order online. So you know, a lot of those systems were separate, and we integrate with them. And now as the restaurants begin to reopen, we’re trying to tie other elements. So for example, order on your phone, and we will assign you a table, you can walk in a restaurant, skip the hostess, or host don’t have to interfere with the lines, you get assigned a table, your food can come out, you can add other items via your smartphone instead of the contaminated menu. And you can add drinks, and then you close your check until so it’s trying to integrate that digital into even the physical experience.
Alexander Ferguson 5:45
What do you see coming down the pipeline that you’re you’re working on for the near future next year or so? And then long term the next five or 10 years?
Brad Duea 5:54
Yeah, so what we did in the past couple years was really building out state of the art feature sets from like I said, group ordering MultiPad group ordering, integration with the best loyalty programs and the like. What we’ve done now is start to move people on to our delivery enablement products that that we call ground control. So last year, well a lot of people were in the last year before we’re getting lifted up lit up on our online and mobile ordering, and even voice ordering now we’re actually bringing delivery to them. And so that’s where our software will handle all the ordering from the restaurant site. And then at the very last step that coordinates a DoorDash driver to come pick it up and deliver it on the restaurants behalf right for a flat fee. So the restaurant captures the customer information and can offer delivery. So that’s a big one for us right now from the scale ability with our existing clients. And now new clients want everything all at once. The other one is, a lot of our customers have been dealing with those third party marketplaces, and all those orders come to the tablets and they have to staff them and rekey them. So we have a product called Connect that we take those and inject them into the point of sale. So no one has to rekey those orders. And so really scaling out those two products are the near term. And so we’re seeing nice growth there. And now, with some of the customers like on the border we just brought on, they launched all three products right out of the gate across all 118 locations, right? So that’s that’s what we’re focused on.
Alexander Ferguson 7:27
What’s a good place for people to go to to learn more, and what’s a good first step for
Brad Duea 7:31
them to take? Yeah, the best thing to do is go to our website. So it’s R t usa.com. So that’s restaurant Revolution technologies, but we simplified it right? AR rt usa.com And you can see overviews of our products, videos, other elements, and there’s a way to contact us. And so you know, you can contact me directly Brad Dewey to be Dewey DDU EA at rt usa.com. But we’ll get you set up and it’s really about embracing that digital future that I’ve said the pandemics accelerated so let us help you grow your off premise and really take into the digital future.
Alexander Ferguson 8:11
Be sure to check out part two of my conversation with Brad in which he shares with us what he feels is the most important quality for success in business.