How Hot Chicken Takeover is Reinventing the Fast Casual Experience

“Our mission is clear now — simply put, we want to keep creating extraordinary experiences for extraordinary people,” says Joe DeLoss.

On this episode of Emerging Brands, Joe DeLoss—the founder of fast casual restaurant chain Hot Chicken Takeover—discusses bringing Nashville-style fried chicken to Columbus, Ohio. Inspired by Nashville restaurant favorites Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack and Monell’s, Joe DeLoss decided to create his own hot chicken restaurant chain.

Monell’s had family-style southern meals every day of the week,” says DeLoss. “You would join a table with ten other people, and I fell in love with the communal experience. Most guests walking into a fast casual restaurant don’t remember being called out or greeted—our question was, how do we build the infrastructure of our restaurant around recreating that communal experience for our guests and employees?”

Over the last decade, Joe DeLoss has worked in a number of industries in an effort to create employment opportunities for people experiencing or who have experienced incarceration, homelessness, and other hardships. Founded in 2014, Hot Chicken Takeover has become a breakout brand in the Midwest. The chain boasts an excellent employee retention rate and an ever-growing customer base.

In this podcast, DeLoss details his retention and employee development goals as well as the core values of the fast casual chain.

The Hot Chicken Takeover team endeavors to operate from a place of “bold humility” in everything they do. “We listen to everything we hear and take it very seriously. Our goal is to acknowledge and address trends that our customers are experiencing before they become large problems,” explains DeLoss. “We know that we can always improve, and we’re unwilling to get in the way of progress. We measure an employee’s performance against that.”

Listen to the above podcast to learn more about the future of Hot Chicken Takeover, and check out our Emerging Brands podcast to hear from other rising leaders in the restaurant industry. You can also download the Top 150 Emerging Brands Guide to check out the full list of emerging brands from Foodable Labs.

This post is brought to you by Tyson Foods. To learn more, visit The Modern Chef Network.

Tom Holt, Founder and CEO of Urbane Cafe, Shares His Thoughts On Sustaining Growth

On this episode, Tom Holt, Founder and CEO of Urbane Cafe, shares with Foodable insightful information about focusing on the consumer and their demands to sustain growth.

“If you nail down your culture in your restaurant, and you have the right systems and processes in place, those are the areas you can create a winning brand,” said Holt.

Holt emphasizes on setting the culture for your brand that both your team and guests can understand. Whether a brand is within the start-up phases or an already-existing restaurant, setting up the culture and mission statements are the most influential decisions.

Urbane Cafe opened in 2003 in Holt’s hometown of Ventura, Calif. The idea was to create a true community café that focused on quality, healthy and satisfying meals. The concept revolves around a hearth oven, providing freshly baked bread made to order.

Produced by:

Rachel Brill

Rachel Brill

Social Producer


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Emerging Brand Series: McAlister's Deli Looks to the Future with Joe Guith

On this episode, seasoned food industry leader, Joe Guith, President of McAlister’s Deli®, shares with Foodable insightful information about the future outlook of the brand.

Within the course of the next year McAlister’s Deli plans to continue to elevate its menu to offer more premium items.

“We know that our guests want more from us and we can offer more and so you can expect to see that start in our soup lineup and more to salads, sides and even more spuds and sandwiches from a premium standpoint,” said Guith.

Be sure to download the Top 150 Emerging Brands Guide to see Foodable Lab's full list of emerging brands.

10 Rules for Restaurant Success that Will Reign in 2019

10 Rules for Restaurant Success that Will Reign in 2019

The year is quickly approaching the end. How time flies! If you haven’t started to make plans for next year, then now is the time to start!

Piss poor planning produces piss poor results. It’s not too early to get ahead of your competition. The outstanding restaurants are already making plans.

To get you on the path to an incredible year, here are 10 rules you will want to adopt into your plan for the next year. These are rules you need to put into action, they re not merely suggestions. You can either prepare for the upcoming restaurant storm (which in some markets is already here) or you can just keep doing what you are currently doing. Just be prepared to watch your market share get smaller each year if you do not take new action. One is a smarter mover and the other, well...not so much.

1. Know your Numbers

Of all the sins in the restaurant business, this has to be one of the most common. Not knowing your numbers. Why? Because you haven’t decided to run a business yet. Of course not knowing your numbers is not a crime (it should be), it’s more psychological.

By not stepping up to be the true leader and becoming financially accountable for the P&L you are sending out the message that you don’t own (run) a business....you just have a hobby. A very expensive hobby. Hobbies don’t stay in business very long.

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How BBC is Taking Branded Content to the Next Level

How BBC is Taking Branded Content to the Next Level

Thanks to big data, content creators are able to measure results much more efficiently.

Although now we can get real-time data from the multiple digital platforms that we are publishing content on, this space has presented some challenges for marketers.

Each brand is trying to catch the attention of today's distracted consumer and to do so, digital marketers have to think outside the box.

It’s not easy to juggle multiple channels and keep up with an especially active audience, but some brands have come up with ways to connect and keep the viewer engaged.

BBC StoryWorks, the team behind BBC Global News' content marketing department, has published a study that proves to create an emotional response in video drives better results for branded content.

To measure this, StoryWorks is recording eye-tracking and facial coding of viewers.

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