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Ep 74: Rob Grimes / Founder & CEO of IFBTA

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As the founder and CEO of the International Food & Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA), Rob Grimes spends his time forecasting tech trends and helping brands apply those trends to stay one step ahead of the competition. In this episode of Forktales, Rob joins us from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas where he offers his thoughts on what’s hot (and what’s not) at CES, drones, robotics, the rise of electric vehicles, and why we should all keep an open mind about plant-based steaks.

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Ep 74: Rob Grimes / Founder & CEO of IFBTA
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Show Notes

The International Food & Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA) is a nonprofit trade association that promotes the use of technology within the global food and beverage industries with a specific focus on education, networking, certification, standards, research, and events, while aligning with other industry associations and groups in support of their technology related initiatives.

Rob started his career as a restaurant manager for Bob’s Big Boy and Marriott Hotels. In those roles, he was able to marry his love of operations and restaurants with technology.  

Rob is seeing an increase in the use of robotics in back-of-house operations in restaurants, but fewer uses for food delivery to tables. 

At CES, Rob sees a sharp increase in electric vehicles as a trend and robotics for use in food preparation and fewer uses of VR. 

 

QUOTES

“The word ‘technology’ is changing. It’s evolving as a definition in hospitality, food service and retail and that’s a very exciting thing to see.” (Rob) 

“Certain terms and technology become very popular over time. The way to know what’s popular is to go to a trade show and look above the aisles at the signs. I look at what words are being used. Many years ago it was one-to-one marketing or big data.” (Rob) 

“I think the concept of drones may be more of a fad than a trend (in food service). I’m not so hot on drones for delivery, I am very hot on autonomous vehicles and even hotter now that I’m at CES. There is a whole room at CES with electric vehicles and half of those vehicles – probably more than half – are using autonomous driving.” (Rob)

“I believe in robotics. I think we’re going to see it more in the back of the house for food preparation. That’s very clear here at CES with robotic baristas. There’s going to be at the NRF Show next week a robotic pizza maker that’s being used by Walmart. What we don’t see is a ton of robots being used for delivery of food (in restaurants) to tableside.” (Rob)

“I saw a company in Taiwan and they were doing simultaneous translation with earbuds. I’ve seen this before, but it always needed a phone. This one did not need that. So we’re really getting to the point of Star Trek where you put the earbuds in and you’re instantly having conversations with somebody and it’s instantly being translated.” (Rob) 

“One of the two things I’ve noticed at CES between last year and this year is a whole pavilion on vehicles. Electric scooters, cars and farming equipment. The other thing I noticed is that the big companies that usually do CES have two booths. I see LG electronics, who I normally see in the main building doing video displays and phones, now has a separate booth in the automotive section where they’re showing their cars.” (Rob)  

“I believe you can’t talk about technology. The best way is to show people technology and show them how it’s being used.” (Rob) 

TRANSCRIPT

00:01.96

vigorbranding

Hello everyone today’s guest is ah a self-described techovvader and someone I’ve known for a long long time. A good friend. He’s Rob Grimes and he’s the founder and Ceo of the international food and beverage technology Association Rob also has other businesses. He’s tied to he’ll talk a little bit about that. And he’s obviously not in his house unless he has a casino and slot machines in his house. He’s in vegas so obviously ah, you’re at the Ceo show welcome to the show Rob ah, let’s hear a little bit about you.


00:31.18

Robert Grimes

Thank you? Well listen? Yeah I’m in vegas and unfortunately since we’re doing this on a webcam I can’t tell you that what goes on in vegas stays in Vegas but I can tell you that I got elevators behind me I got a Starbucks over that way I got slot machines over that way and.


00:43.23

vigorbranding

X.


00:50.50

Robert Grimes

Front desk over here and when I come out to vegas I still get up my normal time which is about four thirty in the morning East Coast so I was up early and so you just never know what you see coming in and out so I cannot be responsible for anybody getting out of that elevator or going in the elevator. But.


01:04.72

vigorbranding

Yeah, very cool. Well you know, depending on who comes out of the elevator with whom this might be the most watched podcast of all time. So I’m pretty excited about it.


01:07.52

Robert Grimes

Anyway, so that’s why I am but I am here for CES.


01:15.90

Robert Grimes

Some while.


01:18.62

vigorbranding

So anyway I’ve heard I mean you you call yourself? ah a techno vader you want to talk a little bit about that.


