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Ep 49: Alan Hickey / Founder of Vromo, Delivery Gamechanger

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Third-party delivery is here to stay, but tools like VROMO allow restaurants to manage their own delivery fleets and take back ownership of the customer experience. That’s the dream that became a reality when Alan Hickey teamed with Brian Hickey (no relation) to create VROMO in 2016. In this episode of Forktales, Alan and Joseph talk about the pandemic’s impact on delivery, the ROI with services like VROMO and exactly when we can expect to see pizza delivered by drones.

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Forktales
Ep 49: Alan Hickey / Founder of Vromo, Delivery Gamechanger
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Show Notes

VROMO is the only delivery management software solution tailored to the restaurant and food industry. VROMO’s foundation is its customizable and intuitive dispatch technology which allows customers to manage their deliveries and drivers seamlessly from a cloud-based system.

When it comes to new clients, VROMO is honest about the cost of the product and whether the restaurant is big enough to realize a profit while using the service. If the ROI isn’t there, the VROMO team will let the restaurant know that.

Alan predicts that assisted-driving delivery vehicles are on the horizon but drone delivery is likely 10 years away. On a five year horizon, Alan predicts a rise in local delivery co-ops comprised of large groups of very small restaurants banding together to share delivery services.

Quotes

“Ultimately what we do is try to make delivery profitable. If an order is going out of the kitchen, there’s a huge case for VROMO.” (Alan)

“What the pandemic introduced is a speed in decision making that this industry hasn’t seen in a long, long time. To the point of very little thinking and due diligence about what happens next. But that was okay. We were all in survival mode.” (Alan)

“If you think about how much time a marketing department or an operational department puts into kitchen layouts, store layouts, the queue, the tills, the music that you hear when you walk in and now imagine trying to replicate that decision-making process with delivery. It just hasn’t happened. At all. That’s really what VROMO is trying to accelerate from a restaurant perspective.” (Alan)

“(Restaurants) need to operate as slick digitally as Uber and Doordash and GrubHub. Not that they’re competitors. The third-party marketplaces have a place. They have a part to play, but I have never heard someone say, ‘I really enjoyed my Doordash pizza that I ordered last night.’ You say, ‘I really enjoyed my Blaze pizza that I ordered on Doordash.’” (Alan)

“Restaurant brands are investing so much. I feel like it’s an overcorrection. All digital, all off-prem, optimized for pick-up and delivery – and optimization should happen – but it feels like we’re going too far the other way.” (Joseph)

Transcript

00:00.00
vigorbranding
Everyone today I am joined by my friend Alan Hickey he is the founder and chief commercial officer at a place called Romo which we are going to unpack in full detail on this episode Alan is a proud scotsman. Um.

00:13.91
Al Hickey
Oh you did it Joseph straight off the back you did it.

00:18.32
vigorbranding
Ah, if Kevin Bentley is listening. He will be laughing ah as well. Our friend Miles Garrett or a miles gift. Um, anyway, we’ll we we’ll stop talking about vegas because we’re not supposed to um Alan say hello and give a little bit of backstory.

00:32.91
Al Hickey
Ah, hello everybody at the least proud scotsman of all time but very proud irishman and so yeah and ah founder co co-founder actually of the original company. And with a guy called Sean Murray and then co-founder of Ramo I suppose with with Brian Hickey began life as a delivery fleet. So probably the least software founder you’ve ever had on your show and and so our life began delivering pias across Europe. Ah, Australia New Zealand built a product for our own use case and I suppose because we just not that there wasn’t great product out. They’re not good product for us and then the dirty word of business that is pivot. Ah.

01:24.29
vigorbranding
And.

01:27.20
Al Hickey
We did it in in late 2019 early sorry late 2018 early twenty nineteen harder more difficult more expensive more trauma out than we ever imagined. But here we are now you know a couple of years later not honestly not regretting a single day of any of the decisions we’ve made so it’s been a. It’s been awesome and and ultimately what we do is try to make delivery profitable. So if an order’s going out of the kitchen if there’s a use case for bramo be it own drivers. None partyy fleets hybrid a boat. Whatever it’s. Trying to drive some bottom line revenue back into to restaurant partners and and really give them ownership of that customer experience as well.

