A podcast that feeds food & beverage brands

Ep 47 / David Abes / Founder of DASH Hospitality & Atlanta Industry Veteran

Watch the episode
David Abes started in the hospitality industry as a dishwasher. Thirty-two years later, he’s the owner of DASH Hospitality Group, a management and consulting company for start-up and existing restaurants, hotels, and other food and beverage services. In this episode of Forktales, Joseph and David dish on technology’s role in the restaurant industry, the hallmarks of a bad restaurant general manager, how restaurants can use social media effectively and why ooey, gooey, realistic food photos are almost always a great idea.

Listen Now

Forktales
Forktales
Ep 47 / David Abes / Founder of DASH Hospitality & Atlanta Industry Veteran
Loading
/

Show Notes

David has been in the hospitality industry for 32 years. He started in the industry as a dishwasher and is now the owner of DASH Hospitality Group, a management and consulting company for start-up and existing restaurants, hotels, and other food and beverage services.

Before starting DASH Hospitality Group, David held the role of COO for the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group overseeing 9 restaurants in Georgia and 4 in South Florida. 

Technology plays an important role in restaurants, but human connectivity is still an important part of the dining process.  

Regular and immediate employee recognition is the key to retaining top-performing employees. Recognizing employees with social media posts can be incredibly effective.  

General managers need to get out of the office and be in the restaurant. They need to run the shift instead of having the shift run them.

Quotes

“Our philosophy is ‘The answer is yes, what’s the question?’ You have to give the customer what they want.” – David 

“You have to use technology to stay one step ahead with everything. The people connection is still very important. You still have to have that personal touch.” – David 

“We’re fully capable of ordering for ourselves. We check ourselves out at grocery stores, we order ahead now. Even my mom is ordering ahead. But we still need that touch and that true customer service.” – Joseph

“Every day I’m learning something new. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who have knowledge. You have to listen. Everybody brings something to the table.” – David

“We have clients that say ‘This is how we’ve always done it” and I tell them they have to think about two, five or 10 years from now, not two, five or 10 years ago.” – David    

“The most important thing (for employees) is recognition. Just thanking them, even in the middle of a shift saying ‘Great job with that table’ in real time. Don’t wait until the end of the shift.” – David

“On social media, highly styled and perfect photos get zero traction. People want to see realness. They want to see the ooey, gooey awesomeness of what you’re eating.” – Joseph

Transcript

00:00.00
vigorbranding
Everyone today I’m joined by my friend David Abus who is the owner of dash hospitality group David has quite a name here in Atlanta and not to stroke your ego too much. Actually I don’t think you have an ego but you come with a lot of clouts for a reason so why don’t you say hello and give a little bit of backstory.

00:08.61
David Abes
For fair guy. No so.

00:18.22
David Abes
Yep, how are you? Ah yep, David Avis Dash hospitality group been in the hospitality business now 32years plus started when I was 15 at gd ritzy’s a hamburger hotd dog place based out of Columbus Ohio that came to Atlanta. Kind it all basically from dishwashing all the way up to general manager started with Morrison’s corporation and their casual dining with ln seafood. It was like getting your masters. It was amazing. Great training program wanted to get a little more fine dining so went and worked with ah panda at the atlanta fish market during the olympics. What a time what a time to be there. Um, from there I worked my way up to be in the director operations for here to some restaurants Tom Katherine and I had a great run 14 years and then worked with a company in New York and then back to pano for at bucket life as a c o. And I really enjoyed a panos and icon and it was amazing but it was time for me to do my own thing so started dash hospitality group four years ago management consulting company we own some restaurants we do it all back at house front of the house cooking. You name it systems and I love it. I love it.

01:28.93
vigorbranding
That’s amazing. Yeah I mean so you spent what I would call the meat of your career at the now defunct tiered to serve restaurants. So for those that don’t know here to serve as a multiconcept hospitality company with I would say iconic Atlanta brands like twist. And then its sister concept. Shout Noche was a staple um and a few others. It was quite a reputable suite of brands. Um, how was it back then which I think if I’m doing the math correctly, it ended about seven years ago

01:47.25
David Abes
Yes, yep.

