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Ep 70: Joseph Szala / Digital Guru & Bullhearted Author

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Joseph is a vice president of digital experience, an author of multiple books about modern marketing and brand-building and a board advisor to restaurant tech companies and startups. He’s also the former host of Forktales. In today’s episode, we meet the new host of Forktales, Michael Pavone (President and CEO of Pavone Group, which includes Vigor). Michael and Joseph talk about how to be a good podcast host, effective email marketing, the future of the restaurant industry and we play a game that tests Joseph’s knowledge of past guests and Forktales episodes.

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Ep 70: Joseph Szala / Digital Guru & Bullhearted Author
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Show Notes

Joseph is the former host of Forktales and is currently working as the VP of Digital Experience for 3 Owl. He’s also the author of “Stop Blasting My Mama” (a book about effective email marketing) and “The Bullhearted Brand: Building Bullish Restaurant Brands That Charge Ahead of the Herd.” 

Joseph’s book, “Stop Blasting My Mama,” tackles the topic of email marketing and how modern marketing is overrun with overly aggressive terms – like blast and campaign – to describe what should be a friendly and civil interaction with consumers. 

Consumers today have more power today and can ignore brands – or cancel brands – whenever they want to. 

Technology is changing the restaurant industry and restaurants need to get onboard with that technological evolution or risk being left behind. 

QUOTES

“One day we’ll be able to do a podcast without mentioning the pandemic. Today is not that day.” (Joseph)

“I always cringe when I hear the words ‘e-blast’ or things like that because it’s antithetical to behaviors of humans in general. Nobody is walking around saying ‘Gosh, I really hope I get blasted today.’” (Joseph)

“I like to think of this world that we’re in as one big party. If you walked into that party alone and you said at top of your lungs, ‘Hey everyone, I just want you to know that I’m really cool.” You’re immediately not and you’re going to have a hard time convincing everyone that you are.” (Joseph)

“Restaurants are the backbone of every single economy – from micro local to federal. If you lose restaurants in the city center, you’ve lost the city center.” (Joseph) 

“The first victims of AI are the ones who phone it in. The mediocre hamburger won’t be there anymore.” (Joseph) 

“Bro, we are not eating bugs. It’s not happening. Unless there’s some sort of nuclear holocaust, Americans are not eating bugs.” (Joseph) 

TRANSCRIPT

00:01.20

vigorbranding

Well hey there um some of you watching this may be a little confused right now usually ah Joseph is on ah on the left side of your screen and for those that who are watching ah this podcast. The reason he’s on the right side is because he’s a guest a guest today. And I was honored to be 1 of Joseph’s guests way back when um, the reason we’ve switched sides is Joseph has accepted another position. He’s no longer with vigor or the provone marketing group but he’s off into some wonderful new things that he’s going to talk to us about and we’re excited to to catch up with Joseph. Um. For those don’t know my name is Michael Pavone I’m the Ceo of the provevone group and we have several different agencies in our holding company and we’re excited to talk to Joseph. He’s created 67 fantastic episodes and we’re going to hit a little bit of your. History the the the good old days. Ask you some questions and just just find out what you’re up to.

 

00:55.28

Joseph Szala

Awesome. It’s great to be here.

 

01:00.95

vigorbranding

Ah, since you’re in your house. It probably is always great to be there. But anyway, all right? So ah, let’s see let’s it’s talk. Let’s talk about a little bit. What have you been up to talk about your career which you’re heading to now and what you’re excited about as far as the restaurant industry and technology.

 

01:04.39

Joseph Szala

That’s right.