02:08.28
vigorbranding
I love it. Yeah, the the dirty word pivot every time I hear that word I flash back to high school gym being taught how to play basketball and my gym teacher. Mr Thompson just yelling pivot at us. As you know we pivot around one foot with the ball. Ah so it’s it’s personal it hurts I’m not very sports inclined except for soccer. But you know anyway. I’ll try not to shudder every time I hear the word. So let’s talk about none party delivery because I think that’s like obviously hot button it was this this almost violent shift to like embracing three pd during the pandemic and it hasn’t really slowed down but the challenges and the pain points have.

02:49.28
Al Hickey
Um, and.

02:55.92
vigorbranding
Definitely exacerbated so it certainly changed the game but those challenges seem to be. You seem to be tackling some of them and can you break down. How has Romo approached the relationship with 3 Pd um just how how are you overcoming some of those challenges.

03:13.20
Al Hickey
Um, and yeah, so so I suppose just straight off the bat I would agree with everything you say and I think what the the pandemic introduced was a speed and decision making that this industry hasn’t seen in a long long time. And I mean it was like snapshot decision making to the to the point of very little thinking and due diligence as to what happens next and but but that was okay, look it was in we were all in survival mode and and then the challenges that have presented themselves. In all honesty if we’re looking at the status quo. Yeah, there are serious challenges there and but in a new world. Maybe those challenges aren’t as kind of aggressive and worry and you know troublesome As as as.

03:54.57
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

04:08.37
Al Hickey
Probably initially perceived so let me kind of unpack that a bit when the pandemic hit like on-premise disappeared all right? We’re all going to like it remember at the start of covered we all thought we were going to die if we caught this thing like it was like seriously intense and then you had like we’re European like arm and baso.

04:21.74
vigorbranding
That’s right? ah.

04:28.31
Al Hickey
Ireland had its rules and the Uk had its rules and then the us had its rules and it was like no matter what day you looked at you were like holy hell like it’s it’s getting worse over here. We thought we were in the clear so that’s honestly, that’s why I think it lasted so long because there was no joint of thinking around like a strategy about How far we go into lockdown or how far we kind of push this isolation and so what restaurants in in in our opinion and what we saw did was they just kind of went for the lowest common denominator and they said right? Let’s say on-premise is never coming back. What does this business look like and and as you said Joseph they just bailed into none party delivery like aggressively turned on every channel which is what we would tell people to do like ironically, if we get a restaurant rocking into us and like you mentioned Kavinna later on like I would say turned them all on. Absolutely everybody because here’s here’s the misnomer. It’s new volume. You’re an uber customer I’m a doordash customer somebody else is a grill pub customer we are habitual with the app that we use so when you turn on additional none parties you get additional users. It is a fact. It’s not.

05:40.25
vigorbranding
M.

05:42.95
Al Hickey
Ah, misnomer and and so what we then saw from a learning perspective was people were okay with none party delivery and fulfillment when it was like None of their business. Maybe 10 it’s like okay, it’s hitting the p and ls hittting the bottom line was not killing us. In the pandemic. It went to 100% and then we’ve maybe seen a fallback to ah to honestly depending on food type and depending on state we’re looking at numbers anywhere between 25 and 50% which is absolutely massive because if you think about how much time. Ah, marketing department or or an operations department puts into kitchen layout store layout the queue the tills. The music that you hear when you walk in and now imagine trying to replicate that decision making process in delivery. It just hasn’t happened like at all. Nobody’s gone there yet and that’s. That’s really what we’re almost trying to accelerate from a restaurant’s perspective. We’re trying to like get them to go because you need to operate as slick digitally as uber and doordash and grovehold and not that not that they’re competitors and I’m like real clear on this. The none party marketplaces have a place but not a hundred percent

06:53.71
vigorbranding
Um, and.

06:57.34
Al Hickey
Of of off-prem not 100% they have a place and they have a part to play for sure. But I’ve never heard anybody say I really enjoyed my door dash pizza that I ordered last night you say I ordered I really enjoyed my blaze pizza.

07:13.16
vigorbranding
Right.

07:13.62
Al Hickey
I ordered on doordash it’s it’s a secondary brand connection and and so what Romo wants to do is basically enable both doordash and blaze to recognize that dynamic with us the end users and ultimately drive a forward because that’s a sustainable marketplace that that’s something where we’re all not looking over our shoulder gone who’s going to. Who’s going to hit us next or who’s going to come after our lunch next. So and the pandemic that that to me is the biggest takeaway. It’s none. Party’s definitely here to stay but we probably need a bit more insight a bit more control. And a bit more leverage over how those none parties play.

