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Adapting Episode 1: Canlis

Adapting Episode 1: Canlis

Fri, 20 Mar 2020 14:59

The world has changed. Acquired is changing too: we’re taking a pause from our normal episodes. The world doesn’t need stories of M&A and IPOs right now. But it does still need stories of great companies and great leaders. So we’re taking everything that we’ve put into Acquired - our format, our infrastructure, and the way we can reach all of you - and launching Adapting. Adapting is a series all about doing just that -- changing to fit what the world needs right now, not what it needed last week.

Our first episode starts on the front lines of change: the local restaurant industry. Mark Canlis joins us to discuss how the world-renowned Canlis restaurant in Seattle is adapting by simultaneously closing their 70 year old dining room service, and launching three brand new, no-contact concept restaurants in just one week to keep their staff employed and the city fed:

"Pretty quickly we realized that it would be just as risky to do nothing as it would to do something really radical. And if we were gonna live into our values, every once and awhile that’s really going to cost you something."

This conversation is an incredible inspiration to us all, and a reminder of the vast power of the human spirit during challenging times.

Want more Adapting/Acquired? You can join the Acquired Limited Partner program at:

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It's kind of like the word pick six. I don't that just like happened a few years ago and now everybody says it watch now the like ESPN's like pick six, and when it doesn't happen, they're like we can really use a pick six right now. Totally don't know what it's just no one said that 10 years ago. Welcome to season six episode four of acquired the podcast. Ben, I think you're on autopilot. Yeah, sorry, muscle memory. All right, listeners, we are coming to you in a time of enormous change and a pebble. The coronavirus has spread around the world, challenging global health systems, bringing economies to their knees, and changing daily life for everyone seemingly overnight. Given this, it just seems irresponsible to stay business as usual over here and put on our normal acquired episodes free wall. So we're changing acquired for the first time ever, we're taking a pause from normal episodes. The world doesn't need acquired right now. People normally tune in to hear us talk about stories behind great technology companies and what goes into building them, but these are normal times what the world does need right now is stories of great leaders and how they and their organizations are responding to what might be the biggest moment of change we've ever seen. So we're going to take everything that we put into acquired over the years, our format, our infrastructure, and the way we can reach all of you. And we're going to put our full way behind this. So starting today, we're pausing acquired and we are launching adapting. Adapting is a series all about doing just that showing leadership and changing to fit what the world needs right now, not what it needed last week. So with adapting, we're going to take a shallow dive of a more shallow dive at the beginning of each episode into the history of an organization, but our focus is really going to be on the present and on the future, not the past. We also won't be grading adapting requires taking risks and putting yourself out there. And anyone who's doing that right now is forever in a plus in our book. Yeah. Yeah, David. I think we were just talking about this, but I'm excited about this. It just feels right in this moment to do this. Totally. Listeners, we are making some important changes to the acquired community. If you haven't joined our Slack, you can sign up on the acquired website and find all the announcements there. And we're doing some sort of new and pretty cool things in there. If you're not yet a limited partner, now is the time to join. In addition to LP episodes, we are adding a community component to the LP program. So last week, we had our first group Zoom call with everyone who's shut in at home, and it was really fun and therapeutic to get to talk with everyone. So we've decided to make it a regular monthly thing as part of the limited partner program. So we'll be announcing more details on that in the LP show. And in the meantime, you can sign up at slash acquired by clicking the link in the show notes below. And lastly, David and I feel very strongly that money should never be a reason that a single person can't become an acquired LP. So we were talking about this beforehand, especially when introducing this new sort of community hangout component. If you can't afford a subscription, especially as we all respond to this pandemic together. Even if you already are an LP, just shoot us an email, introduce yourself, and we'll take care of you. Yeah, we feel super strongly about this. We want everyone who wants to be part of this community to be able to. So shoot us a note. Yep. Our presenting sponsor for this episode is not a sponsor, but another podcast that we love and want to recommend called the founders podcast. We have seen dozens of tweets that say something like my favorite podcast is acquired and founder. So we knew there's a natural fit. We know the host of founders. Well, David Senra. Hi, David. Hey, Ben. Hey, David. