Photo by Josh Keown
It was surreal. All that was missing from a scene from the Soprano’s were the candles and violins. I was being inducted into the management family of a growing pizza chain in Detroit. At 18 years old, I had earned my bones by running a very high volume delco while a senior in high school. The pizza bosses had noticed and voted on me. In broken English I was given the recipes and sworn to total secrecy and the promise I wouldn’t compete with any of the chain’s operations, for life. Those who forgot or didn’t take the ceremony seriously were often the recipients of very bad runs of luck.
My, how times have changed. With the explosion in information technologies, there are very few recipe, procedural or operational secrets. What used to take months of research, bribes and work can be researched in a few hours on the Web.
Twenty-five years later, I started conducting informational and guerilla marketing presentations for my peers throughout the Midwest and then nationally. It seems every time I assist a client in improving the status quo, I learn from them also. After close to a million miles and hundreds of assignments later, I have picked up dozens of pearls of knowledge.
I have been collecting these pearls for as long as I’ve had a computer. When I’m working on location with a client, I boot up my laptop and scroll through my hard drive. When I hit a topic that is relevant to the assignment I often transfer the file to a jump drive and give the information to my client.
If you’re attending International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas next month (the show is scheduled for March 2-4 at the city’s convention center), you’re in luck. I’ll be passing out many of these pearls of wisdom!
I recently have been talking to many of the featured speakers scheduled for this year’s Expo. They are all going the extra mile and promise to over-deliver more useful, real life solutions to help you cope and grow your businesses.
I can assure you that I will be hacking my laptop’s hard drive. I’ll be downloading the best of the best good stuff. I’m designing a paperless handout that will allow you to tap into my personal 40-year career.
Don’t miss it.
See you in Vegas! ❖
Big Dave Ostrander owned a highly successful independent pizzeria before becoming a consultant, speaker and internationally sought-after trainer. He is a monthly contributor to Pizza Today and leads seminars on operational topics for the family of Pizza Expo tradeshows.
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