07:49.70
vigorbranding
Yeah, and you know everyone will talk. You know any operator will talk about the fees the fees and of course the ah the bank of tablets that you end up at somewhere invisibility if if you’re you know more more than likely I would say. If you’re lucky, you’ve you’ve found a way to tuck away without actually impeding on the ability to receive those orders which which has been an issue as well. I mean some of these full service restaurants just simply were not built for that like agility and speed. Um and hell I even remember gathering kids as grandpa Joe talks about the past. Um.

08:23.84
Al Hickey
Um.

08:26.19
vigorbranding
Getting a sandwich delivered to your house I mean if you think about it that wasn’t a thing ten years ago it’s like you would you had to go get it. You know and I remember in Pennsylvania a subshop started delivering subs and I was like this is amazing.

08:31.79
Al Hickey
Now.

08:43.46
vigorbranding
You know I get a sublivered to my house because you know up until that moment. It was pizza was the only thing that had the volume to actually do delivery. No one else really did so it’s definitely changed the game. Um, so can you dig in a little bit more about how Roma works. How does it layer in with three pd is it completely separate does it integrate just dumb it down for people like me.

09:07.79
Al Hickey
And yeah, okay, so so actually you raise an interesting point around the the concept of delivery and and then like I use this all the time. So so you’re probably a little older than I am sorry fans I know.

09:23.62
vigorbranding
Um, that’s it’s crushing. Ah.

09:26.20
Al Hickey
Joseph looks amazing but ah or grandpa Joe as he calls up and but but it was like look across the globe. It was pi delivery for like for my generation for everybody maybe chinese every now and again, but that was it and then then you start to getting like quiz. Nos.

09:40.60
vigorbranding
All right? yep.

09:45.84
Al Hickey
So Boy you know, popelli and and portilos and P f chings and oh my go This is like schmorgasor of what’s going on here and when you order a food is really interesting and we kind of see this right? So pizza look pizza gets to ordered all day every day. But like a sto is is is a real lunchtime possibly hangover like I just need something salty into my belly before you know kept up in therapy and and and and so so it was interesting because it opened up a completely different buying market and so whenromo.

10:11.45
vigorbranding
Um, yeah, yeah.

10:21.64
Al Hickey
Launched in the us look tiny little lawyers company looking at the enormous us market and we were like yeah of course we can take this on but we had to be really picky but like we had to be so picky when it came to resources and everything else so we had to prove our use case on our our none use case was. Does the product standups we went after fleets and so fleets like we used to be and we said hey if you’re doing delivery for restaurants you need ah as a software and we can probably do this for you and so deliver that and dary and terrell Aaron Hoffman John Zeno basically the 3 guys at the top of that company. Honestly lifelong friends mine now. But at the time it was like was my first Usa and and when I mean we threw the kitchen sink at these boys like it was get them over the line but it was it was interesting because even though they were a little bit younger than me they were operating in a different market than me.

11:06.18
vigorbranding
Ah.

11:18.56
Al Hickey
They were never thinking about international expansion At this time if you paired back all the layers of that onion. It was the exact same use case and it was really good delivery etas to Customer Slick user engagement and then give the restaurant control of the ownership like.

11:25.60
vigorbranding
No.

11:37.39
Al Hickey
Deliver that didn’t need to be the brand that people were talking about nor did Roma and so there was that alignment and then we took a None step further and we said right? restaurants are obviously going to be the the the test point and and Kevin at the time wasn’ with papaginnos it was there. It was a. Absolutely amazing to Tom Hayden um who brought us in there and and and Dena and the team at at um at new england eats and and you know we got honestly we got put up. Can you do this and we were like yeah we absolutely can but we need you guys to believe in that so we can get it over the line. And that use case was really simple as well. It was they wanted to operate with none parties. Wip Marketplaces with multiple channels. They also wanted to engage overflow so they recognized hey we can go out and hire drivers. But we’re going to need help and so if we need help how when and why do we ask jordash to come in.

12:22.41
vigorbranding
Are the.

12:32.94
Al Hickey
And and help us out and and that was what Romo enabled them to automate but also scale so like we went from three sites to I don’t know I think seventy five eighty sites in the space of two months and then they’ve got a. Standard concept across all restaurants and that was something that had never existed before because as anybody who operates in restaurants know trying to manage performance across multiple units is so difficult because they all have their little.

