You Should Talk To

Brandy Blackwell, VP of Marketing at Another Broken Egg. Loyalty + Brunch.

March 14, 2024 YouShouldTalkTo Season 1 Episode 40
You Should Talk To
Brandy Blackwell, VP of Marketing at Another Broken Egg. Loyalty + Brunch.
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of YouShouldTalkTo, Daniel Weiner sits down with Brandy Blackwell, VP of Marketing at the Another Broken Egg Cafe. Brandy is a strategic powerhouse all about optimizing her marketing strategy in 2024 and beyond.  

Marketing has changed drastically in this post Covid world and one of the things Brandy noticed is that people are aging into their social media platforms. Boomers and Gen Xers are on Facebook. You can’t even find a 20-something-year-old on Facebook. And 20 somethings and younger are on TikTok. Knowing where your audience is on social media will be a game changer in the next few years. 

Brandy also predicts that the next six months are going to be a little difficult economically, so you need to be able to be patient. Focus on those key business drivers and do what works for you rather than whatever everyone else is doing. Right now is the time to really personalize your strategy and make sure that what you’re doing is what’s best for your company and your franchisees. 

There’s the right way to give gifts and there’s the wrong way to give gifts. Brandy says that she will accept reasonable gifts if she doesn’t know they’re coming in the mail. But super grandiose gifts from people she’s never spoken to, or spoken to once or twice, is a big red flag. Especially when the sales people start to expect something because of the gift. 

This episode is full of great strategic advice for anyone looking to fine tune up their marketing strategy in 2024. 


Guest-at-a-Glance

💡 Name: Brandy Blackwell, VP of Marketing at Another Broken Egg Cafe

💡 Where to find them: LinkedIn


Key Insights:

Push and Pull

Brandy Blackwell, VP of Marketing for the Another Broken Egg Cafe, says that she needs a bit of pushing pull from her SMEs to execute the best marketing strategy she can. If you have ideas, she wants to hear them now, not after the fact. 


“Are we in a Recession?” 

When asked what keeps her up at night, Brandy said the state of the economy for the next six months. There are signs that the next few months are going to be a bit rough. But if your strategy is personalized for your company and you’re not chasing trends, you’ll be alright.


Overwhelmed with Tech Options

There are so many new programs and software out there that it’s hard to keep track! It’s overwhelming to figure out if you should switch out your program for a new one and if the cost of the switch is worth it. At the end of the day you have to keep an eye on the money and make a strategic decision. 


Daniel: Hello and welcome to another episode of the You Should Talk To Podcast. I am Daniel Wiener, your host, your sponsor, your everything. You should talk to Paris Brands and marketers for free with vetted agencies and or freelancers for marketing and tech needs because finding great agencies is a pain in the ass and time-consuming.

Super excited today to be joined by Brandy Blackwell who is He is, uh, VP of Marketing at Another Broken Egg. Brandy, thank you very much for joining today. How are we? 

Brandy: Oh, doing great. Danny, thanks for having me. Yeah. 

Daniel: Let's dive right in. Uh, the first question I ask everybody, to start with a little controversy, what's a, uh, an unpopular opinion you have in the marketing world, or a hot take of sorts?

Brandy: I would say my unpopular opinion is I'm not a huge fan of loyalty programs. Interesting. Do tell. Oh. Ha ha. Well, I, you know, during COVID, um, I saw a lot of the race to, um, launch a loyalty program and I have seen loyalty programs that I believe are good. I've seen ones that I don't think are great. Um, but really what I've seen happen is, um, some of the loyalty programs actually, you know, are, are implemented, but don't really drive, uh, incremental revenue.

And, or they don't drive visits. Um, and if they do, it's based on, you know, a discounting model. Um, so the checks actually don't end up, uh, being profitable or for a franchisee, um, doesn't make sense from a financial standpoint. Um, and you end up giving away sometimes more, uh, to a customer that may have already come to visit you.

So I have different opinions on, on when loyalty makes sense and the type of brand that it makes sense for. 

Daniel: Sure. I'm curious. I can't remember who I was reading this from recently, but their, their opinion was that, uh, Nobody is loyal, uh, truthfully to brands. Do you think that consumers are loyal to, uh, to brands or it's uh, it's not that, uh, not that deep?

I don't know 

Brandy: that I would say they are loyal to brands. I think that's a strong statement. I think that they are, um, big fans of certain brands and they shop where they feel, um, like they have. You know, there's a unique selling point for that, um, that brand on that goes with, you know, anything, airlines, restaurants, um, you know, shoes.

Um, so part of it is experience and part of it is that, you know, that is the leading brand in their mind. So they, they seek it out. Um, but I don't think we, I don't think any, I think it's very, there are very few brands that are, um, uh, what I would say Are above being traded in for another, uh, so, you know, and I also I also think when it comes to loyalty, um, certainly I don't think it's something that, um, I do, I do think it's something that we would absolutely, you know, would make sense for certain brands and, um, and, and done strategically, um, can drive traffic and can drive check.

Um, but I also think that it is, uh, historically. Um, implemented with, um, without a lot of strategic thought behind the plan. 

Daniel: Sure, yeah. The strategy behind it is, uh, incredibly crucial, I'd say. Um, if I, if I'm gonna take any advice in the restaurant world, I feel like it's from you. You've had a ton of experience.

