PROFILE

Tony Orlando

Owner, Tony O's Supermarket and Catering

Born and raised in Ashtabula, Ohio, Tony Orlando has 50 years in the food business, having started at four years of age in 1961.

Tony purchased his store in May of 1999 from his father. Through the years, he has acquired extensive knowledge of meat and deli departments. He has consulted with other independents to help their businesses grow.

Tony has served on many Midwest beef councils and also was on the Young Executives Council for the NGA, of which he is a charter member.

Tony graduated from Ohio State University in 1978 with a Bachelors in Business Administration. He is married to wife Maria and has two sons, Michael (19) and Stephen (16). Tony is also the President of the Autistic Children’s Foundation. He loves golfing, casinos and talking shop at NGA.

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  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    H-E-B puts mobile scan and go tech in customers’ hands

    Yep. My concern would be theft, and it will cost H-E-B a pretty penny if they allow this to go through in all the stores.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2018

    Does Starbucks have a big delivery opportunity?

    I totally agree. Are we that lazy that we can't pour a cup of coffee? Food I get, with some exceptions, but unless they are adding to fresh baked goods with the coffees, it won't attract a huge following. Starbucks for my wife is a treat to chill out in a mall, or on vacation. To have it delivered who knows, but I don't see this as a huge boost to the bottom line. The coffee is expensive enough, plus the up charge, so we'll see.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2018

    What’s next for Small Business Saturday?

    Small Business Saturday for me is a waste of time, as supermarkets in general the Saturday after Thanksgiving are a dead zone, but for me it is a National Holiday as Ohio State gets to beat Michigan again. Online and Mega stores have changed the game, and unless you have something amazingly different to sell, it is going to be tough to move product without a big discount. If someone chooses to promote SBS, then they need to plan a few months ahead with a strong theme and maybe a free gift bag to tie in with your promotion. Consumers love free stuff and if done right, it could still provide positive cash flow before the Christmas rush. Years ago our downtown had amazing success in running one-day events, and it involved all the stores on the street. Today our downtown is mostly abandoned, with a pizza place, a tattoo parlor, and a hairstyle salon and one small restaurant, which is typical of small town America. The good old days are just that, and to stick around, you must have products and great service to succeed, which I'm sure someone else said 100 years ago.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2018

    How can retailers get customers to complete feedback surveys?

    Getting people to fill out surveys is like actually looking forward to your next dentist appointment. When I cater an event, I personally call them afterwards, thanking them and seeing how the event went. The response is very positive, as they enjoy the personal touch. Call me old-fashioned, but surveys are way too long and online should be quick and simple.
  • Posted on: 11/29/2018

    Are retailers better off going cashless?

    A simple answer would be no. Cash has no fees, and when it goes into the bank there are no returns for NSF checks or fees. We take other forms of payment, but I don't know any business person who wouldn't want the cash option.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2018

    I don’t like Amazon as much as I did last week

    Amazon loves to play games with the media, and they create more free publicity than all the rest combined. They are however very shrewd business people, and this headquarter thing reminds me of many other mega corporations that will carve out a host of freebies in exchange for a brand new building. The cities are jumping through hoops trying to sweeten the pot in order to get these high paying jobs so the politicians can look good as well. The winner was and always will be the Amazons of the world, getting major tax breaks and infrastructure demands that suck the city coffers dry, and hey, if you can get it, you are going to take it. It doesn't matter how we perceive them, but in the end, Amazon wants to rule the world, and for the most part they are slowly doing it, as they have a unique way of getting goods to people's homes, better than anyone else, regardless of the cost. The Norman Rockwell picture of the American landscape sure has changed, and it is only a memory. America is moving fast in the digital world we live in, whether we like it or not.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2018

    Do grocery stores have a customer engagement problem?

    Thanks for the props Ed. I just started a new video blog, and so far so good. Working the floor a lot more, and engaging a lot more than even before. Things in my area are brutal, so I’m upping my game. Social media is quite important, and the in-store experience is even more so. I’ll keep you posted.
  • Posted on: 11/12/2018

    Why do Millennials love private label groceries so much?

