Shining a light on the brilliant Restaurant Marketers behind our favorite brands. Get inspired with innovative brand building, guest engagement, and revenue-driving strategies. Join host Jen Kern, long-time CMO, as she dishes with leading restaurant marketing pros who are elevating their game and careers by staying agile in the face of uncertainty to help their brands shine and prosper.
Delivering the Digital Restaurant - Meredith Sandland & Carl Orsbourn of Learn Delivery
Hear what these two digital restaurant savants and best-selling authors, Meredith Sandland & Carl Orsbourn, have to say about the future of the restaurant industry and what possible challenges restaurant operators may face during the digital age.
Our guests had the idea to write their book, Delivering the Digital Restaurant, as they ''want the industry to survive this big omnichannel shift. And to do that, they need some tools and a group discussion to talk about how to navigate this"!
Moments to Listen For:
• The 2 Sides of Algorithmic Growth for Restaurants - Not only has the digital age introduced new avenues for exponential growth for restaurants such as with ghost kitchens and online ordering, but it will also allow operators to use data and algorithms to optimize their advertising & operations to help grow their brand.
• Bringing the Restaurant to the People - The digital restaurant will allow brands to transcend their brick-and-mortar locations, and bring the restaurant right to their guests' doorstep. Convenience is key.
• Cater to Your Workers - The new generation of workers, the Millenials and Gen-We (a.k.a Gen-Z), is a different beast. They are truly digital natives and have different priorities than previous generations such as being motivated by purpose-driven work. Reaching and appealing to them will be a challenge for many operators.
• Be Nimble & Aim to Innovate - The digital age brings a lot of unknowns to the restaurant industry. To be successful, operators must be willing to innovate, experience, and recognize that they're going to fail at times. Being flexible and having an agile tech stack will help you be ready for any change that is still to come.
• Get your copy of Delivering the Digital Restaurant!
• 5 Things You Need to Know About Gen We.
• Is Your Digital Foundation Built on Sand or Stone?
• 10 Best Practices for Launching a Virtual Brand & Ghost Kitchen
Connect with Meredith & Carl on LinkedIn!
How to Get Closer to Your Customer & What Does POS Have to Do with It? - Solomon Choi, CEO & Founder of 16 Handles
Join this modern and savvy restaurateur and marketer, Solomon Choi, as we explore why POS has fallen into the “uncool” category in an industry sprinting to keep up with the digital consumer.
Solomon explains how he got into the “FroYo” business and found himself on point for figuring out the technology as well.
Moments to Listen For:
• Omni-Channel is Not New to Consumers. The consumer has been omni-channel for many years, it’s just that the hospitality and foodservice industry has been behind and is now starting to play catch up.
• Legacy POS - Solomon describes the ah-ha moment when he realized his POS was legacy - they told him it could not integrate with his loyalty provider. That was the point at which he knew he needed better solutions to serve his customers.
• Weaponizing Data - He loves to talk about not just accessing data, but then what do you do with it… he likes to weaponize his data to figure out how he can deliver above and beyond for his customers.
• We’re in the First Quarter - the industry is in the first quarter of change and evolution. It’s a very exciting time!
• There are so many different touchpoints in the food journey, to think that your brand is not omni-channel is foolish!
• 5 Must-Have Features for Unified Omni-Channel Ordering (a free e-book on omni-channel ordering)
• Redefining Loyalty (a Restaurants Reinvented episode with 2 loyalty experts!)
• Unified POS Data: Why Your Restaurant Chain Needs It
• Omni-channel & Dynamic Stores
Connect with Solomon on LinkedIn!
How to Balance Data & Ideation - Alice Crowder, CMO of Krystal Restaurants
For this 40th episode of Restaurants Reinvented, we're hosting the new CMO at Krystal Restaurants, Alice Crowder. Alice has a very distinct and innovative way of testing "new ideas" and it comes down to a detailed process hinging on research and data -- while still leaving tons of room for creativity.
• Balancing Data and the Creative Process
Alice's approach to marketing is a marriage of instinct & innovation supported by a process infrastructure. Hear how she and her team use data from focus groups & market research to iteratively whittle down from 100 ideas to a select few every six weeks.