12:57.77
vigorbranding
Um.

13:03.20
Al Hickey
Nuances and idiosyncrasies and all of this is happening and we have a parking lot. We don’t blah bla blah and so that’s what rolma tries to do like from a from a kind of performance ever. Give us standard common denominator like just Jesus just give us ah a baseline that we can.

13:18.52
vigorbranding
Ah, no.

13:21.17
Al Hickey
Mark everybody off, but there’s no doubt been massive challenges and like I mean you know we’ve seen businesses go out of business through covid and we’ve seen restaurants go to the wall change ownership and and so you know I always want to. State this has not been the rosiest time for all people and and and that’s completely understandable, but what I would say to the market and this isn’t just leave ima aside for one second there are tools there are partners. There are consultants. There are.

13:40.49
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

13:55.50
Al Hickey
Really really educated solutions out there and don’t be afraid to go and ask because this will happen again and it could be the recession this time although recession should help off pre which we should see the the Pe curve go the other way but honestly like go and ask go and like don’t be afraid to feel stupid.

14:11.91
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

14:13.42
Al Hickey
As as you you would say like just go and ask because that was the biggest learning for me the inertia to change for some restaurants was still there and even at the top of the call I was like decision making accelerated massively. It was the people who didn’t make those decisions just got absolutely nailed nailed.

14:31.63
vigorbranding
Yeah, and I feel like the decisions now are so I’m I’m ever the naysayer I Guess it’s a real wonderful quality that my wife reminds of how much she appreciates every day. Um, but these brands are investing so much and I feel like it’s.

14:33.29
Al Hickey
So.

14:50.95
vigorbranding
Overcorrection act actually where it’s you know all digital all off-prem optimized for pickup and delivery which I think optimization should happen but you’re seeing where it’s like all automated and it just ah feels like we’re going in too far the other way. And I think what’s good about that is if you look at um, the general economics of it all like for for every ah zig.. There will be a zag and so it might make the high touch. Ah for lack of a better term white glove experiences even more important.

15:14.94
Al Hickey
Her.

15:23.97
vigorbranding
Um, since it’s kind of creating a space as like the industry shifts away from that I mean even full service is becoming um, less touch. You know the the casual full service. Um, one of the gripes that I think restaurant owners and leaders are having is. It seems like there’s there’s starting to be death by a thousand cuts with Saas programs. Um, you know your pos sa your marketing assess everything. It’s like just these monthly service fees really start to add up how how are you tackling and overcoming that challenge is there.

15:44.60
Al Hickey
Um, ah.

15:59.84
vigorbranding
Ah, certain amount of measurable savings that Romo brings to the optimization that can be proven that helps make the decision easier not to answer the question for you. But how are you overcoming that challenge. Um.

16:10.62
Al Hickey
Um, hey Joseph you want a job no no look it’s ah like honest to god I actually I wish and Brian Hickey my my partner and crying was on this car because. To say we have revised pricing on more than 17000000 occasions is is probably an underestimation like it is. It’s one of those bugbearers that I have because when we were the fleet business and we were doing the deliveries. Like in all honesty, you got to see the pain and the gripe and the moan and the anguish and the hurt of sasfi’s and we were kind of.

16:54.70
vigorbranding
Um.

16:58.58
Al Hickey
I I suppose as a fleet you’re you’re at the behest of those Saas fees as well because they’re your integrations or they’re your enablers and that’s how you get volume so we looked at this world in a very very different light when we set up our pricing and. And look it’s It’s not unique, but what we tried to do was we tried to go fix cost as as much as we could and we tried to put it as cents in the dollar and ideally ideally around the Quarter Mark as if if you’re paying a quarter for something that provides value nobody cares Its quarter. But.

17:26.79
vigorbranding
And.

17:34.10
Al Hickey
If you’re talking about ah a meaty upfront. You’re going to pay me 90 grand a year. It’s like o that’s a lot of or roi that I need to calculate and the thing that I I don’t think an awful lot of saas providers see is.

17:41.40
vigorbranding
Um.

