Girl Power: Why Females Have More Impact on Your Restaurant's Success Than You Thought

Girl Power: Why Females Have More Impact on Your Restaurant's Success Than You Thought

Back in September, Foodable hosted a new conference, the Foodservice Digital Marketing Summit, which was comprised of panel sessions with industry experts from all areas of the restaurant industry. One of the top sessions, in my opinion, was a Digital Generations panel that featured Allen Fazio (VP of Business Technology and Strategic Planning for Theme Parks & Resorts at the Walt Disney Company) and his daughter Ashley, a college student at ASU, as well as Louis Basile (CEO at Wildflower) and his son Zack, another Millennial. During that panel, Ashley and Zack both revealed how they go about finding new restaurants and what impacts their dining decisions.

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FDMS: Where Food Meets Social

FDMS: Where Food Meets Social

The First Annual Foodservice Digital Marketing Summit, which took place in Phoenix at the Talking Stick Resort last week, included speakers from some of social and digital media’s most forward-thinking brands. (We’re looking at you, Taco Bell.) Also in the speaker line-up were reps from Firehouse Subs, White Castle, Smashburger, The Walt Disney Company, Red Mango, and several other notables. (You can view the full schedule, along with speakers, here.)

What We Learned

Unlike Vegas, what happens at FDMS does not stay at FDMS - it is a social conference, after all. In case you missed it, here’s a breakdown of some key highlights from a few the panels:

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The RIZMY Wrap-Up: Which Brands Came Out On Top?

The RIZMY Wrap-Up: Which Brands Came Out On Top?

DigitalCoCo recently unveiled the winning brands at the First Annual RIZMY Awards at the premier Foodservice Digital Marketing Summit (FDMS), co-located with FSTEC NexGen in Phoenix. This is the first awards ceremony of its kind.

The RIZMYs applaud foodservice brands - both multi-unit and independent, ranging from QSRs to fine dining - that are rocking social and digital media. The eight awards include: Overall Brand of the Year, Most Loved Brand of the Year, Mobile Brand of the Year, Most Influential Brand of the Year, Location-Based Brand of the Year, Digital Executive of the Year, Digital Innovator of the Year, and Social Chef of the Year. 

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The Social Chef is More Than Just a Hashtag, It’s a Way of Business

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Between the biggest social platforms — Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube – chefs now have the ability to reach thousands of consumers at one time, in one place. Some chefs share relevant food articles, some Instagram their succulent dishes (#foodporn), and others use their social platforms to unveil daily specials. The best social chefs do all of the above and more. They seek innovation to promote their work, and by doing so, create a brand for themselves. Needless to say, the Social Chef is a huge part of the foodservice industry for the New Age consumer.

To emphasize its importance, DigitalCoCo’s RIZMY Awards, which applauds the best brands rocking it on social and digital media, includes a Social Chef of the Year award in its eight award lineup. Winners, narrowed down from our original Top 20 nominees, were recently announced at the First Annual Foodservice Digital Marketing Summit. The three Social Chef of the Year finalists were each within less than a point of each other.  Read More

Cinnabon President Kat Cole's Rise to Success

Photo Credit: Entrepreneur.com

Photo Credit: Entrepreneur.com

The foodservice industry, like many industries, doesn't boast many female executives.

Kat Cole, President of Cinnabon, is on a mission to prove that rising through the ranks isn't impossible. Cole started working a second job as a Hooters girl in her hometown of Jacksonville, FL, while still in high school to help support her family. Her work ethic moved her up the ladder, allowing her to travel frequently to open up new franchise locations - so much so that she didn't have the time to keep up with her college courses, so she dropped out. Soon enough, Hooters offered Cole a corporate position in Atlanta, an offer she couldn't refuse. She was an executive vice president (without a bachelor's degree, mind you) by the age of 26. And then decided to go back to school to get an MBA.

Years later, she accepted a position with Cinnabon. Now, as well as keeping busy as President at Cinnabon, Cole is passionately and proactively trying to make a difference with her humanitarian efforts around the world. She has also maintained an ahead-of-the-curve digital branding strategy for Cinnabon, making her a recent nominee for The Magnificent 12: Top Digital Execs of the Year list, and, in relation, a Digital Executive of the Year RIZMY Award nominee. Cole has also been featured on one of our Turn & Burn episodes, 'Digital Leaders Taking it to the Next Level,' which you can watch below.

For more about her career and how she rose to the top of a multi-national brand, you can read more here.