Travel, investment portfolios and Five Guys Burger and Fries: Hear it all from Ed!

Ed Pizzarello oversees an investment portfolio of promising startups and a stable of restaurants from the popular chain Five Guys Burgers and Fries.  You can also find him talking travel as the host of the  Miles to Go podcast and writing about all things travel at Pizza in Motion.


On Friday, May 28 our CEO, Claire Coder, interviewed Ed and asked him about his knowledge and expertise on travel and business management. The video of this interview has been edited and posted online on Claire’s Linkedin page. Below is a transcription of the interview. 



[CLAIRE]  Ed, welcome to Clarifications. So glad to have you.

[ED] Hey, thanks for having me on.

[CLAIRE] So, I'm reading your bio, you've done so much. It's really impressive that you’ve pared it down to three sentences because you're an investor, you run a few Five Guys Burgers and Fries. You have your own podcast, your last name’s pizza!

Every person in business is facing challenges. What has been your shoulder shrug, facepalm, hand thrown in the air moments as of recently?

[ED] I think that there's an element of humanity to what we're dealing with right now that a lot of people aren't really internalizing. We get away from the fact that we're all still human beings and on the restaurant side of things shortly after, you know, what we call the end of the world happened in March, we had a person who, we're not a hundred percent sure, but we think they were probably homeless, came into the store and asked for a glass of water and it's not the first request we've ever gotten and it's not something that we'd say no to it's Vegas generally speaking usually pretty warm there and it's a glass of water and we're humans and we had a protocol in place at that point where anytime somebody touched our soda machine, anybody, any customer, any employee, we would sanitize it afterward.

We had a sanitizing wipes solution. We wanted to make sure it was safe for everyone. Well, this person came in and got a cup of water and another customer started screaming because they were concerned they were now going to catch COVID because somebody who they thought was homeless was getting a glass of water and they wanted us to throw them out and we didn't, and I think it was a really good, you know, gotcha, take a breath moment of hey, you know like we're still humans here and we all have fear but we've got to find a way to navigate this.

[CLAIRE] I'm glad that you're bringing up the human element of this. I've heard a lot of folks talk about stories of others. And Ed, I’m so appreciative that you're sharing some of your own stories. I’m curious. How do you manage? Like, what are tactical things, if at all, that you do when you're having these facepalm, hands up in the air moments?

[ED] Yeah, and I'm not going to go like full Feng shui on you with like chanting and all that stuff.

[CLAIRE] Is this part of it?

[ED] No not for me. I know that works for some people. Honestly, this is going to sound a little bit old school, as the days started to get crazy, I actually went back to the old yellow pad. And I said what I'm going to do is as the day went on there were so many things that were coming in and I use a number of great to-do lists and trackers but I needed that visual element. So as the day went on I listed everything that we needed a new solution to. I then had to take those lists and segment them and say, hey, you know, other folks on my team, Erin, Mike whoever, “Hey, here's a new list we have to figure out.” 

[CLAIRE] You span a lot of different industries. What are we not talking about that we should be talking about?

[ED] Innovation is really going to lead us here. And I think people are shying away from some of what I think are some of the most innovative solutions to fix certain problems and I'll use travel for just a second. You know, there are some unbelievable technologies out there that involve ultraviolet light or electrostatic sprayers all these things and they're things that can give people confidence and comfort if they're traveling again. You know our daughter had a birthday recently and we had this calamity of like well, how are you supposed to ever blow the candles out on a cake again? When's that going to be okay for somebody else to want a piece of that cake? So you think of all these things. The folks that will survive here are the folks that are innovating on a daily basis.

By: Ally Williams

[CLAIRE] So Ed, my favorite part of this show. I need one misconception that you want to CLARIFY.

[ED] People have this misconception that they're going to be able to do things differently. We have to get back to the commerce of the way our world works. But, we have to do it in a way that's safe. The biggest misconception I see right now is people thinking that they can solve this on their own. The only way we're going to fix this is if we figure out how to work together. It's just, there's no other way. You have a lot of stuff. Where can we find you? All right, so you can find the travel stuff here. You can find the burger stuff here. And you can find the investing stuff here.