A podcast that feeds food & beverage brands

EP 31 / Patrick Magill / Chief Growth Officer for Green Room Collective & Liberator of Imagination

Watch the episode
Patrick is a former Coca-Cola executive and McDonald's dishwasher as well as many other well-known brands. In his tenure, he's amassing profound insights and valuable skills in locking imagination and creativity in leaders of all walks. In his newest post, he's been putting those skills to good use in a consultative role. In this episode, we chat about the Great Resignation and how to attract top talent in the current reality. We unpack how brands can pivot to take advantage of new buying and shopping behaviors, and we weave in the idea of imagination and innovation.

Listen Now

Forktales
Forktales
EP 31 / Patrick Magill / Chief Growth Officer for Green Room Collective & Liberator of Imagination
Loading
/

Show Notes

  • McDonalds gave him a taste of being a steward for a brand, not just a customer-centric thinker.
  • Worked his way up through McDonalds and into Coca-Cola and learned a ton of lessons
  • Menial jobs and starting jobs gave insight into how restaurants operate and what it takes to make the back of house work
  • Went to University of Illinois
  • Had a radio show during college and was interested in an actor
  • Attended Second City Training Conservatory
  • Importance of holding a brand true at McDonald’s internship
  • Forayed into the Happy Meal toys company
  • Then moved to Coca-Cola working with restaurants and concessions
  • Role at The Green Room Collective combines everything known about brand and business into a perfect dream job
  • Goal at The Green Room Collective is to help team get unstuck around big problems they face.
  • Liberating minds and imagination
  • Restaurants are always something special even if you’re refueling
  • Discussed the Coca-Cola Alum putting out amazing thinking and expertise
  • All about insourcing creativity

Transcript

00:00.00
vigorbranding
Everyone I have the honor today of being joined by my friend pat mcgill pat and I met a couple years ago during covid actually fostered a relationship through a mutual love of food and strategy and just thinking and so um. Just made sense to have pat on. He has a great history that you’re going to unpack on the call today or call their session today I should say but pat say hello give a quick little backstory.

00:24.25
Pat Magill
Sure, thank you very much and I’m glad to be here I’ll have to say that in terms of the ah the 3 things that you mentioned I brought the food aspect to it. You brought the strategy and the thinking for sure. But ah anyway, thank you very much for having me on joseph. It’s great to be here. Um, and yeah, the. Love of food. Not so much as well as an eater as well as um, ah as someone who’s been in the restaurant industry almost my entire life. Um, my very first job my very first job that wasn’t a paper route and I’m not going to date myself too. Badly.

00:57.15
vigorbranding
Um.

01:01.44
Pat Magill
But was at a ponderosa in the little town that I grew up in ponderosa steakhouse for those that might remember it where I bust tables and then eventually was the dish picker which was the guy in the back with the big spray and and got all the dishes clean and sent it through and I did that for a couple months and then i. Joined ah a local Mcdonald’s as 1 of their crew as you know Burger guy flipping burgers doing all the things. Um, which was a great experience for me as a teenager because it it gave me um, especially ah in the Mcdonald’s experience it gave me an idea of. Serving the customers but also being um, 1 that had a stewardship of a brand to a certain extent. Um and and I’ll kind of come back to this in a little bit I’m sure. But when I did this so I will date myself. It was in the mid 80 s mid to late 80 s I was in high school.

01:46.20
vigorbranding
And.

01:57.74
Pat Magill
And we weren’t on the the coasts. So this happened where I lived a little bit later in the eighty s but the malls and the video stores when they really started to come up. Um, it became a. A more attractive place for teenagers to go to work because it was basically it was air conditioned. Um I mean the video store and I’m really dating myself Joe. So if I didn’t need to do this. This is where I need your strategic thinking but you know the video stores you know is air conditioned and you just sat and checked out videos where we were working working working but um.

02:16.40
vigorbranding
Are.

02:32.27
Pat Magill
It was a great experience for me in the sense that I got to learn a lot about business as well right? because Mcdonald’s at the time um is still a great brand but it was ah it was huge back in in those days because there wasn’t as much um, call it ah clutter in the marketplace so to speak.

02:44.69
vigorbranding
Um, and.

02:47.61
Pat Magill
And um, that led to during my summers when I went to college I would come home and I would be the open up setup guy at those Mcdonald’s which meant that I’d get there at 11 o’clock at night I would take apart the restaurant I was in there with 1 other person. Um. And I would take apart the restaurant and put it together while that person mopped the floors and and listened to a lot of guns and roses. Um, but ah, the great thing is is I literally took a part a restaurant every night cleaned it and put it back together grills soda machines, shake machines, fry vats all the different things.

03:09.72
vigorbranding
Let it hurt.

03:23.13
Pat Magill
Um, stocking the back room The little storage room. So I really got I didn’t know I was training for a career in the food service industry but I got an idea not only of what it meant to be front of the house Boy did I understand the back of the house and how limited space really exists for any restaurateur when it comes to that that kind of thing. Um.

03:40.24
vigorbranding
Right.

03:43.20
Pat Magill
In ah in college I explored a couple other things after after that even though I always continued to work in food service to pay my way whether it was a pizza pizza place in Chamagne or a hot dog stand in Champaign I went to the university of illinois. Um, or working as a bellman at the university inn at the time um, still dealing with the public still dealing with hospitality. But I also had a radio show and I also dreamed of doing some acting at some point in time. Believe it or not which is not the path I took because as I like to say I don’t have that thing. Um, what is it called a talent.

04:16.36
vigorbranding
Talent and.

