Ben Brown is the Founder and President of TastePro, a self-guided food tour company. With TastePro’s tours, participants can try the best foods from multiple restaurants at a fraction of the price. Ben is a seasoned hospitality professional with a fanatical passion for food. He has experience with corporate food and beverage marketing, strategy, and analytics and has worked with companies including MGM Resorts International, Princess Cruises, and more. Ben is also currently the Vice President of Marketing for ConverseNow, an AI platform that is revolutionizing the restaurant industry.
Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:
- Ben Brown shares the inspiration behind TastePro
- How his experiences with journalism, education, and sports taught Ben the skills he needed to start his own business
- The process of booking a self-guided food tour with TastePro
- Supporting local restaurants through food tours
- Ben talks about refining TastePro’s process and pitching the idea to restaurant owners
- How TastePro transformed during the pandemic
In this episode…
If you have a passion for traveling and food, trying new restaurants is probably top-of-mind anywhere you go. So, how do you find the best, most authentic places to eat in each location?
How about a self-guided food tour? As a content strategist for Princess Cruises, Ben Brown loved to take guided food tours during his travels to experience the finest local cuisine. He discovered amazing food through these tours and wanted to find a way to make them accessible to a mainstream audience. One day the light bulb went off: what if there were self-guided food tours online that allowed people to take a tour on their own time with their chosen group of friends? With this idea, TastePro was born. Now, thousands of people have enjoyed local specialties with Ben’s uniquely curated walking tours.
In this episode of the SpotOn Series, Chad Franzen is joined by Ben Brown, the Founder of TastePro, to discuss how he’s supporting local restaurants through self-guided food tours. Ben talks about the inspiration behind TastePro, the entrepreneurial skills he gained from past experiences, and how he pivoted during the pandemic to keep TastePro and the local food industry above water.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
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Chad Franzen 0:20
Chad Franzen here, co-host for this show where we feature top restaurant tours, investors and business leaders. This is part of our SpotOn Series. SpotOn has the best in class payment platform for retail. And they have a flagship solution called SpotOn restaurant, where they combine marketing software and payments all in one. They’ve served everyone from larger chains like Dairy Queen and subway to small mom and pop restaurants. To learn more, go to spoton.com This episode is brought to you by Rise25 We help b2b businesses to get ROI clients referrals and strategic business partnerships through done for you podcasts. If you have a b2b business and want to build great relationships with clients, referral partners and thought leaders in your space. There’s no better way to do it than through podcasts and content. A restaurant consultant for more than 10 years, Ben has worked with hundreds of restaurants across all aspects of the business. His work has taken him through nearly 60 countries. Ben received his MBA from USC Marshall School of Business, his masters of education from UNLV School of Education, and his Bachelor of Arts from USC Annenberg School of Journalism, then, wow, thanks so much for joining me. How are you?
Ben Brown 1:27
I am quite well, Chad, thank you so much for having me on today.
Chad Franzen 1:30
Hey, so you have a you have a MBA, you have a master’s of education, and a bachelor’s in journalism. You also have experience as a hospitality consultant in a restaurant editor. You have some other very interesting experiences. You’ve managed marketing for cruise lines, you’ve kind of run marketing for a meal share app. How did this concept of put together a food tour business? come about?
Ben Brown 1:53
Absolutely. And yes, it’s a bit of a convoluted backgrounds, but I’m eager to walk you through and show you how all the pieces strung together.
Chad Franzen 2:02
We’re all eager to hear it.
