Ep 63: Meredith Sandland / CEO of Empower Delivery & Digital Restaurant Dynamo
The 2008 recession sped the disruption of the retail industry and the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in the digital disruption of restaurants. Meredith Sandland understands that disruption – and why it’s a good thing – better than anyone.
In this episode of Forktales, we chat with Meredith about the restaurant tech revolution, eliminating complexity in restaurant operations and how “Delivering the Digital Restaurant” is actually a whole lot easier than most people think.
Ep 62: Zach Anderson / Brand Partner at Seasoned & Restaurant Talent Rainmaker
Attracting and retaining high-quality talent is the single biggest challenge facing restaurants today. Zach Anderson and Seasoned – a social community often described as “Linkedin for restaurant workers” – makes that process easier.
On today’s Forktales menu, Zach and Joseph talk about the best qualities restaurants should look for in younger workers and which restaurants are doing a great job of attracting and retaining talent. Joseph also reveals why he has nightmares about half-eaten plates of dippy eggs.
Ep 61: Zach Goldstein / CEO of Thanx, loyalty leader and restaurant money-maker
Zach Goldstein’s goal? To help restaurants make more money. That’s why he founded Thanx, a leading loyalty and guest engagement platform for restaurants, and why he’s so passionate about helping restaurants build effective loyalty programs.
In this episode of Forktales, Joseph and Zach talk about apps (and why they’re not always the answer), the power of good data, the best way to get loyalty program sign-ups, and how a year-round McRib could be the most effective loyalty perk of all time.
Ep 60: Carin Stutz / President & CEO of Native Foods and vegan trailblazer
Carin Stutz has built a career at some of the biggest steak and burger restaurants in America, including Applebee’s, Chili’s and Red Robin. That carnivorous past is what makes her current role – President and CEO of vegan start-up, Native Foods – such a refreshing change of pace.
In this episode of Forktales, Joseph and Carin talk about supply chain issues, mentorship with the GLEAM Network, the secret to a great vegan burger and why no one is eating bugs so let’s stop calling that a “trend” because we all know it’s not.
Ep 59: Adenah Bayoh, CEO and Founder & One-Woman Economic Engine
Adenah is the living definition of the American dream. She came to the United States at the age of 13 after escaping a war torn Liberia. Today, she’s the owner of four IHOP franchises and the founder of four restaurants of her own, including three locations of her fast casual, farm-to-table, soul food restaurant, Cornbread, and her newest dining venture, Urban Vegan.
In this episode of Forktales, Adenah shares her amazing story about overcoming adversity, the importance of supporting often overlooked communities, and how the lessons she learned from her grandmother have helped make her the successful entrepreneur she is today.
Ep 58: Olga Lopategui / Founder of Ollo Consulting & Email & Loyalty Marketing Maven
After 15 years in restaurant marketing at Pizza Hut, KFC and TGI Fridays, Olga decided to focus her marketing expertise on loyalty and CRM. With that, OLLO Restaurant Loyalty was born and her clients include restaurant chains with five to 800 locations.
In this episode of Forktales, Olga talks about the challenges facing restaurant marketers today, how to put segmentation to work in your email marketing and how loyalty programs are a not-so-secret weapon when it comes to building your email database.
Ep 57: Andy Pearson / VP of Creative for Liquid Death
As the lead creative at Liquid Death – a canned water company hellbent on changing the way that water is packaged and marketed – Andy’s job is to give everyone creative whiplash. Along the way, Andy and the Liquid Death team pride themselves on creating a product that makes people healthier and makes the world a better place.
In this episode of Forktales, Joseph and Andy talk about the “sea of sameness” that is the bottled water category, zigging while everyone else is zagging and rewarding loyal fans on TikTok.
Ep 56: Andrew O’Shea / Founder of Wellspring, Wellness Expert & Builder of Culture
Just a few years ago, Andrew worked in HR for an accounting firm. He was 60 pounds overweight (but hungry for change) and then he discovered a yoga program sponsored by his employer. Today, he’s a certified wellness program coordinator (CWPO) and the founder and CEO of Wellspring, a company that creates kits filled with wellness products that employers can distribute to its employees to help build a health and wellness-based culture.
In this episode of Forktales, Andrew talks about all things wellness, including how wellness can impact a company’s overall productivity and its bottom line. He also chats about the importance of individualized care, building culture and his love/hate relationship with carbohydrates.
Ep 55: Jason Gabler / VP of Sales at Adentro, Data & Digital Hospitality Guru
If you’re a restaurant owner or marketer and you’re not laser focused on digital hospitality, Jason Gabler can help you make it happen. He’s VP of Sales at Adentro, a platform that pairs with a restaurant’s in-store WiFi network to help it better understand and market to its customers based on customer visit behavior.
In this episode, Joseph and Jason take a closer look at digital hospitality (and now restaurants can do it more effectively), how to make data more actionable, and why no one on Earth wants to be blasted by an email from a marketer.
Ep 54: Lauren Fernandez / Founder of Full Course, Legal Scholar & Restaurant Franchise Expert
Almost overnight, Lauren rolled up her legal degree, bought a pair of non-slip clogs and went to work in the restaurant industry. After getting a first-hand look at the challenges new restaurant owners face, she founded Full Course, a development and investment firm that incubates and accelerates emerging fast casual restaurant brands.
In this episode of Forktales, Joseph and Lauren break down the in’s and out’s of investing in new restaurants. The menu includes discussions about what makes an effective manager, the importance of cleanliness and what’s on the horizon for new and emerging restaurant brands.
Ep 53: Jonathan Weathington / CEO of Shuckin’ Shack & Lobster Roll Lover
Jonathan Weathington knows oysters. He also knows how to grow and build a restaurant brand, which is why he’s the CEO of Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar. From his days of crashing on the co-founder’s couch to today, Jonathan has helped turn Shuckin’ Shack into a thriving 16-location chain in five states.
In this episode of Forktales, Joseph and Jonathan talk about seafood, the challenges with dealing with franchisees, how to maintain a happy staff and what oysters and french fries have in common when it comes to delivery.
Ep 52: Kevin Bentley / VP of Technology & Automation for Papa Gino’s Pizzeria
After a 10-year career as an NFL linebacker, Kevin shifted his focus to technology. He’s a self-described “glutton for pain” when it comes to education with an MBA from Rice, a Masters’s in Technology from Northwestern, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in organizational leadership at USC.
Today, he’s the VP of Technology & Automation for Papa Gino’s Pizzeria where he’s helping to take the wildly popular New England brand to the next level thanks to his NFL leadership skills and his razor-sharp understanding of technology and its place in the modern restaurant.