02:01.97
David Abes
Yeah, about seven years ago yes yep yeah

02:05.60
vigorbranding
Yeah, yeah, so how was it back in that era of the 90 s and 2000 s managing a ship of multiple concepts that were quite different.

02:13.10
David Abes
I mean it. It was amazing. I mean we when I came um board with Tom we had 5 restaurants two were underperforming back to down to 3 and then we opened twist twist was gonna be. We’re actually gonna move Tomtom over to Phipps. Then we’re going to do a goldfish and then we said you want to twist on Tom Tom and goldfish and ah we opened Nba all-star weekend Janet Jackson renting out the restaurant and we’re on the cover Usa today people magazine and it just skyrocketed from there. We had a great team. We had 1500 employees 14 restaurants. Um, you know it’s sad that it went on its way but that’s a whole other story. So ah, but it was great and it was all about the people I mean Tom Certified master chef very visionary and you know I did the operations and we’re amazing team. Amazing team. We just we just went with it.

03:04.96
vigorbranding
I yeah I loved it. Um I was a big fan of noche good place to day drink on a a Saturday or Sunday and Virginia Highland area um so fantastic. You know it’s always enigmatic to me in a lot of ways. Ah you know because we work with a lot of multi-unit brands here at vigar.

03:07.87
David Abes
Yeah, yeah, yeah, oh yeah, yeah.

03:23.91
vigorbranding
And by multi-unit. We mean like single concept with multiple units that spans you know from small to large to even Enterprise level and um, it’s just even though it’s the restaurant game to me the hospitality management company seems absolutely insane.

03:40.70
David Abes
Um, right are.

03:42.53
vigorbranding
Because you’re not managing the same brand you have to manage like in your case 14 brands. How do you train the staff to be able to be um and maybe you didn’t cross-pollinate but I imagine the best case scenario would be hey I have Tim over here who’s at Noche which is more of a kind of spanish and. You know, ah small plates and in you know mexican drinks things like that. Oh but today I name over at goldfish which is completely different. So how how is how did that work. How do you even begin to manage that.

04:10.00
David Abes
Yeah I mean I I think the most important thing is the same culture and philosophy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a you know steakhouse like prime or you know a casual place like Noche it was in it was funny I I mean I used to hit pretty much every restaurant every day and little at. Wear a suit and I change into shorts and I you know you know you just, but it’s the same like attitude and I think that’s what really people it resonated with everybody like we all our philosophy. The answer is yes, what’s the question and you have to give the guess what they take and everybody knew it was a here to serve restaurant. It didn’t matter which you know when you walked in the 4 walls. It was the same energy. Um. Same philosophy and just just it’s that can do attitude I think everybody everybody was humble about things and just we were so appreciative about the guest coming in I think that’s really what it trickled down to you know every employee that we had so.

04:57.66
vigorbranding
Yeah, so getting more nuanced. Um you know like I think one of the things that makes us servers or service staff especially bartenders. Ah not just good enough but notably remarkably great. Is the acute understanding of the menu and the procedures and that seems like it’d be quite difficult if you take someone from 1 concept to something completely different. How did you manage that how did you get that training in place.

05:24.54
David Abes
I mean that it was a big thing I mean I think the most important thing and Tom was a certified master chef but you know he used to always get grief from some of the food writers because you know why isn’t he doing a fine dining restaurant like gunta and all that but it wasn’t about him. It was about our guest and what the guest want and I think. That’s the biggest thing that we learned is we want approachable. We want people to feel like they’re getting the quality which we never sacrificed. But most importantly, when it comes to the bartens and all that the hospitality that that was the most important that we wanted to create cheers and didn’t matter which restaurant was we wanted people to feel like this is their spot and they’re going to come. They’re going to get the same drink consistently.

05:43.54
vigorbranding
Any.

06:01.83
David Abes
And you know with a smile with a smile. That’s what we biggest thing was just you know back to the hospitality factor of it.