Ben Brown 2:04
Oh, absolutely. So like many I believe food is virtually all I think about it is my absolute passion in life. Spending time in restaurants. Indulging in an incredible meal with good company is one of my absolute favorite things to do. And from a very early age, I wanted to make that a critical part of my career. So I in studying Journalism at USC, how am I you know, I was an athlete, too. I wanted to be that guy on ESPN. But I quickly realized that sports casting wasn’t necessarily for me. It was really the hospitality world in the world of hospitality journalism, that that piqued my interest. At the same time, I didn’t necessarily know if being a journalist full time was what I ended up wanting to do with my life. So I ended up sort of taking a big career switch. As soon as I got out of college, as many do I guess. I joined the Teach For America program if for those who aren’t familiar with Teach for America. TFA is an AmeriCorps program that takes recent college grads who often don’t study education, and you become a teacher in an underserved part of the US. So I was assigned to teach in inner city, Las Vegas, which many would argue would be the hospitality and some would say the food capital of the world. So I thoroughly enjoyed my time teaching. But during that time, I did want to continue my journalism career in some capacity. So I created a rule for myself as a food writer. So for the next three years, I had the absolute pleasure of visiting some of the premier restaurants in Las Vegas and someone say to us, I got to meet virtually every celebrity chef that you’ve seen on TV or read about in the headlines, I got to attend some of the areas from your food festivals and events. It was simply this life that had opened up to me that I couldn’t get enough of it was there was just simply one unmatchable moment after the other. And my time as a food writer, really inspired me to go into the business side of the restaurant world. And that’s what led me back to USC to get my MBA. I knew I didn’t want to open a restaurant. I have absolute tremendous respect for restaurant owners, operators and staff. They they carry out incredible jobs, very difficult jobs, but those that serve the community in such a great way. I knew I wanted to work with people like that without necessarily becoming one of those people myself. And during my time at USC, I got to work with a number of great groups. And it was after finishing my MBA, I landed myself in the corporate hospitality world. So I spent three years with Princess Cruises. I oversaw calm strategy for the company. And that’s to travel the world, largely creating photo and video content for our food and beverage offerings, working with partners like Curtis Stone, Richard Shen, or necessarily FINRA and the list goes on. And really just fleshing out what food and beverage meant to the average person and the person who aspires to do new and different things with food. My travels at the same time, took me to all these amazing places. And when you’re on a cruise ship, and you only have so much time to explore an area, I wanted to get a taste of the city’s food scene as quickly and efficiently as possible. So I would take a food tour almost anywhere I went. For those who aren’t familiar, food tours are typically guided experiences, where a guide will lead 15 to 20 people through three, four restaurants in a city, those are typically flagship restaurants, whether they’re award winning hot spots, or sort of hidden gems that only the locals know about. And you get a taste of each place, you really just go from one spot to another, you have some of the most famous items in each place. And before you know it, you’ve really tasted the entire city’s food scene. These are incredible experiences, they still go on to this day, despite having a food to a company of my own. But at the same time, I thought about these experiences. And I asked myself, okay, food tours are very niche experiences that very few people truly know about in the grand scheme of things. So what is a way to make an experience like a food tour more accessible and affordable to a mainstream audience? And that’s when I got thinking, Oh, well, what if he was just a way that you could visit a city’s best restaurants try bytes of their best dishes. But you could just do that any day, any time without a guide, or without booking some big event on TripAdvisor. I didn’t find anything that fit the bill there. So I decided to create that myself. And that that led me to where we are today, I ultimately left a very appealing job that Princess was getting paid to go on cruises across the world. In order to pursue this entrepreneurial dream, I spent a year and a half in the startup world, prior to making the leap to go to TastePro full time I needed, I needed some first hand experience of being in the trenches and getting a concept off the ground and was very happy to do that with a couple of organizations. And I made the leak in late 2019 to develop TastePro full time. It’s certainly been an interesting journey with the pandemic being factored in. But things are going quite well at this point. We’re seeing explosive growth, and I couldn’t be happier to see just 1000s of people enjoying TastePro self guided food tours and counting. So it’s been a remarkable journey, there is a very, very long way to go. But one that absolutely warms my heart.
