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Lawrence Longo of Off the Menu on the Secret to Business Partnerships Longo discusses his unique dining concept created out of providing access to food items that are not on the menu at popular restaurants.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • “The Don King of Food Promotion” - Entrepreneur Lawrence Longo loves food. He loves to eat it and talk about it. Fortunately, he has forged a career for himself that allows him to do both for a living. His mission is to bring joy with his projects.
  • The Secret to Partnerships - For Lawrence Longo, the secret to business partnerships is that there are no secrets at all. He believes that communication and aligning agendas is the key to successful partnerships.
  • The Voice of the People is Important - In the influencer economy, there are many social media personalities with huge followings. Lawrence Longo believes that tapping into the micro-influencers, the content creators with a smaller but devoted following, is the best marketing possible, specifically in the restaurant industry.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Lawrence Longo has made a name for himself by combining his love for food and storytelling in a career that brings joy to his life and others.

Longo is the founder and CEO of Off the Menu, a unique dining concept created out of providing access to food items that are not on the menu at popular restaurants. He is also an operating partner for Irv's Burger and Prince St. Pizza.

Though obviously busy, his passion for what he does shines through as he expresses his deep love for his work.

"I think I just love it. I love it more than everybody else," says Longo to host Shawn Walchef of CaliBBQ Media. "I just love everything I do. I love talking about food. I love eating food and putting those two together, figuring out a way to spread that joy along the way."

Some may remember Lawrence Longo as the Los Angeles man who ate a burger every single day in 2018. But he is much more than a gimmick.

Longo has become a prominent figure in the industry. A true promoter of good food, he has made a life out of investing in and helping restaurants become successful.

That comes with discretion and selecting the right partnerships. The right partnerships are selected through clear communication and alignment.

"At the end of the day, it's like letting people, everybody know what everybody's agenda is in that partnership. And if everybody's agenda lines up, then you can make that partnership work." says Longo.

Having worked with incredibly recognizable names, such as Matthew McConaughey, BBQ icon Aaron Franklin, and more, Longo recognizes the power of the people and their voices in promoting a brand or product.

Celebrity and highly followed influencers are important, but for Longo his trust is in local voices. He even stretches his marketing efforts beyond the food influencer space by embracing the power of micro-influencers and the "everyday people" who can authentically represent a brand.

He believes that for a brand, there's nothing more effective than having people within your community talk about your product.

"If you're Coca-Cola or if you're a big national brand, you need the big influencers. But if you're a local brand, you need the local people in that city to be talking about your product.

"And there's really nothing better than your friends, your neighbors when you see them talking about your product." says Longo. "I focus on every type of influencer, and maybe I'm giving away my secret, but I'd rather share it and let everybody know."

For Lawrence Longo, hospitality and storytelling go hand in hand. His love for what he does is contagious, and he strives to share that passion with others. By building strong partnerships through effective communication and harnessing the voices of local influencers, Longo has carved out a unique space in the food industry.

His approach highlights the importance of connecting with people on a personal level, capturing their attention, and creating memorable experiences. With his unwavering dedication to spreading joy through food, Lawrence Longo continues to make a significant impact and inspire others to embrace the power of hospitality and storytelling in their own endeavors.



Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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