06:06.37
vigorbranding
Yeah, even the name itself here to serve you know I always laugh about replacing the the word 2 with the number 2 but um, you know in in brands in general. But ah, it definitely came through and it wasn’t a place that I think people would run around lauding the food ala a 5 star. Or a Michelin starred restaurant but that wasn’t what it was about I think that’s why it attracted so many people is very approachable. It was very good. Um, so in the industry right now.

06:30.49
David Abes
Yeah I think that’s you know and you know back to the training part is we want to make sure our staff knew what they were talking about when it came to wine when it came to the you know beverage of program the food but you know what. Um I was we’re having Fun. We always said. Let’s have fun dining. That’s what we people want is when they get Away. We want them to feel like they’re on vacation. Oh yeah, go yes for sure.

06:49.48
vigorbranding
Yeah, now more than ever right? I mean after being trapped in and it’s like gosh just give me some connectivity. You know I was at a 5 church last night with with a friend but you know we had iman on the show and I was just talking to the manager and it’s like you know they’re they’re. Beyond pre-pandemic numbers right now which is fantastic. So we’re seeing it people want the connectivity which is kind of interesting I don’t know if you keep your finger on the pulse of quickserve or fast casual restaurants. But so many of these larger brands are slingshotting their operational model away from. Some of the norms to highly tech integrated and then drivethroughs do you think that might be an overcorrection.

07:34.78
David Abes
I don’t think it’s an overcorrection because I think you have to use technology to stay 1 step ahead with everything but I still think that people connection is very important I think like what chick-a’s done about putting somebody out there at the drivethrough you still have to have that personal touch and you know we have a lot of clients that are a quick service. Um, you know and they lure. That’s what we teach them I mean I hate say the welcome to mos you you always have to have that welcome moe philosophy is people don’t want to talk to a robot they want to talk to a human but to do the transaction and all that and even cooking you have to use technology to stay as step ahead.

07:57.63
vigorbranding
A.

08:08.88
vigorbranding
Yeah I see it as a really good opportunity for exactly that and this is some of the things that we’ve consulted with our clients about which is the technology should be there to replace the menial tasks that you quite literally don’t need a human to do Anymore. We’re fully capable of ordering ourselves. You know we check ourselves out at grocery store stores. Um, we order a head now you know, even my mom’s ordering ahead things like that. But what we do need is that touch and we need that true customer Service. So if you think of it the right way the technology actually empowers that you know.

08:41.78
David Abes
It does Yeah and you know I hate to say it. But you know right now training just you know the staffing levels and all that so you know if you can get somewhere or a computer screen that some has some education Hey here’s some wine and whatever then it’s going to help the cause. Where you still have to have that person who’s you know can hand sell and all that but you have to you got to use the tools got to use tools.

09:05.38
vigorbranding
That’s right? So um, you know with that. It’s pretty hard for some of these single unit or small multi-units to get those tools. They are an investment. Um, you know how how have you tackled that in your consulting with your clients. Um, how have you made the case for making an investment and how how’s it gone for you.

09:25.12
David Abes
Ah, so I mean I think you know doing the you know each? It’s interesting. All our clients are so different and you’re right? and what they have when it comes to the tools but a lot of them don’t know because they honestly for the last two and a half years it’s just been hanging on so I think so I think it’s just hard for them to see like the light at the end of the tunnel.

09:40.34
vigorbranding
That’s right.

09:44.73
David Abes
So if we can show them hey here’s the investment whether it be a handheld for a pos or your different piece of equipment in the kitchen you we I had say we got make a dummy proof. But that’s what you gotta do you gotta make a dummy proof these days and some of this stuff will help um, do that stuff.

09:57.68
vigorbranding
Yeah, and so I think with that you know we’ve already mentioned a couple issues that technology has helped with you know you mentioned the the challenges in the labor industry which are are very well known I think even by the the common everyday person at this point. Um. And and there’s a lot more that people don’t see than probably aren’t as interesting like supply chain and things like that. So what’s always curious to me is speaking to I’m going to use the vword so apologies but a veteran of the industry. Um I’ve seen a lot of veterans who learned things that worked. And then that’s just what they replicate and have been doing so for years. So 1 case in particular a guy who was at a very large diner brand just loves putting vinyl on the walls as a refresh, it’s dumpy. It’s cheap, but that’s what works and so that’s what we’re gonna do you know? and. How do you keep yourself nimble adept on top of what’s happening and how do you continue to create new approaches to problems even though you may have had a win in the past How do you keep yourself humble enough to realize that you have to keep on learning.