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for having me. I like how the group is together. And then they say it's like the best curriculum for founders and executives. It really is. We use your show for research a lot. I listened to your episode of the story of Akio Maria before we did our Sony episodes. This incredible primer. You know, he's actually a good example of why people listen to founders into acquired. Because all of his great entrepreneurs and investors, they had deep historical knowledge about the work that came before them. So like the founder of Sony, who did he influence? Steve Jobs talked about him over and over again if you do the research. But I think this is one of the reasons why people love both of our shows and there's such good compliments is on acquired. We focus on company histories. You tell the histories of the individual people. You're the people version of acquired and where the company version of founders listeners. The other fun thing to note is David will hit a topic from a bunch of different angles. So I just listened to an episode on Edwin Land from a biography that David did. David, it was the third fourth time you've done Polaroid. I've read five biographies of Edwin Land and I think I've made eight episodes of them because in my opinion, the greatest such a printer to ever do it. My favorite entrepreneur personally is Steve Jobs. And if you go back and listen to like a 20 year old Steve Jobs, he's talking about Edwin Land's my hero. So the reason I did that is because I want to find out like I have my heroes who were their heroes. And the beauty of this is the people may die, but the ideas never do. And so Edwin Land had passed away way before the apex of Apple, but Steve was still able to use those ideas. And now he's gone and we can use those ideas. And so I think what requires doing what a founder trying to do as well is find the best ideas in history and push them down the generations. Make sure they're not lost history. I love that. Well listeners, go check out the founders podcast after this episode. You can search for it in any podcast player. Lots of companies that David covers that we have yet to dive into here on acquired. So for more indulgence on companies and founders, go check it out. Now what is today's episode actually about? Well, we are doing an episode on a topic that we never thought we would do on the show, a local restaurant. But it is so much more than that indeed. And we think our guests' words are very inspiring and super important today. So without further ado, please enjoy our conversation with Mark Canless of Seattle's Canless Restaurant. All right, listeners, most of you are aware that restaurants are among those hit the hardest from our current health crisis. Canless is leading the way in adapting to provide a product in need, delivery food, saving jobs and ensuring the continuation of the business through trying, trying times. Many are asking as a city, country and a global community, can we do this? And as Mark said in the Seattle Times earlier this week, Hell yes, we can do this. And we're going to do it with burgers and bagels. So to introduce Mark Amitabaro, a line or a little bit of Mark's bio from the Canless website because I find the pros just poetic. Mark Canless is the second of three sons. He grew up in a restaurant family. He joined Canless in 2003 after graduating from Cornell University and serving as a captain in Air Force Special Operations. He met his wife Ann Marie, well-opening famed restaurant tour Danny Myers fifth restaurant, Blue Smoke in Manhattan. Returning to Seattle, Mark spearheaded the generational transfer and brand modernization that has garnered the family business national acclaim as one of the finest restaurants in America. He now owns and operates Canless with his brother, Brian. He and Ann Marie reside on Queen Anne with their three children. And as for Canless food and wine magazine has called it one of the 40 most important restaurants in the last 40 years, they have received 22 consecutive wine spectator grand awards and been nominated for 15 James Beard Awards and one three of them. Welcome Mark. Thank you. Good to be here. Also the luxury of when you write your own bio, you can kind of make yourself sound good. I hope I haven't inflated that in any way, but but thank you. I was going to say the most important thing for Ben and for me is I know both of us have had many special memories at Canless. So thank you guys. No, I'm honored to be on the show. All right, David, take us in. History and facts. Yeah, well, so for anybody of our listeners who are in the Seattle area and probably many who even many who aren't. You already know a lot about Canless. But Mark, can you give us a little bit of the history? I mean, it's a very, very special place. This isn't just another restaurant. Maybe can you go back and talk about your grandfather's story and Hawaii and Pearl Harbor? Sure. You know, we, yeah, we're going to go all the way back. I run this restaurant with my brother, Brian. And we very much feel like this is the tale of a couple different grandfather's. It's of the malgamation of four generations of canlessers doing restaurants are great grandfather, quick for Teddy Roosevelt after his presidency on an African safari. I was picked up at a hotel in Egypt and invited to come along