Chad Franzen 8:15
You have quite the quite the story leading up to it. I mean, the all the twists and turns, I can see how it leads you exactly to where you are. Do you feel like you use all of your degrees now journalism, education and MBA?[see more] <--next page-->
Ben Brown 8:28
Unquestionably, yes. I am so glad that you asked that question. You know, I think about so many of my peers, when they’re interviewing for different roles. And, you know, a recruiter will ask, well, how does your background match with this position? Or how would you as a teacher, be able to lead a business, I would, I would argue that the elements of business journalism education are some of the most critical that anyone can have in the business world, especially in the entrepreneurial realm. So at journalism, as you’re very well aware, and you’re quite educated and accomplished yourself, Chad, is the art of storytelling is absolutely gonna grow up not just in running a business, but an everyday communication interaction. You are selling a story to any audience that you can garner. And being able to correctly articulates the story behind casepro, the selling points that we have and the value that we create for everyone to enjoy your experiences. But that’s been one of the greatest skills that I could I could have ever asked for being able to really showcase and break down exactly what TastePro adds to, you know, to both the customers that we serve, as well as the restaurants that we work with. from an educational standpoint. One jumping into Teach for America, there is no job I could have had post college that would have allowed To lead 200 people a year out of school and granted, my, my teams were between six and 13 years old, but at the same time, being able to get that leadership experience at the very beginning and understand how to manage people. And then every organization, no matter how big or complex it is, is, in fact made up of individual people with their own individual needs and motivators. And understanding how those, those play into their performance and how you can orchestrate them and have them all come together to have a team be united to work under one central mission. That that is, I mean, that’s core to the business world. It’s how I grew my team, it TastePro, it’s how I’m able to standardize and make our operations smooth and efficient. It’s how I’m able to effectively lead meetings and communication with my restaurant partners, and other business partners, I couldn’t be more thankful for it. And then of course, getting an MBA, just being able to speak the language of business, being able to not just think of a cool idea, but understand how to get that idea off the ground from a marketing standpoint, from a financial standpoint, and then how to grow it and nurture it from an operational standpoint. So really, these three areas of my life are coming together in pretty excellent harmony in in managing this this venture. Not to say that it’s easy, but what I will say is that I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have any of these three pillars behind me, they they’ve allowed casepro to reach incredible heights and have not just made it a great business that serving Southern California but have positioned TastePro the scale to become an international enterprise.
Chad Franzen 11:53
So we will we’ll definitely get into more about TastePro in a second. But your eclectic journey is very interesting. One last thing you mentioned that you were a an athlete in college, you know, I talked to people who were athletes in college, but they went to like some small college in some rural area, you were a athlete at USC, that’s major division one athletics, what did you do? And how has that that helped you along with all of the education that you have?
Ben Brown 12:17
Well, thank you very much for bringing that up to Chad not too many people. Think about a lifelong through the and think about, you know how their athletic background might play into it. But track and field has been integral to my life for as long as I can remember, believe it or not, I actually grew up as the fat kid and track was one of the sports that I found that really turned my life around. I I rocked on to USC is a nationally ranked track and field team as a long in triple jumper. And did you know decently well in those events, but I ended up picking up Javelin my senior year in college and was fortunate enough to reach the national rankings in that event. And my time isn’t athletes as any athlete would would agree to, especially at the division one level, it requires just relentless perseverance, absolute dedication and a true passion for what you are doing. There is incredible sacrifice that you make as a student athletes at the DT one level there’s there’s just so much that you are working for and so much that you are pushing yourself through instills a degree of mental toughness and grit that I have found hard to achieve in from other outlets in my life. And um, I think that while these, you know academic degrees I may have accrued or more importantly, the work experience that I’ve been able to garner from from these different areas of my professional life. It’s really that grit and that mental foundation that I’ve I’ve, I’ve built as an athlete that I carry with me every day. I mean, I’m sure you can agree that being an entrepreneur is is not for the faint of heart. But it’s that mental toughness that just grows stronger each day. And it’s something I’m really glad to have with me. I maintain a very vigorous fitness regimen during my time, you know, just everyday at this point. And it’s my therapy exercise is how I cool off after after a tough day and having I guess having that part of my life is just so important to me and something I deeply treasured.
Chad Franzen 14:44
So I just want to get the straight you walked on in jump or long jump. And then you became nationally ranked in javelin. Yeah.