17:52.54
Al Hickey
Is the 90 grand in or a way available. Absolutely but is the if it’s a big chain that’s fine if there’s a Cfo or an fd or somebody who’s actually calculating this on a quarterly or annual basis tick box if you’re a restaurant owner or a manager you’re looking at this. Five weeks in gone. Oh merciful hour I’m 90 grand in the hole and I’ve only got None grand and savings that math will tell you play forward that in your busy months you’re good as gold. But at the time the feeling the sentiment is horrific. So so we’ve tried to remove the cost barrier.

18:22.20
vigorbranding
Right.

18:30.55
Al Hickey
To entry and we’ve just said look we’re going to ask you for a minimum like a minimum on a monthly basis for us is 129 books that’s that’s where we’re going to be. We try not to base it on that as in, you need to be doing more an off-prem as you’re going to start engaging software tools in in my in my opinion.

18:47.99
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

18:50.24
Al Hickey
And because for us that’s like 3 or 400 deliveries a month and and that’s not a lot and and so we will be honest, we will turn people away and go dude, you’re never going to see the roi if you want to make it a super slick experience and add it to your marketing budget or your guess value budget. Perfect.

18:58.98
vigorbranding
Yeah.

19:06.94
Al Hickey
Don’t add this thinking. We’re going to generate this massive roi above 400 orders you’re killing us and and we will turn off after sixty days if you don’t see an roi and the icons in loads of different places Joseph like it’s it’s different for every brand. Sometimes it’s efficiency driver numbers overflow fleet.

19:10.86
vigorbranding
Um, no.

19:24.65
vigorbranding
Um.

19:25.20
Al Hickey
Staff in the restaurant. Eta’s customers reduction of phone got it could be anything but we will be honest and we will go dude. This is not for you like and and I would go so far as to say fromo says it’s not for you. Don’t go and engage in under software too.

19:32.99
vigorbranding
Um, right.

19:43.15
Al Hickey
Just figure out a better operational way to to figure it out because at 129 books a month it’s probably the cheapest lower lowest minimum. You’ll get and if we’re saying no, don’t go and give it to somebody else. It’s not worth it. Yeah, you’re going to waste your own cash.

19:53.51
vigorbranding
Yeah, just start wasting everyone’s time I mean. Ah yeah I have the same philosophy on it too I mean we’re not I say this to any potential client that comes to the doors like we’re not here to take your money like we.

20:06.55
Al Hickey
Um, no.

20:09.15
vigorbranding
Look we’re going to get paid for the value that we bring but value means that there is a return that there is a measurable benefit that you received and I think it’s actually in in my book I spent a whole chapter saying you might not need branding like in the in the sense that we do it. You might just need a creative person to design a logo you know and. And that’s okay, you know like don’t spend the ton of money with us to do a full brand strategy brand development yada yada when you could actually optimize your budget, especially if you’re bootstrapping a startup um and we do and then we do the same thing and say. And and by the way don’t speak to agencies that have None to None employees because it’s going to be the same pricing. You know we we base our services mostly on the amount of time we’re estimating. It’s going to be spent on the project by the number of people blah bla blah blah. So I think it’s really important to shoot people straight like that because.

21:00.00
Al Hickey
Yeah.

21:05.42
vigorbranding
I’d rather see a restaurant grow and thrive and come back to us down the road and say hey thanks for being honest, it actually helped us succeed because we didn’t throw money into this cavern. Um, and now we want to work with you on something bigger but blah blah. So it sounds like you have the same mentality. Um, what? So what sort of successes have you been seeing with ah brands who have adopted an integrated romo fully I know papainnos is one which as kismet would have it I think it’s actually how we met in ah Vegas is because you were speaking. You know you’re speaking with ah Kevin um, and then.

21:35.66
Al Hickey
Um, yeah in Vegas um.

21:44.10
vigorbranding
Oddly enough pappuinnos came to us I don’t think Kevin had a or actually I’m sorry we were talking to Pappainnos as I was going out to vegas and so I was like oh wait Kevin’s going to be there. Let me say hi anyway, um so papaginnos seems to be 1 of the pride and joys of of the Romo suite of brands. Can you.

21:54.50
Al Hickey
Um.

22:03.36
vigorbranding
Divulge some successes you’ve had some high fives along the way.

22:05.94
Al Hickey
Yeah, so and and like this is this is no secret and so like ah I’m extremely proud of the work. We’ve done with with Pappainas and new englandites because I think they run a really really slick operation and.

22:09.75
vigorbranding
For.

