The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep 123: A Career in Food Tech w/ Erica Anderman

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 123: A Career in Food Tech w/ Erica Anderman

Part of the "Is This A Good Time?" series hosted by Brandon Barton.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to the Pavilion podcast. I'm your host, Brandon Martin you're listening to. Is this a good time to show where I put Pavilion members on the hot seat for 15 minutes. I asked some questions. A lot of fun. This one's going to be fun. Erica Anderman is with us. She's a VP of sales and restaurant partnerships that seated and she spent her whole career in Food tech. So we're gonna talk a lot about that and certainly it's a place in a space that I love as I've spent my whole career in food tech. This episode was brought to you by drift. More than 50,000 businesses use drift to grow revenue and increase customer lifetime value faster drift, helps their customers online sales and marketing on a single platform to deliver unified customer experience where people are free to have a conversation with businesses at any time on their terms, learn more at dot com. Alright, let's do this episode 57. Is this a good time? All right. It's so...

...great to have Erica Anderman with me. She is the VP of sales and restaurant partnerships at seated. Eric and I know each other for way longer than just being pavilion friends. Erica, thank you for being here. Of course excited to be here. All right, well look, I'll meet no filler. We can bullshit forever, but let's just jump right in. Let's give the people what they want. Tell us about your current role and the path that you took to get here. Yeah, of course. So I currently oversee the revenue or get seated. We are an app to discover local restaurants. You get rewarded for dining out or ordering in. Previously, I have actually been in food tech for pretty much my whole career. I got started in college, I helped a company called Campus Food which was coming down, it was the first online ordering to come to college campuses, which dates me at the time. Super exciting. I actually went up to their office in new york and just like fell in love with the energy of the sales team in new york and new, I wanted to be a part of it, so I was...

...fortunate and got introduced to Wiley Surly, who is the ceo of single platform. So I joined single platform as one of the earliest employees, stayed there for about five years through the transition to constant contact and then endurance. And then I moved over to slice where I was also one of the earliest employees um and helped run the revenue teams, their love it and you and I both share this is our entire careers have really been related to restaurants have been in restaurant tech. Wiley's perhaps one of the kind of godfather entrepreneurs of restaurant tech in a way it feels like so many people who are involved in restaurant tech today have connections to single platform, it's like uh and even within Pavilion, I think somebody mentioned that a recent happy hours, like you can't throw a rock in new york without hitting an old single platform person or yes, that was the other one,...

It's but you know, I've worked with plenty of people outside at this point of the original crew and I do think it's just pretty incredible how many just amazing people we had there, which is a credit to Wiley and the team, but I mean I'm guilty, I actually just hired a new director of customer success that was a single platform, so try to put into words what was so special about that. Yeah, you know, it is always good to be honest, I reflect on it a lot of like what works so well there and I think what it was is just a simple mission and bringing everyone in just super excited to build something exciting and excellent training. So we brought on really good people, you put them through the sales training that everyone went through, everyone was part of a class and the culture was just one where we all knew why we were there, what we were building towards and we loved the people we were working with and just the fast growth, right? Like we from when I joined november 2010, less than two years we sold $100 million like I, that's what I thought...

...startups for all about after that, so I was like wow this is fun. So yeah, I mean I think a lot of it was just um hiring the right people and making sure everyone was really aligned around that vision admission. Yeah. And then moving over to slice, I mean you have another person in a Lear who is an incredible entrepreneur, but like even more passion for the mission. I mean, nobody cares about the independent pizza operator more than slice. I mean, what would give me one takeaway from working in that environment between him and Pete and all these other amazing leaders? Yeah, absolutely. And you hit it right on the point there is that it really is about everyone understanding that larger mission. And for me, you know, I raise it all the time of like how important it is that everyone understands what you're working towards. And really just, it didn't matter what seat you took when you know that what your overall goal is to help these local pizzerias...

...compete against the big chains, like every single person at the company noticed that and so no matter what you're working on, you know, you're aligned on knowing that that's what your focus is. The other really special thing about slice is we built out our operations in eastern europe and this little known where a leers family is from and when I first started there and they were like Erica build out the account management team, but not in new york, they've got to be built out, you know, out in Macedonia and I was like, I couldn't even point out where it was on a map when I first started, but once I went out there and just met the people, there was just this really special connection where they were so excited to work for this american company. So many pizzerias are owned by immigrants where I would go out to the office and we have an account manager doing an on boarding and Turkish another one you know saving an account in spanish and then another person talking and you know it's just Albanian, it was wild and it was just this really awesome mix of you know these immigrants small business owners in the...

US talking to these account managers who were so grateful for the opportunity that we gave them out there that it was just something really special that I I imagine in this place I always think about this place in Macedonia because I feel like the whole town worked for slice so I can't wait to go there and be like I know a Lear and then like the whole the whole place is there'll be a festival uh you know just because you know him. So anyway. Um Well yeah I know like the amount of people, it's kind of like went up, you know, observed was out of providence. I felt like everyone they they must have hired everybody in providence to work and observing the amount of people that work there anyway, we're just gossiping so hard work and luck Tell me a story from either or both. Yeah. You know, I'm I'm pretty strong on on hard work leads to luck. You know, I one story I guess I'll share is my kind of first year at single platform. I had no idea. You know what I wanted to do if I...

