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Search Is On for New Chipotle CEO and More Rewards in Store at 7-Eleven

by MRM Staff 6 Min Read

Plenty of #WednesdayWisdom in MRM's Daily Bite with news from Chipotle, LoyaltyPlant and OrderLord, 7-Eleven, PLANTLAB and Bridg.

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.  

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Chipotle Searches for New Leader

Steve Ells, Chipotle Mexican Grill chairman and CEO – and the founder of the company in 1993 – will become executive chairman following the completion of a search to identify a new CEO. The board has formed a search committee comprised of Directors Robin Hickenlooper and Ali Namvar, as well as Ells, to identify a new leader with demonstrated turnaround expertise to help address the challenges facing the company, improve execution, build customer trust, and drive sales.

We need to execute better to ensure our future success.

“I am incredibly proud of Chipotle and our people – and grateful to our loyal customers – and while we are continuing to make progress, it is clear that we need to move faster to make improvements,” said Ells. “Simply put, we need to execute better to ensure our future success. The board and I are committed to bringing in an experienced leader with a passion for driving excellence across every aspect of our business, including the customer experience, operations, marketing, technology, food safety, and training.”

Added Ells, “Bringing in a new CEO is the right thing to do for all our stakeholders. It will allow me to focus on my strengths, which include bringing innovation to the way we source and prepare our food. It will ultimately improve our ability to provide our guests with delicious food that is prepared with high quality ingredients that are raised responsibly and served in a way that is accessible to everyone. I am confident that this will allow us to deliver value for our shareholders, and provide rewarding opportunities for our employees. Chipotle has vast unrealized potential. As we work hard to restore our brand, I believe we can capitalize on opportunities, including in areas such as the digital experience, menu innovation, delivery, catering, and domestic and international expansion, to deliver significant growth.”

Chipotle lead independent director Neil W. Flanzraich said, “Steve is a visionary leader and one of the most successful restaurateurs in history, having grown Chipotle from a single restaurant in Colorado to more than 2,350 restaurants today. Steve made the decision, and the Board agreed, that now is the right time to identify a new CEO who can reinvigorate the brand and help the company achieve its potential. We are committed to recruiting a world-class CEO for this incredible opportunity.”

The Board has retained the services of leading executive recruitment firm Spencer Stuart to assist in the search for a new CEO. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in Denver in 1993 and now operates more than 2,350 restaurants.

LoyaltyPlant and OrderLord Team Up

LoyaltyPlant and OrderLord  have partnered to enable restaurants to manage their multiple location deliveries and promote repeating orders effortlessly. LoyaltyPlant is an all-in-one marketing solution integrating a white-label loyalty and digital ordering mobile app with a reward program and a desktop CRM system. The solution is built based on the experience of working with 580 brands (including KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut) and the behavior analysis of 10 million users. The CRM system allows to manage, segment and analyze a customer base and launch highly personalized marketing campaigns on the fly. 

OrderLord is delivery management software sets for restaurants and chains to become more efficient in managing, dispatching and routing orders. The software is based on order tracking and real-time order updates designed to create a more efficient process and provide them to take full control over their delivery service. OrderLord provides management software with automatic dispatching, kitchen screens, apps for delivery guys, order tracker for customers, lightweight POS and reports.

Dušan Koutný, CEO & Co-founder of OrderLord, said, ‘With this helpful set of software tools restaurants will improve their overall performance and make sure every dollar is used wisely. “The integration between OrderLord and LoyaltyPlant came into existence with the idea to provide better services to our customers. LoyaltyPlant is one of the best loyalty solutions on the market and we are happy to have this opportunity to cooperate with them. We've enjoyed the cooperation and a great customer service since the beginning."

‘The cooperation with the OrderLord team has been fantastic," said Joe Caraballo, Business Development Director at LoyaltyPlant. "Ultimately, our common goal is to help businesses increase revenue and streamline operations by offering an out-of-the-box solution that includes Digital Ordering, Loyalty, POS integration, and Delivery Service Management. With LoyaltyPlant and OrderLord, hospitality businesses only need our two solutions to offer all these functionalities."

The first who tried the integration is the U.K. pizza chain, The Fat Pizza. 

 7Rewards Expands

7Rewards – the mobile customer loyalty app that earns users a free beverage for every six cups purchased – has expanded to enable customers to earn rewards points for hundreds of other 7-Eleven product purchases. After successful testing in Canada, the updated 7Rewards app has landed in the U.S. Approximately 80 percent of products are available in-app for redemption. Plus, customers can earn 7Rewards bonus points on select items, as well as receive digital coupons. Now, those enrolled don't have to have the coupons in their basket. Instead, customers simply scan an applicable item and the digital coupons will be immediately applied allowing customers to get their rewards much faster.