22:24.79
Al Hickey
They have borderline cult following like it’s it’s insane The the loyalty around the volume that those guys produce is just phenomenal and so the other I suppose the other high fives for us have been and and.

22:27.35
vigorbranding
Yeah, yeah.

22:40.40
Al Hickey
Like here’s here’s a software one on None class and so I’m not going to get into what we’ve sold or what we’ve done but for roast distribution is always going to be key and so myself and Brian made a call probably. I want to say twelve eighteen months ago and we said look we’re going to go out and we’re going to get the biggest and best tech stacks in the industry and we’re going to get them really tight as partners and and the reason for that Joseph was ah it’s it’s complicated enough for restaurateurs like I mean. In all honesty, they all have to become like bill gates over the last two years and understand Apis and sdks and integrations and code bases and I’m looking at restaurant owners glazing over going I haven’t got a holy hell what? you just said to me like not a clue.

23:26.36
vigorbranding
Um.

23:29.91
Al Hickey
And now you’re asking me for thousands of dollars a year so so we we we made this conscious call to go after the partnership channel and and the reason for that was Romo is always going to be a part of a restaurant’s tech stack. It’s not going to be the restaurant’s tech stack and so. We our our high 5 moments have been square and was a really big one. We worked really really hard with those guys and on the integration the api and and that was that was an awesome win for the team and I suppose we’ve we’ve also done some really. Really cool work with otter which is just going to be a kind of enabler across the board and we’ve got some big big news coming um with the likes of toast and and what we’re going to be doing there and. So not going to not going to go too far into that at the moment because for any chose customer. You’ll see us in their marketplace but that’s awesome work and and what it’s doing is it’s given the power of control back to to restaurants who operate in those ecosystems and.

24:25.29
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

24:41.26
Al Hickey
And I think control is is one of these words that you know often it’s it’s seen as a negative I don’t see this as a negative at all and and and I think the marketplaces kind of understand like look at doordash look at uber look at delivery look at glova right? So 2 in the Europe too in the Us. In all instances in the last twelve months they’ve launched a delivery program as a service all of them now if that isn’t an indication to the market to say we get that you guys want a little bit more control here I don’t know what is I mean let’s be honest, they’re never going to.

25:15.00
vigorbranding
Right.

25:18.63
Al Hickey
Never going to advertise us like has’ ever going to say hey do your own delivery. But if you need help call us. It’s not. It’s not going to happen their the core is still their core but they understand that this evolution is occurred and and so our big win is the fact that we have got 2 a integrations with.

25:23.44
vigorbranding
Right.

25:38.26
Al Hickey
Skip cart which is an amazing fleet incredible coverage. Unbelievably aggressive pricing for restaurants to enable them as a service like honestly god Ben Ben and myself and Brian worked on this for like six months in the background and nobody knew that and all of a sudden restaurants can do delivery at like None a pop.

25:45.86
vigorbranding
Um.

25:57.64
Al Hickey
Within five miles and it’s awesome and and it’s super aggressive and you’ve got our 2 wo-way integration with doordash. We’ve got you know, None other fleets around the us that are using bramo and restaurants now have a real choice and I think my my biggest high five moment is. This is kind of the corniest thing I’m going to say today. But it’s with the industry because the industry is moving to a place that’s giving restaurants back control and for a long time It’s been take take take take the customers take the income take the commissions take the take everything. Ah, now in the pandemic. We all realized everybody realized because we’re all a bit out of business if these restaurants don’t exist. So let’s ah, make sure that we look after them enable them grow their customer base and if they grow we grow and that’s been to be like that really feels like a bell has been wrong and people have heard it. And woken up to it and and I think it’s awesome for the industry.

26:54.42
vigorbranding
I love that so on that topic. Let’s let’s dive into the future of the industry restaurant as well as delivery specific I mean how do you think delivery is going to continue to evolve for restaurant brands specifically like what’s on the horizon and. The next 2 3 5 10 years and are drones a thing.

27:16.33
Al Hickey
Are drones the things absolutely and don’t ask me to pin my colors to the ma of which timef frame. They’re thing in because I think there’s a lot of legislation that needs to pass to get those things off the ground and Bobby Healey and mana is is.

27:32.42
vigorbranding
I.

