10 episodes

Digital Hospitality is an interview podcast series that explores the ways successful people have harnessed the power of the Internet and social media. The show is hosted by Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn P. Walchef.

Digital Hospitality Shawn P. Walchef

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 97 Ratings

Digital Hospitality is an interview podcast series that explores the ways successful people have harnessed the power of the Internet and social media. The show is hosted by Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn P. Walchef.

    Reinvesting In Your Family Business – Melvin and Davin Atallah of BBQ House OB

    Reinvesting In Your Family Business – Melvin and Davin Atallah of BBQ House OB

    Melvin Atallah and Davin Atallah of The BBQ House Bar & Grill (@bbqhouseob) in Ocean Beach, California are brothers who have worked hard to realize the dream that most children have at one point in their lives: to help their parents retire.















    Check out this Digital Hospitality podcast interview with the owners of BBQ House OB to learn about the importance of reinvesting in your business, practicing patience and consistency, and the benefits of a helpful restaurant partner like US Foods.































    WATCH NOW













































    ★★★★★ 5/5























    Interview Takeaways:















    Reinvesting is a Must - The BBQ House Bar & Grill is a San Diego-area staple and a family business that stretches back three decades. Melvin and Davin Atallah know that reinvesting and improving the business is mandatory for sustaining and expanding that community affinity.









    US Food Partner Relationship - Davin and Melvin Atallah have relied heavily on classic word of mouth marketing for their business. In order to receive those raving reviews from patrons, they work with US Foods to help with everything from nutrition facts to consulting on any questions that may arise in regular restaurant operations.









    The Recipe for Success Includes Patience and Consistency - Nobody relates to the difficulties of the restaurant business more than Melvin and Davin Atallah. Their family business has found sustained success through patience and consistently high standards



























    The BBQ House Bar & Grill





















    Melvin and Davin Atallah embody Digital Hospitality.Abdul, the Atallah family patriarch, started The BBQ House Bar & Grill in the San Diego area back in 1991. But his initial business partner wanted to sell the Ocean Beach barbecue restaurant when it struggled for five or so years.Abdul Atallah believed in the family BBQ business. Instead of closing the restaurant, he scraped together the money needed to buy his partner out and keep the doors open.Abdul bet on himself and it paid off. Just months after buying his partner out, The BBQ House would receive the break it needed when a local San Diego news segment known as The Unknown Eater visited the restaurant for a feature.The Atallah brothers began working in the restaurant in their early teens. The hands-on experience they gained has proven to be invaluable to running the business nowadays.

    • 37 min
    What’s Your Next Stop After Tough Times? — Content Creator Juliet Hahn (@iamjuliethahn)

    What’s Your Next Stop After Tough Times? — Content Creator Juliet Hahn (@iamjuliethahn)

    Juliet Hahn has taken a winding road before reaching the destination of her Your Next Stop podcast. The undeniable factor in her success, however, is her persistence to keep going.







    Check out this Digital Hospitality podcast interview featuring Juliet Hahn to learn about hosting a podcast, pivoting through tough times, being fearless, and finding a purpose.



































    EPISODE TAKEAWAYS —







    * Listen to the Cues: Juliet Hahn is not one to sit around. Her current path as a dynamic podcaster began as an answer to why she was feeling unsettled in other endeavors. Her belief system led her down a path of passion and purpose that has turned out better than she could imagine.







    * It’s All About the Story: As a podcast host, Juliet Hahn has come to understand that the gold is not in the perception of a guest’s status. It is in the connection that any guest builds with the audience.







    * You Have the Time: Juliet Hahn is a busy wife, and mom of three. Yet, she still finds time to delve into her passion. For her, it is about maximizing the short windows of opportunity.































    Podcasting is a Passion Project







    As a former NFL wife, Juliet Hahn became part of a small group of people. The sisterhood she found gave her an inside tract to the wonderful stories the women of the NFL had to offer. That storytelling element was the jumping off point for Hahn’s career post-NFL.







    “I started podcasting as a passion project,” says Juliet Hahn of her beginnings on the Digital Hospitality podcast hosted by Shawn P. Walchef of Cali BBQ Media.







