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Mister Beacon Episode #91

Beacons & Food

May 13, 2019

We have all experienced the annoyance of a waiter that has disappeared, whether it’s because you need menus, you’ve been waiting to place your order, and especially when you are in a rush to pay your bill. Rene Batsford, CEO andFounder of OrderPay, realized that ordering and paying haven’t really changed for 20 years and there was an opportunity to enhance operational effectiveness that ultimately results in happier customers. OrderPays aims to provide ‘a simple and seamless way to deliver at table ordering and payment” to simplify life in hospitality. In this episode, we talk to Rene about the competing technologies in this space, and what he sees as a ‘panacea’, one technology enabling many different use cases in the consumer journey.


  • Narration 0:07

    The Mr. Beacon podcast is sponsored by Wiliot, scaling IoT with battery free Bluetooth.

    Steve Statler 0:13

    All right, welcome to the Mr. Beacon Podcast. I'm talking to Rene Batsford, who is the CEO and founder, founder, co founder of Chick fil A. So welcome to the show.

    Rene Batsford 0:29

    Thank you for having me.

    Steve Statler 0:31

    Yeah. So Rene, I've been looking forward to this discussion, because you are tackling one of the most difficult areas of where, where physical and digital come together that the kind of the, the ordering the payment experience. And I, every time I go out, which is not super often, but I am so frustrated by how stuck in the dark ages we are. And it seems like you're taking on something that many, many people have failed. And actually, in the beacon technologies book, I wrote a book, a chapter on payments, and I use this image from Afghanistan, which is probably tasteless, but I chose it because this is kind of a place where people have tried to conquer and and failed repeatedly, but it sort of draws draws ambitious people in repeatedly. So tell us a little bit about what you're working on there. And then we'll then we'll get into the psychology of, of why you decided to sign up for such a difficult task.