 

01:17.37

Joseph Szala

Yeah, yeah, so um, as you said I forayed out of the advertising and marketing world into more tech forward focus and space I’m currently vice president of digital experience at a transformation company There’s not much detail I can say but. We’ll we’ll say that we’re building an experience management system for restaurant brands. Um, you know what? What really got me excited about the tech space is how much this industry is going through a breakneck speed digital transformation. Um. one day we’ll be able to do a podcast where we don’t mention the pandemic today’s not that day. Um, the pandemic really spurred on any mules that were out there and now everyone is realizing that tech is not the way of the future. It’s now and um, part of that is how how do we get people. Ah, through ordering faster quicker keep them happy. How do we pull some of that share of wallet away from third -party delivery and then more importantly, how do we make sure that brand teams have access to the tools so they can um pivot and make pivots in real-time all through a singular. Portal that brings together an average of 5 to 8 different systems. So very nerdy stuff but that’s the stuff that I get excited about.

 

02:39.70

vigorbranding

It sounds like you have the secret sauce. It’s awesome I Mean you’re right I mean obviously the whole world’s Changed. You see these lines that drivethroughs the delivery services you see the the clients trying to get their share back because these delivery services have come out and taken you know their hands in their pocket and it’s really been. Ah. Ah, it’s It’s amazing how that how fast that happened It’s certainly the pandemic exacerbated it. So it’s It’s kind of ah, kind of interesting to watch and I’ll be great to watch you and what you’re doing as the time moves On. Um, Okay, so let’s jump back a little bit. Ah you don’t like blasting people with emails. Ah, you want to talk about that.

 

03:15.85

Joseph Szala

I don’t like blessing people in general I think it’s a broader what which started as sort of um, a tongue and cheek thing or not a tonguein cheek thing but like 1 moment I always cringe when I hear the words eblast or anything like that because it’s inethetical to. Behaviors of humans in general. Nobody’s walking around saying gosh I really hope a brand would blast me today. Um, and it sort of harkens to like the old school mentality of advertising and marketing when I say old school I mean like way back in the day where we were just doing billboards and magazine ads where it was push push push push push. Well. The the people have the power they have the power of no no longer just turning the dial as we used to say in the in the tv days um or flipping the page they have the power to completely ignore a brand and shut them out and even more so they have the brand the power to cancel a brand if they get too aggressive and so. Blast then as I pondered it more became ah almost a um I want to say rallying cry but it’s going to be more the same There’s just a lot of violent terminology in our industry and it’s kind of sad because we’re not at war with people. Um, we’re we’re looking to befriend and hopefully get some people to fall in love with our our clients. Um no matter what side of the creative or um, consulting table. You’re on the goal is to get them to love the brand and you’re not going to do that.

 

04:47.20

Joseph Szala

By blasting them or launching a campaign another war term. Um, it’s it’s more How do you become friends and and I like to think of this world that we’re in as as 1 big party and if you walked into that party alone. And you just at the top of your lungs said hey everyone I just want you to know that I’m really cool. You’re immediately not and you’re going to have a really hard time convincing anyone that you are after that moment yet. That’s how we approach things today we meaning the collective creative advertising industry. Um, and so that really has kind of settled into maybe more of a um personal purpose to 1 identify better terminology. Um, for all these various things. Um, that is a little more in line with what we’re actually trying to do and and that’s that’s why I hate the word blast.

 

05:50.95

vigorbranding

That’s fantastic. Um, you also wrote a book. Do you want to talk a little bit about that.

 

05:53.98

Joseph Szala

Yeah, 2 books. So the first book is stop blasting my mama which is essentially building off of that whole line of thinking. It’s specifically about emails. But I think maybe one day in the near future. It might get expanded into general messaging marketing theory who knows.

 

05:57.80

vigorbranding

Right.

 

06:13.56

Joseph Szala

Um, but what I would call my greatest achievement in in the literary sense to date or not literary because it is nonfiction. But um, it’s called the bullhearted brand which is evocative of more I would say a general thinking and approach to how brands are built. Ah, fostered grown encouraged all the words and then of course marketed and all that other stuff and so the idea is um, boiled down into a bunch of different I would say 10 different um anecdotes that then. Unfurl into Theory. Um I’ve read a lot I’ve done a lot and this just happens to be the culmination of all my knowledge at the time and it’s something I’m pretty proud of.

