The Sales Hacker Podcast
The Sales Hacker Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

33: How to Grow and Scale a Company in the Digital Age w/ Ilir Sela

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week on the Sales Hacker podcast, we interview Ilir Sela, the Founder and CEO of Slice, one of the fastest growing companies focused on the small business space in the US.  

Slice helps pizzerias compete with Big Pizza by transforming the way they manage their business.  Scaling a company this day in age is all about navigating the digital age. 

One two one twre three fo: He everybody it's the sales hackerpodcast. It's your host, Sam Jacobs, I'm the founder of the revenue,collective we've now got locations and chapters in London, New York, Denverand Boston and Methmorticom Asto. The chief Evane officer of a company calledbehavbox out this week on the sales hyper podcast were really excited tohave e CEO and founder one of the fastest growing businesses servingsmall businesses in the country. It's a business called swice aviginal calledmy pizza and slice is essentially a platform to provide a full suite ofmarketing services, and I think customer generation Serviceis back tothe independent and small business at small pizza, Ria community, all overthe world and all over the country and they've got over ten thousand pizzariasthat are using the platform. Now it's a vertically in agrated platform, so it'sreally focused excluusively on pizza and it's one of them. The companies.That's growing, really really quickly. Here in New York, the Lirsella, thefounder, actually boot, strap the business all the way up to two thousandand fifteen before taking a dime of capital, and at that point they alreadyhad over three thousand different pizzarias on the platform. So it'sreally a story of a founder understanding. Deeply in industryhelping grow a business from the boots droppe phase when he was running itfrom a starbucks and Staten Island and taking it essentially all the way andtheir last ground of financing was a fiften milliondollar investment fromfrom ggd. So it's a great story and Aleris just really a very logical, verycmpassionate, very empathetic, founder in CEO, and you can hear that comethrough an the way that he talks about the business. So we want to think oursponsors before we get into the interview itself Hut. First Os it evercall sophone system designed for the modern sales team, aircrall seamlesslyintegrates into your CR, am elliminating data entry for yourrupsand providing you with greater visibility into your team's performanceor advanced reporting. When it's time to scale, you can add new lines andminutes, and you can use incall coaching to reduce ramp time for younewreps, and I know air call is absolutely killing it. Jeffreakers theire, RepMarketing was on the show. A few months ago, Great Company Visit Air called OTIOL FORTS FIV sales hacker to learn more so that's air called at Io. Forislive sales. Tacker and they've got great customers like oober Don, anBrastr, AF hypbrave, as well as thousands of others, and then oursecond sponsors outrage. That's ot reached at io the leading salesengagement platform, outreach triples the productivity of sales teams andempowers them to drive, predictable and measurable refernue growth byprioritizing the right activities and scale ING Customr engagement withintelligent automation, outreach makes customer facing caps more effective andimproves his ability into what really Tris Rorsolv so hop over the AWIG ONAOFORI FY sales hacker to see thousands of customers, including cloud ar glassdoor, Pandora Zoo and many many more reli on outrace to deliver higherrevenue for sales rap now, without further do let's listen to thisinterview with the Lirsela founder and CEO of slice, hey everybody and welcome back.Hopefully it's back for you, whoever you are listener to the sales hackerpodcast. We are incredibly excited this week. We've got the CEO of one of thefastest growing businesses in New York and one of the most admired just forthe way that they're growing for the quality of their execution and also forthe fun that they have while they're doing it. So Alirsella is anentrpreneur who seeks to improve communities by bridging the digitaldivide between local establishments and corporations. Since tw Thusantad ten,he is served as the founder and ce o slice, which used to be known as mypizza, a mobile and online service that enables people to easily order fromauthentic pizzarias in their neighborhood. In addition to fosteringthe top dodg pizza eating culture, which is very important that slices NewYork headquarters, ilers also build a southeastern European Operation Centerto fuel growth, maintain theoperating costs and yes, eat great pizza and wellhear all about the diverse origins of pizza from alir. Presently before this,he was a founder at ce of NERD force,...