11:04.90
David Abes
You know that every day I’m learning something new. You know I don’t know everything no one knows everything but it’s about surrounding yourself with people who have knowledge I think that’s the thing is like you can’t say it’s my way of the highway you can’t do that you have to listen and I think more importantly, just everybody brings something to the table. And that’s what I’ve been lucky about the dash team. We have somebody who has the knowledge and and let them take the lead I mean I always say trust for verify Steve Alterman from horse rash girl. He taught me that and I think that’s 1 thing is you have to be willing to adapt. Um, we have a lot of clients who are like oh this how we’ve always done it. And I’m and and I tell them I said you have to think about 2 105 years from now. Don’t think about what you did 2 five ten years ago um and you just have to you know it’s sitting down and lend them learn differently these these staff you you can’t give them a manual that has you know 50 pages. They’re not going to read that anymore. You know that you got to do something that’s quick and right on their phone and how you communicate you know they you know these kids they don’t check emails you know, but if you sound the text they’ll probably check it or you know something on social media. So it’s it’s just different. It’s different.

12:12.14
vigorbranding
Yeah, and there’s a number of systems that I think are kind of trying to tackle those challenges specifically obviously ah 7 shifts have done a pretty good job from what I understand restaurant 365 is doing a lot of good work in some of those things. Um, and I think what’s what’s what’s interesting is. For a long time if you talked about video work for instance, like so rather than doing the manual you should have videos I mean you’re talking about a very large investment but now we have fantastic cameras in our hands with a setup and just ah, a small little light like I use for this show. You can actually produce something.

12:40.90
David Abes
Yes.

12:49.85
vigorbranding
Really good that people will absorb It shows the work happening. It’s better than reading you still have the ability to show the writing. So if someone does want to read as a brushup because they learn that way. It’s there. Um, has there been a kind of a go-to system in that world that you prefer or that you’ve been really impressed with.

13:07.61
David Abes
Well, you know like you said I mean I think a lot is really making it personal. Um, you know when you have somebody who can bring a camera in and and it is. It’s It’s really it’s the peer I think peer to peer I think they really appreciate that when you’re you know you’re showing hey here’s a video of somebody. You know then some like.

13:25.61
vigorbranding
He.

13:27.25
David Abes
You know corporate video. This is how it is I think people oh that’s that’s a you know Mike or whatever who’s you know who who’s doing this video. Um, and yeah yeah I just think you you gotta make things personal. Gotta make them personal and and I think people when you get them out of their element say hey you’re gonna be in this video or you’ gonna you’re gonna.

13:33.50
vigorbranding
Yeah I Love that.

13:45.95
David Abes
Do line up today. They like perk up a little bit. They get nervous at first where they perk up.

13:48.80
vigorbranding
Yeah, it’s funny. There’s a video that circulates on the Instagram world of 1 of those corporate videos of a guy. It looks like it’s kind of at a golden corral or ponderosa and it’s like how to make small talk is like. Hey how about that game last night and it’s so bad. So bad. It’s wonderful. So that’s that’s a good example of what not to do Um, so yeah and I like the idea of having a peer there somebody that they know.

14:04.56
David Abes
Oh yeah, so so bad I know so bad. Yeah no I see right? Then there’s lots of those out there. Lots those out there.

14:21.30
vigorbranding
I Mean it’s kind of difficult when there is a lot of Churn but what have you found if anything are are good ways Beyond like compensation monetary compensation. Are there things that I think leaders maybe are missing in retaining their their rockstar employees.