and be a steward on that whole thing for a year and a half. So really, it starts there. He and my great grandmother would come to the United States somewhere in 1909, 1910. They started a restaurant in Stockton, California at that time and had a bunch of kids. One of them Peter Canless started this restaurant in Canless in 1950. So that was my grandfather. He would pass away in the 70s and my mom and dad ran this for 30 years. Brian and I have not been doing it since 2003. And in so many ways, we feel like we're just getting hang of it. So slow learners. But you know, more or less 100 years of trying to cook for people. There's a pretty cool military history with the restaurant and starting with Peter too, right? Yeah, so then on the other side of the family are a whole bunch of folks who have served in the armed forces. And that is just continues to be something that we're really proud of in this family and something that we've many of us have chosen to do and represent. I think some of the sweetest years, at least for my own life. And I would say that the same is true from my dad and my grandfather and my brother. So I was in the Air Force. So with Brian, dad was the Navy. And grandfather was a Marine for 43 years. I don't think you can do that anymore. But back then you could and so we have. Yeah, that's just been a part of our family story and to be completely honest, a very large influence on the way that we lead. You'd last, you know, yesterday we're running this crazy drive through with cars everywhere shut down traffic and I get a phone call and I have hearing it so that the thing just comes like straight into my head as if like the phone is ringing in your brain. So I just answered it because I thought it was our our road team. And it was the kernel that I worked for, you know, 25 years ago, and I'm just a criminal and a man that just had such remarkable influence on the way that I lead and it was random. I haven't talked in years and I was a criminal in no way. I've been talking about you to everyone because I in so many ways I feel like you prepared me for this. And not just a it's not about adapting your company, but the leadership, I think. The way the military teaches you to prize your people is just, you know, I just learned so much in my time and service. So that was that's just been a gift to us. That's great. So the first iteration of Canless the Restaurant was on Honolulu, grew out of the USO after Pearl Harbor, right? You know, he left the place and stalked and he'd grown up there and he wanted nothing to do with restaurants. So what the way his parents were doing, he ends up in Hawaii. He's still in dry goods when Pearl Harbor happens. He remembers zeros flying over. He was playing tennis in the morning. Like everybody, like so many people in Honolulu at the time they can all head to the base and tried to do what they could. My grandfather had quite a healthy self esteem, just code for, you know, he sounds like an entrepreneur. Yeah, there you go. That's the thank you. Yeah, that's a nice euphemism for a head of large ego. And at some point he finds himself talking a lot of smack inside the USO about the quality of the food. The chef gets so upset that it cannot throw us a tout on him says you need to do a better job. You know, you try it, which of course he does. And by the end of the world, he's running all of the food on base for the USO. It's about kind of between 3,000 and 5,000 meals. So maybe in some way this drive through is us getting back to our sort of, I don't know, high volume of roots, if you will, but. But that's what happened. And then right after the war opened a restaurant on a beach that was a little less known before the war and certainly then before now called Waikiki. So he had that restaurant in 1947, it was called the boiler and then he came to Seattle in 1950. And Mark, just a context set for our listeners a little bit when you say getting back to our high volume roots for folks not from Seattle canless is fine, fine dining. What does normal volume look like and what is the adapted volume look like? I don't know, I feel like I live in a bubble and I don't really understand the real restaurant business, but in the world of. Okay, so let's just try to understand fine dining for a second because I think it's a funny term. We consider fine dining just to be the most considered form of caring for somebody with food and hospitality. It's like, so for us, we're considered to be a massive fine dining restaurant in the world of fine dining, you know, 12 to 15 tables is pretty standard. We have 33. But on a busy night, the most guest we can serve is somewhere around 150 to 200. I have 115 employees to make that happen. So we are a model of inefficiency and that's just six dinners a week. That's all we're doing. So I say that like because I just want people to know just exactly like and not open for breakfast, not open for lunch. No, no, no, no, no, yeah, 115 people to figure out dinner. And there's always if not maybe there's like a couple hours a day where there's someone not there, but when you talk about that 115 people, it's like 2 a.m. to bake bread or something all the way from hours. So it's 20, it takes us 20 hours to open for what is essentially five hours of dinner time service. So a lot of prep obviously goes into that and yeah, sure, you're baking bread and setting things up sometimes