04:18.60
Pat Magill
Um, talents is what it did anyway. Um, ah as I got my mba but but right right before I got my mba I did a little stint of studying improvispositional acting in Chicago I was fortunate enough to be in the um second city ah training center’s conservatory which is there. Higher end of training. So it’s it’s well below anything that you would actually see on stage. Those people are masters at their work but it was training from those folks which really gave me a great basis in life and we’ll talk a little bit about that and where I landed but. As I said I went in to get my mba I had an internship at the mcconnells corporation and their family marketing group which was great because then I really got to understand brands and the importance of um, holding a brand true and I worked after that 5 years with the marketing store worldwide. Ah, doing happy meal toys for Mcdonald’s in the late ninety s did 10 happy meal toys this led to a job with coca -cola and I spent 20 years up until last november working with ah coca-co working at coca-cola. Ah, primarily in their food service and on-premise division working with customers from the smallest mom and pops to ah some of the largest that they had and inclusive of ah some of the large concessionaiirs that do at work dining and and hospital dining, etc, etc. Um.

05:41.54
vigorbranding
If.

05:44.87
Pat Magill
Ah, year ago I left coca-cola and a wonderful career and very proud to have been there but I got an opportunity and um and I set all this other up to set it up that I joined a company called the greenroom collective which to say it simply it combines everything I love. About improvisation and combines it with everything I learned about business um into the perfect dream job for me and the the role of the green room collective and our and our reason for being is is really to um, help big teams or little teams get unstuck so to speak around the big. Problems that they might have and I’ll explain that in a little bit I hope a little bit soon. But um, really, it’s all about how we can bring energy and ah liberate people’s minds so that they can find those transformal transformational ideas that can be a little bit difficult and um, our core belief is that. Ah, the people that know the business are the people that work there day to day in and day out and you don’t always have to go outside to get the answers to the big problems that you have with agencies or consultancies. Sometimes it’s just about. Figuring out ways to liberate your thinking and the answers are right there and we love to bring that to to light. So that’s kind of a little bit about me as you can tell I’m very passionate about um, ideation and creativity as well as the restaurant industry and and.

07:02.54
vigorbranding
Yeah.

07:15.65
Pat Magill
Restaurants in general I’ve always loved the idea of a restaurant because even if you’re refueling. It’s always something special.

07:21.10
vigorbranding
Absolutely yeah I think it’s obviously why why? I’ve been drawn to the industry as well throughout my my life so you have this nice rich history in in restaurants as well as a business in general Coca -cola helps solidify a lot of that thinking from a different perspective and now you’re a green room collective.

07:33.57
Pat Magill
Um, 1

07:39.87
vigorbranding
So there are a lot of consultants. Especially here in Atlanta or at least alum of Coca -cola I mean coca-cola goes through a we’ll just call it a shedding of skin every few years yeah yeah of course so I mean we we all know.

07:48.83
Pat Magill
Um, your your your words I won’t say that.

07:57.92
vigorbranding
Anyone that’s in the industry here in Atlanta or at least ancillary to it knows that your contacts of Coca -cola are are pretty much on you know, borrowed time for all intensive purposes especially lately where these these rounds have happened frequently ihg has seen the same thing. Um.

08:08.76
Pat Magill
Um, who. Um.

08:16.13
vigorbranding
But I think what’s good from that is is what happens is the alum of Coca -cola brings that bank of knowledge and expertise out there and so you end up seeing a lot of consultants for better or for worse like you said so you found this stride with the greenroom collective which allows you to take.

08:26.10
Pat Magill
Um, now.

08:33.99
vigorbranding
Your Improv Chops Talent is there whether you choose to believe it or not um, your passion. What’s that talent strong. Okay, so I’ll say chops. So your your talents and passions there your expertise from this rich history of leadership at coca-cola.

08:34.22
Pat Magill
Um, what crops might be strong chops might be strong.

08:45.54
Pat Magill
Um, boya.

08:52.51
vigorbranding
And then your overall passion for I think just helping in general um into what is technically a consultancy but a different approach to it. So it’s not agency. It’s not consultant. It’s more of a.

08:59.41
Pat Magill
Um, yeah.

09:06.43
vigorbranding
I Mean what would we call it like a spark to get you over the hump an impetus or or a catalyst for overcoming challenges.

09:06.41
Pat Magill
Were felt.

09:12.55
Pat Magill
Yeah I think I think that um if it were we were to be well first of all I want to say that I I would challenge the idea that there’s always a constant churn. There’s a lot of people at Coca -cola have had long careers and we’re very fortunate to have had them.

09:29.16
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

09:28.16
Pat Magill
Um I think it’s just there are a lot of people that are employed there so it seems like it happens a lot. But I think that um across the board. No matter if it’s it’s folks that are there for a short time or for a long time. It definitely provides you with um, a lot of great tools. Um. Both as you work there and when you get out of there so it was a great experience and I know that there’s a lot of reasons. Why probably people gone on to be consultants from there because they’ve learned a lot and they have a lot to share. Um, Yeah yeah.

09:52.91
vigorbranding
Yeah I’ll explain why I say constant shirt so in my time here in Atlanta of like 12 years I’ve seen 3 rounds. So yeah.

10:02.52
Pat Magill
I think that’s and that’s corporate America in general I don’t think that’s anything that’s unique to coke but um, ah 1 of the things that um, you asked about was the brainroom collective what it is tech if I were to use technical terms right? where a design thinking. Company consultancy probably is the best term because we’re not really an agency that goes off and creates things. We really believe in this idea of in-sourced creativity. So we’re really helping bringing the best thinking from the people who work on the on the business day-to-day.

10:29.34
vigorbranding
Um, and.

10:38.39
Pat Magill
And we and if if we had ah a sweet spot. It’s probably an innovation Um, Innovative business solutions is probably a better way of putting it because it doesn’t necessarily have to be always feeding an innovation pipeline but we’ve we’ve absolutely helped do things like that. Um, it can also be a fresh way of thinking about your brand platforms or how you handle human resources issues um engagement things like that. It really? um.

11:01.23
vigorbranding
In here.

11:09.28
Pat Magill
To pinpoint and this is where it gets difficult to pinpoint right? So I’ll start with design thinking and we bring lateral lateral thinking and other creative techniques to bear to to do it to bring out innovative thinking with with companies but really and truly we help solve problems. So it’s not just. Marketing or innovation or research or human resources or team building or facilitation or all those things it really always for us starts with the Brief. What is it that what is the opportunity that exists that we’re trying to solve for or what is the issue that we’re trying to solve right.