 

07:02.60

vigorbranding

Very cool and you should be now speaking of proud I know you did 67 episodes this is my first. What’s your advice I mean yeah obviously I’m not as good looking as you so strike one now where do we go from here I mean like what do I do? How give me some advice on.

 

07:13.58

Joseph Szala

Okay, yeah.

 

07:20.24

vigorbranding

And how to be an engaging podcaster or.

 

07:22.15

Joseph Szala

Yeah, So what’s good is you have a fantastic history of being able to speak So You’re a pretty good Order. So when I when I talk to like a novice or someone who’s looking to start I would say the hardest thing that you’re going to have to do is get rid of the ums and the Us and the other filler words. Um, you’re pretty good at that and so that that doesn’t need to be delved into further. Um I think it’s yeah and I just said um, too. Yeah, so.

 

07:45.27

vigorbranding

But now that you put that in my head.

 

07:53.97

Joseph Szala

What? Ah, That’s usually the toughest thing for people to do. It seems like we’re very uncomfortable with silence and pauses. But you start to get really used to them and it becomes an empowering moment I think is when you just stop and let the silence be what it is um on the other hand. I Think one of the other good things is just letting the guest talk but that actually starts not with the host it starts with the production team and making sure that the kind of guests that are brought on have something valuable to say so when when a guest is rambling on I might be doing that Now. It’s really easy to want to jump in.

 

08:23.10

vigorbranding

Very cool.

 

08:30.93

Joseph Szala

Um, but when a guest has something really powerful to say it’s a lot easier to sit back and let them go.

 

08:33.75

vigorbranding

Fantastic. So the thing second thing I learned is it’s all the the production team’s fault if it’s not good. Perfect well done. That’s great. That’s that’s that’s take home value. That’s take home value. Fantastic. So so I want to ask another question on your on on the the blog.

 

08:42.47

Joseph Szala

Um, that’s right, Yeah, you’re the talent you you could just point the finger. That’s okay.

 

08:53.43

vigorbranding

Or the blog I’m sorry the the podcast 67 episodes which one was your favorite.

 

08:58.98

Joseph Szala

Ah, man it’s such like God is so hard to say it’s It’s like when you have friends or or kids or or in your dating life. It’s like every one of them was different and every one of them was amazing and terrible at the same time. Ah.

 

09:12.22

Joseph Szala

No I think there was generally some great insights coming from people I was really impressed with it’s really hard to to keep them apart. Um Carl oresburn which I think his episode should launch soon and Meredith Sandlin um they’re just so brilliant and they’re at the absolute forefront a digital transformation from a hardware and software side. Um, you know early, you mentioned a lot of the transformation that’s happened on the front end like my drivethroughs and my and my lines and everything it’s easy for people to ah, not know. Unless they were in the industry and forget if they are no longer in the industry. There’s an entire backoffice engine behind the scenes that have to make stuff work. So I mean they’re in the nitty gritty especially Marilyn or Meredith. She’s absolutely crushing it so much insight and it was.

 

09:48.13

vigorbranding

Sure.

 

09:59.28

Joseph Szala

Both of those episodes were episodes where I wish I could have had more of a Joe Rogan format where it would have been three or four hours long um surprising was ah chef Scott Conant one I was surprised that he agreed to come on so that was awesome. Um, for those that don’t know he’s on. Tv Networks he’s very well-known. But what’s so surprising is he his approach his demeanor his intelligence. Um, and just him it was just a really really good talk and one of my prouder moments as well.