to take a couple days to make. But today we served you know, about 1200 people through the drive through we served about I don't know, somewhere there were range of 300 people for breakfast tonight. We'll send a couple hundred dinners out for delivery. So it's a much different impact for us. And we're not exactly set up for it. So we're trying to figure that out as we go. But today was a day rest for us. It felt so every day this week we've opened a new restaurant concept. We started on Monday with the drive through Tuesday we added bagels and yesterday we added at home delivery. So today we were just sort of refining some of those systems again and was kind of nice just to just to run them and see how we could tweak. So let's get right into you know, this show is adapting. It's now 70 years that your family has run canless fine dining and in two weeks really since you started planning you've thrown that out the window and now you're doing these three different things like can you walk us through when was the moment you realize that this was going to happen and you needed to change. So a couple weeks ago now my wife and I were in New York City doing something for the James beard awards and we got the news that Seattle had its first case. And we went back to the hotel and sort of talking through like you know this things coming it's here. It's here in Seattle. And what does that mean you was mean for our family was mean for not just our marriage and our own children but our extended family of parents are in their 70s. And what does it mean for for the restaurant family for the staff and a couple days later back at home we had a meeting as a team and we just said, you guys let's let's really think through this a little bit while we were having that meeting. So we had a King County or governor I can't remember who it was but someone official announced that this live stream and kind of came on and said it is much bigger deal than we thought. And you know it's like at first you just kind of have it's like the sucker punch system you've got the wind taken out of you a little bit and then pretty quickly we realized that it would be just as risky to do nothing as it would to do something really radical. If we were if we were going to live into our values. Then you know every once in a while that really is probably going to cost you something and in this way it was going to cost shutting down what we still a profitable business for the unknown of opening up three new ones and the only the reason we're doing three is because again it just took that many ideas to get all of my staff up to having all the hours it would have normally had and that was the goal here so. We started with the drive through for those that don't know we're finding restaurant looking this direction but if you turn around we're on a really busy road you know and that's not ideal no one would plan that out these days. But we just said okay what do we have like what what starting with what do we have to be thankful for and then what assets are out of disposal here if we if we started from scratch. How would we play this and we were I remember watching the live stream we're all sort of huddled on the couch there the team there's seven of us on this is all in the first in this meeting this is like in the meeting and we do these like three hour off sites and we go to one of the somebody's homes we can like kind of feel what it's like to be welcome into their home personally so we're sitting on Marin sofa and which is not set them person sofa it's like a three or four person sofa we're all kind of like huddled and watching. And yeah I think it just it just hit us that like the game is an up like wait a second this isn't over this is just beginning and I think we'd all gone in with the sentiment of helplessness if we're honest maybe hopelessness I think there was a feeling of okay I got a bat in the hatches I got a punker down I got a you know and protect yeah protect and that's a lot of things. And that's a lousy strategy in a lot of things soccer being one of them like you see it in sports all the time when when when an entire team sort of switches the defense and loses their offense like suddenly you're like ah don't do that wait a minute like keep playing your game and for us we're like if we're going to keep playing our game we just need to admit that the game changed and the game now currently today this is two weeks ago was no one understands the six foot rule and no one understands what is so actually socially acceptable we don't understand if we should be shutting down schools and public places or if that is you know building a fear that right so this is happening so quickly but so we just said well today is what we know at that moment that like the game had changed we just got the sense that it was going to yeah it hadn't yet but it was like the writing is on the wall and nobody wanted to actually say that out loud but it felt that way a couple of weeks ago and so well I can tell you from the outside the way it sort of felt is you made a more drastic move earlier than most places like I think in the next week a lot of places started trying to figure out what does it mean for us to do delivery but I will say from the outside the way it looked was and frankly part of what inspired David and I for this was oh my God that was decisive and that was severe and extreme and