11:36.15
vigorbranding
In.

11:46.84
Pat Magill
And then we build what’s needed to solve that based on what we discover as we go through the process right? So um. It that was a long windded answer. Ah which as we’ve probably already discovered on this fine podcast today. Nothing with me is going to be a shortwinded answer I’ll apologize for that. Um, but but um, yeah.

12:08.54
vigorbranding
That’s okay, well so real real quick. You said the brief though. So um, you know I think a lot of people talk in depth about solutions. How to solve problems ideas on how to overcome them. But I have found as many other folks have found is that.

12:15.40
Pat Magill
Um, you know absolutely.

12:24.81
vigorbranding
Solving a problem effectively starts by identifying the correct problem. So so what kind of work goes into that like. So for instance I know there’s some methodologies out there.

12:29.61
Pat Magill
Um, yeah, right it for.

12:37.41
vigorbranding
Ah, 1 that I’m quite fond of or at least I’m fond of the story is the the five y’s approach I believe it was toyota or maybe mitsubishi sorry about that where you know you ask why 5 times and you can actually find the root of the problem so you know our air conditioner doesn’t work. Why doesn’t it work. Well.

12:42.62
Pat Magill
Sure.

12:48.80
Pat Magill
Um, sure. Right.

12:54.78
vigorbranding
Coming on but it’s not staying on Why is it not staying on. Well this part seems to be broken. Well why did that part break. So so at that point you could actually stop and say well replace the part problem solved but that would be an incorrect problem to solve because.

12:58.54
Pat Magill
Um, right.

13:05.22
Pat Magill
Right.

13:12.34
vigorbranding
You have to find out why did that part break. You know oh the part broke because it’s getting too much energy. Why is it getting too much energy. Oh because this system that we created doesn’t have an appropriate mechanism to ah you know, mitigate that energy and you know stop a surge.

13:12.13
Pat Magill
Correct.

13:30.81
vigorbranding
Okay, that’s the problem to fix. So ah, how do you approach that do you do you collaboratively create Briefs with clients to to find the right problem.

13:30.65
Pat Magill
That’s exactly right.

13:34.81
Pat Magill
Yeah, absolutely 1 hundred percent and and you know I don’t know if we put it into the the context of asked that that many whys although we’re familiar with that I think what it is is really exploring with the usually its primary point person that is it will work with it as.

13:48.95
vigorbranding
Um, and.

13:52.85
Pat Magill
Respond Usually if you know on the um on the old. Oh my gosh I forgot the term but accountability. Um, um oh my gosh. It’s got an an acronym I’ve been gone from the corporate world. So long I don’t remember an aquayms anymore. But ah, the model that’s responsibility accountability input I think I’ve got it’s the.

14:02.94
vigorbranding
Um, and faith.

14:12.90
vigorbranding
Um, okay yeah.

14:12.33
Pat Magill
Some rainy model or something like that. The person who’s responsible and accountable for it is usually the person that we work with and in that you’re absolutely right? It’s ah it’s a lot of exploration with them to ask them questions and to get deep into what they’re really trying to solve to ask the why behind it. And in addition to that to ask? Um, why is it important not only ah that it gets solved but why is it important for the people who might be impacted for it. We really try to look at every opportunity or or ah solution that needs to be found from a 3 hundred and sixty degree approach initially. And there’s reasons for that. Not only to get behind the why so you make sure that you’re getting the right question that gets to the core of the answer that needs to be um, the core of the solution that needs to be answered which I’m sure that’s terrible grammar I apologize to my my english teachers for many years um

15:02.93
vigorbranding
Um.

15:08.43
Pat Magill
But it’s also about identifying and make sure we have the right scope and output um a lot of times things are left open-ended and you don’t ask the questions about what a success look like what is the what are the things that we have to make sure that are out of scope that we don’t touch. Well do you have a budget constrain or there constraints within a functional.

15:10.61
vigorbranding
Um, right.

15:28.40
Pat Magill
Constraints business constraints even political constraints that might exist within the context of your company to understand Really what we’re working with and to make sure that the brief is so tight that it’s something that’s solvable. But it’s still broad enough that it’s crackable right? So that we can explore and we.

15:41.68
vigorbranding
In here.

15:44.92
Pat Magill
Um, do a couple of different um techniques around that where we um, really ah work with the um, the the client or the the point person to get there. You know 1 of them is kind of the 1 of the tools I’m sharing some of our bag but like ah like we use a funnel of kind of asking. If. It’s too Broad. We’ll we’ll ask well why are we? what? How do we need to do? How does it need to be done and it kind of brings it down to more actionable stuff. It’s too broad and why does it need to be why do we need to do it and it gets into more of the strategy around it and we can kind of work with the with the client to get to a point where.

16:10.12
vigorbranding
Um, a.

16:20.49
Pat Magill
This is the brief. This is what we want to go after and then we align across the stakeholders to make sure that we’re answering the right question so it is It’s you know I think every part of our process is important. It might be easily the most important when it comes to what we do.

16:35.28
vigorbranding
Um, yeah I think that’s that’s where a lot of folks leaders miss miss the Mark or maybe that’s being a little brazen but that’s the first wrong turn is in thinking that. They have a finger on the po as to what the real problem is and then they solve that and they find that the problem isn’t actually solved at all how how much weight do you put into I don’t want to say circumnavigating but maybe getting more boots on the ground with finding that problem. So for instance. If you talk to let’s say ah you know an operations manager of a region. Let’s just say a region of a number of multi unit brand or whatever. Um, we’re getting a lot of complaints about our fries fries suck. Okay he or she takes a look at it and says well the problem’s simple. They’re not following the recipe.

17:14.53
Pat Magill
Ah, sure me. Men.