Ben Brown 14:55
So just to clarify. So yes, I did walk on as well. Long and triple jumper, those are my high school events. Javelin is not a legal event in the state of California or most of the United States at the high school level. I played, you know, baseball and a bunch of other sports growing up to I was a centerfielder, I could throw people out from home plates. And it was my senior year, the beginning of my senior year at USC. And I, you know, I, I was, as I was a walk on, there wasn’t a lot of pressure for me to, I guess, only focus on these two events that I’d worked on for and the idea of thermosphere seemed really fun. So I just picked it up one day, and it happened to go pretty far and the coach know this and started training me. And I had, I had a breakout performance during what would have been my last collegiate meet, it was the USC UCLA dual meets, where I threw 206 feats, which put me into the national rankings and qualified me for the postseason. It was a it was a truly remarkable experience. And I think at the core of, of this is showing that, that kind of perseverance, that kind of sacrifice. And just that kind of mental grips, if you keep applying yourself, anything is possible, you don’t know what form that achievement is going to take. But if if the core of your being is the type that will work relentlessly to accomplish a goal, and then the fruits of your labor will be will be much enjoyed in some form in the future. So I tried to take that mindset with me, in the professional world of taster.
Chad Franzen 16:44
That’s great. That’s very inspiring. So in terms of TastePro, let’s say I don’t live in Southern California, but let’s say my wife and I lived in Southern California, it’s Friday evening, we want to have a nice evening out and we stumbled across TastePro. From that point, what is the process look like for us?
Ben Brown 17:05
Of course. So, I will note that we have people who, who enjoy TastePro from across the country. We have people who are coming in from New York, from Louisiana, from your neck of the woods in Colorado, and then of course, a large clientele that lives in San Diego, LA, Riverside and Orange County. But the way that TastePro works is quite simple. Again, we are a service for self guided walking through tours. So it essentially allows you to take what would otherwise be a traditional meal, and to take that and now you’re visiting three to four restaurants instead of one and trying the best of each place so that you can accomplish seeing all the greatest restaurants on your bucket list all in one trip. So if you and your wife wanted to enjoy a phenomenal dining experience, all you would need to do is go to tastepro.com. And you’re you simply click book a self guided food tour, and we work in a number of San Diego’s most prominent foodie neighborhoods. We’re currently in North Park Pacific Beach in the Gaslamp Quarter, with ambitious expansion forthcoming, we have some very exciting new parts of San Diego, that we’re ready to unveil in a couple of weeks, actually. But you simply choose your neighborhood. And once there, you can browse from a list of available tours, we work with a myriad of restaurants in each of these great places. And our tours cover award winning local hot spots, you know the places that you read about and all the headlines, the places that have celebrity chefs and more awards than make a name. And we also work with those locals only hidden gems, the places that you don’t hear about as much but if you lived nearby, anyone who lived in the neighborhood would tell you about that spots. So we like to combine those in all of our tours. We have three step tours, and we have four stop tours, the three stops are for lighter appetites, the four stops are for those a bit heavier, just like mine. And when you you have a varying degree of price points as well, I mean our least expensive towards 24 dog collars, which is an absolute steal. And they they go up from there. I’d say that a nice four stop tour will average about 50 to 60 bucks, and it includes tax and tip everywhere you go, which is a remarkable deal. So you go on your desire tour page, and from there, it has information about all the restaurants you get to visit. Each of those restaurants feature what is called a tasting menu or shrunken down portions of signature items. So a like if you’re going to a gastropub that you’d be able to choose to favorite From a long list of the signature items, if you’re going to one of our Italian restaurant partners, you can get a half size pizza and half sites, pasta, something like that. And you are given a time window for each restaurant that you are able to arrive. So that’s a very, it’s a very broad window. Friday nights, typically not as common to go on a TastePro Tour simply because our goal is to fill empty seats. If you know we structure them so that if you arrive at your first stop by about 6pm, you should be good to go for the rest of the evening. anytime during the week, great anytime during the weekend. Other than that great. Say you, you go on you view restaurants, you simply select your date, you’re given a list of time windows to arrive. And you can add drinks, at any most of these places as well. And those drinks are heavily discounted rates on some up to 60% off of regular prices. So being able to add a craft beer that was brewed 100 feet away for $4 is a pretty good deal, in my opinion, to come up with this idea of just coming up with TastePro in general. Yeah. So you know, the idea of TastePro was really inspired by my travels across the world where I took food tours virtually everywhere I went, that combined with my time as a food writer in Las Vegas, where I got to attend these incredible food festivals, which are these, these events where they’ll take dozens of restaurants that each just have bite size items that that guests can just walk in and collect. And you just walk from place to place trying the best of each spots. So being able to merge those two amazing experiences together and make it so that they weren’t. They didn’t just need to be reserved for special occasions. They didn’t require a lot of planning, really to take extravagant experiences like this. And making them as simple the book as a standard restaurant reservation was a concept I deeply wanted to turn into reality. And that’s how it was born.
