Operators stressed engaging the full staff when it comes to marketing, from the store level to corporate employees. An operator’s biggest advocate is its workers, said Andrea Von Utter, chief marketing officer of Tavistock Restaurant Collection. Larry Rusinko, CMO of Farmer Boys, echoed that sentiment. Engaging the front of house when promoting a product is key, Rusinko says, because “if your staff isn’t behind it, they aren’t going to move it.”
On the corporate side, Matt Olsen, senior manager of digital marketing for Firehouse Subs, emphasized making sure that marketing and tech departments remain intertwined. As marketing continues to evolve and include more digital components, a faulty app or website could derail a promotion.