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EP 41 / Myles Gift / VP of Operations at Wing Zone and Honey Q sauce fanatic

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Myles knows wings. More importantly, as the VP of operations at Wing Zone – a restaurant with nearly 80 locations in 25 states – Myles knows how to make great wings on a large scale and serve them up in an atmosphere that makes customers want to come back for more. In this episode, we talk about the hiring and retention struggles facing restaurants and the importance of programs that make employees happy and motivated. We also chat about competing in a flooded wing market and we get a sneak peek at how Wing Stop is using robotics to change the wing-making game.

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Forktales
EP 41 / Myles Gift / VP of Operations at Wing Zone and Honey Q sauce fanatic
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Show Notes

Myles is the Vice President of Operations at Wing Zone, a restaurant with nearly 80 locations in 25 states that offers “bigger, better, flavor-fuzed wings, plus burgers, tenders & more.” 

The COVID pandemic has increased the pressure on restaurant owners and managers to implement programs that reward employees and boost employee morale. 

It’s important for restaurant leadership to sometimes roll up their sleeves and work alongside employees and engage with employees at the ground level. 

Wing Zone is constantly evolving its offerings and the experience it provides to customers and hopes to implement the “2.0” experience currently in use in test markets across all Wing Zone locations.   

There are a lot of negative perceptions about the use of robotics and technology in the restaurant industry. Robotics should be repositioned as a way to accentuate and strengthen the customer experience.  

Quotes

“The restaurant industry is a tough industry to be in because you have to be on all the time. To find people who are up for that challenge and excel at it is really difficult.”  – Joseph

“If you don’t do a great job of continually engaging (your employees) and continually developing them, they sometimes take their eye off of it and they don’t know what’s next for them and that’s when they start to look (for employment) at other places.”  – Myles

“It’s almost like flipping that historic JFK quote on its head and saying, “Ask not what you can do for my company, ask what my company can do for you.’” – Joseph

“There’s a perception across all industries that there are fat cats at the top who are just raking in the dough and laughing their way to the bank and building their financial empires on the backs of the busboy, and it’s just not true.”  – Joseph

“Every guest experience is more valuable than it was five years ago.” – Myles 

“(Robotics and technology) enhances the internal audience experience. Who wants to stand over a fryer for eight hours and at the end of your shift you’re covered in grease? If we can automate that, we can enhance our (employee) experience.” – Myles

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