Chad Franzen 22:14
He said you partner with a myriad of restaurants. What What about your service is appealing to those restaurants? Yeah,
Ben Brown 22:21
so supporting local restaurants is an absolute fundamental pillar of TastePro, we are a small business ourselves and having worked with independent restaurants for my entire preffered professional career, I just have such tremendous respect for everything that they do and sacrifices that they have made to keep their entrepreneurial dreams alive. So ourselves to restaurants is that we fill empty seats. So pertinent to your note about going on a TastePro tour on a Friday nights. If a restaurant is typically already full during a peak period, like a Friday or Saturday night, then they can block off those hours from tastes for guests. The reason is that TastePro guests naturally aren’t spending as much at that restaurant as a full paying guest would. So we want to make sure that they’re able to profit as much as possible. At the same time, we want to bring new people in for restaurants doors that wouldn’t have found them otherwise. And I have held hundreds of customer calls at this point, just to survey you know, our customer base to see what they like about TastePro. And some of the most resounding responses are that people love going to places they never would have otherwise discovered. It really lets them explore and have this incredible adventure. You know, whether it’s in a new part of town or in their vacation destination, so we love being able to deliver that value for restaurants. And in some cases, believe it or not, we we had a couple who injured they went on a TastePro tour in North Park, which is just north of downtown San Diego. At the time, they were living in Los Angeles, and they were contemplating a move. They enjoyed their TastePro tour so much that they decided to move to North Park. And they now live about a half a mile away from the restaurants they visited. And one restaurant in particular and control. They go there on a weekly basis in you know, cultures gotten a lifetime customer because of TastePro and that’s the only one that I know about because they went out of their way to tell me, I can only assume that there have been many other visits. I would say that statistically, about 80% of our customers are likely to go back and visit at least one restaurant on their tour for a full time. So we’re just really happy to be able to bring this business into each of our restaurant partners.
Chad Franzen 24:58
And you use us stablished in 2018, Is that about right?
Ben Brown 25:02
Yeah, TastePro was incorporated in 2018. It went through a very rigorous development over the course of two years where we didn’t just develop the technology that may take that makes TastePro what it is. But we refined our operations pertinent to our mission to supporting restaurants, we needed to make TastePro as simple as possible for restaurant owners as they could. Because for restaurants, it’s on the surface, it’s a very different kind of experience, customers are coming in, they aren’t being given menus to ordering from their phones, they aren’t getting full meals, they’re going to leave. Most customers would leave hungry with the amount of food that they get. But when you’re going to four places, obviously, you’re going to be full after, after it’s all said and done. And then making sure that staff know how to verify TastePro tickets, you know, a customer, it’s not often when a customer comes in and says, Yeah, my foods already paid for. So here’s what I’m going to get. So being able to make the process, simple in a way that a restaurant staff member can clearly comprehend it and handle it was very important not to mention, the high turnover rate in the restaurant world means there are a new staff working in a restaurant just about every week. So making sure that someone could get on boarded very quickly, was a big priority. So we spent the first two years or so really refining that process.
