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: 06/17/2019

    Shake Shack founder says, ‘Do it. Don’t talk about it (sustainability initiatives) until asked.’

    I was just thinking the same thing. Many customers want great tasting dishes, without the lecture. No one I know wants to purposely prepare a lousy dish of food. But no tomatoes in the winter, really? I want my BLT year round and if they won't carry it I'll find a place that will, and most folks that I know feel the same way. The goal is admirable but common sense must rule, and I applaud the no smoking initiative for sure, which again is common sense. Run a very clean establishment, provide great food with great service and you will be successful. If the customer wants to know more then engage with a brief answer and move on.
  • Posted on: 06/12/2019

    What does FedEx’s break with Amazon mean?

    Spot on. The 800 lb. gorilla Amazon is making the same demands as Costco, Walmart, and Target do to their vendors. Then it becomes unprofitable to deal with them, as it is a major profit loser.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2019

    Walmart debuts store-to-fridge fresh food delivery service

    Thanks for throwing the obvious humor into this. Retail grocery is beyond insane, as consumers' demands far exceed profitability for all who are involved. I do home catering, where I drop off the food and provide staff to monitor the party, which includes cleaning the kitchen, taking out trash, and helping the clients with anything reasonable to make the party perfect. We charge for this, but some folks appreciate the help to make it work for their guests -- but nothing creepy going on, just sayin'.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2019

    Walmart debuts store-to-fridge fresh food delivery service

    No one would ever be allowed in my house except my two sons. This concept is fine for those who want it, but the majority of folks will pass. Same day delivery will be very costly, and the race to own the world is on in retail. I'll be very glad when I step down from my business, as insanity is the mantra today. I see more small town grocers leaving as well, since it gets very difficult to do business with these hurdles today. Old fashioned dinosaurs are still around, and I wish them well, as our fraternity is losing members every year.
  • Posted on: 06/05/2019

    Will a city’s ban on tobacco sales catch on across the nation?

    Hollyweird strikes again with this stupid mandate. Next thing they will ban all but the electric cars that drive their super clean city streets. This will never end, and I'm so glad I don't live in California, as it no longer is a viable place to live economically, politically, and regulatorily.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2019

    Will the price of avocados make Americans say enough to Trump’s tariffs?

    I guess I'm in the minority here, and yes there is a crisis at the border in spite of what the new leaders in the Congress say to the contrary. Ignoring it will not make the problem resolve itself, and no other previous administrations would touch the issue. My nephew lives in Texas serving in the military, and says it is a disaster on the border. I'll take his word for it, as he deals with it daily. It is very dangerous for their safety as well.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2019

    Will the price of avocados make Americans say enough to Trump’s tariffs?

    For those who travel, please tell me if they can march into another country without proper ID and a reason to be there? Of course not, and why should we allow free reign on getting into our country with no consequences? This problem has been ignored too long, and we as Americans better wake up to the fact that things need to be secured for our safety, and if Mexico does not want to cooperate then the heat on them will continue. I'm sure many disagree, but if every other country has borders that are strictly enforced, than it is about time we do the same. Paying a little extra for avocados is the price of our security.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2019

    Experience is overrated, hire talent

    It comes down to the individual, and a great smile, and eagerness to actually show up and do your job. These factors matter most to me. I have experience beyond almost anyone in my industry, but unless I show my personality and selling skills, how could anyone learn from me? Retail is tough today and small businesses are struggling to fill slots, as many employees last a few weeks, quit, and move on to something else. If you can find the right person, train them well and pay them as much as you can afford as they are too valuable to lose.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2019

    What if unwanted online purchases didn’t have to be returned?

    Exactly. This will not end well, as rampant theft will now be considered free stuff with no consequences. Seems simple for those who don't own this business but it won't work, in my opinion
  • Posted on: 05/29/2019

    What’s the secret to driving emotional connections with customers?

    Ditto Lee. I realize that I am a dinosaur, but the connection made by my employees with the customers is the key to selling, and all the cute stuff like AI is fine, but nothing beats a well informed, friendly employee who engages in a manner that makes the sale easy, and they come back again and again. When I was in college 100 years ago, we had a group business policy class which involved running a computer program on our entire strategy on a fake company that sold widgets. Our group finished last for whatever reason. A computer never takes into account the human factor that makes or breaks a company, and all the technology will not change that. When I decide to hang it up here, I'm looking forward to my semi-retirement years and I'll find work somewhere where my selling skills will be appreciated, not having to worry about all the ownership stuff, which will be great.
  • Posted on: 05/22/2019

    Should retail boards include seats for store associates?

    First off Bernie Sanders and his ilk have no business trying to mandate anything, as typical politicians do, all while stuffing their own pockets and getting rich. Associates serving directly on the board sounds good, but who gets picked, and are they going to understand the P & L sheets enough to make decisions that also affect the shareholders? Yes they want more money, who doesn't, but the bottom line still matters for growth, and everyone needs to understand that. Managers at store level need to engage with their employees on a level that shows respect, and remember it is always about the customer and things can improve by working together.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2019

    Study says Whole Foods is the priciest grocer of them all

    Price perception -- I have been preaching this for years, so thanks for your insight. The mega stores aren't always the best place for low prices. Our industry continues fight like maniacs to sell goods at prices only a consumer can love, hence poor bottom lines for food retailers.
  • Posted on: 05/16/2019

    Is Crazy Cazboy’s pricing too crazy or just crazy enough?

    This has been going on for years, and for the most part, the folks will wait until Monday or Tuesday to find the super cheap deals. I have been doing this stuff since 1983, with meat/frozen/bakery/grocery closeouts, effectively in a much more organized manner, and still do. Everyone wants a bargain basement deal, and in poor counties like mine, it draws folks in. This weekend we have at our local library a monster lawn sale, and all neighboring areas there must be 500 garage sales, which creates a madhouse for crazy deal hunters. This concept will work if there is some control on what is purchased and labor is kept to a bare minimum.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Why is Amazon paying employees to quit their jobs?

    This seems good for Amazon, but $10K won't get you very far, and making $300K a year profit on 40 vehicles is a stretch as well. To end up with 40 vans, you would need at least $800K to buy used ones at $20K ea. How much is Amazon going to pay these business owners to deliver the goods? Is it by the mile, the package, or some sort of Uber pay scale, which isn't creating much wealth for the drivers? Not much detail in this, and is upkeep on the vehicles factored in? Yeah, I'm skeptical on this venture, as I make catering deliveries, and it is not cheap to make deliveries even in my small county. Where do these folks park in the big cities, and is there a parking charge? I hope these new business owners find a really good accountant, to figure out the details, and if the profit numbers are true. I wish these business ventures work out as their success will enable more folks to have their own business, and that is always a good thing.
  • Posted on: 05/14/2019

    Is the gig economy sustainable?


    Sounds like the supermarket business. Give all the key holiday items below cost and see if you can turn a profit.

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