risky like you you guys so I can take credit for that let me tell you where a lot of that credit belongs first off we have an incredible board of directors and some advisors who are just remarkable Saudi board for us both of our wives were really key into sort of speaking into how we are how we how we were perceiving the world and I think in this time it was a time of just great perception trying to understand and make sense of what we were hearing how it pertained to us and our team but really when we launched this with the executive team we said you know this thing could work I think it's just a chance to say there's a chance the boat is taking on water and there's a chance it might sink and also there's a chance is a life boat on the end will someone just go to the end of the ship and see if there's a life boat if that's kind of what that meeting felt like and somebody came back and said you know as turn it out there is a life boat on the bag of the ship like we could all get in it right and so I was like huh so we sat on that as a team for about 24 hours I the next I think that today's later I was having dinner with our staff and we're all sitting around having family meal talking this through and I just said you guys I let me just tell you where my head's at I'm scared to tell you because I don't know what it means but this is what we're thinking about as a team and it would mean all of you need to re volunteer to work here they would mean all of you choosing to be in a position choosing not to be laid off or temporarily furloughed choosing to actually continue to do this thing and would any of you be interested and not only that group of sort of five or six of us sitting around the table but the next night in a staff meeting announcing it to the entire team. This is up to you and you don't have to do this and every one of them saying we're in you know put me in a position and I think that was just such a boost of encouragement to us is like if you guys are in war and let's do this right you had like that sort of sentiment to it was like okay why not and I think at some point you say to yourself in any time of crisis if I have the ability to help why am I not doing it and that is what it felt like to us it felt like this could be an encouragement to the city it was clearly an encouragement to the staff and it was for us just a way through a way that and untested untried way but I don't know we know we gave it a world that's awesome cool so I want to talk in a in a sack about communication and language and the language you guys using I've always used but this particularly now is really inspiring but before we get to that can we go back to the three concepts you guys are doing breakfast the big olshed drive through lunch and then delivery for dinner where did they come from there's also a fourth concept coming which I'm super stoked about but yeah I can kind of walk you through all three of those the first one was the drive through we saw that as being the biggest revenue generator we have a ridiculous minor labor here it's it's the most expensive thing and we knew that's one of these concepts had to actually work and so we just geographically if you understand the way this restaurant works you can pull right off of the street right under our pork your share you can stay in your car and you can roll right on down the driveway and it was like that's what we knew we needed that the cleanliness there the ability to not have any contact with the guest but still sort of be facing them and so yeah we were embracing our inner drive through as a fine dining restaurant it was just like yeah this is us come on let's just let it out of the bag and chef can cook a remarkable burger and we've always jokes about doing this sort of traditional salivars the camera salad is to go item and like that why not like let's just do burgers and ice cream sandwiches and salad to go it's like like I don't know sometimes that's all you need can you talk about average ticket price for each of these three concepts and what's what how that was $40 so you know what we have designed this thing not to make money I think it's a little bit weird to be pro let's see this is tricky this is tricky thing I don't think there's any unethical anything unethical about making money in this time I in a certain sense we have a duty to do so but mostly as a means of protecting the staff and to be clear I don't I do only four days in I don't know if we are that's to say the bigot concepts clearly does not make money it's labor intensive we don't have the equipment to scale that in any way such that we could we could move that to be a profitable business we could raise the prices but that just feels dirty so the point again is to keep you employed so with burgers we probably make a little extra with bagels were definitely losing with dinner as we scale that up that'll be profitable and somehow if we can get to break even even from the onset that's what that's what the goal was was like it'd be amazing if for the next three months canless could not lose money I think that'll posture us really well coming out of this thing on the other side and and I do think of it as a few months not just a few weeks so yeah bagels came out of the idea of four we're gonna be really busy for lunch our expediter happens to be this incredible woman from the lower east side of Manhattan she's a baker