Chad Franzen 26:32
What were some of the most challenging things about refining that process? I would imagine it’s a pretty, it’s a pretty complex operation with a lot of moving pieces. What were some of the challenges that you particularly experienced? Yeah. So
Ben Brown 26:46
I imagine we’ll get into the pandemic in a moment. So I don’t touch that. But I say that the the most challenging piece of refining this process was, was condensing, like you said, this incredibly complex process on the backend, and making it smooth, seamless and simple on the front end, in a way that would be properly digested, no pun intended by a restaurant staff member in one minute or less. Because based on all of the ethnographic studies we did, we really found that a restaurant staff member had about a one minute attention span when a guest came in before just I guess, taking things to a more complex level. So what we it just came through just incredible amounts of testing. And just this is where the this is where the education and the journalism background really came into play. Look, I taught first grade for a year and I had to teach 18 students how to read, being able to literally break down the word cats into its individual sounds now extrapolate those principles and put it into the business world. So okay, you’re looking at this tickets to the TastePro customer has, what are each of the mental touch points the restaurant staff member would need in order to truly understand how this process works. And then just making them simpler and simpler and putting it into language, the understand being able to do that, quite literally 150 times over was a very rigorous process. But it definitely proved worthy in the end, because now restaurant owners and are finding that their staff have, you know, it’s as simple as can be.
Chad Franzen 28:45
How did you set Did you sell your fruit? Were you successful in selling your first restaurant owner? You know, it’s one thing for you to say now we we put people in the seats, we have a proven process, after what I was just an idea. Was that difficult?
Ben Brown 28:58
Absolutely difficult. To answer your question simply, you know, when when you’re in the concept stage, and you don’t have the data to back up what you’re selling. You’re selling yourself, you’re selling passion, you’re selling your mission, and even even now and always moving forward. That to me is the most valuable thing that anyone can sell to anyone else. And when we piloted in Los Angeles where I was living at the time, and as I approached these restaurant owners, many whom I have dined with many times before, some who I hadn’t. I think it’s being able to fully convey that passion, and that unrelenting dedication that you have to support their own mission and their business and their bottom line, but just to show them that I’m here for you, and this is my dream and saying it in your restaurant is your dream, and there is nothing that I would rather do than push that dream forward. Being able to sell that mindset is what allowed me to get my first restaurant partners and family continues to get me my restaurant partners to this day, even when we have data to show the money that we’re bringing in and the repeat business until we get it.
Chad Franzen 30:14
How did COVID affect you? And how has it changed you?
Ben Brown 30:18
So the TastePro launched TastePro went live in the first week of March 2020. Yes, after two years, we had to shut down our operations within a week. So to say that the pandemic negatively affected us would be a gross understatement. At the same time, it did allow a TastePro to move forward by leaps and bounds, both internally and externally. So during the pandemic, when restaurant shut down, and thus TastePro, core business had to shut down, I had to go back to my central mission of supporting local restaurants. And then doing that we came up with a number of ways to first improve the product. So where a lot of people were cleaning out their garages and doing house renovations, I took the time to do TastePro renovations, where our products became significantly more appealing to both customers and restaurant partners. We offered things like our drink upsell, which we have now where you can add drinks to your tour for up to 60% off, we went for a custom tour product where people could simply like add restaurants at will and create their own tour to creating these curated tours that feature these groups of three to four restaurants because it makes the customer experience more seamless. And then, in supporting our restaurant partners, we developed a charity program called Feed the fight where we raised money from our existing customer base, those who found out about TastePro during its development. And we we took the funds that we raised from them, we bought food from our restaurant partners, and then donated that food to hospitals and food banks, that that program created quite a bit of media attention, and it actually grew our customer base quite a bit. And believe it or not, a new revenue stream from the company was for the whole thing, because the hospitals liked our foods so much that they actually asked us to manage their lunch operations full time. So TastePro Catering is a completely new line of business that works with a very different degree of restaurants. But it’s become a very strong revenue generator for the company and ultimately kept the company afloat while restaurants continue to be closed for dining. So the the company is is transformed completely during during the pandemic. And then just as an entrepreneur, I mean, it has completely shifted my vantage point on the restaurant industry, the people who make it up, and how the needs for TastePro to continue evolving and pivoting to meet an ever evolving customer demands. At this stage restaurants, of course, are back open. And now we’re facing all types of all new types of issues. We have a staffing shortage, we have ingredient shortages, we have a number of obstacles that are preventing restaurants from operating at their full capacity. So TastePro continues to iterate and being able to use that nimbleness and that you know, stop on a dime kind of mentality is what continues to allow us to move forward.