 

10:32.96

vigorbranding

Very cool I mean it’s It’s ah it’s interesting to me as you know obviously I’ve seen podcasts and doing this now being on this side is really ah, really interesting because it is all about the the guest and it’s what they have to bring and I sit back and I ask myself too like what do people want to hear. What are they going to want to see and I’m thinking about people that have just great stories entrepreneurs people that have built things from nothing people that have just really you know taken a category if you will and expanded on it that that kind of stuff that excites me I don’t know if that’s something that that everybody else would would would glom onto I mean I know the. Technology I mean obviously all about food and beverage and restaurants and all that but the technology is super important. It’s changing a light speed. Did you you spent most of the time with the technology side of things in the restaurants or did you find that it just hearing people’s personal stories about how they got involved is that do you think that’s intriguing to guess.

 

11:22.94

Joseph Szala

Yeah I think it is I mean the reason why I’m so passionate about restaurants is they are the backbone of every single economy from micro-local the wholeway to federal and I think people forget that and that includes franchise systems and franchisees. If you lose restaurants in a city center. You’ve lost the city center. Um, it happened I would say decades ago. Ah, for instance down the street from Harrisburg in York you know York was a ghost town. What brings people back food restaurants. Do.

 

11:54.67

vigorbranding

Um, yeah, yeah.

 

11:57.28

Joseph Szala

Good restaurants and then comes the retail and then comes the businesses because they want their people to be in a bustling location with lots to do and then comes the residences people want to live there but without the restaurants you get none of that. Um, and so that to me is such a powerful thing and.

 

12:09.30

vigorbranding

Ah, right.

 

12:16.90

Joseph Szala

I Think in that vein the stories of how people got into that powerful industry are always interesting I think founders. How did you found the concept and grow it is another one. Everyone wants the secret sauce yet? No one wants to realize that there is no secret sauce.

 

12:31.58

vigorbranding

Right? yeah.

 

12:34.66

Joseph Szala

That the secret sauce from 1980 s is not the secret sauce from today. Um, and that I think how you know how how things are evolving today and how do these leaders continue to grapple wrestle pin down and ultimately win in an ever-changing environment with all these. Shifts that seem to have accelerated so quickly after the the big p.

 

13:01.76

vigorbranding

That’s Good. So what? What do you? Think’s next for restaurants I mean the technology you’re working on obviously is exciting. Ah, we do marketing of restaurants I mean I’m sure we’ll continue to work together in the future. What What do you see as ah. I Don’t know what’s next. What do? What do you think is going to be the the new thing or the thing that we have to really understand.

 

13:22.37

Joseph Szala

Yeah I think some of it is aligned with every other industry mediocrity has no place any longer. There’s no place for it Ai the first victims of Ai are going to be those that phone it in so your mediocre hamburger. It won’t be there anymore or if it is it’s going to be replaced by. Ah.

 

13:31.65

vigorbranding

He.

 

13:39.59

Joseph Szala

By robotics and ai in in general I know it’s a really big 2 letters but um, at some point I think we’ll also see a complete shift away from the mindless person punching keys on ah you know on a register. And instead becoming more of a helpful entity to help people actually order from kiosks you kind of see it happening in retail already. Especially if you’ve used the self-checkout at grocery stores or or um, you know like Target or something there are people there whose job is to just help.

 

14:09.66

vigorbranding

M.

 

14:15.38

vigorbranding

Yeah, yeah.

 

14:16.92

Joseph Szala

Make sure you know what you’re doing make sure you’re able to get through I think we’re there especially for qsr restaurants. Um, there are restaurants out there that don’t even have those people they just have cubbies and there’s a person that backed that makes the food puts them in the cubby just like the old automat. It’s been rejuvenated and.

 

14:27.25

vigorbranding

Oh.

 

14:36.31

Joseph Szala

There is a time and place where and I think we’re we’re at both right now. Full service I think you’re going to see a divide. You’re going to see a bigger schism between casual dining and fine dining where fine dining gets even higher touch with people who actually not only know the wine menu. But actually know the nuances of the wine If. That’s an option at this particular fake restaurant that are very deeply integrated and are very high touch and most of us have had that experience and when you go to that and then you go to like a sort of fine dining or just full service. Man.

 

15:04.63

vigorbranding

Okay.