01:25.67

Robert Grimes

So I don’t call myself that that’s sort of a name that was given to me. Um, now I’ve been called a lot of things but I thought that was sort of interesting and I think it was a combination of putting technology and innovation which is what I spend most of my time looking At. Ah, but at the same time sort of the entrepreneurial side of helping Tech. You know to come Along. So I Just it sort of stuck so I used it and um, but anyway so it’s really the combination I’m not really a highly technical person I can’t program I can’t do things like that. But. What I do do is I spend my time in technology trying to figure out and forecast where I think it’s going to go and then certainly try to predict New Trends and sometimes see new companies which is actually why I’m out here at cs.


02:12.66

vigorbranding

Very Cool. So I mean a little refresher for those who aren’t familiar with the international food and beverage technology association and what you and your team do the Ifbta promotes the use of technology within the food and beverage industry considering the constant advances in technology I Mean. You and I do Trends presentations. We speak on Trends and what’s going on in food and beverage and technology and it’s just technology I mean just that’s always a trend. It’s always the topic I mean you know it’s a massive undertaking.. How do you begin to focus on that objective.


02:46.10

Robert Grimes

Well, ah, gosh you know that’s such a big that’s such a big subject and it’s a very large question so I have blinders on so my blinders focus on technology as it relates to the hospitality food service and retail industry so you can’t look at it all. But. You know I’m very focused on how technology putting aside my own personal interest and my own personal things that I like to use and do besides that. Um you know I’m very focused on how technology might work within our industries. However. What I’ve learned recently and I got a feeling that maybe 2024 is the year that yours and my worlds actually collide or combined and I’ll tell you why because the word technology is changing and so as I go see technology even here at Cs like today. There’s a food tech zone. That’s going to be about technology of food. How do you cook it what type of foods you have that is technology yet most people thought technology in my world was point-of-ale and Kios and drivethroughs and but it isn’t and your world working in the cpg world working with a lot of food products. That is technology as well and how it’s going to be prepared and where it’s going to be served and so I think the interesting thing about is that technology is evolving as a definition in hospitality food service and retail and that’s sort of a very exciting thing to see.


04:09.57

vigorbranding

Yeah I think there’s no question I mean it’s It’s a part of everything we do and you know whether it’s the the marketing and restaurant world or if it’s in the Cpg world. It’s just it’s it’s ah it’s just a paramount to be on top of the changing.


04:19.35

Robert Grimes

But I’ve enjoyed the trends that you put out every year and you put out that report and you’re really talking about food trends that’s something I have to study more now because as those trends are there how that food is delivered and where it’s delivered and whether it’s a fresh food bending machine which nobody ever thought that they could do that or something. You know all of a sudden what you’re putting out in the trends in food I need to actually follow in the trends in technology and put those things together.


04:45.63

vigorbranding

Yeah, absolutely absolutely so like I’ve heard you say you’re a restaurant manager first I think it’s awesome because you worked at Bob’s big boy. That’s where it’s all started and so you’re seeing needs you you know? Obviously it was a long time ago and technology has just evolved so. Ah, how does that all tie into tech. How did you end up in tech from that start.


05:03.67

Robert Grimes

um um I always believe that you also puts people in the right place at the right time nobody expects to do what they do and when I talk to students today in hospitality schools and I tell them to do like a focus chart I tell them your focus chart can’t be any more than a year or two out. Because your life could change you know based upon things happen. So I did start as a restaurant manager um actually Roy Rogers then Bob’s big boy both owned by Marriott at the time and then Marriott hotels and then I got asked to do a systems project. And it was supposed to be like six months go to Marriott Headquarters I was working in in a Marriott hotel as a assistant restaurant manager in Washington and it was a six month deal come to come to corporate help us on a systems project. We need somebody who understands operations and then when you’re done. We send you back and you get promoted to restaurant magic well without. Totally getting into my age or where I might have been at the time the world of the pc and I collided at Marriott headquarters and it came out and so you didn’t have to be a programmer anymore to do technology and so I took over point of sale for Marriott globally some Pms and that’s actually how I got started but. I was like the first one of corporate headquarters to have a mobile phone. It was in a bag it was a bag phone pretty funny ah but then I had to convince my boss to pay for it because you had to pay $3 a minute for airtime I told him I was going to use it for support. But anyway so I was able to marry 2 things together.