    Rene Batsford 1:39

    Okay. So yeah, so I phone check for after leaving, I left McDonald's, I was working for McDonald's as innovation lead. And I guess, again, a lot of companies are kind of, I suppose born out of frustration, in terms of you're trying to kind of improve something or tackle a particular problem. And yeah, in summary, that's kind of where check for came from check for really was about that we know, there's this growing demographic, which are glued to their phones, like we all are, how can you simplify and make your life easy from a hospitality standpoint, and really not just not just approach it is in a singular way. So from a singular user journey, but but multiple different sort of user journeys. And what I mean by that is, I call it the kind of path to purchase. So a lot of people will attack this kind of, kind of service offering individually. So you know, looking at, oh, let's use QR codes, or let's use NFC for, you know, one user journey, and then we'll use something else, and you kind of start to step back and think well hang on, how confusing is that going to be for a customer, because the hardest one, the hardest things to do is to educate customers. And if you're having to pour a lot of time and effort into doing that, then it just stifles the whole process. So what I really wanted to do is to create a kind of almost the ideal kind of panacea for to say, one type of engagement. And, and, you know, you know, the kind of the technology piece tightly takes care of it, the whole the whole thing. So, so, so I suppose I'm probably to quite badly, but what I'm trying to explain is that, rather than having loads of different types of technology, interfacing with the customer, just have one, and it will work across all the different use cases. And the use cases that are not being from marketing lead, the use case is being a utility. And I just felt that, you know, I've done some, we've done some trials in the past, not on McDonald's in a previous life, using beacons for marketing and push messaging, and you get to that point where you go, if you're spamming people, they're just going to switch it off. Yeah. So it'd be something where how could a beacon technology enable a user journey, and you know, cetera, et cetera. And that's kind of really where we're kind of check for comes in. So check for is really about onboarding the customer. And also onboarding the customer and then also basically at flush, so there's several points so onboarding, where you approach the restaurant so typically, you'd people use that for geo geofencing geofencing is okay but there's a degree of kind of drift in that like, you know, if you're going in a car you're fine or hang on I'm going round around about I've gone off that the wrong we're making the right down to the concept to me, it's they can be very precise. And then also So in our use case, just making it easy to check into a table, so a lot of restaurants and hospitality, locations, obviously have service. And you know, we've all been there where you get to a restaurant and you've got a wait to be sat down, or you've got a wait for your menus. So I kind of I was actually in a restaurant Monday, and I kind of sat there and I thought, I'm gonna get my stopwatch out, you know, and I've worked in hospitality for like, 25 years. So I had a very good idea of what this idea that was emerging from my head would do. But actually, I just wanted to just sit there and just analyze them for a whole day I was in kind of a restaurant, and I actually went to other restaurants, and I was just measuring the time it took, and all the interactions between service staff, and customers, and thought to themselves, you know, what this, this, you could actually reduce the time it's taken for a customer to get service. So from the point of entry, from the point of getting seated from the point of getting a menu, from the point of ordering, from the point of paying, and also this whole, there's this whole kind of thing around. I think Amazon kind of really attacked it really well, which was, and I use this as an analogy where, like Amazon Prime, right, so if you order something on Amazon Prime, and then later on in the day, you think, oh, we should all do the other thing as well, you don't bother because you go, you know, you can order, you know, you can order you know something, and then you think well, I'm just going to order again. So it's immediately pops into my head. And that analogy I've used for things like so if you're in a restaurant, for instance, typically, you're going with the notion of going well, I'm probably going to have a starch, I'm probably going to have a main I'm not quite sure about dessert, if I've got space, right? So for me, it was like, well, what's the problem in ordering and paying? Why do you need to tap and immediately it was like, bingo, you know, actually order pay, which is that new check for brand that we're launching. That is is kind of where it's at, really. So rather than kind of doing the pain of peace at the end, if you onboard the customer in the right way, check them into they can do effectively self checking or auto check into a table, then actually ordering and paying upfront makes complete sense. Because you're done right? So you go actually, no, I don't want to desert, I'm just going to leave now you can just leave. Because you know, the restaurant knows you've ordered and you know, you've paid job done. And it just kind of just collapses that whole elongated process. And, again, if you go into a traditional restaurant, which doesn't have our technology, you'll see that it's like, you know, like I said, I go to the restaurant, I get I asked or wait to be seated, I'm seated. They then bring the menus over, and then then come back and ask me do it on anything to drink, then come back and say what do I want or don't mind? You know, it's just I mean, this is, this is cost. And this is time a particularly if you're someone who's the customer's time, poor, you know, I, you may want, you might you might want to go off to see a movie or you need to be somewhere and it just makes the whole kind of process far more efficient, in my view. And it's not about reduce removing, because a lot of the time a lot of people say oh, is it going to mean that you're going to lose service staff? No, because not everyone's going to use this process. But the more people who use it, it means that the more efficient the restaurant is, or the quick service rests, I'll give you a few other use cases, the more efficient it becomes. And then that means you can put staff elsewhere so you can put more stuff in the kitchen. So what it means that the whole process is more efficient, you know, the turnover of the cover of the tables is more efficient. And you know, getting orders to the kitchen is more efficient, because it's just going straight from your phone straight to the kitchen. So anyway, so that was a bit of a long.

    Steve Statler 8:56

    No, it was great. I mean, you were interviewing yourself. i My work is done. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. No, no, I there's more questions to ask. But just to kind of recap. So what you're doing is you're enabling a mobile app that will streamline and feel free to stop me and contradict. So that will streamline the the order experience the payment experience. So there's basically less waiting around. It's just so frustrating. I actually quite often I go into a restaurant, and the service will be really good at some point maybe you get seated fast are they do a great job with the order, or they'll allow you to pay quickly but it's so rare for them to do all three of those things very well. And July, as you say, you gotta go to a movie, you're gonna get back to work. It's like and you end up going from being delighted to just fuming And the ironic thing is, this is costing everyone money it's costing, it's costing the server tips because you're like really frustrated. It's costing the rest of on table turns, they're not getting people in and out. So. So