    She knew she wanted to do something to contribute to the home, and has never been one to sit around and watch things happen. She began to fill her time with volunteering in the schools her growing children attended. Ever the competitor, that was a short lived endeavor, and Hahn went into health and fitness coaching to capitalize on her background as a two-sport collegiate athlete. Though she loved it, something was missing.







    “There was a point that I felt like, okay, I’m a little unsettled. I’m not doing what I’m meant to be doing. I believe that we all have a path.”Juliet Hahn (@iamjuliethahn)







    Juliet Hahn started down that path by recording what she describes as “personal journal stories”. These are stories that she shared were based on the good, bad, and ugly of her everyday life. Documenting life as is set the fearless foundation that allowed her the space to walk in her purpose without the apprehension of other’s opinions.







    The podcast was initially aptly titled, Next Stop Crazy Town, which was merely a peek into her life with three kids, two dogs, and a busy life. The passion and belief that Hahn embodies gave her the gumption to pivot through the natural evolution of a life’s journey to end up where she is now.







    As the dynamic host of Your Next Stop and YNS Live, Hahn has accomplished quite a bit in a relatively short amount of time, including being named to the top 50 Moms in Podcasting list.. Her most proud deed, however, is amplifying the voice of those that are traveling their own journeys an...

    • 42 min
    Prioritizing People in the Restaurant Industry — James McGehee (DAVE’S HOT CHICKEN) and Morgan Harris (RESTAURANT365)

    Prioritizing People in the Restaurant Industry — James McGehee (DAVE’S HOT CHICKEN) and Morgan Harris (RESTAURANT365)

    James McGehee (Dave’s Hot Chicken) and Morgan Harris (Restaurant365) are true Digital Hospitality leaders.

    Both men have a full understanding of what it takes to grow a business while remaining true to the foundation of what allows such expansion in the first place.



    But in the fairly new, yet rapidly expanding, digital space, what exactly is the state of hospitality? How do companies of a large magnitude maintain a digitally hospitable capacity?

    On this episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast (sponsored by our friends at Restaurant365) and hosted by Shawn Walchef, Dave’s Hot Chicken CFO James McGehee provided a simple definition: “Delivering the expected experience at the right time”.



    WHAT DID YOU LEARN on this episode of the show? Let us know by leaving a comment! Email our Cali BBQ Media team to get in touch podcast@calibbq.media.

     



    EPISODE TAKEAWAYS —







    * K.I.S.S.E.S: The acronym KISSES stands for Keep It Simple, Sustainable, Efficient, and Scalable. This effectively describes the strategy for creating a perpetually positive customer experience at Dave’s Hot Chicken.

    * Extraordinary Over Convenience: James McGehee of Dave’s Hot Chicken understands that the best way to deliver consistently as a restaurant is to be the best version of your brand. As he puts it, “extraordinary food will always win”.

    * The People Are The Stars: An average of 4+ stars on Yelp is a gold standard of restaurant reviews. Morgan Harris of Restaurant365 knows that is not achievable without the help of the everyday workers involved









     

    Check out this interview to learn about effectively scaling a business, being extraordinary in your life, and the integral role of the unseen people at restaurants.



     

    PODCAST CHAPTERS:





    * [01:38] – Dave’s Hot Chicken Growth

    * [07:26] – Product Evolution

    * [09:54] – Pandemic Lessons for Restaurants

    * [13:52] – Being Extraordinary Matters

    * [16:28] – Hiring Top Talent



     

    Inspiring Restaurant Leaders:

    Cali BBQ Media founder and podcast host Shawn Walchef caught up with the two restaurant industry leaders at the Restaurant Transformation Tour stop in Hollywood, which Cali BBQ Media was at to document and also take part in the excitement.

    The sold out event was hosted by Restaurant365 and drew lots of talent from the restaurant and hospitality indust...

    • 20 min
    Secret Ingredient to Opening a Restaurant is Love — Irena Damianova of Balkan Bar and Grill

    Secret Ingredient to Opening a Restaurant is Love — Irena Damianova of Balkan Bar and Grill

    Irena Damianova learned the secret ingredient to opening a restaurant.