...which is an nonsite tech supportcompany, which he later turned into an international franchise opportunity andeventually acquired by nexus in two thousand, an eight Soas a two timeentrepreneur and also I've gottne Om a little bit over the past year, so justreally very clean and logical and insightful and inspiring sounder. Soealer welcome to the show thanks so much for joining us. Thank you sayinghe's really excited to be here. Obviously, travling with you and thanksfor the really kind intro Welit's, my Peter. So the way we like Tho start iswhat we call your baseball car just because you know there are people outthere. That may not know about slice, and they may not know about you. Soyour name. How, first of all, let's get the correct pronunciation of your lastname? How would you prefer that we pronounce it? Oh, it's a sella thereyou go Ilersella, douner and Co. Slice. Tell us about slice. Just tell us aboutthe company yeah. I mean you did a much better job than I'll, probably do. Butwhat we do is we work with small businesses, so we're tackling themassive pizza industry. It's a forty five billion dollar industry in the US.It's divided into two parts. You have the big, as I call it, big pizza, thebig CEANS on one side, that makeup about a third of the industry in termsof in terms of revenue, one quarter of the of the industry in terms oflocations and then the rest is just super fragmented, predominantly small,business, mom and Pappetrius. And I have a background in in the industryin the sense that my grandfather, my uncle my dad and today, thirty fourfamily and friends, own Petrius. As far up as Arizona and having a TACbackground ton of family and friends, just approaching me for help with not only publishing their menu andputting toether a website for their small business, but helping them withdigital ordering and all these things. And so what we do is we empower theselocal small business pizzrias with all of the technology marketing and datareally required for them to digitize their businesses. So if you look at thebig chains over seventy percent now, if you sing a lot dominos pizza overseventy percent of their businesses transacted through digital channels-and this is for pickup delivery- walkins- you name it and then you looklook at the local segment completely underserved over thirty thousandlocations have no online presence, and you know just really a massiveopportunity. I think for us to help the LAAL local small businesses compete inthis day and age, and we do it with this vertical approach, so slices abrand or Gois ta champion what we call the microbrands. So we champion thejoes pizzas and Motorinos and Billie's pizza and Brooklyn and so forth, and sowe've partnered with over tenthousand locations, were you know, growing,pretty fast and scaling the business and we con ded to add call it anywherefrom four to five hundred new locations on a monthly basis, and our job isobviously to continue to shift and help these small businesses transition theirbusiness from an offline business to digital one. So this is, you know,there's a lot to dive in here and- and I remember when you and I met inpersonally- walk through it and it was just really really fascinating and, asI mentioned in the at the Intro, really inspiring how cleanly you think aboutthe industry, but first, let's start at the beginning. So this is a family sortof a family industry, but it's an ethnic industry in a way, and it's notjust about Italy, so walkus are sort of your origins and tell us a little bitabout the fact that you know pizza has a very strong penetration, not just inintaly but another places yeah. So, as I mentioned them, I'm all be in bybackground and I think something maybe a lot of peopledon't know. Maybe some do, but especially in the New York region,Albians on a lot of Pitrius. Obviously Italians as well, but just historicallyyou know. How did that come to be? I...

...think- and this is more of an educatedGuesp, but also just knowing an understanding the history of my ownfamily. You know the region where Albena exit former Iguslavia was acommunist region for over fifty years and as people try to escape those regimes in the S and S and s the natural migration,the closest really safe haven was Italy, so Italy isbasically a ferry ridt away from Albenia, and so naturally people migrated to Italy.I assume picked up this amazing craft and then the goal is always to make itto the United States as they made it out here. Typically in the New Yorkarea, I think you know they' just kind of brought that passion and craft overhere as well, and so traditionally, an Italian, obviously industry and cousine.But you do have a lot of aubiance t at that own pizzrias around the around theNew York area. But now it's kind of transported and transferred out intointo other states call it Florida, obviously Arizona and really otherparts of the country as people move out of New York and just kind of transition, their lives into into otherparts of the country. So that's how my uncle and my grandfather landed ontheir Petria SOM. He moved to Italy briefly worked out a pizza kitchen andthen, when they moved to Manhattan to New York in the early S, they opened upa piterium on seventy fiften third called Charlie's pizza and it was afamily business. They ran it for over six or seven years. My older brotherwas born in New York and then after some time they decided to move backhome and that's when they went back to Yugosavia back then and that's where Iwas born and then, when I was ten years old, the entire family moved back toNew York and open up another pizture Om, and so it's been that way. Ever since Ican remember, I took a tech path, went to school, have a computer science andmath degree and out of school onto the tech, support business and a lot of myclients and first customers were pizzerias and we were setting up. Youknow voiceover Ip phone lines and setting up some websites and whatnotand through that business I think you know the natural evolution was toreally hyperfocus on the industry. And that's when I launched my pizza, itfelt like when I first heard the origin story, that it wasn't quite an accidentper se, but had you always been aware of how big the pizza industry is orWase, because, certainly from you know, my first impression, which youdisabused me of was you know o an sort of health, food, health, craze kind oftime, everybody's focusing on you know no carbs, and yet here is my pizza. Nowslice becoming one of the and growing at one of the fastest rates, at leastin New York and probably in the country. So when did it occur to you howdominant and how big the pizza industry was? So again, I've been surrounded bythe INDUSTR, almost my whole life, and it was around two thousand eight, twothousand and nine. Once I started getting a lot of of these family and friends, D andFriends of friends that were asking for some help in terms of websites andonline ordering. I just realized that the requests were kind of all the sameand it was a little bit of an ahamomant and took the time to really study thecategory in the industry as a whole, and so we always kind of knew that itwas just a massive industry, because these pizza re entrepreneurs areactually really successful. It is a at the unit level, a very successfulbusiness, a difficult one and it's really really draining on theentrepreneur, as most businesses are,...