    Rene Batsford 10:06

    more importantly is costing the customer. Again, it might it's, it can be frustrating. And as you say, particularly hospitality with the churn it, you know that efficiency is important, but also consistency. So and also the other thing as well is if you are a regular customer to that brand, and you know what you like, you're going through that it's almost like, you kiss like Groundhog Day, you're going through the same process again and again and again, every single day. Because you're saying, This is what I like, this is what I like, we're actually, you know, the application knows what you like, because you're the one who programs it. Yeah. And actually, you can then use that data to more effectively upsell. And you can also use the data to provide recommendations as well. And one of the things we're working on is things allergens, that's quite a big thing. So making sure that you can just filter your allergens, so you don't have to worry about that. Yeah, so all of these things, you know, so I'm literally going in checking in automatically to the table, transmitting my older straight to the kitchen, and the server just need to bring the audit to me. So that that whole model, just, as you said, it just, you benefit overall, everyone benefits from that model. So the approach we've we've took is, you know, that the components are the beacon technology, the ability to deploy beacons, you know, beneath tables, that's what we're doing. Again, there's also opportunities to look at if could we put it into other areas, we're also looking at, not just table service, so I alluded to that earlier. So it could be drive thru. Right, so now you're in your car, and your phones, just find your order straight to that drive thru kiosk, you haven't even went in your window. There's order ahead, as well. And, and also sort of like, sort of pick and pay. So it might be in a kind of a quick service place where you've actually got some product, maybe on a in a Lango in a fridge, and there's there's you know, might be a brew, drink somewhere else. So basically, you could then add those orders to your cart. It's a bit kind of like, you know, Amazon had done this, Amazon Go Amazon Go Academy where it's like a shopping experience. But again, you could just do that as well. So, you know, we integrate directly with the POS system. So again, it's almost like a cue list. It's a cue list experience, you know, just add the order, add the orders, add the product to your basket, pay, Marshall stood, there we go. So So and that's all can all be kind of very well managed through the port by using the fact that our beacons are registered with our SDK. Our SDK, if you are a brand can be deployed within your application. And that's what we've done both. So it's really about how can we nail that user experience for brands who have struggled to do that? So what why would they pour loads of money into that when there's potentially people like us bringing this sort of product set to the market?

    Steve Statler 13:18

    And so how far have you got with with doing this noble work?

    Rene Batsford 13:23

    So So we're, we're here where we're kind of live.

    Steve Statler 13:28

    So it's been, you're in a restaurant at the moment, I'm talking to you. Yeah.

    Rene Batsford 13:32

    We're now on at flagship restaurant in Fulham Road in London, very famous part of London. And we're launching here. So. And yeah, so the whole restaurants are reconized. So all the tables are smart tables now. And which takes not much time at all with our platform. So you can be up and running within less than half an hour. Obviously, we have to do the integration in with the point of sale. So it finds the order straight through to the kitchen. But basically, we can do, we can kind of do a hard integration straight into the pause. Or we can also do, we can just fire it to a kitchen printer, which is on a cloud network, as well. There's loads of different kind of ways to tackle it, and approach it. But yeah, our platform just allows the the actual application, you're so you might have a container. And that allows that to be branded, and take your products. So it's a really nice design as well. I'm quite into my UX and UI, something that's a bit like Apple, it's kind of you need to bring the two things together to make them work. So I'm quite into that. So I've kind of personally led a lot of that as well. And this is just the start where we see the beacon network or kind of closed network, and it's not reliant on third party networks either as well, other than your typical kind of mobile signal or Wi Fi to To transmit the order and the payment of bolt other than that we were quite independent. So that creates quite a robust and scalable and cost effective solution. You know, we're not in it to make money from unnecessarily our beacon technology. We're obviously providing, you know, software as a service kind of type solution. But we can also white label their technology and that can be placed into your, your branded container or whatever. So yeah, we just were an enabler, basically.

    Steve Statler 15:29

    So this pilot project on the Fulham Road, can you say what the restaurant is? Or is it yes,

    Rene Batsford 15:34

    it's a wonderful restaurant. So everyone should come here and experience this boysenberry. And it's, it's quite infamous as when it's used for a lot of the filming for Made in Chelsea, which is one of these kinds of social sort of, you know, sort of real life fly on the wall type Docu soaps. Very good. So,

    Steve Statler 15:57

    yeah, so you've got that deployment there? And can you kind of speak to the the pipeline of business that you see is, is this kind of the first one and then you're gonna wait further feedback to to, to get more customers? Or have you got?