...wanted to sell. I was a marketing major. I was really young and they brought me on to sell and manage my own accounts from a sales perspective since I was brand new, they put me on pretty much whatever was needed at the time it was setting meetings, it was before SDRS was a term and my job was to fill our head of sales calendar every single day and with meetings. And I took that quite literally where I went on pages dot com and I just called every single restaurant right near each other because I was very particular about making sure that he didn't have to move around too much and could go door to door in each neighborhood. And I just sat down at the time was probably a cardboard box and I called every single day I didn't speak to anyone else at the business. And so a year later Kenny Herman who's, you know, he was on the exact unit single platform now one of my closest friends, but he always tells a story about how like we didn't know Erica spoke for the first year, like I didn't talk to anyone internally at the company, I was so intimidated and just nervous about kind of I just wanted to do a great job now, you know, they joked that you can't get me to shut up, but I believe that like, by doing that...

...by just doing the job exactly what I knew my job was, and just doing the best job at it, that's what has gotten me tapped on the shoulder to continue to take on new roles and new initiatives is because people trust to know that, you know, if I'm going to own something, I'm going to do it right. I love having employees who if you hand them something, you just don't have to look back at the name and they will come to you when there's problems but like just get that shit done and I love that, That's great. Alright, what are you what are you crying for? Oh sorry, no, no, no, start, go back. Give me a tactic, You're like the queen of tactics. You had every which way that you'd get restaurant able to give us one tactic, get like an smb to pick up the phone. One thing we always try to turn it on is turning it into the buyers mentality, right? In terms of like, you know, we're not just asking you to be on at a meeting, but talking about how we're choosing you a lot of it back at single platform was, we were building lists of options for the Hilton group at the time of, you know, dining options in the area, we're...

...considering you as an option. You know, you're one of the better steak houses in the, in the West Village. Were considering adding you guys as an option, would love to talk to the owner to see if you'd be a good fit. You just completely flip it and you know, now you're selecting them, you are the one that's in control and it just changes the conversation a lot less of like, you know, will you consider us and a lot more of, you know, we have a limited number of spaces and we're considering you, which just changes the conversation. I know this tactic from my friend Karen Ellemann employed it there for sure. So I love a good Okay, now, what are you hiring for? Yeah. So right now, I actually just told you I filled my director of customer success role, which I'm excited about. We are hiring for a sales ops, admin or kind of, you know, someone to lead sales ops. It's underneath Natalie marshall who runs robots for us, who's a complete badass, she's amazing. So she's a great person to come and work for. So yeah, someone who's looking to get into sales...

...ops and helped lead that for us. That's something we're currently hiring for. I feel like that's such a, it's such a nice role to go into if you want to, if you don't know where you want to be in sales yet go there, go do sales up for a year and you'll figure it out from there. Exactly, yeah, it's actually story Natalie who's running red box for us. She started in sales, then moved over to on boarding and then she always wanted to be the one working on the reporting. She always was so interested in the reporting aspect that we gave her that because we knew that that was something eventually the girl with the phones to work on that and she's just completely taken it made it her own and because she had both the sales and post sales experience before, it's just made her so much more effective. So yeah, you get a real view of the whole business. I mean like sales ops, people can, can predict revenue, they can tell you if a company is going to be successful, Not exactly working at on red box at a marketplace is also really fun. Supply demand. You know, dynamics...

...is one thing I just love looking at each week and it can get really fun if you're into it. Love it. And who do you give some shout outs? Like who do you dig their content and, or like up and comers that you'd want to shout out? Yeah, sure. So content wise, one person I just, I had the pleasure of meeting earlier on in my career who have turned to a lot is cassie Young, she's an operating partner at primary. She was formerly the C. R. O. It sailed through. She's just like so smart. Um She has really helped it just from a data perspective. She's so good. It just looking at you know she's a lot of good content. She puts out about doing cohort analysis the right way and how to segment out you know, your customer base. But I just think she's one of the smartest women and just a great person to learn from. And then another one actually kat cole. She recently joined the board at slice. She was just an incredible story, she was like a waitress at Hooters and then worked her...

...way up to become VP at Hooters and then eventually just completely took on, she became ceo of focus friends so just an incredible career and now does a lot of content on leadership and just like how to run a company with empathy. I really like the content she puts that also I do as well. She's she's very inspiring, generally a really cool person. So it's casting by the way cool and last but not least very important to both of us where we eat and give me, give me a secret. Give me give me any like what give me one secret of where we should go eat together. It depends. I mean if you want where I currently am which is actually in L. A. Versus where I will say pizza is kind of the thing even though I'm no longer at slice, but most people come to me for pizza so we could do either. You want tacos and what's your secret in new york? What's your what's your secret slice spot? Not not, not pies like underground slice spot. So I'll say one that most people don't know about. There's a place in the east...

Village called Village Square. They opened up a few years ago. The guy is actually from the original prints street family. There's a lot of drama there. I don't want to be included. Whoa. I do know that they have a slice that is just as good if not better than the infamous Prince Street slice. So she definitely check it out. Wow that is big talk. We're going to go check it out. We're gonna do a taste test when you're back in new york. I would love to go to both blind. I'm gonna give it a blind and you're not gonna be able to see and we're going to see if that's actually true. America sounds great, incredible. I literally, we could talk forever. I really appreciate you and what you've done and the way you brought up women as well into sales orders and like really been a beacon of kind of happiness in the restaurant sales community, right? Like the restaurant tech sales committee. Love it. So great to follow all the stuff that you're doing, can't wait to see...

...what's next and uh keep in touch. Absolutely great talking to you. Thanks for having me. Alright, that is our show for today. So thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, do the things I'm telling you right now, rate it. Just go right now, read five stars Apple podcast. Spotify, send it to one friend or just hits a bag. Easy stuff just for me, remind this episode is brought to you by drift. The new way businesses by from businesses. You can learn more and get the conversation started at drift dot com. I had fun today. I hope you did too not go crush your numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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