...but really wewr rewarding at the sametime, and so when I took the time to study, the category was blown away byjust a handful of things. One is sher magnitude of the category acrossthe US today. It's a forty five billion dollar industry, as I mentioned, and bythe way this does not include you know, frozen pizza or seven, eleven pizza or CASCOP. Anythinglike that. This is revenue passing through take out ondeliery restaurants, where pizza the primary cousine. The other thing Ilearned was that it's really an American staple, so it's kind of likecereal. Almost you have a Pitaria, basically in every neighborhood aroundthe country, super fragmented and distributed in basically everyterritory and very consistent, so over. Sixty percent of Americans have pizzaat least once a week, whavere. Ninety percent have it once a month and thebeautiful thing about the category and also the way we operate en ofh scale.The business is really just championing that existingbehavior, so we're not about you, know: Hey Half Pizza breakfast lunch, andinner and pushing it on a daily basis. We want a champion that family pizzanight once a week or you know as we call it pizza Friday- is at the office,it's a really social event and brings peopletogether, and it's a cisine that does that naturally, and so when I saw thatand I saw those dynamics and that behavior that was really for me, thethe first sort of Aha moment and and really gave me conviction to tackle thecategory as a vertical- and you know I think food crazes and health sort ofcrazes come and go. I operate under hypothesis where you know no matter howhealthy humans try to be, and we all want to be, and we focus on being,there's always room for some of the really great tasting cisines, whetherit's pizza or burlers, or you know, hot dogs and so on. Ice Cream and potatochips like they're, never going to go away, there's always a line out thedoor at Shakeshack, no matter what and that's the other special things aboutthe special thing about pizza by the way is that out of all of thesedifferent coisines that are more call it cheat meals, it's actually not badfor you, it's a pretty solid meal for most of the country. It's how familiesfeed their you know: parents feed their kids and families come together, it'stheir it's their night out inside inside their house. So it's a reallysolid meal that I think just has become a staple and so yeah excited that wecan tackle it and- and so when you say just talking about it, sort of shiftinga little bit too your go to market motion, so so big pizza, as you woulddescribe it, which must be Dominos, Pizza, hut and Papa Johns. Is thataccurate and maybe Caesar's Yeah and little CAESARS? Those are those are thebig four yeah. So is it seventy percent of the market? Is that right? So theycombine. They make up about thirty percent of the revenue, twenty fivepercent of the locations Goy, but when you single them out and you and youdive into their unit economics in their business, seventy percent of theirbusiness, so seventy percent of that thirty percent is digital. So, let'sfocus on Alue, pitch and sort of the company itself, so you have a sale seemis that right and the sales team is calling local piterias m? I, how do youacquire the Coss Dor yeah, so we have a sale them it's about sixteen peopletoday, it's all inside sales. One of our hypothesis was that when you focusin a given market- and you lead with a brand and values and product thatspeaks really clearly to the small business that it would accelerate theadoption on the small business side and...

