Food Retail Guru Michael Sansolo: On Working with Passion, Life Lessons from NYC, Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council

April 25, 2019

A respected senior executive in the world of food retailing, Michael Sansolo is now a consultant, speaker and author. In his first book, “The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies,” Michael takes all kinds of cool leadership, marketing and workplace dynamic lessons learned from awesome movies like “The Godfather,” for example. His second book, “Business Rules! 52 ways to achieve business success,” came out in 2014.

Michael writes a weekly column on current business trends for, a daily blog with more than 30,000 readers. He’s also a speaker and moderator at conferences and company meetings around the world. Oh, and he’s the research director at the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council.

So tune in as our host Brian Burkhart and Michael discuss best practices for live speaking, why experiences are so important in food retail and the lessons we can learn from McDonald’s.

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:50 — The BIGGEST industry on the planet

2:00 — The Chancellor of Chow, the King of Cuisine, the Grocery Guy himself!

3:11 — You can’t just close your eyes when things get tough and ugly

4:45 — Michael and Brian take a trip back to 1977…to visit Han Solo

8:14 — A job that’s only for young people because the pay is horrible and the hours are insane…but Michael loved it

10:29 — “Whatever job you’re doing, you gotta show some passion for it”

12:54 — How interesting can supermarkets really be anyway? The answer will surprise you

15:07 — Michael’s parents’ biggest goal was all their kids attending college

18:09 — NYC through and through

22:09 — “When I’m doing that, I feel extraordinarily comfortable” — Michael is at his best when he’s on stage

24:47 — “Don’t think about the negatives, try to soak in the positives…and relax your legs!”

25:49 — The audience is always pulling for you

27:54 — You don’t have to let the crowd in on your mistakes — they’ll never know

30:28 — Chik-Fil-A’s new ad campaign is great storytelling

32:47 — Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council has nothing to do with Coca-Cola

33:55 — The “Disney Experience” rakes in big cash

35:39 — Southwest Airlines is different because their employees are encouraged to talk to you like a human

36:39 — People are starting to expect a whole experience when it comes to retail

37:56 — “Sears was the colossus of American retail”

39:49 — Two titans of American business and American lifestyle, but only one survived: The tale of McDonald’s

46:18 — Going from David to Goliath

48:38 — People remember stories, not facts

55:35 — Burkhart’s colorblindness makes him not a big “Wicked” guy

57:06 — Hamilton was a jerk — but he was also brilliant

59:21 — Most times, people just see what they want to see

1:01:29 — If you’re not aware that your customers likely have a different perspective than you, that’s when you start damaging your brand

1:02:56 — What’s next? Connectivity in a way we can’t even imagine today

1:05:39 — Want more Michael? Hit up


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