Give an Ovation: A Podcast For Restaurants

Robert Earl: Lessons from the Legendary Robert earl: Ovation podcast. Ovation Up. (2021, September 3). Retrieved September 20, 2021, from


Find out what your restaurant should do now and in the future, from the co-founder of Virtual Dining Concepts (MrBeast Burger, Mariah’s Cookies, Wing Squad, P.ZA Kitchen).

We were in the presence of royalty on this episode as we were joined by one of the Earl’s of Sandwich (the restaurant, not the titular figure of England) himself, Robert Earl! Robert has set the bar for restaurateurs as the man behind Planet Hollywood, MrBeast Burger and other Virtual Dining Concepts, and growing Hard Rock Cafe. Here’s one featured takeaway from this episode and Robert’s answers to the questions host Zack Oates asks each guest:

Featured Takeaway: Try A Virtual Brand

As Robert put it, to keep up with the technological change that has occurred in the industry, restaurants need new brands. And virtual brands are an easy way to add to your restaurant’s portfolio. “If you’re creating your own brand, it’s just a distraction. You don’t have any better economics. There’s someone else doing all the legwork, creating the brands, creating the look and feel, creating the philosophy, working out the supply chain, finding customers for you, giving you a complete how to.” So I implore anyone that is watching your podcast and listening to consider a virtual brand.” – Robert Earl.

1: What is the most important aspect of the guest experience today?

Understanding the different expectations between on-premise and off-premise customers. “As a consumer, the expectation now is to get value for money, a good quality experience and a great environment to consume in.”

2: What is something successful you have seen or tried lately?

Drawing upon his wealth of knowledge, Robert didn’t have just one tip. So we made a checklist!
  • Reinvest while the market is quiet
  • Have all of your brands ready to execute
  • Try more limited time offers
  • Improve loyalty programs
  • Work on your database
  • Talk to your consumers more often. You can’t do it too much as long as you’re changing the message.

3: Who is someone in the restaurant industry that deserves an Ovation?

David McKillips, CEO of Chuck E. Cheese. “They have nearly 700 units, and they had some problems along the way. They’ve come through [COVID] beautifully.”