...that's proven to be very true, and so it's all inside sales outdound.But we have now created a an inbound funnel organically.We don't advertise to sign on Pizerias, but we do have an organic sort ofinbound channel. That is about twenty percent of our volume wow. We callpizzarias and explain our value prop and the way we do that is as a fullservice solution, and I can break that down a little bit more. But a team doesan amazing job and, as I mentioned earlier, were bringing on boardanywhere from four to five hundred new locations on a monthly basis, and it'sjust been it's been awesome, and so is the pitch: Do they have to pay asubscription or r you just taking a percentage of every sale and you're,providing an order, management system and some kind of logistic service? Inthe background? How does that work? There is no subscription service. Wehave a take greate model, so we charge an per transaction basis, so it'sbasically performance based, but I think because we've studied thecategory at length and we've learned all the different nuances and learnedabout all the different barriers to entry in terms of the local Pitaria,which happened by the way to be fundamentally different than othercategories, even in a small business space. What that has really done andled us to create an offering and a solution that really has eliminated a lot of a lot ofthe reasons that small business pizria owners would have to say. No, so whatwe do is we basically just ask them to commit to being part of slice, and wedo all of the lifting. We don't push any technology on them from day one webelieve in graduating them through this ladder of value. So oncewe show some value and once we show the rewarding aspect of being part of slice,that is when we start introducing technology on the or side in the formof either you know slice. We call it slice Os, which is a dashboard thatallows us to not only transmit orders but offer order tracking for for theend consumer, but also with fove call slice languages, their businessperformance Dash Bord, and so all of these things we try not to introduce inthe beginning. It's we actually try not to even talk about it. What we reallyjust want to do is have them feel no pressure or have themfeel like that, they're not having to change anything about their existinghabit in order to join slice. If they decide to join slice and there's notechnology required, is the pitch really hey we're going to bring youcustomers? Is that okay, as o like? What's what is the first phase? Ifthere's no technology, that's report yeah, it's all about making sure thatthe owners bought in on the value of digital, and so it's not just promisingnew customers, because that isn't the only value ad to joining slice. It'sit's really about transitioning, an offlying business to a digital businessand all of the benefits that come with that which is higher order, values onthe consumer side and greater efficiencies on the small business side.So the owner no longer. You know, we've gotten pizzarias to now process. Fortypercent now approaching fifty percent of their business is now transactingvia slice. Well, now they don't need three peopleanswering their phones. Now they don't need to make mistakes on orders thatare handwritten, and now you have consumers that are unhappy with those mistakes. Deleery drivers aregoing back and forth, trying to redeliver the correct order. There'sjust a number of efficiencies that come into play. Who wants the owners fullybought in, and so that initial conversation is really about thesebenefits? We have to get and obviously...

...publish the complete menu for therestaurants of the owner, transmits that to us. We have to get all of thisdata about the restaurant. Like the delivery zone, you know order minimumsand delivery fees and such and we want to make sure that we set up atransmission method for the orders that allows us to transmit them withinwithin seconds. So really the conversation is much more aboutonboarding than it is about. You know, selling anything. Is it intensiveenough that you have to have sort of like a pretty firm grasp of your uniteconomics to make sure that you're spending just the right anot to acquirethem or is the fact that you're really? Basically not? Basically, you just saidnot spending that much on marketing does that make the whole customeracquisition motill, actually sort of surprisingly profitable yeah. Ouracquisition costs on the small business side are so attractive and and low, relativelythe relative to the lifetime value of the small business on slice you're.Looking at typically somewhere around sixteen x, LTV Tho Kakratio, I that- and so that's really exciting, yea- that's well three thones. What we shoot for so sixteen to one is obviously in the absurdlyamazing done so walkis through so you've got tenhzand. Five hundred isthat right, pop re on the platform, so are you pulling them away from seamless,is t or from Grub pub or something? Or is it they're not even online at all?So you don' thing anything you're, just introducing something new yeah I meantypically they're not online at all and they're super fragmented, aroundsuburbs of some of the largest cities and then lonner tail markets so for themost part, were more of the only partner that y that they have, butthere are obviously cases based on markets, New York being on and some ofthe bigger Metros New York Chicao La San Francisco. That are, you know whereacgrivators as we can have a lot of traction. But the fascinating thing is,you know even these aggragators seemless and grow ub they're, justbasically driving some additional business to these locations. They'rekind of skimming and as a result, we've gotten to a point where grabub andseeness- and some of these players are twenty years old and they're, onlymanaging single digits percentage points in terms of the gmv of the smallbusiness and they're rotating customers across multiple cusines and all thesethings, and so I think we're the only player. That's tackling the categorywith a core approach rather than an incremental approach. ALOUR solutiondoes end up being incremental in multiple ways. Wh One is just higherAov from existing customers, tos additional customers, because now youhave that presence. But you know our goal is to be core. Our goal is not tobe incrimeinal and some of the positive externalities of having such a largebase of customers and partners, which is all of these piz areas, means that Ithink you've mentioned to me before. There's probably opportunities to helpthem reduce costs even on things that you wouldn't expect like like supplyCHANC. Is that right? Absolutely so we actually, since we last spoke, we'velaunched pizza boxes in the New York market and so the way to think aboutslicing. What we're building long term, because not only do we have a massivesmall business base, they're all pizzarias, so they're all basically areplic of one another in a lot of ways, and that allows us to focus on buildingan ecosystem that starts with digital, but then moves into to your point: Thesupply chain. So how do all these pitrias by pizza boxes as an exampleand they're buying it on a one to one basis, they're buying it as a as anindividual and we're bringing econige...