14:36.68
David Abes
I Think the most important thing is you know is recognition. Yeah, they want the money but like just thanking them like hey even in the middle of the shift. Great job. Great job with that table. It’s like real time. Don’t wait till the end of the show. Don’t send an email like people love that. But you know one thing that I’ve noticed lately is also.

14:43.24
vigorbranding
Then.

14:56.46
David Abes
Like take a picture of them and post on social media hey this is our star employee of the day and be what they’re like oh look you know and then people we love. We love Meredith like our chef like at Barne I mean it’s like you know it’s just like recognize them and then you see people on social media. We love Meredith she’s the best but blah blah you know and I think it’s just.

15:01.22
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

15:15.83
David Abes
Thanking them because they are I mean they’re getting beat up I mean beat up. So I think that’s most important there. Yes.

15:18.82
vigorbranding
That’s right, especially during the last two years right I mean hang hanging on is me. It’s a very nice phrase that the struggle was very real and now it’s a different struggle as as we kind of covered a little bit but I love the idea of of getting a face on social media I think. For the longest time a lot of leaders just relied on the food porn because that’s what got traction and it was pretty quick and while it’s important to show the food. It. It really is the people. It’s the people that people want to connect with you know and if you’re not showing that or you’re using models for instance on social specifically it’s it’s not going to go as far.

15:39.15
David Abes
Yes, mm.

15:44.90
David Abes
Those yeah.

15:55.74
vigorbranding
Just really isn’t we’ve also realized that and I apologize to my photographer friends out there who I love in a door of course but on social media these highly styled perfect photos just get 0 traction. It’s just not good. You need real.

16:07.82
David Abes
Um, yep, Yes, yep.

16:13.21
vigorbranding
People want to see the realness they want to see the ooey gooey dripping awesomeness of whatever you’re eating and um while I think there’s that time and place for those that perfect styling It just doesn’t have the power on social that some may think um now I do know that in Dash. You have a social media strategist. Ah, how have you employed that person effectively for some of the clients and and what does ah a typical um, ah typical engagement look like.

16:37.81
David Abes
Yeah I mean so it’s interesting. So each one needs something a little bit different. Um, we’ve we’ve used ah you know a couple different marketing companies I’m very gunho one of them these days va fialla they are um Val and Garrett I’m telling you they they’re doing awesome and it is and each some. Everybody needs something different. It’s awareness. Um, you know some are more national brands but more is about that local flavor. Um, it’s you know we talk about the employees but a lot has to with the guest. Also when you take a picture of the guest. Thank you for celebrating this and all that they they love that. Also um. So it’s got to be the combo of everything but it’s you know what? what is the mission of why why you’re doing that social media to post or just to post for a reason like here’s an event coming up. Um, you know we just had a big event at the village green eggs and kegs and I mean it was like and it was all based on social media and table tents and and it was funny. It was like. Talking people. Oh I didn’t know about it I’m like we’ll follow us on social media. You know they’re okay and then next you know you see like you know, just going up and up and and and it is you can only you know old print ads and all that you know that only works so well. So I think it’s just communication through a lot through you know digital.

17:47.38
vigorbranding
Yeah there’s there’s a lot of misconceptions about marketing in general I think or I would say expectations that are way off so you mentioned print ads and things like that and the joke that I make with some leaders is like so you’re saying Mcdonald’s is wrong. Because they do Tv and they’d be like well I’m like exactly it’s not the the name of the game is still reach and frequency social media is just a way to reach again and in a better way in a preferred format whereas Tv was watched every night by the the atomic family as it were um you know we’re’re. Kind of pass that as everyone knows we’re on our phones more than ever I saw numbers yesterday 98% of Gen Z is on their phone and it doesn’t go down very much in the boomer generation.

18:33.50
David Abes
Oh yes, him.

18:39.61
vigorbranding
Making the biggest leaps and bounds they you know whereas a couple years ago they were around the 30% and now they’re at like 60 are on their smartphones and this is pretty amazing stuff now they may not be as intently on social. But ah, they they are on it and so I think it’s about understanding where the people are and what kind of content they want to.

