Every business owner says the customer comes first. But success really comes when customers and your team members have the same priorities. In this episode of Restaurants Reinvented, Jen Kern, welcomes Paul Macaluso, President and CEO at Another Broken Egg Cafe, to discuss the importance of investing in your staff.
Paul talks about his journey from field marketing to product marketing and later CMO to eventually becoming President at McAlister’s Deli and now Another Broken Egg. He reflects on the changes he’s seen across the restaurant marketing landscape, namely the growth of digital media and the importance of technology and digital transformation.
For anyone interested in becoming a brand president, Paul recommends investing significant amounts of time and energy in building relationships — and maintaining those relationships, including with mentors, over time. ”You are the owner of your career, and you gotta make the investment,” says Paul.
🌶️ Major growth emanated from new off-prem business and alcohol sales.
Another Broken Egg got creative with offering new alcoholic beverages, and made them available during delivery. Combined with the addition of off-prem business, check sizes have increased and incremental sales are up 25% over 2019.
🌶️ Invest in your employee’s careers – and your own!
If you want your business to grow, you need to show appreciation to your team members. They need to feel acknowledged and rewarded for their excellent performance. One of the things Paul’s team is working on now is improving employee rewards and recognition, making sure they’re investing in people and rewarding the right behavior. They have this outlined among their core values and have integrated employee recognition along with peer-to-peer recognition for doing a great job.
🌶️ Hyper-local digital media strategies are more effective for him.
Paul shares his experience working at Sonic where they did national advertising and had reached critical efficiency. But coming out of the pandemic, hyper-local strategies are more effective. He talks about the changes in the digital media space and new ways to create awareness.
🌶️ Refreshing your tech stack.
In the past year, Paul’s team has successfully innovated their tech stack. They tested a pay-at-the-table solution and ramped up third-party delivery and online ordering. This allowed management to be more nimble and open and access different data points. “Technology is the golden thread that connects us with our customers.”
Implementing & scaling off-prem from 0 to 15% of business
Another Broken Egg Cafe has quickly adapted to the alternative ways of delivering their food. ”We started promoting off-premise third-party delivery and our online ordering platforms. Now it’s a significant part of our business, over 15% of our business. It carried us through the pandemic.
We were able to keep things going, provide jobs for people, and keep the brand growing. That is now a big part of our business, and something that I think will be for a long time. We’ve had to change some operations models and also changed some of our prototype layouts and operations procedures.”
Invest in careers for your people
Working at Taco Bell and seeing how the company invests in its employees influenced Paul significantly. He believes business growth depends on an organization’s willingness to focus on its employees. As Paul explains, the brand grows as much as it allows its members to grow professionally. ”People that have a desire to get into management, we’ve got a nice career path for them. That’s not for everybody because some people don’t want that. But for the people that have that desire, we’re making sure we have those programs in place.”
Investing in relationships helps you evolve professionally
Aside from working on your skills, it’s also about finding the right connections. Paul’s career took off when he invested in relationships. It’s not just about the skills, but it was about the relationships. Find mentors and people you can confide in; people that can be honest with you about what your opportunities are. For someone in marketing who wants to become a brand president — connect with somebody that’s done it, connect with somebody that’s made that leap. Have honest conversations about where you are, where you need to grow, invest in the relationships.
”You need to find the right organization that believes in the skill sets that marketers have.”