 

15:12.67

Joseph Szala

That’s just going to get so much bigger whereas casual dining I think will become more tech enabled to where you can be more self-service but still have that sitdown moment and then there’s the great frontiers of Self-d delivery or self-driving vehicles and what that means for delivery. Um, can I sit in my. Vehicle of the future and order directly from my screen that’s in the car without getting in an accident of course. Um and then what does virtual Worlds and the metaverse start to look like um in general and that’s where I start to get really weird with you know, ah, 3 D printed food and things like that. But.

 

15:34.30

vigorbranding

Oh.

 

15:48.74

vigorbranding

You.

 

15:50.90

Joseph Szala

Everything that sounds insane today next year probably won’t be insane at all.

 

15:54.12

vigorbranding

Yeah, very interesting How about like you you spent a lot of your time branding and helping create Concepts. What do you see? I mean there’s There’s so many out there. I Mean do we have too many.. What do? What do you think is going to happen where is there a genre that you think is going to be prevalent or or place that people are going to head to I mean I don’t think we need another burger joint right? I mean there’s just so many burger joints right? So What do you?? What do you think?? What do you think from branding standpoint what’s going to be What’s What’s next.

 

16:17.27

Joseph Szala

Um.

 

16:23.86

Joseph Szala

Yeah I feel like if you ask any anyone of the pundits that talk about Trends and and what’s coming they’re they’re always going to jump to bugs like I swear every year I see a food Trends report. Not um, not on the retail side but maybe on the retail side but when I’m looking at restaurant stuff. It’s like and bugs. Bro We are not eating bugs. It’s not happening unless there’s like some sort of nuclear holocaust like we’re just Americans specifically will not be eating Bugs. Um, but I think I think outside of that there are a number of paths that.

 

16:45.40

vigorbranding

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

 

16:59.20

Joseph Szala

That can happen for concepts I think exploring robotics exploring alternative for wall experiences like I know some folks who are embracing all outdoor where the food is cooked outdoors. Everything’s outdoors. Um. Very gorilla very interesting to me I don’t know if it would have a su but as far as trending we just I think finished up the chicken sandwich wars um I think taco wars are bubbling. Um you know and and we’re seeing it Taco Johns for instance, just released their. Ah.

 

17:27.16

vigorbranding

O.

 

17:35.27

Joseph Szala

Trademark of Taco tuesday along with a call to action from Taco Bell to do something charitable when they use it and donate Taco Bell ignored it completely. But we’ll see if they embrace it? Um, but the fast food tacos are something that I would definitely keep my eye on. And then I think we’re still looking for what’s that next american food staple. You know we have tacos pizza. We have hamburgers like you said what else you know what? what else are we going to embrace.

 

17:56.33

vigorbranding

Who.

 

18:05.82

vigorbranding

Yeah, yeah, you know it’s funny I had this idea one of my dreams was ah I wanted to create my own restaurant franchise. So my idea which was a terrible one by the way is I wanted to buy a location near every like single a double a triple a ballpark right. And I wanted to call it baseball hot dogs and apple pie and I just wanted to sell hot dogs and have different hot dogs on the menu named after the players tied into the players and then different like Apple pies like that’s it and a draft beer so you can have it outside the ballpark. It would be a sports bar and everything else I just thought it had enough of a niche and I always wanted to create that business I just thought it would be the most fun thing and anyway.

 

18:24.37

Joseph Szala

Um.

 

18:30.40

Joseph Szala

Yep.

 

18:43.29

Joseph Szala

Yeah, it’s probably why you still have money? yeah.

 

18:43.82

vigorbranding

I never did it but maybe one day and it probably fail. Yeah, exactly exactly it’d probably fail. So yeah I know I know how to stay in my lane. Ah all right? So so great I mean this has been fantastic now we going to go down through memory lane a little bit here. Ah.

 

18:50.96

Joseph Szala

Right.

 

18:59.68

Joseph Szala

Ah.