    Rene Batsford 16:16

    Yeah, I mean, obviously, I can't say who else we're working with. But we're working with some pretty big global brands at the moment, who, again, I think every single person, every single company that we've shown the technology, whether investors or whether their brands really liked the whole idea. And each of them like the kind of pick and mix approach. So some of them like the fact that I mean, we've even been looking at how we can provide kind of hotspot, checking for things like takeout as well. So where you've got third party delivery companies, of which there are now many around the world, particularly in the UK, so can we provide a smart way of a customer checking in and, and then the school knowing or the delivery service checking in effectively, and, and then the kitchen knowing that they're there as well. So there's, so there's loads of different use cases. And as I said before, once you've kind of established the kind of Beacon type network, then you can obviously deliver other services on top of that. So things like auditing, and there's so many other kind of, because once that's in as a utility, you can then layer services on top of that, if you see what I mean.

    Steve Statler 17:27

    So what would one thing mean in this context. So in auditing,

    Rene Batsford 17:30

    so for example, if it was a big campus, let's say could be a head office, or it could be like a, I don't know, a gym chain. So I don't know if someone like David Lloyd in the UK, where they've got a sort of multi tenanted, so you've got like restaurants and bars, you know, there's going to be stock rooms, there's going to be, there's gonna be lots of different service providers providing service in there. And they might want to have, obviously, area managers visit to audit premises. So it could be health and safety, it could be stock, it could be operations, it could be whatever. By virtue of us having our beacon network in place, it means that we can give precision to certain processes. So for instance, we can place iBeacon technology, say in the stock room, and we can say with absolute clarity that the the area manager did visit that stock room, and they did it therefore then triggered that process, where it might be where, let's just say, someone whose auditing is very pushed for time, and they do the bare minimum, each site. So what we're saying is no, actually, it works on two levels. One, it gives the head office clarity about how long it takes to do that particular part of the audit. Also, you could then say, well, actually, you could reprioritize the audit based upon the visit. And so what you've actually got only 30 minutes, so we want you to do one, five and seven, skip to and because they're not priority at the moment. So my mind's already whirring away, thinking about how our interfaces and API's and technology can make the whole process of auditing more efficient, because we can hyper locate, right, that individual and therefore the processes that are attached to that location. That's very exciting.

    Steve Statler 19:27

    So you got lots of things that you could do with this beacon network, and I love beacon networks. I think it's great. You're thinking about that. But of course, the flip side is you got to focus otherwise, you've got to get anywhere.

    Rene Batsford 19:38

    Yeah, what so so really, so really, it's about sort of, yeah, sorry, I'm jumping the gun. So really, it's about delivering that nailing that experience, the one that I've outlined before getting in place, and yeah, we're doing pretty well at the moment in terms of attracting the right brands and customers. And again, each one of them wants to try out with different partners solution. Because we're under NDA. I can't say who

    Steve Statler 20:04

    Yeah. But you know, they're very, I mean, we've talked under NDA. And so I can reason why we're having this conversation is that I'm very impressed by the traction that you're getting with some really large, global brands. But one question I had is, it sounds like there's going to be two approaches. One is your, your SDK, your libraries will be in the app for a major brand that already has a mobile app that their customers are using. But they'll also be is the order pay an order pay app that you can use?

    Rene Batsford 20:39

    Yeah, so we've, I don't want to go too much into it. But yeah, we want to kind of be able to scale our offering. So one of the big challenges for any application is scale. So because again, as a customer, you're not necessarily going to visit that same restaurant all the time, unless it's your regular daily, where you get your breakfast from or whatever. So I think that's where we're looking to go, we're how do we how do we scale this technology to the next level? And I think that's probably what we're looking at is how do you create a channel, as opposed to, you know, enabling each individual brand, so, but we can do both? The advantage of our technology is we can deliver for both, both kind of, you know, both an individual brand, and also a large scale channel. And that's what excites so, you know, lots of investors to us as

    Steve Statler 21:33

    well. How is that going in terms of so you talked about progress with the technology? How's how's the company going? What, what kind of size you at? Where are you at in terms of funding?