06:19.36

vigorbranding

E.


06:34.16

Robert Grimes

My love for operations and restaurants which I still am involved in and then the tech side of it.


06:40.49

vigorbranding

Very cool, very cool and it’s It’s always neat how that all kind of comes together and you know I just got I was talking my daughter this morning I said hey look if you love what you do, You don’t work a day in your life. So if you find things you’re really passionate about you can bring them together and really kind of grow in that it’s just ah, it’s wonderful and we’re We’re very lucky for that.


06:52.97

Robert Grimes

People should always do things that they’re passionate about.


06:57.55

vigorbranding

Yeah, no question and so you you said it you and I both end up speaking a lot of the same things on technology you technology mostly and me food and beverage Cpg and restaurant. But then as you said they come together. So The last couple of Trends Presentations I’m sure that you’ve talked about that I’ve talked about we talk about things like. Drone delivery and robots and restaurants and you know is there a day that pizza and and and Chinese food’s going to be delivered by drone and you know some of the stuff sounds pie in the sky. But but really the way technology is moving. It necessarily is so yeah.


07:28.74

Robert Grimes

Um, was that a play on words pie in the sky. Yeah, good be pizza pie. Um.


07:30.66

vigorbranding

There you go there, you go Pi the pie. Maybe that should be a company our next company the pie pie in the sky and we’ll do pie delivery. Ah, ah yeah, yeah.


07:41.35

Robert Grimes

You know it’s funny certain terms and technology become very popular over time and so what I tell people is the way to know what’s popular is you go to a trade show and it can be an industry show. It can be a general one like cs and what I always do is I look above the aisles. And the aisles have signs and they point in different directions to zones or places you can go and I look to see what are the big words that are being used so many years ago it was 1 to 1 marketing or big data was a term out there. You know drones are so so drones and robotics are sort of interesting now. I’m really shocked. You didn’t say the word ai because that is the term right now and I’m getting a little tired of it. But but that is the term right now. However, here’s an interesting perspective for you about drones specifically I have said for years that I didn’t think that drones were actually going to be the end all method of delivery.


08:18.93

vigorbranding

Yeah, oh yeah, yeah.


08:36.16

Robert Grimes

I think they were showy and I think that they were things that people tested and they showed the pizza coming up and dropping it. Do I think the drones will be used to deliver to remote places. Yes, as long as you can get the distance so that you can go ahead and control the drone. Yeah and as long as you can deal with.


08:36.74

vigorbranding

That’s.


08:51.96

Robert Grimes

Air traffic control seriously and things like that that you have to deal with but their payload isn’t heavy enough to carry really a lot of stuff and you’re going to have food quality issues. Okay, where I really thought and you’ll get the punchline on this in a second. What I really have always thought was going to be the method. Of delivering stuff was autonomous vehicles. Whether a vehicle is just a little bot that goes on a campus or whether it’s a car that drives itself That’s where I thought it was be so here I am at Cs Do you know that for the last 2 to 3 years at Cs putting aside Covid. That when I went to Cs. There was a whole section on drones. Interesting I haven’t seen that section yet as a matter of fact, when we get off this podcast I’m going to look it up because I don’t think they actually have it as a section right now now Robotics is clearly a section that’s here.


09:30.80

vigorbranding

He.


09:44.59

vigorbranding

3


09:46.89

Robert Grimes

So I think the concept of drones may have been more of a fad than a trend now. Do I think the drones are going to be big sure because anybody following current events knows the military uses the drones and that is usually how things get their funding so I’m not so hot on the drones for delivery I am very hot. On the autonomous vehicles even hotter now that I go to cs there is a whole room. Its ceos of electric vehicles and half of those electric vehicles that are there probably more than half are showing autonomous driving.


10:18.84

vigorbranding

And he.


10:21.79

Robert Grimes

Including how to and equip in a current car but not only that they have smaller vehicles that are autonomous that can do it for delivery. That’s the way I think that you know ah delivery is going to go through autonomous vehicles. Um and the drones are going to be out there and then you talk about robotics you know. I also believe in robotics I think that we’re really going to see it more in the back of the house than the front of house to start for food preparation. That’s very clear here at cs with robotic baristas. Ah there’s going to be at the Nrf show next week a robotic pizza maker that is being used by Walmart but those are all back of the house. What you don’t see is a ton of robots being used for delivery of food to tableside now United Airlines put it in their clubs.