Chad Franzen 33:43
It’s no that’s that’s incredible that you were able to you know, I think maybe I would have or some most people might have just shut it down. Well, okay, well forget this. Well, you know, once you have what’s COVID hits, and you’ve only been active for a week or whatever. And but you’ve not only survived it, you implemented a new revenue stream. That’s incredible. You you’re based in San Diego, but you said other people utilize TastePro. Do you have future plans maybe for expansion or other things?
Ben Brown 34:11
Especially So as it stands people who are traveling to San Diego love using our service, but TastePro plans are certainly to expand throughout Southern California, the beginning. Orange County and Los Angeles are huge targets. We’re looking to move up into the bay area as well. And then really, you know, going across the country. We have our eyes set on Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, Miami, New York. The beauty about TastePro is that is completely scalable. These are self guided food tours. There do not need to be boots on the grounds for our experiences to be enjoyed. Of course we want to make sure that our restaurant partners are happy and that each market has you know a different type of audience and differently Marketing Channels that they need. But TastePro can truly be scaled to become not just a national enterprise for the global enterprise. So I’m very eager for to take my first TastePro tour in Paris, in Tokyo, in Beijing or London, what have you. It’s, it’s a, it’s a model that can be taken anywhere and everywhere. And I’m very excited before for more people to be able to enjoy dining experiences and that way.
Chad Franzen 35:31
Yeah, that’s exciting. I wish you the very best. Final question. We’re big fans of gratitude. I want to allow you to publicly acknowledge people who’ve been influential for you, who are some people in the food or hospitality industry that you particularly appreciated their guidance or advice?
Ben Brown 35:46
Well, the first people that I absolutely do think are my family. My mom and dad, Richard and Ellen are just, they’ve been there with me through the peaks and valleys, you know, been with me through the tough times the TastePro gone through during the pandemic. So Mom and Dad, thank you so much. To my incredible life partner, Miranda, you are everything to me. I, you have you have seen the best and you have seen the worst and everything in between, I couldn’t be more thankful to have you in my life. So family always comes first. And, of course, within the industry, I just have such incredible mentors. Bob Barnes, my editorial director at Las Vegas, food and beverage professional magazine, you were the one who allowed me to first pursue my dream in food writing and ultimately inspired me to be where I am today. So thank you, Bob. And to the late Mike Fryer, the founder and editor of editor in chief of the magazine stay wrote for you’ve done more for me than you could ever no rest in peace and thank you for all that you have done. To my restaurant partners, Jason and Cointreau Garrett at Crazy Burger. Patrick at Magic Fusion. Debbie at Mr. Frosty been around since 1949. My goodness, just all my incredible restaurant partners. Like you You are my professional family and TastePro nothing without you. Thank you for fighting throughout this pandemic and for doing everything it takes to keep your entrepreneurial dreams alive. We are all in this together and all I can hope to do is to continue to support you and your mission. Where can
Chad Franzen 37:35
people find out more about TastePro?
Ben Brown 37:38
We are available on go tastepro.com We are a mobile enabled websites. We are not accustomed app at this point. But anyone who would like to find out about TastePro just visit go tastepro.com. We are also at TastePro on all social media.
Chad Franzen 37:57
Hey, I really appreciate your time. Ben, you’ve got a great story and a great concept and I wish you all the luck in the world moving forward. Thanks so much. Thank you, Chad. soloing everybody.
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