18:52.52
David Abes
But I think I think one of the biggest things also is yeah I think a big thing though is 100% table visitation for that front of the house manager. They’re the ones who are throwing the party and that’s when like you said earlier about making that connection.

18:58.49
vigorbranding
Consume.

19:10.37
David Abes
That’s the biggest thing is connecting with those with those guests because they’re the ones who are going to spread the gospel Hey what’s going on. They’re the ones who your marketing That’s your marketing company is your guest.

19:17.26
vigorbranding
Um, yeah, what? what are in you in your opinion. What? what are some of the hallmarks of a bad general manager The the mc of the party as it were like like you just said, what are some things that you’ve seen firsthand where you’re like what are you doing.

19:31.00
David Abes
Ah, well, ah, being in the office number one I mean it’s interesting as we build restaurants I don’t build offices anymore. But I put them in a closet. This is note you don’t need to be in your office anymore you you’re on your laptop. So I think that’s number 1 um number 2 is you know? are they. Are they running the shift or is a shift running them. Um, you know a lot of times they’re the ones who are you not directing traffic. They’re running the food. Yeah, and you what we definitely roll up our sleeves and want to get in there but you just you know you’re you’re the one who’s you’re the coach and I think you got a coach but you gotta to you know you have to see it from the guests. Standpoint a lot of times I I tell my gms all the time walk out to the parking lot and walk in what do you see? don’t you know it’s more than just the 4 walls. It’s the whole experience from when they get out of the car to when they walk in in the 4 walls. So um, but it’s just personality I mean you want to when you’re a guest you want to say that person is the manager.

20:25.37
vigorbranding
Right? Yeah and it’s not always just what they wear too like you had mentioned earlier the suit and hopping into shorts and things like that. But um, knowing that they’re taken care of I think is still a really big thing even at a fast casual scenario I mean they they want to know that.

20:26.97
David Abes
Like you want to know that person’s in charge now.

20:41.51
David Abes
Um, oh yeah, are.

20:45.24
vigorbranding
You care that they’re there. Um, otherwise you really shouldn’t even have ah an an interior except just to grab the food and get out. Um, you know because you’re just slinging food at that point which is quite difficult.

20:52.60
David Abes
Yeah I think you know it’s I to I mean I always tell about a hostess. Yeah, like the host I never like I hate. There’s a host stand because I it’s like that barrier same thing with a bartender. We had a great bartender Atwi Wayne and if he didn’t know if he never met you before. He would walk around the bar and shake your hand he wouldn’t reach over the bar and I think that was always that ah to me that was always the wow factor I’m like that’s amazing and same thing with a host I always always want to put a host at the you know at the front door. Don’t wait for them to walk in. We have to greet them before they greet us and that’s a big thing for me is opening that door hey welcome in.

21:12.32
vigorbranding
A.

21:25.23
vigorbranding
M.

21:30.70
David Abes
You know people love that. But most people don’t where do I go? What’s the next step. So I think that’s important.

21:34.63
vigorbranding
Yeah, part of a great experiences and what we say here is reducing or eliminating the anxiety and I don’t think a lot of people quite get it especially restaurant leaders like like you just mentioned that is an anxiety point when you walk into a place and you’re like I don’t know what to do next. You could surerk it often say oh it’s not that big of a deal but that adds up and the more anxiety moments you have the worse the experience and if you have a Gm who’s you know has him or herself in in the closet as it were and is in their crunching numbers and not really doing what they need to do when they’re on the floor.

21:57.72
David Abes
Um, yep.

22:09.74
vigorbranding
It just turns into a mess that like you. So I think that’s what you mean by the shift running them.

22:12.72
David Abes
I was like ah as a gm I was like the Gm working the door meaning like that’s the initialreed so they can time it throughout the whole thing we call it the figure 8 so start at the front door but then circulate through expo and you’re coming back. So you’re circling through the restaurant and through the kitchen. So you know all all that’s going on. But. That initial greet. Yeah, you have a hostess but do they care as much as the manager probably not.

22:35.11
vigorbranding
Right? Yeah I mean look it’s a first time job usually now I’ve seen some like concierge level hosts and hostesses before but you know that’s probably not happening at the Panera bread. Um.