10:58.16

vigorbranding

Excuse me.


11:06.42

vigorbranding

Give up.


11:09.97

Robert Grimes

But it’s mainly to be an assistant to somebody take away dirty dishes or bring something out. We’re not seeing that kind of robotics yet we will. But I think that we will see robotics in the back. So those are 2 huge technologies. You know the autonomous and the robotics that I think you know will make a difference to us.


11:29.20

vigorbranding

Yeah, and then let’s face it with ah you know talking to all the restaurants and chains out there I mean getting employees is a big deal. So ah, you know Necessities is a mother of invention the the back out as so the backend robotics ah is certainly important to to to help them with their business and keep their business rolling. So.


11:29.25

Robert Grimes

I.


11:38.40

Robert Grimes

If.


11:47.14

vigorbranding

I Think that’s that’s ah, it’s a really good point that you make um so when it comes.


11:49.49

Robert Grimes

Um, well robotics allows us robotics allows us to also open up smaller form factor or self-operated things and I actually consider. Vending to be Robot ah robotics in a box or restaurant in a box that is robotics when they’re preparing fresh food hamburgers and pizzas that are made fresh in a bending machine. Not not something you know, frozen and microwaved or whatever in there. So.


12:05.22

vigorbranding

The.


12:14.70

Robert Grimes

It’s not so much about solving the employee problem. It actually is a revenue generator for opening up new units. Um.


12:18.00

vigorbranding

Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. Well so we talk about back office or in front of house a back of house when it comes to restaurant tech I mean obviously there’s there’s front of house technology. There’s the stuff that consumers see. There’s the back of the house kitchen technology which one is growing faster.


12:29.19

Robert Grimes

To change.


12:34.61

vigorbranding

And and which one is more important. Do you think that the restaurants jump on board.


12:40.76

Robert Grimes

I think that people will adopt back of the house more and a lot of the technology is in the back of the house. Um, if you want to talk about employees. You know it’s funny I saw somebody yesterday a company out of China out of Taiwan and they were doing simultaneous. Ah translation with earbuds now I’ve seen this before and I’ve covered this before but it always needed a phone that you had to go through the phone to the earbuds. This one did not need that so we’re really getting to the point of like star trek or something where they put the earbuds in and you’re just instantly talking you know conversation with somebody. It’s instantly being translated. So I asked the guy you know what’s your use case for this so half the people I talked to here at cs. They’re all on the consumer side. They never thought about doing anything on the commercial side. So we start talking well he tells me that honey grow is using it in the kitchen. Why are they doing that because they have workers that don’t speak english.


13:30.89

vigorbranding

No.


13:36.21

Robert Grimes

And so what they’re doing is they’re using in the kitchen to train and to do simultaneous now. That’s the only one in the us that’s doing it. They are doing it a ton of them over in China and other places so I see a lot of technology being used in the back of the house to help prepare foods. Ah, to do ventless cooking like sous vide cooking that’s out there I see technology and how the screens and the orders and communicating with the staff in the back of the house being more efficient for doing runner systems and things the front of the house. The biggest technology change I see in the front end house besides having customers do their own ordering which is in certain things is really to do the handheld terminals you know for taking the order at tableside in the payment is almost if you think about it’s almost like the biggest technology change there is but mostly changes in the back.


14:22.63

vigorbranding

I mean it makes sense total sense so you know it’s interesting. You’re at Cs Restaurants Nations restaurant news predicts that and 2024 will be the year that restaurant tech industry shrinks as smaller tech startups either shut down or get bought by larger players. Ah, is that do you think that’s a good thing I mean because I will say on this podcast I mean I can have ah I can have a a new tech concept every week because there’s just so many of them out there just it’s they’re everywhere and I’m sure you’re aggregating it. You’re understanding. It. You’re you’re managing it. You’re looking at it. So I’m sure you see the same things. Do you think it’s good that that that industry shrinks. Um, what? what are your? What are your feelings there.


15:02.36

Robert Grimes

So you know so as you know I have a podcast called accelerate and I’ve covered this issue a little bit when I talk about all in 1 systems versus best to breed and all in 1 is where you get everything from one company. Best to breed is where you focus on specific areas I think um.


15:13.66

vigorbranding

E.