 

18:59.87

vigorbranding

And ask you some questions we’re going to test you on your knowledge of your guests and ah boy I hope no one ever does this to me. Ah, and we’re and and I’ll remember my first guess I’m good I got that one down so that’s 3 things I got nailed down from this this interview. Um, who was your first. Forktails guest.

 

19:19.50

Joseph Szala

Oh yeah, so it’s funny. Ah, the first forktales guest was my friend sam slaughter he was also a copywriter at vigor at the time to known for bathing with a bunch of cheese balls.

 

19:25.71

vigorbranding

It’s correct. Oh. We We won’t dig into that any deeper. But anyway, ah, ah, all right? So which guests did you have on the show more than once. Yes, very good, Very good.

 

19:34.86

Joseph Szala

Um, listen to the episode.

 

19:44.15

Joseph Szala

Justin Bartek yeah

 

19:49.15

vigorbranding

All right? Let’s see here which guest is described in his episode as let’s see here lover of seafood and honesty.

 

20:00.10

Joseph Szala

That is chef Andrew gruel.

 

20:06.80

vigorbranding

And you’re nailing them here. You might might have someone give you the answers ah finish this quote from your interview with Meredith Sandland if someone comes here and tries to take my blank. It’s going to get really ugly very good.

 

20:19.42

Joseph Szala

My gas stove I stand by that.

 

20:23.50

vigorbranding

Ah, good. Ah all right? which guest beat Bobby Flay

 

20:32.66

Joseph Szala

Ah, Kenny Gilbert right yeah oh man, best chicken sandwiches man if you’re ever in Jacksonville chicken sandwiches and champagne. That’s all you need to know.

 

20:35.12

vigorbranding

That’s correct. Yes, it is very good. Yeah, nice, nice sounds like a perfect combo all right, which guest was born and raised in Hawaii and is now a chef in Denver very good, very good.

 

20:51.55

Joseph Szala

Ah, Chef Choy Guard Yeah, all about that Aloha ohanna.

 

20:59.80

vigorbranding

And which guest said this is said my job as ah as lead creative is to give everyone creative whiplash. You never know where we’re going to do next.

 

21:07.76

Joseph Szala

That is the guy from liquid death whose name I’m blanking on Andrew Pearson there it is yep.

 

21:14.55

vigorbranding

Andrew Pearson yep very good and the the folks of liquid death are killing it no pun intended. So right finish this quote from you in your interview with Lauren Fernandez

 

21:22.62

Joseph Szala

Um, yeah.

 

21:29.75

vigorbranding

You can tell how well a restaurant is managed if you just look at the.

 

21:35.38

Joseph Szala

God landscaping now.

 

21:40.14

vigorbranding

You know what? The only thing they wrote down was blank. So I can’t answer it. The only one I don’t have an answer on you don’t have an answer on how about the bathrooms I would say the bathrooms.

 

21:48.40

Joseph Szala

Yeah, it could be bathrooms for sure landscaping. Oddly enough is one and then I would say the happiness of the employees but they may all be wrong.

 

22:00.36

vigorbranding

Um, we’ll put all 3 down all right? Oh no, it’s here the vents.

 

22:05.92

Joseph Szala

Oh God The vents. Yes, oh next time you’re at a restaurant either do or don’t just look up at the air events man. Oh how can I forget that.

 

22:13.16

vigorbranding

Yeah, we’re all looking we’re we’re all looking around my office now at the air events but a bit aren they’re okay, no, no yeah.

 

22:20.26

Joseph Szala

Well, the good news is you’re not making food but there’s something pretty disgusting if you’re making food and those air vens are just just C clopped full of old grease and the.

 

22:26.65

vigorbranding

Ah, yeah, that’s funny which which guest was described in her episode title as 1 woman economic engine.

 

22:36.81

Joseph Szala

Oh that is Adena Ana Bio she’s absolutely wonderful.