    Part of it is that Millennials value high priced tech stuff more than they do a premium can of corn, and there are 30% of college graduates who have moved back into their parents home, because they can not afford the rent in the big cities. Many adults shop at Aldi and Costco to save money, and sales of private label food will keep rising, as household budgets are tightening.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2018

    Has food waste become mission critical for grocers’ bottom lines and the planet?

    The solution is very simple. For the last 30 years we have saved all edible food from our fresh departments and instead of reducing the price, we donate it all of it to the GO Ministries, that feed on average 200 people everyday all week long. It amounts to over 10 thousand pounds of product per year that the cooks make into soups, casseroles, fruit salads, breads, and snacks, and it makes my heart happy to provide this needed food, to those who really need it. We are a small store, and could you imagine if other stores, and restaurants nationwide would do the same? It is a simple phone call to your local soup kitchen, and you can build a relationship quickly with them. They come once a week (twice if the snack and chip vendors drop off stale to me). For whatever reason, the number of stores that do this has not risen to the level needed to make it work, and I hope whoever reads this can contact their local stores and quiz them on how they handle their product. Who knows, you might plant a seed to make this happen. I thank you in advance for your effort.
  • Posted on: 11/05/2018

    Did Amazon just crush Target and Walmart’s free holiday shipping moves?

    I said a couple of weeks ago that this would happen, and Amazon is the 800-pound gorilla online. No one wins, except of course Amazon, and the losers will continue to be small merchants who do not have the capital to lose big time money trying to ship stuff for free. We have conditioned consumers to expect free shipping, which is very expensive to do, and unless The Big Three build it into the price of goods the purchases could end up being a net loss to them. Consumers will pit one against the other for who has the lowest price, and again it is a win-win for the consumer. Tons of fun to be in retail today, isn't it?
  • Posted on: 10/26/2018

    Has wine in a can moved from fad to trend?

    I get the convenience factor, but good wine should be in bottles. As a wine purist drinking wine is a big part of my life, having been in Tuscany and Napa Valley seven times (just got back). Wine in cans will grow with the younger crowd and tailgating parties, but it's not gonna happen in my circles. If that makes me a snob so be it, but there are traditions going back four generations and my youngest son is now making wine, so I'll pass.
  • Posted on: 10/24/2018

    Did Target just become the easiest place to shop for Christmas?

    This is a very bold move for Target and as said, most folks use Amazon first, which is impossible to overcome. This is also a bottom line killer for them, and they know it. A $20 minimum is nothing, and consumers who are savvy know how to cherry pick items with little or no margin for Target. I'm stunned at some of the decisions these large retailers make in order to grow market share, with little or no thought as to the bottom line, which after all is why we run a business. Thursday morning, the rest of the mega chains will either match this offer or beat it in order to keep their sales base. In the end, the consumer wins and profits will slide.
  • Posted on: 10/22/2018

    Stores rarely ID customers before they check out

    I make face contact and know many of my customers, and what they like inside my store. Not all of them of course, but it is very important for me and my employees to engage with our customers, and they enjoy being taken care of. Finding out what kind of soup or wine they like is simple, but effective, because customers like to feel special. And why not? Unfortunately, the masses around here want price and only price, so I better keep doing what I do, as the folks who want good deals and an engaging experience will come here, and I'm grateful for being able to help them every chance I get.
  • Posted on: 10/17/2018

    Eddie Lampert is the worst

    Seems like Eddie was all about Eddie, and the employees are screwed. Sears was going down anyway, but this guy is beyond selfish, and he will walk away with a pile of money, which is sad, but probably legal. Integrity in life and business is something we all should strive for, and even in failure you must walk away knowing you did your best for your employees, and community. There will be more failing retailers large and small as the mega giants are mowing down the competition, so I wish all entrepreneurs success in the coming holiday season.
  • Posted on: 10/16/2018

    Does anyone pay the full retail price anymore?

    So true Bob, but you must provide hot deals on the top items, or it simply will not sell. Making money in other areas is the key.

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