    When the Las Vegas restaurant owner decided to move from a successful real estate career and open Balkan Bar and Grill, she didn’t know what to expect. All she knew was that flexibility was paramount to her and the restaurant’s survival.



    Outside of the amazing Balkan region inspired menu, Damianova incorporates a secret ingredient into the welcoming restaurant experience. 

    “My daughter likes to say that the secret ingredient is love. People feel when you put what you put into it. They can feel it,” explains Balkan Bar and Grill owner Irena Damianova on the Digital Hospitality podcast, hosted by Shawn Walchef (and his special guest co-host Rositsa Walchef).



    WHAT DID YOU LEARN on this episode of the show? Let us know by leaving a comment! Email our Cali BBQ Media team to get in touch podcast@calibbq.media.

     



    EPISODE TAKEAWAYS —







    * Plan for Now: The COVID pandemic has caused a shift in many business strategies, including mindsets of owners and operators. The uncertainty of the times caused Irena Damianova to live in the moment more than be bogged down by long term forecasting. 

    * Dining Out is Cheaper than a Psychiatrist: Humans are social and not having that option for a while was difficult for some to get through. Irena Damianova believes that gathering around good food can help people get over those mental hurdles.

    * Love: The Secret Ingredient: Physical ingredients aside, Irena Damianova believes that the intangibles like love are what makes the food at The Balkan Grill special.









     



    Check out this interview to learn her leap into the hospitality industry and a unique approach to creating an enjoyable environment for restaurant guests.

    PODCAST CHAPTERS:



    [01:19] – Opening a Restaurant

    [04:35] – First Day Open Lessons

    [08:38] – Bulgarian Restaurant in Las Vegas

    [18:40] – Secret Ingredient to Business

    [22:22] – Worldly Family Cuisine

     

    Opening a Restaurant:

    When asked why she made the big decision to open a restaurant, Irena Damianova says. “I wish I had the answer, but I think it’s a part of the process of the discovery.”

    The discovery process included Irena searching for an entity that was pure and could avoid being completely infiltrated by the internet and technology. For her, that was Balkan Bar and Grill.

    Despite the world’s increasing dependency on technology, there remains an innate desire for community.

    • 26 min
    A.I. Tools For Restaurants Help Hospitality — Interview with Brendan Sweeney and Tony Roy of Popmenu

    A.I. Tools For Restaurants Help Hospitality — Interview with Brendan Sweeney and Tony Roy of Popmenu

    Every phone call is an opportunity for your business. AI makes it so you never have to miss a call again.

    Popmenu cofounders Brendan Sweeney and Tony Roy were guests on the Digital Hospitality podcast to talk about how Popmenu Answering and other innovative technology tools are transforming restaurant operations for guests and staff alike.



    “Every phone call to your business is a transaction,” Tony Roy said on the podcast hosted by restaurant owner Shawn P. Walchef of https://calibbq.media.

    WHAT DID YOU LEARN on this episode of the Digital Hospitality podcast? Let us know by leaving a comment below! Email our Cali BBQ Media team to get in touch podcast@calibbq.media.

     



    EPISODE TAKEAWAYS —



    * Front End Perspective: The founders of Popmenu consider themselves outsiders to the restaurant industry. Fortunately, that provided them a unique perspective of how more efficient practices and options would improve the customer experience.

    * Pushing a Product vs. Solving a Problem: Popmenu’s AI based phone answering system is their latest cutting edge technology implementation that leads to their company mantra of solving problems rather than simply sell products.

    * Thirst for Learning: One of the keys to Popmenu’s growth is their founders’ insatiable thirst to learning. They understand that being a perpetual learner is necessary to continued growth and improvement.





     



    Check out the Popmenu interview to learn about business problem solving, AI solutions for restaurants, and the importance of being a perpetual learner.

    PODCAST CHAPTERS:

    [01:02] – Popmenu’s Growth

    [02:01] – Founding Popmenu

    [05:14] – Restaurant Technology

    [09:47] – Popmenu Answering

    [14:18] – Always Be Learning

     

    Restaurant Automation Technology:

    More than 50 percent of restaurant guests are happy to have their questions answered by an automated system, according to a 2021 consumer survey, while nearly 20 percent preferred automated responses over having to speak with someone.