"Variety is important to 7-Eleven customers. You can see it in the ever-increasing assortment of products and services offered throughout our 8,900 U.S. locations," said Scott Albert, 7-Eleven Director of Digital Products. "Now, we have extended that flexibility to 7Rewards, which gives our most loyal customers the chance to reap even greater benefits beyond what they earn from beverage purchases."

"Over nine million users were enrolled in the original 7Rewards program, encouraging 7-Eleven to expand and enhance the program to a points program," said Tarang Sethia, 7-Eleven Senior Director of Loyalty and CRM. "The 7Rewards Points program gamifies the customer experience, allowing consumers to earn while purchasing."

The enhancements to 7Rewards are key aspects of a company-wide initiative to create greater customer engagement by personalizing and customizing the customer experience, both in-store and through digital technologies. 

"Our intent is to make every customer interaction valuable and delightful," said Gurmeet Singh, 7-Eleven Chief Digital Officer. "We are customer focused and constantly striving to find opportunities that create effortless interactions with the 7-Eleven brand."

PLANTLAB Partners With Vegan Celebrity Chef 

PLANTLAB, the plant-based culinary academy has partnered with vegan chef and healthy living educator Leslie Durso to inspire lifelong eating habits providing approachable recipes, tips and demonstrations.

PLANTLAB Culinary Academy Partners With Vegan Celebrity Chef and Healthy Living Educator Leslie Durso

The partnership with Leslie Durso further exemplifies PLANTLAB's focus to meet the public's increasing interest in plant-based cuisine and the art of its preparation. Through the partnership Leslie Durso will be creating and curating exclusive content among PLANTLAB's updated online platform at PLANTLAB.com. Through these efforts the PLANTLAB team aims to make the art of plant-based cuisine approachable for all, from the beginner to the expert. Content will include online videos and demonstrations, menu consultation as well as recipe development. Durso will also participate in exclusive on-site workshops.

 "I am thrilled to partner with the team at PLANTLAB," Durso said."Through the partnership my aim is to incorporate a culmination of global recipes from my travels and work, proving that a plant-based diet is easily attainable and from all corners of the world."

PLANTLAB's CEO Adam Zucker commented, "Our partnership with Leslie Durso stems from a commitment to reaching a wide audience of vegan enthusiasts. Our goal is to show that the benefits of a vegan lifestyle are attainable for all and at any level that individuals are willing to incorporate into their day-to-day."

PLANTLAB is an international culinary academy created to meet the increasing interest and demand for plant-based cuisine and the art of its preparation. The team at PLANTLAB emphasizes the use of whole, organic, unprocessed, plant-based foods to achieve healthy, aesthetically refined and flavorful cuisine. Coursework features intimate classes and weekend workshops which incorporate personalized instruction to allow for an integrated hands-on experience in the academy's state-of-the-art classrooms and online platform.

Bridg Adds Chief Technology Officer

Rony Sawdayi will serve as Bridg's chief technology officer. The former Vice President of Engineering at Bizrate Insights Inc., will oversee the development and optimization of Bridg’s consumer data and messaging platforms, lead the growth of its services, and guide innovative development of data-driven performance and insights. He will report directly to Bridg founder and chief executive officer, Amit Jain.

RonySawdayi
Rony Sawdayi

“Rony’s deep experience with retail data and ability to deliver business intelligence and marketing technologies will provide the foundation and leadership required to position our engineering team for the next phase of growth,” said Jain. “With a track record of building solid and successful teams that embody a fun and productive culture, he will be instrumental in helping to further develop Bridg’s world-class technology team and mentorship program.  We’re thrilled to welcome him.”

A seasoned technology executive with a 25-year record of strategic leadership and innovation, Sawdayi is known for designing and engineering products that deliver scalable software and cloud services. His work pushes the boundaries of what’s possible using the latest tools and technologies in machine learning, data science, analytics and micro-services. Sawdayi has led software teams at Shopzilla/Connexity in the development of a diverse suite of products and services that included Big Data platforms, Java micro-services, and enterprise solutions. In recent years at Bizrate he rolled-out data pipelines and highly available solutions on Amazon AWS.

“With its distinguished and well-connected leadership, strong vision, and promising product, Bridg is building a platform that provides a new depth of insights and actionability that are driving measurably increased sales for leading restaurant brands,” said  Sawdayi. “I’m proud to join Bridg and be part of a company that is at the forefront of impacting an industry. Our developers and engineers are first-rate, sophisticated and eager. Together, we’re going to solve big data problems with advanced cloud solutions and build multiple high-performance development teams that are focused on delivering outstanding products for our clients.”

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