and and she makes a ridiculous bagel and chef is from Brooklyn and he would have she was like that's the best bagel I've had in New York City or in Seattle we happen to have a bread oven and a shipping container and it was like a no brainer so we just opened the bagel shed and we're doing you know everything bagels with fried eggs and homemade sausage and cheese and can you sell the bagels as an add-on to dinner for like breakfast at home the next morning what we said never a good idea we sell out of bagels in under an hour so it's a full-time crew of eight making these things and it lasts that whole idea lasts an hour so we actually thought about intentionally slowing the line so that because again the the idea is to keep everyone employed here but but no we've been blown through them too greatly so we're right now we're looking at taking over another bakery that is closed and maybe we can use their space and cascade a bit higher so I did see something is like you did some message on your website this morning like unfortunately bagels are sold out as of 837 am yeah yeah they make going nuts so the last concept of just doing family meal at home you know we cook an amazing family meal for the staff that's the meal that twice a day chef prepares for our team and we always joke about like one of the best restaurants in the city actually being canless as family meal like it's so good the pastry chef is making cobblers and the bartenders are like making homemade sodas and chef is like hey this is my mama's meat loaf and this is like enchilada from Nikos and Pratchin prepping all day and it's so good and it kind of kills us that the rest of the city doesn't get to see what these guys are capable of outside of fine dining and so we just thought okay well that's a no-brainer like why don't we just keep making family meal we don't need a big menu delivery is tough to figure out and making a transition like this I think if you can keep it simple you should and so we offer one thing a night the very first night it was Cassila because we had all these dry-aged ducks are like what are we going to do with ducks and more arrive a farm saying are you going to take delivery of ducks going forward and we get a way to say yes so tonight it is a rabbit pop pie and glazed carrots and it's ahead of her lunch it's insane it's so so good so we just thought shoot we can bake all that stuff here pack it up throw a bottle of wine in it and my servers who used to take food from the kitchen to the table or not just taking it to the parking lot and right on down the way so it keeps them employed and it keeps my kitchen cooking all night long and it's kind of fun that's so cool how technically how did you make that happen you guys adapted you been on talk the reservation and ticketing system for a while how did you do you work with talk to make this happening guys talk were awesome we called them early on and we're like we have this crazy idea and we're actually trying to like the system it's so talk is a reservation system for those that don't know and that those guys are awesome and we're trying to see we can work the reservation system into a delivery system and we just about figured out and they they call like you guys stop it hold on a second we can we can do this give us five minutes five minutes later they call back and they said we stood our company down we're turning it back on we just called everybody in there in Chicago and we're just going to work on this so you have the platform and they cranked it out working around the clock for a couple of days and we were able to launch that is a mechanism that any restaurant in the country look now everybody can do drive through it's just the physicality of it is the locations in the work but any restaurant the company could do delivery and now that we've got the software for it it's just it's it's not you know overtly tricky can you talk through any restaurant the country can do delivery I'm sure there's a lot of folks that that own restaurants that are listening to this what does that take it takes low it guts in it takes just that kind of good old fashioned restaurant scrappiness that every restaurant to our already has if you're in this business I guarantee you have what it takes because it's just it's just the same thing it takes to run a restaurant it's it's that it's a little bit of the willpower just to make it happen that's I think what all of us are going through so all we did was figure out a menu and we launched a website so someone that knows what to do on the internet that's not me but our design team to rub a little logo which is not necessary we threw a little splash page on top of which is also not necessary you could just post on Instagram having to switch to delivery so appreciate you supporting us doing this you can do various versions of it are as pretty fancy our servers have it all on their phones they get the maps they get the texts we can do drop-offs no contact drop-offs we can do alcohol again talk about all that possible but you can keep it really simple I mean it takes ordering some boxes and some to-go containers coming up with one thing that holds hot really well and letting your constituency know tonight's a great night for takeout so yeah we sold out three nights worth of takeout in about 90 minutes Wow one question that I have that I'd be remiss if I didn't ask now give a little