    Rene Batsford 21:44

    Yeah, I mean, so we've done the kind of sort of first round to get us to where we needed to get to in terms of developing the technology. And we're pretty much there now. And, you know, it's a case of focusing on the opportunities, you know, some major brands, which obviously, we're engaged with, and doing pilots with those, and obviously, that will continue this year. And then to obviously enable that to scale to even bigger opportunities, then it's, you know, looking at other sort of major sources of funding to grow our team, Scout scale out, scale, ambition, yeah, yeah. Being able to scale the company in line with our ambitions, I guess. But again, with a lot of these things, you do these things in, in, in steps in faith and phases, you don't just go whole hog, you test learn test learn Tesla, and Tesla is the best way to do it.

    Steve Statler 22:42

    So one of the things you mentioned was you in this case of integrated with the point of sale system, isn't that very challenging to do my, my experience is that these guys are like gatekeepers, and a, their life is challenging. They've got a million companies that want to integrate with their point of sale system. So they've got limited resources, but be there. They're greedy, as we all are in business, we're trying to figure out how we can make money. And so they're like, making demands in terms of payments and so forth. How have you approach that? And is this? Go ahead? Yeah, I

    Rene Batsford 23:18

    mean, sorry, yeah, I mean, of protective of their customer base, like any customer would be so you know, and if you're not, that, then you're probably not going to be around. If you go in and fine have access to everything, well, there's things like GDPR, and data protection, all sorts of things that I have to think about. So there's that, you know, their job is, you know, I've worked with many, many pots companies and and many, many people in the industry, given them sort of background that I'm from. So, you know, I sympathize with with with them. And also, they're going through a lot of change. So there's lots of disruption in the market. And there's lots of these boys, guys who have come up from a tablet kind of technology, you know, where they've got a clean slate, they don't have necessarily all of the machinations of a large scale pods company, they don't have all the costs, and they can be a lot more agile, whereas a lot of these guys are a lot more mature, got a lot more experience, but they're obviously obviously deep. And you know, they put a lot of investment into their product. So I, you know, sympathize with sort of both really. So I think, and also as, as the newcomers of this world, not naming any names start to mature as well. With that maturity comes more complexity, because the, you know, as they start to become more successful than the companies that they started out with the brands, they're starting to scale and they don't want them to leave them. So they have to have more features and value. So that sort of to go from a kind of like, a light to an enterprise. And the difference between those is again, what a lot of these logical As companies have had to go through. So, you know, it's just that the form factors that are coming to the market tablets and things like that. And even handsets as well, are continually evolving. So it's a very challenging space. So to get to the point that you've made, there's a new breed of companies out there, which basically unlock the ability to be able to access these pause companies, estates, which are your third party API platforms, and there's quite, there's a few out there. And they're growing really successfully. And again, it's allowing now that the pause, and the, you know, you've got the pause, almost like you say, in the middle of innovate, it's almost kind of almost seen as it getting in the way of innovation. Yeah, so if you're, if you're a brand, you're an operator, you're like, I want to be able to do these, I want to be able to create these experiences for my customers. You know, I'm so frustrated, because I can't because there's this, you know, this is the roadmap, and it's not until two years, and if we continue like this, we're gonna lose customers, to our competition, all that. So what's what's happened, and it's happened with things like open banking, as well. So, again, when you've got these very kind of, you know, robust brands of banks, and all this sort of stuff, and they want to innovate as well, you know, because they're losing customers to news data. So it's the same thing. So this is where I can this revolution around open API's, and things like that rest API's, and all that kind of stuff. That's really what unlocking the potential of getting at these customers, these brands. And being out, you know, from where I'm coming from, I'm all about innovation, I want to be able to make the whole user experience more successful and more clean and more tight and more slick, and all these things, which is basically what the customers the ultimate customers want. So that's kind of where that's really where these, these, these, these new breed of companies are done, they've done a lot of hard work, where they're integrating with the PAs companies, and then you basically are linking in with them. So it means that you need to, you only need to like capitalize, you only need to do one integration, and they will just pivot. Again, you know, against all the other pause providers. So effectively, it means that it means that, you know, just makes it a lot easier for you to it makes it a lot easier for you to do you go about being innovative, basically.

    Steve Statler 27:29

    And so can you drop some names of the companies that are doing that? Yeah,

    Rene Batsford 27:33

    I mean, it's, I mean, I mean, I'll, I'll talk about this one we kind of work was the omnivore again, so they, they kind of rapidly growing. So they're there, they're a good example of a kind of been embarrassed on the state side of this Australia, I can't remember where their genesis from, but I know they're doing a lot of work over in the States. So yeah, which is see where like a large. Now, if you're going to go if you're going to scale, then you need an English language. And it's the states where you're going to kind of that's where you're going to kind of make your money initially.