17:30.79
vigorbranding
Therefore we need training and so you go through all that training training is successful. People have learned the recipe. They’re following the recipe fries still suck because what was really wrong was the procedures for changing the oil didn’t have the right amount you know the right timeline and if you would have asked.

17:30.23
Pat Magill
Um, night that.

17:42.34
Pat Magill
Um, never like.

17:48.59
vigorbranding
The guy or gal on the line they would have said well we change our oil every 6 months instead of every 3 to save money but it changes the flavor. That’s why we’re getting these complaints. You know mean so you you deal with your point person. But how much of what you do and the upfront does involve saying? Yeah,, we’re hearing what you’re saying but we really need to speak to. This person down here to get the bottom up perspective.

18:08.57
Pat Magill
Right? Yeah I would I would I would answer that ah 2 ways. First of all I I would say and I’d love to come back to this I don’t find that the people because we’re usually doing with. You know folks that are you know higher up at a little bit further away from the actual problem I don’t necessarily find that they’re not asking the right questions I think that I’m finding is that they know that there’s a problem and there’s there’s they’re trying to figure out the why as much as anything else, but the time constraints that.

18:39.80
vigorbranding
Day.

18:42.86
Pat Magill
That they have and the ah multiple things that are being juggled in the air make it very difficult for them to do that investigation themselves and so a lot of times teams start to make assumptions so it it can be a little bit more about making assumptions and we definitely can help there the other the other component of it is is sometimes.

18:49.26
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

19:01.27
Pat Magill
And I’d love to explore this in a bit. It’s It’s not that it’s the questions that are being asked or the um, the tactics that are being against it. It’s that it’s tough to break through because the process of thinking is um.

19:05.81
vigorbranding
Um, but.

19:18.57
Pat Magill
Kind of the same old same ole and it’s about breaking free of that. But I would say that in terms of our approach we get clearly in line on the brief the next step really is what we call mining the known or and sometimes we make the joke of minding minding with a D minding the known but it’s really then where we get.

19:33.60
vigorbranding
Um, anything that.

19:37.65
Pat Magill
That’s where the 3 hundred and sixty degree aspect of it is we like to call it sometimes the ecosystem of the of the problem and that’s where we start asking the questions all around and up and down of anyone that could possibly be a stakeholder of what’s going on in which case you would be starting that you would in your example probably would.

19:43.93
vigorbranding
I.

19:57.58
Pat Magill
Ah, talk to somebody who was actually doing it or a store manager or even a crew member and saying getting their um put and just listening and that’s 1 of the main things that I would say is so important when it comes to what we do and it’s 1 of the things that I loved that was connected to what I learned with improvisation which is.

20:18.48
vigorbranding
With any.

20:17.51
Pat Magill
It’s so important to listen and to not go in with a preconceived notion of what the answer is but to listen and discover and in doing that you you uncover so many so many things sometimes um, that were in plain sight. They just weren’t. Thought about and um so um, our second part of the process actually gets to what we’re we’re talking about in that sense really getting into the data as well as the people who are the stakeholders.

20:41.92
vigorbranding
That makes sense. Yeah, and because you know this interests me, especially right now when I look at the restaurant industry have have had a lot of conversations on this show and outside of this show about the labor shortage quote unquote or or there’s other terms for the the great.

20:50.45
Pat Magill
Um I.

20:57.14
Pat Magill
Um, anyway.

21:03.93
vigorbranding
Resignation which is on the more business to business side. Not necessarily the food industry. Um, and what I see is I see solutions out there that aren’t working necessarily because I think the identification of the problem is wrong.

21:11.61
Pat Magill
Um.

21:19.60
Pat Magill
Um.

21:22.29
vigorbranding
Um, or at least par baked. Um, so there is a loud group of people that would say the reason why people aren’t coming back to work is the government is paying them to stay home. Um, but I think that’s there’s some truth there, but it’s not the sole reason. Um.

21:29.14
Pat Magill
Me.

21:40.58
vigorbranding
I’ve heard a lot of other anecdotal reasons that make sense too for instance instability. So if I know that I’m going to get a paycheck every week from the government. Why would I go back to work if the threat of shutdowns again are there which is something that’s happened to a number of folks I talked to and.

21:55.10
Pat Magill
Um, and look.

21:58.78
vigorbranding
Words you know secondhand obviously from them but words that they heard like the question was hey why don’t you want to come back to work and quite honestly person is like because I’m scared. It’s going to shut down again and you know I can’t I can’t afford to have a missed week without pay whatever so that’s another layer. There’s all these other layers. But what you see is.

22:01.77
Pat Magill
Um, sure. Yeah.

22:12.48
Pat Magill
Um, yeah.

22:18.30
vigorbranding
Let’s just pay more money you know in which I think is did we really tackle that are we really tackling the real problem or is it a misdiagnosis and and so I mean what are your thoughts on that.

22:18.76
Pat Magill
Four times. So.

22:29.92
Pat Magill
Yeah I mean I I kind of believe that with the the reasons for the labor shortage I think a lot of the stuff that you mentioned it it it all kind of goes into the ragu so to speak right? I don’t I don’t. I’m not 1 that Subscribes kind of like what you said that there is 1 thing that’s causing it? Um, but I think that you could say with certain groove certainty that it is a result of whatever happened through the course of the the covered crisis right? and.

22:59.94
vigorbranding
Um.

23:03.50
Pat Magill
Yes, maybe the government paychecks as part of that but those have pretty much run out. Um you know? So we’re going to see if that had any impact I think that there’s and and I’ll bring it specifically to food service and hospitality right? Um I think that there is was and we’ve heard this in some of the work. We’ve done with some of our clients. Um, in in doing some of the 3 60 investigation that I talked about is um, there was a lot of introspection that took place with consumers over the course of being um home and and sequestered so to speak quarantine so to speak for ah that long of a time. And um, the introspection was also um, fed by the idea of prior to covered. You know there was a what they said what quote unquote they said was the path whatever that would be. You know you you go to college you get a job you keep your job.

