by Matthew Kemeny
The year was 1992 and Doug Keiles was starting his career as a math teacher, but that’s not where his story ends. For lunch each day, he’d leave the school where he taught and head over to Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurant in Mountainside, NJ, for the $5 rib tips special.
After a while, Famous Dave’s owner approached Keiles and asked why he hadn’t tried the ribs. Keiles’ reply: “Because my ribs are better than yours.”
Blank stare, from the owner, followed by a “Sure. Sure, they are.”
The restaurant owner would eat his words after Keiles brought him a sample of his to-be award-winning ribs. “He just looked at me and said, ‘These are good. I’m not even going to fool you. These are really good.’”
In his day (or night) job, Keiles is vice president at CarrierTrack® Technologies, a partner of RouteSmart in the newspaper delivery sector. The two technologies work together seamlessly as RouteSmart Online lays the foundation for a better route plan by using advanced algorithms to sequence hundreds to thousands of newspaper subscribers and CarrierTrack uses that sequence to provide in-vehicle, voice-guided navigation to direct the carriers on the most efficient routes.
As part of our new Right on Time with RouteSmart podcast, I sat down recently with Keiles and Frank Beacham, District Sales Manager at Advance Local, a RouteSmart & CarrierTrack client, to discuss RouteSmart’s partnership with CarrierTrack and Keiles’ BBQ company RibsWithin.
Beacham raved about the success of RouteSmart with CarrierTrack.
“They’re the perfect peanut butter and jelly combination for us,” Beacham said. “We use both for delivery of the Birmingham News and for our Total Market Coverage product. CarrierTrack handles all the integration of putting the route lists and addresses into our tablets for the carriers and then tracks each product as it’s delivered in real time. Without CarrierTrack, we’re out there floating around in the universe with no clue as to what’s been delivered, what hasn’t, and how much we have left to do.”
“Without the two technologies we have no guidance of what’s been done,” Beacham added.
Beacham said CarrierTrack helps cut down customer service complaints from newspaper delivery issues as well as benefiting carrier retention, because the app makes it easier for them to deliver papers.
CarrierTrack’s newest update, 5.0, features split screen mapping and data visualization. “So, you can see where you’re going and what data is coming through,” Keiles said. “It’s excellent for daily tracking of newspapers, because it announces what the carriers should do at each stop, but you can also see the (data) at each stop.”
After discussing RouteSmart & CarrierTrack, the three of us got to the “meat” of the conversation, talking about Keiles’ BBQ prowess. Following Famous Dave’s compliments, Keiles began entering BBQ and grilling competitions, finishing in the middle of the pack to start, but continuing to practice and hone his skills, along with feeding his friends. His talents improved immensely, and he eventually placed second in the World Food Championships in bacon and hamburger. (You might say the steaks were high).
Called a grill master and pit master, Keiles, who now lives in the seafood region Gloucester, Mass., said he’s been cooking for about 20 years. He’s cooked professionally all over the world, including as far away as Iceland. “What I do is BBQ,” he said. “I have a line of seasonings and rubs that I created over the past 10 years or so, as well as a line of bacon.”
If you recognize Keiles from television, it’s because he has competed on the Food Network reality show: Chopped Grill Masters.
His newest venture is Meat and Sweet Foods, a home-based bakery, and a food trailer where he’ll sell both baked goods and meat. “You can walk away with a pulled pork sandwich and a brownie.”
For more on Keiles experience on Chopped, my experience ingesting a spoonful of RibsWithin’ Rub 4 All seasoning, RouteSmart and CarrierTrack, be sure to subscribe and download our podcast Right on Time with RouteSmart, which is available on your favorite podcast directories including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.