15:18.60

Robert Grimes

The ifbta also has something called exchange and which is being released next week which has about 600 different vendors in it. You know, not not paid vendors just sort of listing I think what we’re seeing is a lot of innovation but the innovation is very very focused innovation. Like it could be the the headsets or it could be the displays or it could be your payroll or training or point of sale or loyalty and so.


15:38.78

vigorbranding

Mean.


15:48.14

Robert Grimes

There is consolidation when you have something that comes out of the blue that takes everybody by storm and the big guys sit there and they go oh. We missed the vote I will never forget an fs tech panel I did where one of the major vendors said. We missed the boat on online ordering there’re now over 30 companies and this is years ago they said there’s over 30 companies that are doing this now and they are basically point-of sale companies because they take payments and and they can do an order and they said we miss the boat. So what are they going to do they have to have online ordering so they go ahead and they they purchase and consolidate the companies. Sometimes it’s a matter of 2 companies that come together that have very specific focused technologies and you have to put them together to make it work like 1 has this one has that and you put them together. So I think it’s good. We’re going to see a lot more innovation though I don’t think we’re going to see as much shrinkage and part of the reason for that is the hospitality schools.


16:29.70

vigorbranding

Um.


16:38.30

Robert Grimes

Are now offering innovation and entrepreneurship as a course even Penn State where even Penn State’s doing that. So um I think we’re going to see more because software is a lot easier to develop than hardware and we’re not hardware dependent anymore.


16:39.91

vigorbranding

Great.


16:51.84

vigorbranding

It would be interesting I mean what do you? What are you seeing at Cs I mean I know it’s only been one day so far is there anything That’s really standing out anything new that you want to talk about.


16:54.00

Robert Grimes

So I don’t know that I agree with that I hadn’t heard that and I don’t know that I agree with that.


17:05.16

Robert Grimes

Yeah, the general observations is cs and I’m going to have to look for the statistics on this because I’m not exactly sure my impression right now is that cs is not as crowded as it has been number one in the past I know that wasn’t your question but you know, but it also could be because Las Vegas opened up a huge new.


17:15.21

vigorbranding

Interesting now. It’s interesting.


17:24.42

Robert Grimes

Convention center is part of cs it’s connected and I think they spread out more so one of the 2 things that I’ve noticed last year and this year is a whole pavilion on vehicles and and when I say vehicles every electric scooter car truck up to big deer. You know, big deer farming equipment is electrified. They have their own building which is amazing to me with all the ev that’s in there and we’re not talking about autonomous vehicles now we’re talking about all of even even Amazon the other thing I noticed is the really big companies that traditionally do see yes, now have two booths. So.


17:50.40

vigorbranding

While.


18:03.90

Robert Grimes

I see Lg electronics who I normally see in the main building doing video displays you know and phones now has a separate pavilion in the automotive place where they’re showing their cars so that’s 2 Yeah, the the expense is is amazing. So I see.


18:09.87

vigorbranding

Um.


18:13.41

vigorbranding

Wow.


18:22.36

Robert Grimes

So I think it could be because you have so much more space that it makes it look like it’s not as crowded but I bet you when the stats come in. It’s probably as crowded. Um I haven’t gotten to the wearables area yet which I’m going to do today and there’s actually a food tech area there and I’m also looking for what’s in the home.


18:32.58

vigorbranding

Me.


18:40.85

Robert Grimes

I’m a little bit surprised I haven’t seen so much in the way of glasses right now in the past ah vr I went to the gaming area yesterday just to see what was there. Ah the vr and the glasses are not as widely spread as they were in the past I know that ah meta got a lot of play with the um. With the glasses that came out from raban early this year I don’t view those as very functional because there’s nothing on the screen. It’s basically a gopro in a ah in a nice looking glass. So I’m looking forward to that so I was a little surprised. They didn’t see much of that. Um, the health and wellness area I’m not seeing as many watches and things as I normally would see. Um, and the robotics I am seeing robotics here for sure. Um, there’s a lot of robotics as they relate to showing mechanics of how they can start to become like a human so a robotic dog was very interesting I saw and several. Boost but you always look for those surprises that are here. But there’s nothing so far that’s jumped out at me except maybe what has been missing.


19:43.83

vigorbranding

Interesting. Well you want to talk a little bit about the Ifbta I mean this is ah something near and dear to you I mean the talk about that a little bit. What so what? What is ibta going to get from this show. What are you hoping to do? what are your members like talk about that a little bit.