22:38.61
David Abes
Um, yeah, oh yeah, I right? and and people think that the host is like oh that’s just a little high school person. Whatever that’s the most important person in the restaurant. Besides the Dishwaer. Dishwash is the most important person. but ah yeah, but ah yeah the host is one who controls the whole flow so that to me that’s where it all starts that first impression.

22:57.77
vigorbranding
That’s right.

23:03.40
vigorbranding
Yeah, they’re almost um, you know the the right? They’re almost like assistant manager in a lot of ways with their duties and how much power they have um.

23:08.30
David Abes
Yeah, have either put you in the weeds or you know control the money and so.

23:14.83
vigorbranding
So shifting gears out of the restaurant industry a little bit there. There was something that struck me about your cv and that is your involvement with the Atlanta Community Food bank and what struck me is I don’t really know if younger generations fully understand the power that they have and that. What food banks really bring to the community and to the underserved people in every community and so could could you set some like shed some light on the power of a good food bank program and why it matters.

23:46.27
David Abes
Is it? Yeah, it’s amazing I mean god I’ve been involved with them now. 20 have to think about this about 24 years and same thing when Doug Foley said I want to get you involved with the Letta Community Food Bank I’m like what am I going to a grocery store. What am I doing and I’ll never forget Janice and bill bowling when I met with him first. It was just it was all inspiring just seeing what they do and how many different events they do and just what you know the churches and the schools and everything I mean just how many people don’t have food to eat and just the community outreach but also the corporate you know how they get involved and that’s a thing they subsidize so much. Different you know meals that that people wouldn’t be able to eat and it’s not just like in town I mean there are so many different places throughout Georgia that they really you know helped out with and ah it is I mean just the passion Kyle who’s the Ceo now. Um, it’s just very passionate how it’s grown I mean. Since I’ve been involved now they’re in their third building and it’s just grown every year and it’s and I hate to say it’s sad to say but it it you know it was a need.

24:50.80
vigorbranding
Yeah, so um, explain the model to me so they have the events and everything that’s fantastic, especially fundraising I think that makes a lot of sense but but is it literally almost like ah a grocery store or is it strictly restocking pantries at.

24:57.28
David Abes
Um, yes.

25:06.56
David Abes
Um, yeah.

25:07.69
vigorbranding
And other places where they serve let’s say homeless and underserved what what does that look like.

25:11.73
David Abes
Yeah, you’re not, You’re not going to um, okay so you’re just you’re not coming off the street going to the food bank getting food. It’s like I said it’s for different um partners that they have like I said it could be some schools. It could be churches. It could be homeless shelters. Um, you know so but Basically. Food drives but also Publix Kroger they’re you know all those big grocery stores that you know that they’re donating food to the cause on that and then it’s wild I mean you see that when people are loading up. They load up in the back of their truck different things. The food Bank does a lot of deliveries to these places and then. It’s in the community then you’re going to your local church or school or whatever and and getting these meals to Subsidize. So.

25:52.49
vigorbranding
Yeah, love that. So it’s basically subsidizing the meals for the people that can’t afford it at at these places and that so that’s it’s so important now are there Benchmarks I presume there are benchmarks that you or goals that you are trying to reach What are some of the most impressive ones.

25:56.19
David Abes
Yes, yep.

26:08.81
vigorbranding
What I’m really trying to do is I Want to get people excited about the food banks in their communities.

26:11.51
David Abes
Yep Well I Think what’s also awesome is the different things they do like they do school supplies for teachers they do Community gardens. Um, there’s so many different things that they get involved with and that’s what I think is is amazing to See. Um. Just the people and just the smiles and all that stuff and the outreaches is just tremendous what they do.

26:31.33
vigorbranding
I Love that? Yeah I can’t wait to share the links in the show notes because I really would love people to get in touch with the food bank and and see how they can help I think that’s a very low hanging fruit way to do some really good positive things for the community around you.