    Steve Statler 28:08

    That's a great dynamic, I think I'm hopefully that will spur more innovation, and it'll make it easier for you as well. So it'd be great to hear a bit about your role in McDonald's, and a bit about what you did there. And then I'd be interested to hear how the lessons that you learned from there impacted what you're doing it check for. So what was your role and McDonald's?

    Rene Batsford 28:34

    Yeah, so some head of innovation, well, innovation manager, whatever label you want to give me, my role was really to kind of not purposely be disruptive, but kind of look at a lot of projects that are going on at the time. So mobile ordering, mobile payment, wireless charging in tables, gaming, I love gaming as well. I don't mean retail, dummy gambling, games for your kids and things like that. I love that. And what I tried to do is I tried to, I suppose it's my raison d'etre is to kind of put joy within an application or joy within a game or whatever it is that I'm doing so, or platform or whatever. So make it really happy experience, basically, because I think if it's, if it's not, then basically you're gonna get quite late, you're not gonna get anywhere with that particular experience. So, so really, yeah, it was it was a kind of a dream job. I was there for only three years, but within that time, I was able to implement VR technology that worked on any augmented reality, virtual reality, augmented reality wireless charging, which is now obviously in most phones now. And kiosk, you know, the gifts are everywhere in McDonald's. I helped work on that. You know, I did my bit where I could where I was able to And, and, you know, mobile ordering and payment worked with the, as a European division. And then it was us division that was kind of working on it. And I was part of the European team. And then ultimately we got sort of made up into the US or the global team as it were. Yeah,

    Steve Statler 30:19

    I mean, McDonald's is just amazing. I bit like the army, you know, you do your time, not you. I'm thinking more about me as a kid, one of my first jobs and they take these raw recruits, unskilled, and disciplined, spotty kids. And they ended up delivering this quality, repeatable, consistent service from from from that. And it's because they've got amazing systems, they have been a incredible innovator and point of sale technology. I mean, they really lead the lead the, the charge in terms of the point of sale, having a unified platform deployed, and just amazing lightyears ahead of many people. And I see what they're doing with. I mean, they obviously have Bluetooth beacons, they I think it's, they're using RADIUS networks in the table temps and everything.

    Rene Batsford 31:19

    So it's enough budget is that I know it very well, it's another project that I touched on and works on. So within my capacity in the UK, so but the one thing I do teach you, is about scale. So it's about moving at the right pace, making sure you're absolutely now the proposition making sure you got a robust, scalable solution. And but once you've got that, then being able to scale it. So there are things that I think about, I'll see security, and there's loads of other things as well. But, but yeah, that the way they approach and assess and analyze, they will do multiple different kinds of projects and test different approaches all around the world. And then it's you know, it's almost like an evolutionary process, the one that, you know, the data that they produce, they've just bought a big data company, because they just got masses of data. So being able to analyze that and make sense of that. And what I call actionable data to actually turn it into something rather than just an analyze it is something that they're moving further ahead with now. So yeah, they are very innovative, I will probably compare them somewhat apple in the sense that they may not necessarily break the first ground on something. They'll assess it and analyze it, and make sure I mean, they are, you know, I was one of the first on launch contactless payment in the UK, when I was head of ITA. And I do remember, whenever we'd go to these conferences, they're always sort of picking my brains and asking me about how it was going. Because they obviously knew that there's something that they wanted to go into, but there wasn't too sure at the time. So again, some of the time it's some of the times, it's good to kind of sit back and see what the competition is doing. Again, LRF All right. So yeah, certainly the most innovative company, but what they do is they get that customer proposition, right. And they absolutely nail it. So that's what I that's why I kind of compared it to in that respect.

    Steve Statler 33:17

    Very good. Well, really, I feel like we could talk for a lot longer. But this let's quit whilst we're here. This is very good. Good luck with your first deployment there. I know there's going to be many others following it. And what you're doing is super hard, but I think the results will be will be excellent. And I wish you a lot of success.