23:56.85
vigorbranding
Um, a.

24:01.39
Pat Magill
If You ah, don’t go to College. Ah, a great. Ah, great job is working In. You know as ah, a waiter or a waitress or of a server. Um Um, or as someone in a restaurant or an hospitality industry or you go off and you do other things and I think all of a sudden those things that they say. Ah, no 1 was protected when Covid came right and so then I think people started to really question. They really started to question for themselves and it was a great way. I mean I think individuals really started to think about it and so that’s probably why it’s so hard to pinpoint what the root cause is right because some could be. I’m making all I have all this money that I was able to get from the government. So I don’t want to go back to work. Others might be I’m really afraid of Covid and I don’t want to go into a job where I have to be around people ah in that and with and in some places and in um, where they don’t have to wear masks right? um.

24:48.44
vigorbranding
The head.

24:55.42
vigorbranding
You hear.

24:58.34
Pat Magill
Other things could be. You know what covid did for sure. Is it ah hyper accelerated our move to um, digital commerce right? We were already moving fast that way like I’m not saying it was invented because of covid but I would say that. Ah. It. It moved from early adoption to mass adoption quicker than it would have and I’m thinking. Um you know folks in my generation and older because in Covid you realize hey I can I have anything I want right here at my fingertips like in order it. So what that did was it.

25:33.25
vigorbranding
Um, yep.

25:38.20
Pat Magill
Hypercelerated the industry of um delivery and um and I’m not talking about just about food delivery because I think 1 of the great competitors now that food service has is ah the amazons. The fedex is the upss. Ah, anyone that’s doing the mass delivery because it’s grown so much and it’s kind of this is I had a feeling we’d come here kind of goes back to I haven’t seen a shift like this since the malls and and the video stores and things where. Teenagers and those that worked in restaurants had another alternative that paid either just as much or in some cases a little bit more where they didn’t have to deal with being in a kitchen deal with ah, consumers, etc, etc or customers the public right? because I’m not saying anything against the public but it’s a tough job right? And so.

26:20.25
vigorbranding
A.

26:27.44
Pat Magill
Now Food services is competing with these places that are not only um, you know your hours are pretty much set you you get paid by the hour. You know what you’re going to do when you get there where you get out. It may not be. Cool but it’s probably air-conditioned or heated whatever and and you’re kind of doing it and you probably could put your earbuds in and do your job and get paid to do it whereas you when you’re in a restaurant. That’s a really you have to have a really specialized job in a restaurant to be able to put your earbuds in and just do it right.

26:56.87
vigorbranding
Um, right.

26:59.20
Pat Magill
You got to be constantly listening constantly focusing on the Consumer. So I think um, getting to the underlying cause of all those things will be difficult what I would say for restaurants in particular is that I think that um restaurants have an opportunity. To talk about what makes them great as as a job right? There are definitely things about a restaurant that it’s tough and I just mentioned them right? but 1 of the things that I love about restaurants I Loved about restaurants when I was involved with them and I was going getting my mba right? or.

27:22.30
vigorbranding
A.

27:35.23
vigorbranding
Um.

27:38.18
Pat Magill
As I thought about it from a strategic standpoint, etc, Etc. A restaurant is um is a small full business Microcosm. It has everything that a large business has to deal with all in its four walls. It has supply chain. It’s got inventory It’s got ah customer support so to speak or customer service. It’s got branding. You have to be aware of branding. You have to be aware of experience. You have to be aware of quality. You have to be aware of what comes in and what goes out right? I learned I learned the frames phrase.

28:01.72
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

28:15.50
Pat Magill
Ah, penny profit many many many many years ago and I know how important it is um I think lean into that I think that there’s an opportunity to um to promote the idea that a career in a restaurant doesn’t necessarily have to just be.

28:22.30
vigorbranding
Um, right.

28:33.85
Pat Magill
The labor aspect of it. You could really have an opportunity to learn something that can take you to the next place and I think the restaurants need to be open to we could be training people. It was just like they were back in the eighty s I Believe if I’m not mistaken. Mcdonald’s was either surpassed or was second to the army in training people to go out into the world with skills right? Ah, it was some big stat like that I think that that opportunity exists again I think they got away from it and I think that there’s a huge opportunity to come back to hey wait a minute.

28:57.76
vigorbranding
Um, right.

29:11.61
Pat Magill
We could offer this as a way for people to if they wanted a career in business to learn about how to run a business. Um, you just have to be open to trusting and you’re probably going to have to be um, extremely um, diligent about who you hire right? Um, but. I think that that’s an opportunity I think um, the other opportunities exist. Beyond just pay. It’s about recognizing how tough it is to do the job and um, making sure that you can do whatever you can do to control the controllables of the experience for.

29:37.44
vigorbranding
A.

29:47.64
Pat Magill
Ah, for the for the workers and if you know this isn’t This isn’t a new um idea and I’m not saying that people don’t do it but I will say it as a reminder if you’ve got somebody good. Do whatever you can to make them happy and keep them because to replace somebody Good is really really hard. So.

30:03.69
vigorbranding
Um, yeah I mean replacing everybody too I mean of course that is 1 hundred percent correct but the the cost of replacement is so high and a lot of I would say small businesses I don’t mean that demeaning I mean strictly by the numbers and category.

30:07.56
Pat Magill
To.

30:16.77
Pat Magill
Um, real in size I Saw young.

30:20.90
vigorbranding
Yeah, it’s really tough to think about that like um, it just recruiting finding interviewing training all of that just ads up and if you’re not measuring it then you really don’t understand it. But if you start to measure it. It starts to get very real very quick. Um, you know.

30:35.85
Pat Magill
Um, now.

30:39.75
vigorbranding
And analogy to that is when I started measuring galleries. You know I’m like wait I just had 3 glasses of wine that is almost five hundred calories which is 25 percent of my daily intake anyway, it just starts to make a lot more sense and why you need to keep those people.