    The truth is most people just want hospitality when interacting with your business, whether that comes from a person or artificial intelligence.

    With automation like Popmenu Answering, team members can spend more time on in-person hospitality — and not being stuck to the phone answering simple questions.

    “We met with thousands of restaurateurs, where you’re sitting in the meeting and you saw them having to get up or yell at somebody to go answer the phone...

    • 17 min
    You Can Never Have Enough Data – Photis Patriotis of Gritsee (DH137)

    You Can Never Have Enough Data – Photis Patriotis of Gritsee (DH137)

    There’s never too much information your business can gather. But how do you sift through the data?

    Photis Patriotis is the founder of Gritsee, which is an AI solution based business that seeks to optimize the operations of kitchens and businesses. It only takes seconds for artificial intelligence to find solutions to known — and unknown — problems using video and data-collecting software. 

    “The main thing is there was just a ton of data missing,” says Gritsee’s Photis Patriotis on the Digital Hospitality podcast, hosted by restaurant owner (and Gritsee partner) Shawn P. Walchef of https://calibbq.media. “What’s going on for every single order.”

    Check out this interview with Gritsee CEO Photis Patriotis to learn about moving food delivery to the future, using artificial intelligence, and how relationships still matter even in a digital world.

     



    WATCH GRITSEE INTERVIEW ON YOUTUBE

     



    3 Takeaways from this Episode —

    It’s Always Better To Know Than To Not Know: Photis Patriotis and Gritsee is in the business of collecting and delivering data. The success of a business hinges upon the illumination and addressing of blind spots. Patriotis’ speaks about how his company provides just that.

    [WATCH]

    Defining The Easy Is The Hard Part: Gritsee is in the business of collecting and delivering data. The success of a business hinges upon the illumination and addressing of blind spots. Patriotis’ speaks on how his company provides just that.

    [WATCH]

    Relationships Still Matter In The Digital World: Despite the near elimination of the need to be physically in the vicinity of another human being, building relationships still reign supreme when it comes to business. The service industry requires trust, and trust is the both the bedrock for and product of positive relationships; even in the virtual space.

    [WATCH]



     



    Gritsee CEO Photis Patriotis

    Few industries have seen a bigger shift in business practices than the food, restaurant, and hospitality industries. With a sea change comes a new set of issues and oversights that could be causing businesses to hemorrhage dollars.

    Cali BBQ and others use Gritsee to help improve our kitchen operations in the fast-paced and constantly evolving restaurant and ghost kitchen business. 

    Tracking the detailed information that comes with a restaurant can be time consuming, and leaving it to humans is also leaving room for human error. That’s where Gritsee helps.

    Founder Photis Patriotis’ extensive background in tech and imaging birthed the idea of video surveillance as a data gathering tool.

    “Just using video is such a cheap and comprehensive way to be able to get way more of this data. Figuring out what happened to every single order that left your location is super valuable and becoming more valuable.”

    With the influx of online ordering and third party delivery services, and the more potential customers are using online reviews to help them decide if they are...

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
97 Ratings

97 Ratings

Jon Cheung ,

A Must Listen Podcast for Restauranteurs

Being at the forefront of the Digital Hospitality space for a while now, Shawn is able to share immense value for business owners in the hospitality space! I had the opportunity to jump on a quick call with him to discuss where I was stuck in my restaurant and he got right into a few actionable steps and helped me understand things at a deeper level. All class and service here, subscribed and ready to become a Digital Media Company, here’s to raising all tides and ships!

Single Tree BBQ ,

Hospitality at it finest!

The podcast absolutely awesome! What Shawn and his team are creating and doing each day is awesome. I’m a huge fan of what they have built and the amazing opportunities they provide for others to tell their stories.

Mr. Marty O'Brion ,

A fun and unique podcast, love BBQ!

Cali BBQ has been in my life for over 10 years. I’m such a fan of what Shawn and his team are doing I’ve asked them to discuss business success with my high school business class, his team has so much to offer! What a story that continues to grow! BBQ is Life!

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