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Shawn Walchef of Cali BBQ Media talks Toast and Digital Hospitality

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It’s time Shawn sits in the hot seat. Shawn Walchef is the founder of Cali BBQ Media and host of Restaurant Influencers. But in this special episode the tables are turned. Our friend and ally Will Eppard (Regional VP of Sales at Toast) grabbed the mic from Shawn at Spark Los Angeles to interview the Digital Hospitality leader about his growing media empire.

Watch now to learn about starting a media company, patience + perseverance, and building communities.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN on this episode of the Restaurant Influencers podcast, presented by the @Toast point of sale and restaurant management technology company? Let us know by leaving a YouTube comment below.

Our Sponsors will HELP YOU Improve Your Business —

• Toast: All-In-1 Restaurant POS — https://bit.ly/3vpeVsc

• Atmosphere: TV for Your Business — https://bit.ly/3Mbc2TZ

[00:43] - Creating Cali BBQ Media
[04:49] - Making a Restaurant Tech Stack
[06:30] - Overcoming the Fear of Failure
[15:37] - Creating Culture in a Restaurant
[22:28] - Shawn's Most Important Advice

Shawn Walchef is a Restaurant Influencer -

“Stay curious. Get involved. Ask for help.”

That’s important advice that Shawn Walchef’s grandfather Luben Walchef instilled in him long before Shawn founded a burgeoning media empire from the back of his single-unit restaurant in the outskirts of San Diego.

The Digital Hospitality innovator believes that having a streamlined digital ecosystem and tech stack is crucial for the success of any business.

Just as important is Smartphone Storytelling; all business owners have the power to start telling their own story to the world online — using just their cell phone.

In his extensive experience as a restaurant owner and operator, Shawn has seen many businesses use a patchwork of different tools, software platforms, and hardware for marketing, loyalty, point of sale, scheduling, back of the house, etc. This results in a disjointed and inefficient system that ends up costing them extra money and wasted time.

Once his Cali BBQ restaurant company started using Toast as a point of sale provider in 2020, Shawn and General Manager Eric Olafsen realized that the innovative company could serve as the heartbeat of their restaurant tech stack.

Toast also allowed them to easily integrate other restaurant tech solutions and enhance the overall customer experience of eating “Slow Food Fast” from Cali BBQ (whether online or in-person). Slow Food Fast is the slogan of Cali BBQ thanks to the speed and efficiency technology like Toast helps provide.

“Once we had Toast. Now I realize that our ecosystem, our digital ecosystem, can have this heartbeat, and once it has a heartbeat, now I can go find a solution that Toast might not have,” explains Shawn Walchef to Will Eppard at Spark LA in 2023 about building a tech stack.

Walchef acknowledges that investing in the necessary tools for growth can be challenging for business owners. It requires stepping out of the four walls of the business and investing in the resources that will allow the business to expand digitally.

He believes that connecting with other business owners is also key to learning and moving any enterprise forward.

Live events (such as Spark by Toast and the Restaurant Transformation Tour by Restaurant365) and online communities provide opportunities to learn from others and stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices.

Shawn and his Cali BBQ Media team also host two live Clubhouse meet-ups every Wednesday and Friday at 10am (PST) on the social audio app.

Episode Links:

Will and Shawn with Rob Dyrdek: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CoVH74hjrCQ/
Unboxing Toast Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anYf9oavvW8
Shawn Walchef TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@shawnpwalchef
Will Eppard Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/williameppard

Restaurant Influencers is a weekly video podcast series presented by Entrepreneur Media and Cali BBQ Media. Every week host and restaurant owner Shawn Walchef (@shawnpwalchef) talks with business leaders like Rob Dyrdek, Emeril Lagasse, Chris Comparato, Meredith Sandland, and more, about their secrets to Smartphone Storytelling, marketing and branding, and how to show up where customers are engaging online. https://restaurantinfluencers.media

• Published by Entrepreneur Media - https://entreprenuer.com
• Produced by Cali BBQ Media - https://content.calibbq.media



Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants

• Learn more about Toast at https://bit.ly/3vpeVsc
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