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Shootz Restaurant CEO Harold Walters on Connecting with a Large, Organic Audience Interview with Shootz CEO about the benefits of using the Ovation platform, switching to Toast from Clover, and the importance of digital media.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • Ovation for Restaurants - Harold Walters believes in the internet and the implementation of technology. In his restaurants, he uses Ovation as a way to receive feedback and communicate with guests. It is an efficient way to improve the business.
  • Choosing Toast as a Technology Partner - A proper, efficiently functioning tech stack is an essential part of the hospitality industry today. Harold Walters learned early that the Toast point of sale system provides benefits that other options did not, including working in concert with other pieces to his restaurant tech stack.
  • The Storytelling Shifts - "What other people think about you is really not your business". This quote from Harold Walters was a mental shift he made for his business that allowed him the freedom to intentionally walk in his purpose and tell the brand's story.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Harold Walters, CEO of Shootz Restaurant, understands the transformative power of social media storytelling. A crucial mindset shift occurred when he embraced the notion that the opinions of others aren't his concern. He recognized his purpose is to inspire and bring value to others.

By embracing his purpose and focusing on telling the unique story of the Shootz Restaurant, Harold Walters found the freedom to authentically and intentionally walk his path. The CEO believes that storytelling is paramount in differentiating a brand from the competitors.

"Telling your story, especially if you have information that can be valuable to others and can save people's lives. Like, you got to go out there and do it." says Harold Walters to host Shawn Walchef of CaliBBQ Media during a conversation at the Spark LA event presented by Toast.

"And I think the story is so, so important because without a story, at the end of the day, your brand really is just a commodity."

Shootz also leverages technology, such as Ovation, an innovative guest feedback platform, to receive real-time responses and enhance the business. This enables staff to identify areas for improvement, engage with guests, and increase positive reviews while limiting negative ones.

"They leave feedback, it goes directly to us, which allows us to, one, identify if we need to make any changes if we need to, and then also be able to communicate with the guests. And then also it increases our reviews, mitigates our bad reviews." explains Walters.

Recognizing the significance of a well-rounded restaurant tech stack, Harold Walters made the switch to the Toast point of sale (POS) and restaurant management system as his preferred technology partner. He found that Toast offered comprehensive features and valuable data insights that were lacking in other systems like Clover which they had used before switching.

With Toast, Shootz gains access to essential features such as Toast Guestbook, which allows him to analyze customer spending patterns, lifetime value, and segment the customer base. Additionally, Toast seamlessly integrates with other restaurant software solutions in Shootz Restaurant's tech stack, including Ovation, creating a central and efficient system for the business.

Harold Walters, through his utilization of technology and storytelling, has transformed Shootz Restaurant into a customer-centric, e-commerce establishment and the epitome of Digital Hospitality. Walters' shift in mindset, focusing on purpose and storytelling, has allowed Shootz to stand out, transcending the boundaries of a typical dining establishment.

"At the end of the day, I have to live out my purpose in building and in bringing value to others." says Walters.



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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