30:40.96
Pat Magill
Um, ah right? yeah right? totally.

30:59.39
vigorbranding
I Mean we have a lot of people that are like you said going out and exploring new career paths too and I don’t know if there’s any way to combat that except reinforcing the role of restaurants as as a career path. Um, even if it doesn’t mean the career stays within the the restaurant industry.

31:00.52
Pat Magill
You absolutely.

31:09.83
Pat Magill
Um, yeah.

31:15.16
Pat Magill
Right? And that’s that’s exactly right? And that’s exactly what I’m saying because I think that what restaurants have done in reaction to this has been to. It is called a labor battle fight the labor battle in an area that’s not their strength which is to pay more right? um.

31:17.57
vigorbranding
And.

31:31.18
vigorbranding
Um, ignorant.

31:34.83
Pat Magill
Ah, but I would say that they they have an opportunity to express and this goes this goes a little bit Beyond this is restaurants I would also say the same thing for hotels hospitality as well. Um, um, and things of that nature it. It goes to you really have an opportunity to promote. What’s great.

31:42.00
vigorbranding
Um, and.

31:52.35
Pat Magill
About a restaurant. What’s great about the experience that you get in a restaurant. What’s great about how it sets you up for success in life and if you invest a little ah little bit of time in that a little bit of energy in that. Um I think it could pay dividends and I think that you could find examples in the marketplace where. Um, restaurants have done that successfully right? Yeah that that’s not a new idea. It’s just I would say it’s it’s It’s 1 that maybe all should be looking at for the industry.

32:13.77
vigorbranding
Um, right? yeah.

32:22.73
vigorbranding
Yeah, and I think there’s lessons to learn from other business models and categories out there too that you know again a lot of times when someone’s opening a restaurant. It’s just balls to the wall you know and they don’t really think much beyond the shift or beyond the week

32:26.40
Pat Magill
Um, disturb. Ah.

32:38.77
Pat Magill
Um, because it’s tough to because it’s That’s that’s hard to do Yeah sure.

32:40.86
vigorbranding
When it comes to It’s really tough to yeah, you know, but anything worth doing is a little bit difficult and so but what I’m getting at though is 1 thing that we have done at vigor to date has been. We share the numbers twice a year you know we we share our revenue and how it gets allocated. Which makes conversations about compensation and raises and business mechanics. Um, a lot easier and a lot more approachable and I think 1 thing that we know not just we at figure. But most most leaders is that the the labor pool today and I really don’t like that word but we’ll use it.

33:08.20
Pat Magill
Now.

33:18.88
vigorbranding
Um, the labor pool today wants to feel like what they’re doing has some sort of positive impact in the world and that doesn’t mean that it has to be philanthropic and endeavor or focus but they want to know that what they did mattered beyond. Ah the the.

33:25.13
Pat Magill
Sure.

33:32.20
Pat Magill
Um, here my turn.

33:36.54
vigorbranding
Industrial Era understanding of I’ve put in an hour I got money in my hand and I think a lot of businesses not just restaurants are quite terrible at that. Um, you know they don’t really do a great job of saying okay Pat This is what you do every day. This is your part of the machine and this machine is. Seeding as a result as opposed to come in. Do your job. Do it well or I’ll yell at you Maybe you’ll get a high five if you do it? well but that’s about it and I’m going to pay you and that’s good enough and I think that’s where things need to shift.

33:57.32
Pat Magill
Um, yeah.

34:06.70
Pat Magill
Yeah I but I would say that that that a lot of restaurants do that Very well I think I think that maybe um or maybe I should say a lot of restaurant chains do that very well I mean you see a lot of um.

34:14.70
vigorbranding
Um, and.

34:20.17
vigorbranding
Right.

34:25.29
Pat Magill
They do a lot of good. There’s a lot of great charitable organizations that have that have sprouted from large restaurants and you can just see you know Ronald mcdonald house charities. Um, when he’s dave thomas foundation they said that kind of keeps going on and on and on I think that and I think some of them do a very good job of talking about even in the.

34:33.57
vigorbranding
Um, yeah, yeah.

34:44.32
Pat Magill
Local areas mom and pop so to speak for lack of a better term call it 1 outlet restaurants. You know they they could have very strong principles about environment about the food that they use the farm table Aspect. So I think a lot of them. Do it. Well I think that that it would that it would I would say it as. If you’re not thinking about how you talk about what you do as being bigger than just making a sale or or getting you know as as the restaurant is making a sale or um, getting your hours done so you get your paycheck I think that that is I think that that would be a. Ah, a weakness if you were doing a swot analysis because I think you’re pointing a of the those who are in potential workforce ah see it as something that’s necessary now. But it’s also about the brand I think that if a brand isn’t doing that nowadays if a brand isn’t showing from ah like I said a 1 outlet.

35:22.86
vigorbranding
Um, the.

35:41.94
vigorbranding
Are.

35:41.40
Pat Magill
Um, operation to a you know 40000 chain to forty thousand chain or outlet chain. Um, if they’re not talking about what their impact is for the better men of the world either subtly or overtly depending on what’s right for their brand. I Think that’s a missed opportunity and I think it actually could put them at a disadvantage. But I think a lot do that Very well I think where the bigger ones do too I mean you can think about locally. You can think of you know I can think of restaurants that.

36:04.70
vigorbranding
Um, the bigger ones definitely. But I’m thinking even more than.

36:14.69
Pat Magill
Really celebrate their farm-to tableable aspect and their and their lack of carbon footprint and we’ll talk about you know? Um, heck that they profit share with their employees or their employees become part of the business. You know there’s. There’s a lot of them that do that and I don’t think so I guess what I might main area. The size doesn’t have to be the factor. There.

36:32.20
vigorbranding
No, it doesn’t and you know I also want to make clear that it’s not necessarily about philanthropic I think it’s more that just yeah, just impact you know that that I am more than just a machine that has a heartbeat in a cardiovascular a nervous system.