...of scale? And so as an example, we haveover two thousand pizzrea partners in the New York market and we can outbringthat buying power and partner with not even the distributor but themanufacturer of the boxes and bring all of them into one. You knowone point and then drive some. You know value to the small business. So in thecase of the boxes, we were able to discount those by about twenty percent.What does that mean? That means now that value can be passed along to theconsumer, the owner, obviously, but also the consumer and you're gettingmore valuable and product. So, instead of a large pizza being sold for twentyFourdola, you can sell it for sixteen and have the same margin on it andthat's our vision on term is to drive value convenience in quality across theentiire ecosystem. That's great! So we focus about on. You know the businessos the pizza itself, but you know you've been building this business. Ithink I have it that you guys are about ninety five people which actually,given your growth rate, doesn't seem like you're spending money as quicklyas you can and hiring as many people as you possibly can walk us through,because you've been an entrepreneur before. What's your perspective ongrowth, what's your perspective, an venture capital and what's yourperspective on how to grow the company at the right rate, for what you want toachieve e? It's a great question hat. It will clarify so thereis about ninetyfive people in our New York office. We do have an office in Belfast. Northern Ireland,that is, engineering, focus there's about fifteen people there and, and then our our team in Macedoniais about three hundred and sixty people- oh wow, okay, so it is a Makecompanyso,it's a big, it's a big team, but but what that said as an example, the teamin Macedonia comes with some amazing cost benefits. We can drive a lot ofopportunities in really competitive salaries in Macedonia, but to translatethat in in the US on New York terms, the average salary for our team memberszheri somewhere around twos and fifty cents an hour so so really really costthe beneficial to the business and them. But what that said, I mean I'veoperated the business in many different ways, but specifically, I bootcrappedthe business with hat without a penny raised between twenty ten and in twothousand and sixteen. So I didn't raise a penny of outside capital untilSeptember of two thousand and fifteen, and so during the bootstrap phase. Youknow s just about scaling and being focused on what we knew best and thatwas partnering with local Pizerius and becoming their core partner in terms ofdigital and online ordering, and we did that with a very small teamthroughout those years. For the most part, it was one engineer. Eventuallyit was two engineers, but that was basically it. I had three salespeoplein Macedonia who were calling pizzerios and we had about seven people, doingsome customer service and support, and that was it and picked our head up in two thousandand fifteen, and we did forty million in GMV that yearand I was operating the business out of a starblocks in Statmallan New York,which is kind of funny. Looking back now, butand then from that point forward and my focus was you know, I need to reallysurround myself with some of the best people in the industry. I reached outto the founding team of seamless that had exited the business by that pointand my goal was to really bring them on board and tap into their network andhelp me scale the team, which then would eventually help scale thebusiness. So they led my first round of funding, which was about a milliondollars, and that was in in two thousand and fifteen, but it was thatwas had nothing to do with capital. It...