27:36.35
Al Hickey
Pioneering a lot of that industries based out of Ireland Super dudes and but you’ve also got like hosted kitchens they’ve been running robots around campuses in Europe ah like it’s yeah, it’s it’s super exciting space. Um. When does it happen I think that’s a 10 year time horizon even being honest and.

27:57.16
vigorbranding
Yeah, do you think self-driving cars comes before that like self-driving delivery vehicles come None

28:05.23
Al Hickey
Ah, assisted delivery vehicles come first I think assisted delivery vehicles come first and I think on the 5 year time horizon I think the big big game changer is going to be local co-ops.

28:08.90
vigorbranding
Move.

28:23.14
Al Hickey
So you’re going to have 102030400 independent restaurants in I’m I’m going to pick a ridiculous city to do this in but like obviously Manhattan L A Chicago it works but even go somewhere like Phoenix.

28:38.86
vigorbranding
Um.

28:40.80
Al Hickey
Um, or or fort worth and you’re going to have all these restaurants that are higher in None or None guys and they’re going to say hey if we pulled everybody together and we just service demand as it came. We will get. None times. The efficiency will get None times the return on the investment in drivers and Hashtag the drivers are going to make an absolute truck ton of money doing this That’s that’s the big shift I think local delivery co-ops in the next five years is going to be the absolute game changer.

29:03.40
vigorbranding
Since.

29:14.67
Al Hickey
And I think Po Os systems will enable that could be wrong. But I think you have your toast restaurants your square restaurants your par restaurants your you know that’s how that we’ll figure out hey it could be the um Bromo restaurants if I do my job well enough. But and with the.

29:30.93
vigorbranding
That’s great.

29:33.27
Al Hickey
And then in the next two years hybrid delivery so without shadow of doubt I think the the big game changer is going to be in the pandemic and and you kind of said it a couple of minutes ago it was it was binary. You had your own drivers. You just doubled down on that channel. You didn’t have your own drivers. You went none party and you just suffered the consequences thereafter in the next two years and we’ve already started to see this with the likes of Pappuinnos like in all honesty and pfchangs are are doing it with the.

30:02.90
vigorbranding
In.

30:06.25
Al Hickey
But George as as well and and and so we’re going to see this more and more hybrid delivery is basically where you have your own drivers and you utilize none d-party fleets and in all honesty sometimes just none d-party fleets but you’ve got multiple ones layered in that to me is going to be the big shift in the next twenty four months because the concept of just giving it away is so fundamentally incorrect that restaurants have woken up to I need all marketplaces in play I need all all order sources. But I also need all fleets and then I want to pick and choose when.

30:39.13
vigorbranding
Um.

30:44.23
Al Hickey
Somebody delivers my food from any channel if we get to there then the next the next eight years look really really rosy and I think we will I think we’re going to get there really quick. It mightn’t even be 2 years it could be shorter.

30:55.78
vigorbranding
Yeah, So if if I’m tracking like essentially a restaurant leader would say prioritize the high performers the high traffic locations and say okay I’m putting my own people my own delivery drivers at these locations because we have the volume for it. Meanwhile. Fallback if we want to call it that um three Pd providers will take care of my lower performers that don’t have enough traffic to really warrant a dedicated fleet.

31:24.32
Al Hickey
Could could be even could be even more fine than that though Joseph like think about it. It could be I’ll put a driver in 50% of my restaurants but in that 50% they will only complete a delivery within one mile thereafter it all goes to 3 p m because.

31:27.56
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

31:42.81
Al Hickey
My guys are on push scooters or lime scooters or uber like it could get so so refined for profitability. It is unbelievable and that’s the thing like okay so here’s a little anecdote that restaurants won’t like.

31:46.94
vigorbranding
Yeah.

32:01.30
Al Hickey
Anybody can be busy in Off-prem I Mean anybody you you could be a moron with a kitchen and a till and you can be busy in off-prem but be busy and profitable. That’s a very very different solution. That’s a slick operator. That’s somebody who understands their cost base gets their bottom line.

32:03.10
vigorbranding
Yeah, yeah.

32:14.97
vigorbranding
Um, yeah.

32:21.23
Al Hickey
Understands their delivery radius is where their buyers are coming from and and traditionally that was anecdotal that was like grandpa Joe who runs the pizza shop who’s been in the community for 50 years and he knows where people are ordering and when they’re ordering that hasn’t gone away but that now needs to be digitized. So it’s replicatable.