context for listeners so canless is innovative not just in the way that over the last 60 70 years you guys have changed fine dining which we haven't talked about on this episode but Mark's given some great talks that that you can sort of read about and the evolution of fine dining and canless is rolling it but also in doing these wild experiments that you would not expect the finest dining in the city to also have a shake shack pop up in the parking lot before there was a shake shack or you would not have expected why would you can we uncover that a little bit do you mind if you dig into why you wouldn't expect to find dining restaurants to do that yeah definitely one of the reasons I think this transition has been possible for us is that we practice this kind of thing and by that I don't just mean events in our parking lot I mean if you want to be a restaurant that is around let alone relevance or germane to the conversation you're doing a fair amount of this every year anyway people always ask for I don't know how come you guys have an open a second restaurant like oh you just don't know it but we open a second restaurant about every 18 months I would say that's how often the systems inside of canless are changing and those are being rewritten by new employees and employees that have been here 20 years the idea is that there's probably a better way to do it than the way that we're doing it we just kind of believe that and so I think if you want to matter you need to earn that right and to earn it you've got to be working all the time and opening a restaurant that's really good and tonight we're good tomorrow will be better and that's not news to anyone I think what happens I that's to say that's not a strategy that no one's heard before if you're in business you get it right and maybe thank you to the Japanese who made that a really popular concept you know in the late 80s and 90s but like we're all sort of thinking that way what happens is it's really easy to get lazy it's really easy to start to devalue that as the thing is working and of course if you if you go too far that maybe you're undoing things that still had a a usable lifespan inside of them right so you hate to take a system down that would have been amazing for the next you know foreseeable future so that takes a little I don't know sorting through you got to be careful there but we're welcome to business and so it's a delegate now so and less listeners think that you know we're just talking about a one time thing opening up a shake shot I like I went to your restaurant last summer I want to say restaurant I mean parking lot for the Hawaiian nights luau and where listeners it's the largest hot tub you've ever seen it's time for a few long it's and it's up on like a second story deck overlooking like you guys opened a little pizza shop and like a multi-story like hey I want to swim up bar which we which we I think we created and then we also had so we built a couple of teaky huts and heads yeah yeah is the story is am I right you bought the swimming pool on Amazon? Well no so for we'd like to test things out on staff parties and the goal of a staff party is to throw one that the staff would willingly come to if they had no association with the restaurant right so you just said look you guys it's a true day off or it's a true night off like do whatever you want and also we're going to be throwing this party over here and it's like totally like no expectation come only let me just talk about it and so anyway yeah at some point we were throwing a little out oh yeah we had covered the parking lot and sod because we're like it's not cool to throw party to parking lot and cement and wouldn't be close grass so we saw the thing over and we threw a volleyball party made a pig roasting and somebody said at some point well every little out needs a beach so we like brought in sand and then I went on Amazon I'm like no way you can buy a pool for like $2,000 well that's cheaper than you know in the world of staff parties the stuff adds up quickly so anyway bought a pool and we filled it up and then it just kind of like went from there so then that was a really successful party and we were thinking about fun things we could do over the summer and we thought well why don't we just throw the staff party for the city and honestly you guys I thought like a few hundred people would come like who goes to a parking lot to find any restaurant to hang out in a background pool right it's yeah like 1200 people came in night like it was nuts and all of them waited an hour or two to get in so that caught us by surprise a little bit but it was also a ton of fun I mean DJ on top of a shipping container and underneath your bacon the best pizzas and roasting pigs and I don't know what I have another but it was it was tons of fun so we do like to just sort of think through these things and and I think it's a little bit of good exercise like just because we're finding doesn't mean we're not thinking of 99 other ideas to do and to us it's kind of like the formula one version of putting out a sedan it's like why don't we go push this as far as we can see what happens and every one of these projects finds a Twitter back under our video every one of these projects influences what we believe about hospitality and you need that stuff you need to be inspired by people you need to be inspired by it yeah so