...was all about getting them involved inthe business he might not have even spent the money. If I'm understandingthe economics the right way, but it's sort of a way to just bring them inyeah yeah. We didn't, we didn't touch it for a good twelve months and then westarted really scaling the team and investing in growth. And that's when weraised the small round with primary ventures here in New York, which wasabout three million dollars and then in May of twusand and seventeen is when wedid our first real outside ground of funding, which was a fifteen millionround led by ggv. So in total, we've raised slightly below twenty milliondollars and that has really really helped the business accelerate fasterthan we were really growing as a boochstrap company. I think you know ifI were to do it over again. I probably would have picked my head up a littlebit sooner to bring these team members basically in these partners into thebusiness sooner, because there are some amazing benefits to having partners like that involved inobviously capital buying the business that allows you to invest faster morethan what you're just bringing in, but I think the timing was really magicalin a way because we didn't rase capital as an idea and we didn't raise capital.You know when we only had five customers by the time we raised ourmillion dollars. We had three housand small business partners on the platform.That's amazing. So first you mentioned that it really helped to accelerate howyou spent the money are their functions that didn't exist, that you'vedeveloped or is it just more of everythingfor example? You mentionedyou're, not really spending money on marketing, or at least a lot of it is-is word of mouth and sort of organic inbout. So how do you spread? You knowfifteen million dollars around when you get that check R M or that wire fromggv yeap. A lot of it has been really focused on product am engineering. So,as I mentioned boot trapping, I had one engineer. We did forty million in GMVin two thousand and fifteen. We did not have an AP nd, we didn't even start one,yet it was all transactional web. So you know in a short amount of time,we've developed our IOS and ADROID APPS. We've now really shifted approaching.Fifty percent of the business of our transactions are now happening on ourAPPS. We developed slice ous, which is the product I mentioned, that is smallbusiness facing that is the pizzrio facing product that allows us totransmit orders and and offer order tracking using the restaurants, drivers, and soa lot of it has been really product focused and then, aside from that scale,the sales team have been able to really bring on board a world class leadershipteam. You know that I feel super fortunate to be partner with andsurrounded by, including them long time CMO of Semus and Grub, Ov Ryan, ScottLongtime, ctl of shopkeep Jason Ordway, most recently, the CFO from generalassembly and run the runway. John Rocker Kenny, Herman who's Ar ahead ofbd and maybe known by Sam as one of the folks that scaled single platformpretty quickly and Rick whos our chief people officers. So so just investingin some of these functions where we're really forward looking. So it's allabout scaling, not only the restaurant side, but now the the user side, theconsumer side and and that ecosystem and- and so we have some really reallybig aspirations. And obviously our vision is to Continu to grow thisbusiness for for years to come, and so a lot of the investments are being madein some of these long Er term bets a lot of folks say that you know they'realways in like sort of the first anding. Where do you think you are? Is there anend state? I mean I'm sure that you know you want to be able to serve asmany pizzere as as possible, but ther specific milestones along the way thatare going to be proof, points to you...

...that you're on the right journey.Obviously the capital is on and hiring the team. But what else are you lookingfor to confirm? You know the growth expectations that you have yeah. Ithink it's funny right, like I'm, actually not a fan of all the peoplethat say: Hey like we've gotten all this stuff done and we're just gettingstarted. I understand the idea behind it, but somehow it feels likeeveryone's just getting started. I mean if you're just getting started, and youstarted in two thousand and ten, you brianyright and so for us, our growthopportunities. Are you know in two areas? One is obviously we can do tos.They focused on the pizza vertical there's a lot of growth there. So wecan grow five x in terms of number of vocations from this point on, and thatmeans you're capturing significant chunk call it ninety percent of theindustry in terms of locations. The real growth opportunity is growing within the sort of depth withinthe pizterium. How do you go from managing three percent of their ordervolume to seventy percent of their order volume? The Way Dominans is doingit to give you a comp, an average domino's location and they have aboutfifty six hundred locations in the US. The average location does one thousandonline orders per week. The average small business pizaria willmost do nothing, but the ones that are plugged in are doing somewhere aroundfifteen online orders per week, une five. So we view that as a massive growthlever, so our focus will be on depth not just with, and then you haveopportunities to activate the same ecosystem in other markets that areinternational or you can do this and step and repeat the model for the nextlogical vertical. If you want to stay in the food space, let's call it Asiancusine, but it doesn't have to be limited to food. It's all aboutempowering offline, small business markets anddigitizing them and unifying them on Thei brand yeah I mean the thousand andfifteen. That's a dominos is a great business Jeez I mean that the businessmodel itself, aside from the cuisine, is impressive. Yeah. It's incredible.You know what the big really misunderstood and I think overlookedcomponent of that is that digital drives efficiencies through the smallbusiness and in their case through their franchisees. That efficiency isempassed on to the end consumer as value and so dominos has not raised theprices of their food in twelve years, and this is a value driven category.Now you look at what's happening in Manhattan as an example, which is not acore market forus, just naturally isn't, but in Manhattan, where you haveseamless, you have all these local pizzarias partner ing was seamless andthey had to take rates for seamless or now anywherefrom twenty to thirty percent per order, and so the owners are increasing theirprices. So if you go and order a large pie at Joes, you're probably going topay, I don't know twenty two or twenty four dolars for a large pot and that'sfor me fascinating and I'll call it crazy, but I don't blame them and nowwhat they're doing is boxing out the value driven, customer and they're justbecoming a you know, call it up: footy pizriof that caters to the top five orten percent, and then all of a sudden. When you, you know by the time you kindof wake up to the fact that that's what's happening as a longtaile outcome.You know these businesses start realizing that they have no no future and so they're closing downwow. Well, that that makes what you're doing all the more important. The othersort of non intuitive, although now that I see all these keyasks, thatacross the restaurant industry, it's clear tot me how powerful the increasein Averadorta value can be when you're just presenting a very clean, well,merchandise, visual interface, to say:...