26:48.22
David Abes
We’ve done some amazing things like our companies in the past have done food sorting So All this foods and barrels were the ones who sort. Okay, it’s out of date this and that is the amazing team building and it’s great and now that the food bank finally opened back up, you know it is a great way to see just you know hey how you can get involved with the Community. So.

27:09.22
vigorbranding
Um, that’s awesome. So um, training your gears back to dash I would love to hear more so this is this is the commercial man feel free to drop the truth on what dash does why? it’s awesome and and maybe a little bit about how the journey’s been over the last four years

27:19.92
David Abes
Ah, yeah.

27:25.68
David Abes
God I mean insane. Um, yeah I mean I you know I was working with bucket life and then you know I and it was great and niko pano. All them were awesome but people start calling saying David can you help me with this help me with that. My wife Julie she’s like. Time for you to start your own company. So I took the leap and it was just me at first and you know I worked with zesto then Ray with Ray Schumbaum and and it was just like all of a sudden just people start calling and calling. It was just me and now I’m like oh my god I’m working twenty four seven and so I reached out to Brett Kraer who was my right handed and here to serve one of our area directors and said hey Brett I want to want to grow this company and so we he said come on. Let’s do it and then we start taking out more clients and then Phil Hanley came on board and Phil was my left handed editord here to serve. Amazing thing is we do pretty much you name it when it comes to food and beverage from front of the house to culinary chef Nicola he’s our culinary director. Um, and we do start up come fix my problems anywhere from we have resorts senior living slutty vegan like our.

28:39.52
vigorbranding
A.

28:42.61
David Abes
Every day is something different I mean and our clients vary so much and and you know and we’re just trying to help them grow I mean like I said every one of our clients has been a referral. We we haven’t had to solicit one client and that’s makes me feel great and what’s awesome is people hey call Dave and he’ll you know he’ll help you. We’ll get you fixed and. Not about us at all. It’s always about the client and I just want them to win and we’ve grown the company and it’s been 4 years and you know right when you know covid hit I’m like oh my god and my wife owns a batter cookie dough and so I literally for a little while there I’m like oh my god I was sitting there scooping cookie dough. But then we got some. Ah. Got some senior living clients and senior living still to go through covid so it really brought us you know? Okay, we can do smarter things also and that was that was a great little thing so but you know halfway through covid just to start going up up up up then not complaining. Things are great. Things are great.

29:36.46
vigorbranding
Yeah, you’re you’re Soren, you’re sore and high I love it and of course we’ll have links to the websites that people can kind of dive in and see a little bit more um as well as the social media pages and and I think ah we’re at probably the most important question of this entire discussion which is.

29:43.67
David Abes
Thank you? yeah.

29:55.41
vigorbranding
If you had 1 final meal on this plane of existence where and or what would you eat and why.

30:01.81
David Abes
Can I tell you it be. Ah, it’d be a roving meal up and down Buford Highway Um I Seriously I Love I mean I Love Asian food I Love I Love that everything on Buvert Highway you know I love because it’s funny like I’m not a huge steak eater. It’s like to me, go eat like ah like yeah the steakhouse. Yeah I like it. But I like more about going into these hole in thewall places and just eating like okay here’s mom and dad they’re cooking in the back and it’s just great quality and ah that that’s my most important I Just love that love that So Bewver Highway just up and down the street.

30:34.62
vigorbranding
I love it. Yeah for for those that don’t know. Um Buford Highway is essentially just a long stretch of road in Atlanta City ah you know within within the perimeter that is just chinese food korean food indian food and mexican food. It is like. You basically anything that you want to find is going to be there. Um, so it’s a pretty amazing spot I love that answer. It’s truly truly of Atlanta and that’s exactly why I had you on the show I love it David thanks for your time. Thanks for sharing your insights and I just cannot wait to continue continue to see this journey unfold for you.

30:58.72
David Abes
Yeah, yeah.

31:09.21
David Abes
Yeah, thank you so much I Really appreciate having me on. It was awesome.

31:12.91
vigorbranding
Awesome.

 

Share this

Episode Details

Forktales - a podcast that feeds food and beverage

New episodes every two weeks!

Sign up to get notified when new episodes are available.