 

22:43.10

vigorbranding

Yep, very cool finish this quote from you in your interview with Zach Anderson whenever I have a bad day I think to myself at least I’m not.

 

22:57.46

Joseph Szala

Oh god yeah least I’m not working on 1 again. Um, at least I’m not mopping the floor is that what that isn’t it. Oh I’m blanking on that one.

 

22:59.72

vigorbranding

Ties into restaurants.

 

23:10.51

vigorbranding

Know it’s It’s ah it’s honestly it’s how I started my career. It’s busing tables.

 

23:17.30

Joseph Szala

Busing tables. Yeah dude Oh God Although if we ever wanted to know the key to stopping time. That’s it You can literally stop time by either planks doing planks or busing tables.

 

23:27.49

vigorbranding

Yeah, yeah, you know I will say though in in all joking side I got one heck of an education from busing tables I worked in a restaurant called hobarts with a gentleman by the name of Hobart Umberger Hobart was this chef. He had a restaurant that sold a lot of quantity food was called ah it was called ummmies in Hershey and he wanted to do. He’s got older. He just wanted to do whatever he wanted to do he wanted to do his thing so as the chef he opened up hobarts named after him white tablec cloth. He made maybe five things a night didn’t care if you liked it or not and that’s what he made. And was as simple as that but he taught me everything I won’t get into what he called me as a nickname I think he actually liked me but I can’t say to anybody what he called me. But anyway I digress he taught me how to pour ah mixed drinks because I’d have to make him mixed drinks at the end of his night.

 

24:04.58

Joseph Szala

Yeah.

 

24:19.30

vigorbranding

He basically taught me everything I knew about food and wine I got an incredible education at age I think it was 14 like I need to worry about wine at 14 and than anybody in my family and most any well all my friends you know, just because Hobart would teach me and it was ah was actually pretty cool. In fact. Ah, 1 thing that was kind of neat was ah he would go in at three o’clock in the afternoon to make his coconut cream emirata pie and no one was allowed in a building and go ah gourmet magazine ah begged him begged him for his recipe and he would never give it to him so he died with it. It was kind of interesting thing. They’d write him. Letters.

 

24:38.76

Joseph Szala

And.

 

24:51.54

vigorbranding

Because a lot of prominent people that came through hershey always ate. There was the best restaurant in Hershey and people would write letters to the magazine and so they kept begging him for this anyway, kind of a neat thing. But yeah, it was cool and I really did truly get a phenomenal education from that from busing tables and working in that restaurant business all right? so.

 

24:58.90

Joseph Szala

I Love that.

 

25:06.56

Joseph Szala

Um, well I think that’s a testament to to the restaurant industry in general, not not to diverge too much. But again not only is it the economic backbone of every every locale. Um, but it’s a hell of a way to get a hard knocks education that is unforgettable. No matter where you go after that I mean you’re. You’re you’re the Principal partner of a very large advertising conglomerate I’d be willing to bet that your your your travel to that layer would have been a little bit more difficult had you not been in the trenches at that at that location.

 

25:37.82

vigorbranding

Ah, yeah, look in ah in a restaurant you learn how to hustle you learn how to deal with issues as they pop up because that’s what they do, they just pop up and you get to deal with customers and you make everyone happy. So you you learn a lot about yourself. Ah. You don’t have 5 layers of folks around you to protect you per se and it’s just ah, really kind of an interesting kind of dynamic and you’re just thrown into it especially when you’re young I’ve always wanted my kids to work in a restaurant and also somehow do sales I don’t care if you’re selling girl scout cookies.

 

25:56.11

Joseph Szala

Okay.

 

26:07.82

Joseph Szala

Ah.

 

26:09.34

vigorbranding

Or newspapers I mean I’m now I’m really dating myself here but whatever it would be that you’re selling just a sales job. Huge huge education that you don’t even know you’re getting that you don’t even know you getting So anyway, um you had a great thing at the end of every one of your podcasts. You would ask the same questions and I want to continue that tradition.