as we start to wind down here that's that's the question on my mind is I know it's only been four days but of the three restaurants you talked about and and forth that will keep under wraps for now what do you think might make its way into canless when we live in a normal world again here's what I hope makes its way into canless I hope that what comes out of this is a visceral reminder of how alike we all are and if there's anything that I think we've learned so far it's that our understanding of the human spirit is limited at best and it's only when when you come to me and say Mark I think you got this man and why reflect that back to you and say look then you got this right like that that's that's what happens something really powerful happens there and the whole mission of this company which is I know really weird mission but it's it's to inspire people to turn toward one another and when we saw the disease spreading and I am not talking about COVID-19 I am talking about the amount of fear the amount of discouragement when we saw that spreading and often for really good reason is it not these are not insignificant days this is a good overused but good word this is unprecedented for the entire world to go through something together where no one gets to say yeah doesn't apply to me right when something like that happens I think we have a responsibility to remind ourselves of the truth and the truth is we don't know what we're capable of we the Camelos team we the city of Seattle we the United States America we the citizens of this rock that we're floating around on and I hope that we understand that better on the other side of this thing and that's what we're learning that's what we're learning that's what we're learning inside this building I don't know if we'll we might not be able to do this tomorrow maybe this will go for months I don't know but every day I tell the team I was like hey look you're going to want to go home and crawl under your covers and reach your phone and it is important to do so but when you wake up the next morning you go outside you physically go outside of your house your apartment you look up at the sky and ask yourself the question is it still up there did it fall you know it's still up there you can be thankful for that and you start with what you're thankful with you say all right the sky did not fall contrary the way I feel having mental headlines it's still up there I hear a bird tweeting I see a neighbor walking down the street you know what let's start with what we have let's go from there and let's ask ourselves a question if this is what I have what can I do with it and I don't know maybe what we get at this whole thing is that as a discipline as a practice as a reminder that I don't know maybe that's a reminder that we need right now I think it's a reminder that I needed I think it's a reminder that my team needed and I wish you could feel the difference inside this place before and after we made this decision before it was a feeling of helplessness and after it was a feeling of hope before it was a feeling that the overwhelming weight of this thing was too much and after it was the understanding that I had a role to play and that even just enduring even just enduring a little bit might be my role and I think when we tell those stories then we start to remind ourselves the truth of who we are as people and that's pretty cool that's why we wrote on that website we got this Seattle it was the most poignant way I could say to a city that needed to hear it we are capable of making it through well I cannot think of a single better way to leave leave this episode and leave our very first episode of adapted and with that line so Mark thank you so much thanks for thanks for having me on the show anything else you want to tell listeners or tell them you know where they should go get some great food I do want to tell listeners something yeah I think they have the ability even though it doesn't feel this way to make a difference what we've been talking about here is my restaurant you know what you don't have you don't have my restaurant and you probably don't have a restaurant to dismiss this as someone else's story in a city that you don't live in I think would be a great what would make me sad I think to hear this and to know that if we're crazy enough to give this a world maybe you know maybe some year crazy is okay too and I hope it gives them permission to think optimistically I hope it gives them permission to smile at a neighbor keep it six feet away I don't care you can still smile at them and so that's not insignificant it's important and it's going to take all of us remembering that about ourselves remembering that that is who we are so this is a story about our country and and largely this is a story about well beyond our borders and how like we all really are so that's all I got to say man let's all go do not exactly what you're doing but do what we all can to you're welcome to open to try it there I'm that is that I think competition only makes us better but but you're gonna have some steep competition the burgers are pretty good well my it is it is on my calendar to come tomorrow morning I think hopefully around 7 7 30 to the the bagel shed and pick one up so it's right on through I love to see here thanks so much Mark listeners we'll catch you for the next one thanks thanks see you next time