32:23.70
vigorbranding
From me.

32:33.41
vigorbranding
A.

32:40.50
Al Hickey
And and so it can be deployed to the next grandpa Joe’s pizza shop and again and again and again and that’s where software plays so it is this beautiful hybrid between what has gone before and what will come in the future and software is going to like. Mash those None together and good softwares won’t change that that that’s honestly how we feel it shouldn’t feel different. It should just feel like you’ve got more clarity.

33:08.74
vigorbranding
I Love that a moron in a kitchen and a till I’m missing one of those I’ll let you I’ll let you figure out which one it is um.

33:15.83
Al Hickey
Um I I have all of them I have all of them and I still and I still haven’t made any money. Ah.

33:25.80
vigorbranding
I love it says the guy who’s sitting in Spain right now for the record everyone um, a little bit of jealousy for me but all right? So this is probably the hardest question of the entire chat. Um, if you had 1 final meal where would you eat? What would you eat and why.

33:40.32
Al Hickey
Oh dude, you know I didn’t read the prep question so I did not know this was coming and it well it does actually but we will will have that debate. Yeah, we’ll have that debate in Vegas next year

33:43.85
vigorbranding
No I love it and I’ll help you out Guinness does not count as a meal. It has the calorie sport.

33:58.47
Al Hickey
Um, okay, 1 final meal. Um can I caveat does this need to be in a restaurant. Okay, so if I had to have 1 final meal. It would be a barbecue.

34:05.61
vigorbranding
No, not at all.

34:18.35
Al Hickey
It would be a barbecue at home with my wife I would use corrkys barbecue rub and sauce from Nashville and for for a drink I would here’s. The best pluggue of all time. So hashtag azadi greatest Rika of all time if you can get your hands on it. Go None anything after 2019 is unbelievable and or sorry before 2019 unbelievable and and why I I think food is about the experience. Um, and so I would love to be a restaurant owner and I would love to think I have the ability to do it. But I don’t but I would have my last meal there if it wasn’t there and if I if I had to go to a restaurant I would go.

35:03.13
vigorbranding
Nothing.

35:14.10
Al Hickey
To a place called Masala in Nueva Andalusia in Marbea where they sell azadi on the menu and they do the best indian food I have ever had. It is absolutely fabulous.

35:17.49
vigorbranding
You know.

35:30.62
Al Hickey
And for me, it’s all of our company so it would definitely be my wife.

35:33.29
vigorbranding
I love it. Yeah, that’s that’s a fantastic answer man mine you know previously I’d said it in other episodes and i’t want to bore people but mine would be I would make a Thanksgiving dinner. Um for for my family and my friends and just have as many people over as possible.

35:43.58
Al Hickey
Um, ah okay.

35:50.94
vigorbranding
I love I think there’s nothing more um, more communal and satisfying than a Thanksgiving dinner with like all all the options all of them.

36:00.25
Al Hickey
Um, the only caveat here though is in both of those examples I’m going to need like a jar of Nexium just to get rid of the harper and but like it. It’s okay, your goods you’re good. This kills you? Yeah yeah, okay.

36:06.47
vigorbranding
Yeah, well well the implication is that there is no tomorrow so you’re good. That’s right, that’s right? Um, well Alan I appreciate it man how can people connect with you and Romo where do they find you.

36:18.49
Al Hickey
Ah, brilliant.

36:22.62
Al Hickey
Yeah, absolutely so best channel to to monitor is our Linkedin we kind of put all of our updates and our and our new content out there and you can also connect with me dm me for sure. And then for any inquiries as to how we can help your restaurant make more money and make delivery profitable. The best channel is sales afro or Dao and genuinely Joseph just want to say? Thank you so much for having me on the show because I follow us and. And the guests are are good and I hope I I’ve met the standard and it’s been awesome. Having a chat today.

36:56.21
vigorbranding
Absolutely man I appreciate it very humbling indeed and thank you for your time, especially since you are kind of on vacation right? Just starting out all right.

37:03.35
Al Hickey
Absolutely oh I am yeah mo moha I’m going to get handed 3 children screaming and crying and everything else now. But this is definitely worth it.

37:09.23
vigorbranding
Um I love it. My friend will a enjoy the holiday and we’ll talk real soon. Cheers.

37:16.94
Al Hickey
Awesome! Cheers Joseph thanks man.

 

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