Hey, you know, you got the Pie, do youwant the chicken lings with it? Or do you want the large cook with it in away that sometimes you know the humans aren't as good at it's gamechanging,even even the Chios to your point- and I think you know the way I explain it is justdon't let customers order from memory, because when you order from memoryyou're not going to order a lot, but if you give them the convenience and youpublish without even having upselling tools, you will get hem a big lift inAov and then, once you add upselling in some of those recommendation tools, youstart seeing a really huge lift and that that's amazing. So that's ouradvice for small businesses is everyone's always so focused on gettingnew customers and really no one ever is focused on getting more in the most outof the existing customers. Yeah, it's great advice, so one sort of last topic, because thishas been really really fascinating. So thank you for your time, but you'vebeen, you know, you've been an oftpreneur now for quite a while andyou're. Obviously y you come from a CS background, you're, an engineer bytrade. You come from the pizza industry, so those are all well developed, skillsand sort of capabilities, but something that's not always intuitive to peopleas the ability to lead and the ability to grow and manage what are theprincipals, because you've obviously become quite good at it. Yourrecruiting this incredible team, what are your principles for management orleadership that you know we a as listeners, can take away and sort ofthink about Ruminata yeah, I think you know first andforemost, transparency, I'm super transparent, I think, having a vision in really being able tocommunicate that- and this doesn't just apply to entrepreneurs and founders.Everyone in a leadership role needs to have a vision and needs to be able tocommunicate and really rally other people around that vision. I think thispartnership mentality. I don't consider my Tamas people who work for me. Wework together, they work with me and we grew together and so having apartnership. Mentality is really important and then ownership mentality,and so I'm not a micro manager. I believe in bringing you know the bestpeople possible to come, solve a problem and letting them own theproblem, almost as a business within the business and being a support layerfor that business right. So how can I support this partner in my business to succeed?What are some resources I can go and bring to the table to make. You knowtheir job easier, but o give him really an opportunity to succeed at thehighest level and and then flexibility and being coachable founders. Anentrepreneurs always look for team members who are coachable, but myquestion to them is, you know, are you coachable inflexible already Ma yeah, and so I just try to always keepthose things in mind and I come in every single day with a learningmentality. If I'm not learning every single day, then I don't think we're doing a good job asas a team, so I think just kind of taking that approach. You'd be. I thinka lot of people may be surprised by the outcome of that and we have some peoplearound our team that are amazing, amazing leaders. They can go and launcha business tomorrow and probably be incredibly successful, and so whynot put them in that same position within our ecosystem within our companyto be able to to lead and grow and and learn from them as well? So so I wouldsay you know if you met me two years ago and you saw me again last year. My hope and my hypothesis is that a lotof things about me change, but you know my core beliefs didn't and then youknow if you and I were to touchbase today. I know we first spoke about ayear ago. You'd probably- and my hope is that you'd say the same thing aboutme this year and then hopefully could...