    Rene Batsford 33:38

    Great. Thank you very much. Thank you for the opportunity to talk today to you.

    Steve Statler 33:47

    What would the three songs be that you would take on a trip to Mars?

    Rene Batsford 33:51

    It's probably going to be something by smashing pumpkins. And actually fact they did a song didn't they? What's the one from melancholy and the infinite sadness? Believe, isn't it or something like that? Where is that actually go on to the moon? Is that a French mazing French director from way back when and he did all that on animated puppet things? Like I remember it. All right, but yeah, it will be sustained from Smashing Pumpkins. Probably following the same thing, something from the Foo Fighters as well. Okay. And then something by Queen. Yeah, probably. What's the what's the I'm rubbish with the name?

    Steve Statler 34:41

    Is there? Well, let's let's let's kind of take it back to a moment. Is there kind of a time in your life for a moment that these songs evoke?

    Rene Batsford 34:50

    Yeah, I used to go to well still try to go to a lot of music festivals. All right. And in England, we have like there's a lot of A festival and things like that. And actually, in fact, a few years later, I then started to work in entertainment business as well. So I headed up the oh two for Anschutz Entertainment Group. So they are probably the world's one of the world's largest venue. management companies and also their big ticket company now. Yeah, ticket master and as I Ieg i Ces or something like that. So yeah, so it's a bit weird, because I ended up kind of working for in a kind of industry, which I sort of loved as a consumer. And they do things like Coachella and stuff like that. So yeah, we just have that. Yeah, exactly. It's huge. I've never been actually, but I'd love to go one day, but I managed to get a bit of a flavor for how these amazing stadiums run all these events. And I was in the Staples Center in downtown LA. And, quite famously, that was something of feeling anxious. So downtown LA and, and all of that was, wasn't a great place to go back in the day and fill it and shirts that the enterprising person that he was he bought, I think a lot of the railways in America. And he then sold the railways and kept the real estate either side. Yeah. And, and used it for a company. Great, cool. QS. So you run fiber down, it's just mind blowing that, obviously the guy and his team, very entrepreneurial, very enterprising. And then he also use that to then develop the Staples Center. So so obviously, where the station comes in, and, and the actual blueprints for the Staples Center are the same 402 Arena, because I was involved in that. So they have exactly the same. The Rena is underneath the Oh, 210. So that's quite interesting. So yeah, so So music has always played a big part of my life. Growing up. Yeah, again. Most recently, I'm getting into a lot of classical music as well. So, so yeah, setting bit that's a bit melancholy, I guess. And people like that. So yeah, I love I love BESCOM you love all genres, really?

    Steve Statler 37:18

    And so you were working in that business? What were you doing?

    Rene Batsford 37:22

    So I was I got a call one day and sort of headhunted. It just happened that I was working on a retail system and doing many other things for a company called Multan brand cosmetics. I was global head of it for them. And then I got called via Anschutz Entertainment Group or a headhunter. And they asked, Would you be interested in this kind of role? It's, it's quite a special project. And I recently visited the Millennium Dome was an interesting, I guess, cacophony of different ideas. But what was left was this amazing kind of structure. And under which, obviously, ag had managed to secure the rights to build the arena. And I was part of that team. So as part of the team that kind of helped plan out the actual build out of it. And it was quite a grueling few months, but 18 months I did it for and then yeah, I had to say, I didn't want to continue to manage it. I'd had enough of that, but, but it was it was mind blowing. It's all sort of project you can't turn down really.

    Steve Statler 38:40

    So you saw some you've seen some good concerts that the oh two then it sounds like

    Rene Batsford 38:45

    oh, yeah, I'd been as so I kind of left before it actually opened. Yeah, so kind of on the run up to it and we helped deliver that. But yeah, I've been to the otusa and Macy's probably I think is the most successful concert Arena in the world in terms of sales volumes. I think as I understand it, it's obviously got good infrastructure there as well and be I still love the festival I still love to go kind of like camping for it's worth. Easy ones are oxygen over in Ireland, which is was crazy, because it rains a lot over there and you end up

    Steve Statler 39:24

    seems to be a tradition with these concepts, doesn't it? Well, very good. Well, thanks very much for that insight into your your affection for music. Very good. Yes.