• Modernizing the Guest Experience
In her first six months as CMO, Alice has spearheaded the launch of Krystal's first mobile app & retooled their website to facilitate loyalty, online ordering, and delivery for their guests. Guests can now meaningfully interact with Krystal like never before; via college athlete ambassadors & influencers on social media. Early Results: Digital engagement increased from 0.2% to 3.5% in just a few months.
• Shifting Focus from Value to >>> Convenience and Craveability
Alice introduces the idea of efficient indulgence for restaurants. Today, most guests focus more on convenience and craveability than on value. Thus, the next step forward for restaurants is to optimize the off-premise to meet guests where they are (and it's a moving target for sure!!!).
• The Emerging Marriage Between Marketing and Technology
Marketing teams are adopting emerging technologies in almost every industry because customer preferences are evolving faster than ever. Alice says Krystal is on track to eventually have 1:1 marketing (as they grow their users on their app), smart menu boards, and even using AI to improve their guest experience.
Krystal Restaurants is the famous burger chain from down South with 360 locations worldwide! Alice previously served as the brand's Vice President of Marketing from 2014 to 2018 before leaving to head innovation at Tropical Smoothie Cafe.
• How Church's Chicken Uses Data to Drive Digital Marketing
• Let’s Think Outside the Bun with Greg Creed (referenced episode)
• Connect with Alice on LinkedIn
Back in Person at FSTEC (Live!) - Marcus Viscidi of Winsight Media & Zack Oates of Ovation
Join us as we celebrate getting back to the first in-person conference in 18 LONG months. This week's episode is with Marcus Viscidi (Winsight Media) & Zack Oates (Ovation), as they reflect on the sweeping changes and impacts to the hospitality industry and how that made this first live event even more meaningful.
Marcus, a hospitality expert and leading Winsight Media spokesperson, has his finger on the pulse of all the hot topics in restaurants today. He emphasized the true heart and soul of the industry -- SERVING OTHERS and discussed ways we can all do a better job of that.
He believes that restaurant operators are more forward-thinking today and that it has carried over to all aspects of the business. "We all have an eye on the future now ... How can we look ahead? What are the blindspots?" This is what Winsight is prioritizing across all its event content, from FSTEC to RLC.
"I think we're going to see fewer events in the future, but the ones that do happen will be that much impactful," says Marcus.
Zack is the CEO and Founder of Ovation customer feedback software. He talked about how the meaning of integration has changed and evolved. "There's much more openness to integration today...and figuring out how to work together. It's all about "working together to find the solutions that fit your guests' journey," said Zack.
Our favorite quotes:
"The biggest thing about the future is we must be customer-obsessed"
"I'm excited about the future, I'm excited about technology, and I feel bullish about what 2022 will bring."
"There's a surge of need for interaction and as Neil Diamond said, hands touching hands, that's what the world needs."
More about our guests:
Marcus Viscidi is the orchestrator for some of the biggest events in the hospitality industry: FSTEC, RLC, and NRA. His role as VP of Enterprise Sales at Winsight is to facilitate the relationship building between restaurant brands with allied retail vendors to help the industry move forward! Connect with him on LinkedIn here.
Zack Oates: You've probably seen him on LinkedIn recently! Besides being a part-time influencer & fellow podcaster, Zack is the founder and CEO of Ovation, a customer experience and engagement platform that is taking our standard guest feedback to the future with chatbots, machine learning, and more... let's forget those unhelpful receipt surveys! Connect with him on LinkedIn here.
Let's Think Outside the Bun, with Greg Creed - former CEO & CMO of Yum! Brands
Hear from The Godfather of restaurant marketing himself, Greg Creed, former CEO at Yum! Brands and CEO/CMO of Taco Bell where he spearheaded the famous “Think Outside the Bun” campaign. Another small feather in his cap…. Running the Dove brand for Unilever.
Most recently he’s co-authored a book with Ken Muench called R.E.D. Marketing: The Three Ingredients of Leading Brands - Relevance, Ease, and Distinctiveness.
Greg is chock full of marketing wisdom and experience, and has the street cred to prove it - during his tenure as CEO at Yum! Brands the company saw tremendous sales and profit growth. He boasts an unconventional but refreshing leadership style that starts with people, brands, and cultural relevance.
All at once, Greg is relatable, down-to-earth, humble, self-deprecating, and brilliant. He cites his greatest achievement as building a culture where people felt valued, empowered, and courageous. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did!