 

26:14.76

Joseph Szala

Absolutely yep.

 

26:28.51

vigorbranding

Ah, so you have one last meal. What do you eat and why.

 

26:34.47

Joseph Szala

Yeah, so for those that have ever listened to all of them back to-back which is literally nobody except for me I’ve answered it and I thought about this again because I did know this question was coming. It hasn’t changed. Um I would have a Thanksgiving dinner. Absolutely hands down. Um, it’s my favorite meal and I have the unique situation where I know that that’s what I would choose because there was a time in my life where I thought I was having my last dinner and um, it was before yeah I mean good good good perspective um

 

26:52.12

vigorbranding

That’s it. Thanks Jimmy.

 

27:02.83

vigorbranding

Nice, Well not nice, but right.

 

27:10.58

Joseph Szala

You know I was going to have heart I had heart surgery. So although it was fairly so you know safe. It’s still heart surgery you know and so I was like this very well could be the last mail Thanksgiving dinner man. Absolutely.

 

27:16.67

vigorbranding

Sure really. Wow now I got a side question would it be just the meal itself because you love like the turkey and the gravy by yourself. Are you talking Thanksgiving dinner with everybody that you normally have a Thanksgiving dinner with and and hopefully none of your family’s going to watch us to know the real answer. So.

 

27:31.95

Joseph Szala

Um, to stay. Yeah, Absolutely um, I’d be I’d be selective with who I broke bread with because there’s some family members that I love them because they’re family but my God I would not want to have my last meal with them. And I think that’s everyone. But for the food sake I could eat alone and be happy for the sake of the moment I Absolutely would love my family to be there.

 

28:00.95

vigorbranding

Fantastic Speaking of family you have some ah big news. We love to talk about that.

 

28:03.36

Joseph Szala

Yeah, sure yeah number 2 our second baby is on the way evelyn our first is about to turn ten months at this time of this recording and baby boy will be here by the end of the year and we’re ah, really excited and honored and.

 

28:17.68

vigorbranding

Fantastic. Are you gonna be the oldest father in the elementary school.

 

28:21.98

Joseph Szala

Praying for Health and happiness. You know Absolutely I’m going to be in there with a walker. Yeah.

 

28:29.42

vigorbranding

Ah, that’s awesome Joe so I’ve known you for a long time and I’m happy for you I’m proud of you and I’m congratulations. That’s wonderful. Wonderful.

 

28:35.46

Joseph Szala

Absolutely well I’ll drop one more piece of news that might get you excited before this is all over in case, you haven’t heard Atlanta has finally been honored by being accepted into consideration for Michelin stars. So we were all.

 

28:48.93

vigorbranding

Nice.

 

28:52.93

Joseph Szala

Everyone in the food community here in this city. We’re all, um, hoping and excited to see if one of our many fantastic restaurants will be graced with star stars. Whatever it may be so next time you come down to the city. Hopefully you’ll you’ll have that option.

 

29:06.41

vigorbranding

very cool. very cool yeah yeah I’ll be down in a couple couple of weeks I’m gonna watch a Braves Phillies game. So looking forward to that and I heard something in the background some’m cheering I think it was are yelling somebody was ah their baby I think was excited about the Michelin star. So that’s awesome.

 

29:19.53

Joseph Szala

Yeah, yeah, evelyn it’s perfect.

 

29:22.54

vigorbranding

But’s awesome. Ah fantastic. Well, it’s thank you so much for this. It’s been great. It’s always good catching up with you and I I know we’ll stay in touch.

 

29:28.32

Joseph Szala

Absolutely I’m looking forward to seeing hearing the guests and and hearing the interviews and really happy that you’re able to continue continue on with us.

 

29:35.72

vigorbranding

Yeah, only hopefully I can fill your shoes. It’ll be tough but I’m gonna do my best. So awesome! Thanks Joseph.

 

29:42.20

Joseph Szala

Um, if they’re not that big. Yup cheers.

 

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