Brick and mortar isn’t dying, just evolving. Tyler Carlson of SiteZeus sits down with retail industry experts to discuss the intersection between retail and technology, how these individuals embraced or avoided this evolution, and how that affected the business.
0031 Austin Smith, Savory Fund
People are what makes or breaks a brand Learning from others’ stories and best practices in the restaurant industry Focusing on creating happy employees will, in turn, create happy customers Speaker bio:
Austin’s career an operator at Four Foods Group’s first location opened with Kneaders Bakery and Cafe. He was able to experience first-hand the operational side of restaurants, something that many other investors do not have. Austin was one of Four Foods Group’s first employees and was able to help grow the brand from the ground up. While there, he led the acquisition and integration of many food and beverage brands and developed over $100 million in commercial retail real estate.
Austin now serves as an investor with Savory Restaurant Fund, which is partnering with high potential emerging restaurants to facilitate their growth into multi-unit brands.
0030 David Beitz and George Daigh, Planned Grocery
Changes to the grocery industry caused by COVID-19 Why some grocery stores don’t make it past the planning stages How Planned Grocery came to be Speaker bio:
David Beitz and George Daigh are Co-Founders of Beitz and Daigh Geographics, Inc. the company that created Planned Grocery in 2016. Planned Grocery is a data mapping platform company that tracks grocery store real estate development cycles. The platform currently includes over 2,500 locations across the United States that are either proposed, planned, under construction, or built within the last 6 months.
0029 Anonymous Restaurant Professional
The advantage of having offered delivery pre-pandemic Optimizing new and existing sites to be off-premise friendly The biggest issues on the minds of many restaurant professionals
0028 Jim Mizes, Blaze Pizza & SiteZeus
3 main takeaways:
Examples of the initiatives restaurants have taken to reach customers in new ways. What restaurant professionals should be doing to ensure they make it to the other side. How the future of the restaurant business will look. Speaker bio:
Jim Mizes started his career in the retail industry as a young man working at his father’s pharmacy. He then went to school and received a degree in accounting and began working in typical finance jobs. After realizing that accounting wasn’t what brought him joy, Jim joined Taco Bell as a general manager and quickly worked his way up to their VP of operations. In 1989, Jim repositioned the brand’s 59, 79, 99 campaign and saw a 60% growth in same-store sales. After building up several restaurant brands, Jim finally joined Blaze Pizza where he grew the brand from 2 stores to over 340 in only 6 and a half years.
Jim is now retired and recently joined SiteZeus’ board of directors to continue to help retail and restaurant brands grow into new markets.
0027 Fred LeFranc, Results Thru Strategy
3 main points:
Things that Fred learned from his mentors, like Rich Melman from Lettuce Entertain You, and how it molded him into the business consultant he is today How technology advancements disrupted the industry - both in front-of-house and in the kitchen How restaurants can improve the experience for their customers Speaker Bio:
Fred LeFranc originally began his career in the restaurant industry in Chicago at Lettuce Entertainment Expertise. He then worked with El Torito when the brand had only 18 restaurants, which lead to opening a restaurant in Laguna Beach and growing it to 250 locations. Fred has worked as CEO for over half-a-dozen restaurants. When he recognized that the industry was entering an era of creative destruction, Fred decided to open his business, Results Thru Strategy.
Working as a Chaos Strategist with Results Thru Strategy, Fred finds order in disorder working with entrepreneurs, investors, and c-suite executives. Helping companies find their purpose that resonates with each team member that makes the company who they are. He believes that trust and discretion is what makes his business relationships last long. Working with both big and small brands, he provides guidance and strategy to be a successful business no matter the hardship.
0026 Dee Ann Turner, Chick-fil-A
3 main points
Selecting talent versus hiring people Creating a company language that matches the existing behavior The key to retaining good talent Speaker Bio
Dee Ann Turner started her Chick-fil-A career as a secretary to the Vice President of Human Resources and eventually, moved up to the VP of Talent and HR becoming the very first female officer of the company. During her 33 years at Chick-fil-A, Dee Ann focused on growing the renowned culture of the company by recruiting for the corporate staff as well as selecting franchisees.
Dee Ann now owns her own organization which focuses on providing keynote speaking, consulting, and coaching around transforming and growing companies’ culture and talent. She has visited many corporations to speak about topics like The Recipe for a Remarkable Culture, How to Win with Who, The Secret Sauce of Legendary Customer Service, and more.
Dee Ann is also a 2x best selling author of Bet on Talent and It’s my Pleasure. Her books focus on creating remarkable talent and culture within an organization as well as its impact on customer loyalty as well as the entire company. Purchase Dee Ann’s latest book, Bet on Talent here: https://amzn.to/36habWW
Entertaining, insightful and actionable!
Really love what Tyler and the SiteZeus team are doing with this podcast! The conversations are incredible and definitely apply to business success beyond just physical retail stores (case and point: episode 22 was a masterclass on prioritizing long-term health of a business over short-term profits). Highly recommend listening and subscribing today if you want to learn how to level-up your business's performance and its ability to leverage the technology of our time!