1993 – 1996 Fresh Choice-
Assistant Manager at highest volume restaurant in entire chain.
Did the usual- interview prospective employees, train personnel, review employees performance, ensure great customer service, sanitation, profitability, etc. . . Had the best labor % and food costs in the entire company.
Developed local area marketing programs that raised store volume and increased customer loyalty.
COW- Company of the Week: I would take some fresh baked muffins to a local business and ask to put them in the lobby for the employees, then leave a bunch of business cards and tell them that anyone from that company who came to eat lunch at our restaurant got 10% off this week. I would repeat this Wednesday and Friday so they wouldn’t forget. This not only got immediate results, but it also raised awareness of people who weren’t aware we were in their neighborhood.
Fundraisers- Local School Fundraisers: This was an experiment that exploded in popularity. I went to local schools and offered to have a night for them to bring their friends and eat and we would give them 10% of the money brought in that night. (always a tuesday or thursday night, our slowest.) This was fairly popular until I started posting the names of the schools and the amount of money they earned on the foyer walls. Then it exploded and we did them EVERY tuesday and thursday nights, which then had to be staffed like they were weekend nights. People also loved the fact that we supported their kids. Sales volume in general picked up 10% on the other days too. After about 6 months of this, we were competing with just about every other casual dining restaurant, pizza parlor in the area.
Created slogan, “Got Fresh Lately.” Combined the slogans, “Have you driven a Ford Lately” with “Got Milk” and tuned it to our brand. I Had a banner made up and displayed on the Mall Display facing the busiest street. Lots of great customer feedback.
I loved working here, my staff was wonderful, but after the General Manager, whom I considered one of the finest GMs I had ever worked with, was terminated out of the blue, followed by a parade of outside industry “superstars” who lasted only a few weeks each ruining years worth of training and successful programs. I felt helpless, watching a beautiful ship sink. I left for greener pastures. It’s no surprise to me Fresh Choice died a few years later.