...de to grow into nexe or so that's myapproach, and I also make sure that everyone doesn't really get caught up in this race. It'sreally important to have a very level head approach. Things with you know,first principal mentality and not get caught up in a lot of the hype thatcomes with being in this start upscene, especially in technology. So we justkind of go about it at our own pace, focus on the things that we believe inand not worried too much about the rest. I think that's great advice, so we liketo do a little bit at the end here, whele. We pay it forward and talk aboutthings that have inspired you books that you've read people that haveinspired you any content that you think we should consume either books at thathad a particular impact or people that you think we should seek out. It's a good question, the one book thatI mean I read number of different books and most recent one I'm reading is abook called Blit Scaling, which I think is probably the currents yeahnobookyeah the hotne book, but my life, the live changing book I read about a yearand a half ago was a book called Sepians. If all Arar exactly have you,I'm assuming you've read it. I have indeed, and what are your thoughts I'll turn itto you? Well, I thought you know the thing Iliked about it most. First of all, I mean there's a bunch of thoughts, butone of them is how he inverts a lot of the relationships that we assume weresort of baked it. For example, you know we assume that the rise of agriculturewas this blessing to humanity, but in fact he points out that our overallcollective utility was probably happier on a perperson basis when we were allunter gatherers and our diet was much more diversified. So from the perspective of how justlooking at the rise of civilization and how sometimes the way we think aboutthings is, can be inverted to look at it a different way. That was one of thebig tapeways I had from the BOT. I completely agree- and I think for me,if I were to summarize the book in one or two sentences, is that storytellingis the greatest and the most unique superpower that humans have, and I would advise everyone to work on that craft,be a storyteller, and that doesn't mean make things up, but it means you know, being a great communicatorand storyteller is what sets you apart from any other mammal on the planet. So that was forme, the biggest I think moment, and so I don't think I'm a great storytelleryet, but I working on my communication veting good. I think so, I'm you know you guys are growing.Are you hiring? We've got a lot of folks out there that probably a lovepizza be Lov, helping small communities and small business people and see ourcaulented seller. So if, if you are hiring, you know how should they goabout applying to a job? It's lice, if you are yeah, always hiring always opento meeting people, even if we're not hiring, I'm always open to the meetingand learning about you know all the different people, especially in the inthe New York community. We currently are hiring for a Vpor, an svp of sales,specifically on the small business side. That would eventually scale into what Icall our chief restaurant officer and yes, so anyone interested can just go.I think it's jobs at Slicelifecom, but really just go to slice lifecom andthere's a big link there, where you can look at some other opportunities thatare available at slice and apply feel free to reference. This podcast andinterview, and I'm happy to dump on the call but yeah always open to meetingnew folks and happy to meet head of marketing andhead of technology folks and simply for learning purposes, and you know meetingNew People and really just scaling our networks. That sounds great welllior.Thank you so much for participating...

...congrats on all the growth. It's been agreat conversation and I hope to see thin person soon. Thank you so muchSamon congrats as well, and excited to continue on relationship and willdefinitely speak to will host you for for a pizza Friday, houreet Si I'll bethere. I'm fi sounds good. Thank you Hay folks, Sam Jacobs. Here this isSam's corner really. Nice conversation really good conversation with the LARCella, the founder and CEO Slice. It's really a very special company. Theyboots drap for five years, and then he only took financing really recently andnow. They've got over ten thousand different pizzarias that are on theplatform and just listening to how he thinks about the business, how it'sreally about value and partnership Partnershipo with the people that heworks with. So his executive team, but also partnership with those pizzariashelping them, improve their business and really transforming your businesswhere they can increase hour average orter value. They can lower their costsand lower their supplies by buying involked for things like pizza boxes,which they're doing here in New York City. But it's really been a specialjourney and it's one of the companies that a lot of folks in New York knowabout because of the way that he's building and running the company, whichis intelligently and sort of proportionately thoughtful. I guess thelast thing that I would say that sort of jumped out at me LE mentioned. Youknow that it was reading Safians and he talked about the power of storytelling,and I think that's especially true in sales stories have the ability tocapture the imagination in a way that so sort of raw numbers simply don't so,even though you know, we hear a lot about all the different ways thatpeople learn and some people are oral and some people are visual and somepeople are kimaesthetic and some people like numbers and are highly analyticaland other people are more subjective. I really think that storytelling is acore, an essential capability, not just for sales people, but for executives.You have to be able to communicate. You have to be able to symthesize all ofthis data but say es so what that comes from the data, because people justlooking at tables and numbers, they often don't know what they're supposedto take from it. These the conclusions aren't always obvious or evident, andso, when you think about becoming an executive, it really comes down tosometimes the abilityto communicate, even more so sometimes anabilityactually do, and so working on your storytelling capabilities, working onyour ability to symthesize data into a narrative that makes sense, and thatspeaks to Bouth, the intellectual and emotional meeds of your listener. Ithink that that's a differentiator when it comes to building your career, sothis has been Sam's quarner. Finally, we want to think, of course, as always,our sponsors, those are aircall, your advance call center software, completebusiness phone and contact center, one hundred percent natively integrated andour rage, a customr engagement platform that helps efficiently and effectivelyengaged prospects to drive more pipeline and close more ideas. If youwant to find us, you'll find the sales hacking, podcast and itunes with peopleplay. If you enjoy this episode, please tell at least fifty to fifty five ofyour closest friends share it on lengthin, twitter or elsewhere. Again,I think, spell squares, probably facebook, if you want to get in touchwith me, find he on twitter at Sam, F, Jacobs or INM Linkin, and you cangoogle me on the Siro Behav Vox. You can send me a message. I try to respondand thank you so much for listening and I'll talk to you next time.

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