Some of Greg’s top beliefs and advice (a true gold mine here):
• The two most important assets in a company are not measurable -- brands & people.
Although the value of a brand and its people are hard to quantify, Greg believes they are the key to having a strong balance sheet. To him, successful CEOs look past the numbers on a P&L and understand the crucial role People & Brand plays.
• Prioritize SOBO - sales overnight and brands over time. Greg says the very Best Marketers can do both. If you don’t build the sales overnight you won’t be around long enough to build the brand over time.
• Brands must always be Reinventing & Transforming.
A brand is never standing still, it’s either moving forward or backward. Norms within the restaurant industry are changing, so companies need to evolve and grow to stay relevant. Greg says that any successful transformation is rooted in a good team experience and that taking care of and supporting your frontline employees should be priority number one.
• Marketers need to be courageous.
And you “can’t be courageous in the absence of fear.” An example, his launch of Doritos Locos Tacos. Being courageous also means not always adhering to a strict process. "I know organizations need processes to make things happen... But, I believe people fundamentally think that if [they] just go through a process, big ideas will come out at the end. And I've never seen that to be the case".
• Create an emotional response, not an emotional connection.
To Greg, brands forging a long-lasting emotional connection with their consumers is almost unattainable. Instead, your goal as marketers should be to elicit an emotional response from your guests. "Do I want you to love Taco Bell? No, not necessarily. But, when you go to Taco Bell, does it make you feel happy? Do you get a smile?".
• Be Distinctive, not Different. People get too hung up on functional differentiation… Replace differentiation with distinctiveness.
• Connect with Greg Creed on LinkedIn
• Greg's Book - R.E.D. Marketing: The Three Ingredients of Leading Brands
Here’s How She Does It (One Sweet Episode) - Betsy Hamm, CEO of Duck Donuts
Today's female CEO super-star, Betsy Hamm, joins Restaurants Reinvented to talk about franchise marketing, branding, community involvement, empathetic leadership, & so much more!
Betsy is the new CEO of Duck Donuts, a successful donut shop franchise with 100+ stores worldwide. She entered the restaurant industry after working at Hershey Foods for 14 years. After that, Betsy started the formal marketing function at Duck Donuts, moved into operations, and is now the chief executive officer. From the time she joined the company five years ago, Duck Donuts has achieved 5x growth and continues to expand across the globe.
We're so excited to have a smart, strong, and courageous female marketer turned CEO on our show today!
• The beauty of a franchisee brand
Betsy & Duck Donuts stresses the importance of community involvement and their franchisees excel at being extending the brand locally, anything from donating donuts to schools to dropping some off at the local fire station. The marketing "...really has to be from the franchisee's perspective ... getting them to really own the brand and elevate their game to help grow the brand and their store sales..." is the focus on Duck Donut's branding.
• What does a well-thought-out franchising model look like?
Hear how Betsy uses the predictive index assessment to find the right 'marriage' with franchisees that fit their culture and model.
• Why even small restaurant chains need marketing.
Betsy does a great job explaining how marketing and brand building helps even small restaurants build a bigger-than-life brand. She details the "free" marketing channels available, such as social media and others.
• Use social media to engage with your customers.
If you already receive lots of user-generated content on social media, why not use it to your benefit! That's exactly what marketers at Duck Donuts focus on, their customers' love. "We don't have millions of dollars in our marketing budgets. So we do have to be very strategic and also very engaged with our customers to maximize their love for us."
• Empathetic Leadership
The importance of being empathetic, realistic, and positive. As humans, leaders, and workers. Betsy focuses on constant communication with franchisees to help them get through uncertain times.
• From junior Marketer to CMO to COO to CEO!
Not only is Betsy an experienced and talented marketer, but she also thrives in connecting the dots and uniting marketing and operations. Combining these skills turned out to be the key reason why the CEO asked her to replace him. She's now 4 months into her new role and we know she's going to do GREAT THINGS!
Tune in to hear her sweet & exciting story.
• Connect with Betsy Hamm on LinkedIn
• Duck Donuts
• The Biggest Challenges and Opportunities for Restaurant Marketers in 2021
• Refresh Your Brand (Now!) - (RR Podcast Episode)