Episode 3: Coronavirus and Hospitality – This Restauranteur Had to Cut His Staff in Half

Shawn Rao, Co-Founder and CEO of SynGroup built his business into a $20M force in the Texas hospitality industry. He was planning a venue opening in April. Then Coronavirus hit, and he had to lay off half his company.

On this episode of The Besomebody Podcast:

3:31 The world just changed. “Because of [the impact of COVID-19], we’ve decided to pivot our podcast focus from the conversations, insights, and guests that we’ve already recorded and that we had planned …to pivot to focus on businesses, entrepreneurs, and leaders who are on the frontlines of what’s happening with coronavirus and are contending with this pandemic in real ways.” -KS

15:27 Shawn’s lessons for entrepreneurs. “When you’re an innovative mind…you take the best of the best [in each industry] and always want to apply it to the craft you’re doing. And if you can take a little, piece by piece, you can always innovate and always learn.” -SR 

26:55 Adjusting to COVID-19. “We realized we had to pivot, we had to do some sort of pivot, to make this even a fringe-worthy concept, to make us sustainable for our employees.” -SR

36:02 An opportunity for community. “It’s an opportunity for all of us to come together to appreciate each other and to support each other. A lot of things that we took for granted before, we’re not able to interact with anymore. And then we see people that we used to walk by all the time and we never thought about -now we know that the patronage that we share, the business that we give, really makes a difference. I’m hopeful that we’ll come to a better understanding of how we’re all connected and how we’re all helping each other grow.” -KS

41:17 The most important aspect of leadership right now. “Everybody can be successful when times are good, but this is what I’m made for, when times are bad, to step up, be a leader, and be a role model. And show people what it means to be resilient and persevere.” -SR

44:51 Kash’s One Big Thing. “The importance of being able to stand out in front of the situation, of the crisis, of the circumstance. To stand in front of your team and your employees and to be able to clearly communicate the goal, the vision, the mission.” -KS

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