19:55.33

Robert Grimes

Well our members so you know the ifta the food but international food and beverage technology association Yo we have a number of different missions. We are not a lobbying organization. Although we work with many.


19:59.57

vigorbranding

Mcburn.


20:09.45

Robert Grimes

So our mission is to promote food and beverage technology which at the beginning of this podcast. We talked about maybe having a change in definition. Um, expanding to promote it to provide education and networking for our members globally and so that means chapters that means education like our certification program. Ah, that means events we do at certain industry events where we bring people together who are interested in technology but it also means partnering with the industry owners so to speak the associations like Naqs for convenience stores the and nf for the and nra for restaurants. Ah, you know. Just ah, partnering with them the american hotel lodging association to help them to bring technology because they can’t focus on all these areas. So that’s our mission is education and networking of our members and in that we recognize that our members are really threefold. 1 is the individual of a small the medium or the independent. Which is you’re going to find in every state then you have your mid-tierer and your enterprise which wants something different entirely and then um, you also have the supplier community and you have the other people that are sort of friends of the community that do things so we really have to fill a role for all of them. That are there. So my mission here at cs is everybody can’t be everywhere although I saw a whole contingent of mcdond’s Donald going by on a guided tour yesterday. So not everybody can do that so I see my role here and a couple other people here as being sort of eyes and ears to predict. What’s going to happen.


21:37.80

vigorbranding

In.


21:40.91

Robert Grimes

Or what we should be looking at and then focus on bringing that to the companies at things like and Nrf or fste or Murrttech or the and nraio or or places like that. So that’s you know that’s really the role and the role I played but I will just point out 1 other thing to you that I believe that you can’t.


21:53.20

vigorbranding

And.


21:59.27

Robert Grimes

Talk about technology really the best way is to show people technology to show them how it’s being used and coming up live on our website today tomorrow certainly by by Monday you know you’re going to be able to actually talk to me on the website. But if you saw me at and nf next week I would be this standup hologram. You could talk to and I can answer questions for you as if I’m doing it right now which is a great way of doing it. So we’re going to put that kind of technology to use on our own website and other technologies because we want to be able to show people realistically how it can be used without going cutting edge. We want to be or bleeding edge.


22:21.36

vigorbranding

Right.


22:36.66

Robert Grimes

You know we want to show them the realistic use of it. So that’s really our world. Yeah.


22:38.38

vigorbranding

Yeah, you’re trying to bring the the stuff that’s way out there closer home So people can see the actual uses how they can imply it and everything else and that’s brilliant I mean you bring a lot of wealth.


22:45.95

Robert Grimes

And I’m and I’m cheap like everybody else though I don’t want to spend a fortune on it. So I want to work with technologies that exist.


22:51.93

vigorbranding

Ah, ah, very cool, very cool. Do you want to talk about your other businesses anything like that or is there anything else from ah what you’re seeing at the show I mean you know as we close this out like what are some of the things you want to maybe mention.


23:01.56

Robert Grimes

Yeah, so I mean I am involved in a lot of businesses I think I’ve sort of lost count over time. But personally I believe I’ve been involved in about 80 different businesses. But that includes multiple variations of the same business but in different geographies around the world. So you know I’ve never sold any hardware software ever. I’ve always been more of a services kind of person so today I still own a constrata which is a consulting company and a services company that does deployments for people acting as their internal staff. Never want to sell I don’t run those day to day because i. Certainly don’t want a conflict with the Ita which is totally impartial and open to all and everybody’s equall in the ivta all the operators all the suppliers and then um, you know I spend some time on some other entrepreneurial ventures trying to help people. But again those swim lane the pacoty food service retail services in technology.


23:42.27

vigorbranding

Is.


23:58.73

Robert Grimes

If it’s outside of those lanes I probably shouldn’t be doing it. Um I am very excited about next week where we’re going to have for the first time a food service innovation zone at the national retail federation show at the javit center that is a huge show is the whole Javit Center what I find fascinating every year is the book ends and I will do an article and I will do a podcast as I do every year called tail the two cities vegas is the first one with cs and rf is the second one which is retail and it’s really all retail so you know, ah.


24:29.76

vigorbranding

You.