36:38.15
Pat Magill
Positive impact on positive impact on something. Yeah, yeah, sure wait a minute.

36:51.51
vigorbranding
You know? yeah.

36:52.17
Pat Magill
Now I’m and I owe somebody 5 bucks if that’s the case on your I thought you were a rope dog. Ah.

36:55.30
vigorbranding
You know? So I think that’s what’s really important, especially when you get to the the small like the micro. The micro business is like the 1 unit or up to five units or something like that where they are in the grind leaders are in the grind and and they’re jumping from location location just moving this to here always on fire.

37:11.99
Pat Magill
Um, yeah, sure.

37:14.11
vigorbranding
Um, now of course these are blanket statements and they’re exceptions. But I think what’s rough is it’s really hard to not feel like a waiter you know I I put the order in I get the food I delivered I Ask how it is go on you know.

37:19.51
Pat Magill
Um, yeah I think so I guess so I Well I mean I think everybody has their day right? You know you always have a days like that you can You can you can work at the most philanthropic most important for the you have days right? Everybody’s got the day I think I think where.

37:28.94
vigorbranding
Um, sure I have days like that here I mean.

37:39.34
Pat Magill
The reminder has to come and this kind of goes back to the business model that I was talking about but restaurants are in the service industry and it’s It’s a service industry we we are of service to the consumer that comes in and and the people who start restaurants right? The ones that have done them. At least in the recent ah past all the way to now they do it because they have a passion for taking what they love food and serving it to others and providing it to others and creating an experience that they want to share right.

38:07.42
vigorbranding
Behind.

38:15.86
Pat Magill
And I think that that that celebrating that aspect shouldn’t be shied away from as well and that as an employee of a restaurant whether as a server or as the person in the backroom. Um with the 3 sinks doing the the wash to Santa wash the rents and all that probably got those out of order. Or somebody on the on the grill or the stove or the oven everyone is a component of that service to the consumer that walks in the door and I think that reminding people of that ah responsibility and their need their not only the impact that they have in.

38:53.83
vigorbranding
The.

38:54.68
Pat Magill
Impacting that that responsibility but their stewardship of it that will come out in the experience that the consumer has and it can only be good for your business and to tell you the truth if you think about it. It doesn’t really cost that much more to implement something like that. It’s more just about talking about it living it.

39:08.73
vigorbranding
Um, right.

39:13.14
Pat Magill
Making sure that people understand their their um their role their their impact their input to the greater. Good. Um, so even in the aspect of the business of a restaurant serving right? Not just being a server but serving being of service. It’s ah. It could be celebrated more I think yeah and that goes with everything right.

39:32.26
vigorbranding
Yeah I agree and and explained and just reinforced I think yeah I mean a lot of times people the same with training I think a lot of people a lot of organizations. They take you through it and then that’s it and it’s like that’s meant to stick.

39:47.69
Pat Magill
Um, there right? may you never know.

39:50.10
vigorbranding
Now again, not the big organizations but they have training down like like the army like you said, but on the smaller scale. It’s like trading requires reinforcement as does flexing the muscle that what you do matters beyond the basic mechanics of goods and services and let’s just say capitalism. Um.

40:05.12
Pat Magill
Shimmer. Yeah.

40:08.10
vigorbranding
You know I’m not an anti-capalist by any means I’m a business owner but ah, it’s good for people to understand that their role in this doesn’t just line the leader’s pockets. Um that there is a benefit to the world and that benefit doesn’t necessarily have to mean some Grandngio’s you know philanthropic cause it it can just simply mean people got their order on time.

40:14.90
Pat Magill
Um, sure. Yeah.

40:21.27
Pat Magill
Um, yeah. Sure.

40:28.00
vigorbranding
Correctly, they’re happy they’re eating and they’re moving on with their lives as a result. Um, so that’s great right.

40:31.82
Pat Magill
And they made day they made their day just a little bit better because of it I mean that that that making somebody’s day just a little bit better is it’s a great purpose. You know me.

40:40.60
vigorbranding
Which is why Mcdonald’s needs to launch adult happy meals immediately I want a little toy right? No but I want a toy where’s my toy.

40:45.22
Pat Magill
Ah, they do. It’s It’s yeah, it’s called the number 2 with a Coke um, all your toy. Oh That’s funny. Um, yeah, no I think that there’s a lot of opportunity for restaurants to to celebrate What makes them great. And to make sure that they’re reinforcing that and I think that that could help with in a small Way. You know with the labor challenges that they have and then you know, um, make sure that you know the good ones that you have celebrate them. Um people.

41:19.63
vigorbranding
Right.

41:21.83
Pat Magill
But like a pat on the back you know and it’s not just the money I mean the money’s part of it. But um, and that comes back I think I’ve seen in all the the different companies largest small I’ve worked with over the 25 years the most successful are always the ones that invest in their people.

41:38.10
vigorbranding
Yeah, and I think you kind of touched on a little bit I think that’s really important to remember you know if think of your family think of your friends and think of yourself as the way they your family and friends treat you.

41:40.37
Pat Magill
Hands down.

41:51.78
vigorbranding
Not that you should befriend your employees and Yada Yada I mean you can be friendly, but you know don’t cross a line to where they feel like they get special treatment but when you’re faced with the hey this person has done a good job good enough to wear. It weren’t some sort of extra thing.

41:53.55
Pat Magill
Um, yeah. Um, 1.

42:08.89
vigorbranding
Money in the purest form doesn’t necessarily equate the the right path meaning sure I can give you 20 bucks it’s twenty bucks or if I just knew you a little bit and realize that hey you love improvisation in comedy.

42:15.97
Pat Magill
Um, more.

42:23.30
Pat Magill
Um, yeah.

42:26.78
vigorbranding
Why wouldn’t I get you tickets to a comedy show instead because it shows 1 the benefits there but 2 it shows I I know you a little bit I’ve invested in you um money isn’t always the correct transaction for benefiting your team.

42:27.69
Pat Magill
Um, yeah I mean it yeah a little more personal. Yeah.

42:40.51
Pat Magill
Sure I mean I think it’s I think I would maybe say what you’re saying but a little bit different and it kind of goes back to the what I’ve always thought of as the second rule that I learned at second city in when they were giving us the training and. First was always yes and I think people know the idea of yes and and building, etc, etc. But um, we we were we were in training and um I remember this night distinctly and we were all doing. We were all doing the techniques right? We were all doing what we were taught to do technically.

42:59.63
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

43:15.41
vigorbranding
Um e.

43:17.80
Pat Magill
And we were all focused on making sure that each 1 of us was technically doing the right thing and we were dying. It was terrible. It was it was worse than mediocre improv um, and I am an expert in mediocre improv um, and the the instructor.

43:24.99
vigorbranding
And.

43:30.96
vigorbranding
But.

43:36.21
Pat Magill
Ah, stopped us and he said on for he said you guys got to remember this is the second thing you or you didn’t say the second thing I don’t know exact words but he basically said you got to let go and you got to remember that your job on stage the number 1 job on stage you have is to forget about yourself. And focus on making sure everybody around you has what they need to be great and just have faith that they’re doing the same those words and then all of a sudden the rest of the night was 1 of the most magical nights I’ve ever experienced in terms of that thing if you think about those words in the way you think about the people that you work with whether they’re peers. Or whether the people that are part of your team that you’re owning a restaurant etc. What can I do to support them to make sure that they have everything that I can control so that they can be great and that doesn’t necessarily mean spend more. It means what you’re kind of talking about if it’s knowing them and.

44:25.65
vigorbranding
Um.

44:33.77
Pat Magill
Knowing what makes them tick and they they appreciate the fact that they’ve you’ve got their back that could be what I’m talking about it could be hey I know you got a big week coming up. You got the week off next week it could be whatever it is. It could be making sure that they have the right tools to do their job. Maybe that does cost money but it pays off right. But if your approach is about how do I support for their success and just have faith that they’re doing it for you I think that’s the secret sauce of all those businesses I talked about that focused on their people I think when they did that and and that that has always been the of all the stuff that I took away from the experience.

45:01.70
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

45:10.26
Pat Magill
Back then in Chicago and in the ninety s that phrase is the 1 that I took the most and I think it’s 1 that all businesses could think about and all all leaders. All teammates can think about, but especially when you’re talking about and this is all about creating culture right? It’s about the right culture to be successful. And it’s what can you do and you have to do it obviously within this gets back to the scope right? within the context of what your business can handle. Um, but I would definitely think about those things I would also think about um to enable that. Using as much as you can technology to do the jobs that don’t need the personal touch. Whatever you can do to employ technology to do those things take advantage of it right.

45:53.38
vigorbranding
Yeah I think I’m going to be on a mission for the rest of my life to fight yes and with a new approach which is the no but or the maybe or approach.

46:05.78
Pat Magill
Yeah, that that would lead to that I could tell you that they would say that would lead to mediocre Improv um that I don’t know. Um.

46:11.83
vigorbranding
I Don’t know just depend how creative you are. You know you could say well see you would say that would lead to mediocre it probably would say no but it would be fun. You know maybe or it could be brilliant.

46:20.58
Pat Magill
Ah, fair, Maybe yeah I don’t know I don’t know if I can go there with you joseph but I hear what you say I hear what you’re saying.

46:31.43
vigorbranding
Ah, are you saying? no, but you’ll entertain me. Ah well.

46:35.71
Pat Magill
No I’m I’m saying yes and I think that would not work. Ah.

46:42.99
vigorbranding
This has been amazing as always I love conversations with you and I appreciate you taking the time out of your day and sharing a little bit of the way you think and and how that manifests in in the green room collective. Um, where can people find you and where can people find the green room collective.

46:43.57
Pat Magill
Um, great. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so the green room collective is the greenroom collective dot com and it’s all 1 word. Um the green room collective. Um, a little background the green room for those of you who might be thinking. It’s something backstage. It’s actually a surfing term and it is 1 of our founders is a big surfer and it is the zen moment when the wave is at the perfect place with the surfer and as it’s coming to shore. For that moment that moment of clarity when everything works right? So the green room is really about that energy all coming together in 1 place when everything comes right together. Um, and the collective obviously is we believe in. Ah, bringing people together that are likeminded against a challenge and helping them helping them find that insight that will take them to the next spot. But the greenroom collective is the Greenwoodclective dot com make sure you do dot com when the company was formed certain states didn’t have certain things that were legal. And so different dots or different manifestations of that will take you someplace different. Um I’m at pat I mine is pat at the greenroomcoective dot com or I’m on linkedin um Linkedin dot com slash in slash patrick ah slash. Um, Mcgill not underscore, but slash ah not slash um dash sorry mcgill and um, come give us a call we um, we recognize um 1 of the things that we base our whole business on is a person by the name of edward debono who is famous for creativity and who’s the hats of creativity.

48:16.29
vigorbranding
Um, dash you.

48:34.68
Pat Magill
But he talked about the idea that you know all of our experiences ah help us learn and sometimes we build up so much of learning because it helps us do things faster that we create these streams of recognition that create.

48:39.40
vigorbranding
A.

48:52.83
Pat Magill
The same way of doing things over and over again. But what happens is is that we get locked out from the other stuff that might impact because it would be clutter in your day-to-day and so if you get a team that is looking to break from that clutter and we recognize that your people know better than anyone else. We’d love to work with you and help you find something that was above and Beyond restaurants or otherwise and I can’t thank you enough joseph for having me on I wish you all the best um with forktails and everything else and um, thank you Thanks.

49:23.91
vigorbranding
Absolutely man. Yeah, it was wonderful having you and we’ll until next time.

49:29.76
Pat Magill
Until next time.

 

Share this

Episode Details

Forktales - a podcast that feeds food and beverage

Launching April 15th

Signup to get notified when we launch and when new episodes are available.