24:34.16

Robert Grimes

I spend my time just looking at these things whether it’s constrata the ifbta or just my personal thing I will tell you 1 thing that sometimes when I talk to people. Yeah about what their preferences are in tech I always like to get a feel for it and so I’m still trying to figure out how I become that tech influencer so Samsung. Just give me 1 of their new tri screen phones that they still haven’t brought out after showing it two years ago but they should just give it to me so I can go ahead and use it and just show it to people like how to use it. So that’s the 1 thing I have yet to achieve.


24:56.24

vigorbranding

Yeah, yeah, you are kind of an old school influencer before influencers were cool. That’s for sure. There’s no question about that now.


25:08.74

Robert Grimes

Fast.


25:11.19

vigorbranding

So now a couple personal things here. So talk about this polar plunge thing you do this every year. Why do you do it? how many how many years have you been doing this thing.


25:19.29

Robert Grimes

Ah, 4 years so the polar bear plunge in Margate in on the jersey shore since I’m from Philadelphia I’ve had a house of Jersey Shore um I don’t know it was just sort of an idea to run in and you run into the water you got to dive because you got to get. Over this year. It was like really cold. Normally it hasn’t been so cold and it was really cold and you had to run out far enough. It wasn’t deep enough to do the dive because the waves weren’t coming in so I had to go out and I’m like coming out of my ankles and my sins are like just numb. But I’ve been doing it for 3 years maybe 4 and um.


25:52.11

vigorbranding

Ah, nice.


25:55.49

Robert Grimes

It’s like 3000 people they do it all over the jersey shore you could actually do one like at ten o’clock one at 111 at 121 at 1 but it was just something to do it just seemed like a good idea at the time.


26:03.31

vigorbranding

yeah yeah I I too I go to the jersey shore and I don’t even go in the water in July because it’s still too cold. So I have no desire whatsoever to do that. But it sounds the same.


26:12.59

Robert Grimes

I Do want to point out to anybody listening this podcast. We don’t go to the beach. We’re going to the shore and I want to make sure you know that there is a beach at the shore but we go to the shore.


26:24.66

vigorbranding

Yep I totally get it. That’s a Philly thing. So last question I asked this of everybody if you had 1 final meal. What would you eat and why.


26:34.96

Robert Grimes

Um, a final meal. Um, well I mean I’m a huge steak fan but that’s like what every prisoner orders for their last meal right? So I’m not so sure I want to I want to be there Um, a final meal.


26:46.23

vigorbranding

Ah.


26:48.40

Robert Grimes

That’s like really ah a tough question I’m sure it would be something it would be something like a steak of some sort that was out there just because I just happen ah like steakhouses and St it might be a plant. It might be a plant. It might be a plant based one by the way over time I did have.


26:58.18

vigorbranding

Is there a particular steakhouse that you love.


27:07.39

Robert Grimes

Just just a note I love having conversations with people so I had a conversation at a function last night with this guy who told me he went vegan and he asked me what I thought the future of vegan was and whether people would adopt it over time and my response to him was this is about tech and food tech I said hey listen who would have thought ten years ago you could go to a burger King and get a whopper that you might not know the difference between a beef flopper one made a plant. So my view over time is that steak that I’m eating and I understand that ah Leonardo Dicaprio invested in a company that’s doing plant-based steak is they’re working on that and over time.


27:30.74

vigorbranding

E so.


27:39.44

vigorbranding

Here.


27:44.42

Robert Grimes

There may be no difference and I will be eating a steak and as long as the texture the taste. You know the satisfaction is the same we’re going to forget that you know over time and so I don’t know if it’ll be a plant-based steak for my last meal or whether it would be you know, really good I Love independent steakhouses I have a favorite here The Golden seer. Ah.


27:53.90

vigorbranding

Um.


28:02.38

vigorbranding

Oh yeah.


28:04.28

Robert Grimes

Which is a friend you know that has that it started in 1958 he wasn’t around then but it’s great. But I just like the old time steakhouses.


28:12.91

vigorbranding

Very cool, very cool Rob look. It’s always ah fascinating. It’s always a pleasure I always enjoy talking to you I really appreciate your time. Enjoy the rest of Cs and thank you.


28:22.63

Robert Grimes

Well no, it’s the pleasure I know I see it several times during the year and it always turns out to be a good conversation. It’s a lot of ideas and actually even this conversation today just gave me a few thoughts that I might want to take a look at so thank you for having me.


28:32.22

vigorbranding

Me too me too me too. Absolutely thanks. Rob.


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