We've got Tijuana Flats, McAllister's, Dunkin Jimmy John's, and now another broken egg. Tell us a little bit about that journey, and I'm particularly interested in, like, what have you seen across consumer behavior, like, and how it's evolved, uh, throughout your career in this world? 

Brandy: Yeah, so I have, um, I've been with several brands and, uh, and it runs the gamut from QSR to Fast Casual and now to full service.

Um, so I've, I've seen, uh, a lot of change over the years. I started, uh, my career really, um, at 23 in marketing. at Tijuana Flats. And, you know, the, um, I went from, you know, much smaller brand, building a brand, um, you know, from 25 to 100 plus units, uh, but doing it very much through a grassroots marketing, uh, approach and a lot of boots on the ground.

Lots of local events, um, sponsorships, uh, less digital. And then as I progressed in my career, I started in 2017 and McAllister's deli and was the first director of off premises, which obviously was a hot, um, still is a hot topic, but started that whole, you know, catering delivery to go online ordering. Um, so anything that left the building, uh, and, and a lot more, uh, digital interactions and touch points.

Um, so I think that kind of was the beginning of. For restaurants, really jumping into that off premise and starting to embrace it. So I was in the beginning of trying to sell in this third party delivery madness. Um, and did that for quite a while. Um, and so I thought it was a unique place to go and also leaned in a lot to POS integrations and Um, and a lot of the technology side, uh, more so than traditional, um, marketing or local store marketing.

Uh, and then, um, had the opportunity to go work for Duncan at their headquarters up in, in Boston area, which is awesome. I was on the digital team there, definitely a loyalty program that is effective, I will say, but again, high frequency, um, high frequency and convenience. And, uh, value, which also is, um, a way to create a great loyalty program.

It helps 

Daniel: we're all addicted to coffee as well in marketing. That 

Brandy: is true. That is true. So, you know, high frequency and, uh, convenience does drive a lot of behavior. Um, so, so digital app, um, and the digital space there was, was critical. Um, so I, I was able to join that team and, um, learned a lot in a, in a, in a very large organization, a 100 percent franchised organization.

Um, so so in understanding from a franchise point of view, um, for disease exactly what they're looking for and ensuring that I understand, um, that model, which honestly is it can be very different than than a corporate structure. Um, and then, uh, you know, after we, um, Duncan joined, uh, inspire brands, I moved over to run digital e commerce for jimmy john's again.

A lot of the Uh, back to kind of still online ordering, um, a great app experience, uh, a great, uh, you know, getting, getting people through the funnel and converting them and attribution and, and looking at how, um, where the consumer is coming, you know, coming into the funnel where they're, we're losing them in the funnel and then getting them all the way through to, uh, you know, to hopefully a transaction.

Um, and then, you know, got the opportunity to actually reconnect with, uh, my old CEO that I worked with, um, over at Focus Brands and McAllister's Deli. And, uh, had the opportunity to run a marketing department again and a brand calendar, um, and really have my hands and everything. And that was something I felt like kind of came full circle, uh, over the past 16 years of my marketing career.

But that digital journey is definitely the difference in what I've seen, um, and the, um, technology to support it. Um, and then also just the customer data and being able to actually start to use that data is really the, are really the biggest changes I've seen, uh, through my, uh, career so far. Have you seen 

Daniel: a crazy big difference or any like one or two things that jumps out at you in a post COVID world?

Brandy: Off premises growth, um, that skyrocketed. Uh, I think it's to some degree, it's leveled off a little bit, but just the change in consumer behavior to, um, even just as smartphones. I know we go back to that, but I think it's important to reiterate is that, you know, the days of your parents or the boomers are, you know, my parents are older than boomers, but not having, you know, a smartphone are gone, right there.

And even, even the, um, the social media channels that you get on Facebook, it's, it's. It's a much, you know, so 20 something year olds aren't even touching Facebook. It's it's no longer. And, you know, I would say, um, people are starting to age into their platforms a little bit. Um, and then the new tick talks of the world come out and we have a new channel or snapchat, um, that people are, um, You know spending all their time on and so I think a lot of what I've seen is just really the the difference in the Customization personalization, I think restaurants are still very far, you know behind some other versus some other industries But just the ability to reach people In such real time in in the space that they want to be met in and and then the growth of off premise It's all technology related, really.

Daniel: I find out, I mean, I joke, but it's true. Like I know everything I know because of TikTok these days. I find out everything new. I get most of my news and like find out about stuff, especially food and restaurant related, like from food influencers, people talking about different products and new stuff. So, uh, yeah, I haven't been on Facebook in ages, truthfully.

I don't have it on my phone, but, uh, yeah, wildly addicted to coffee and TikTok, so. Yeah. There's 

Brandy: quite a few, quite a few of my team members are, um, Share their facts of the day, uh, in our, in our team meetings. And they're all, I'd love 

Daniel: to join. And I've got plenty of stupid stuff in my head that I've learned from 

Brandy: tech talks.

And sometimes they preface it as, uh, you know, I, I can't confirm or deny this. And sometimes they just say it like it's, it's the, it's a fact and you know, they, they would stand by it till, you know, they died. You got 

Daniel: to sound confident. That's right. Um, I'm curious, kind of twofold here in, you know, talking with a ton of CMOs and VPs in my world, 2024 didn't start as, as rosy as many of them were hoping for.

I'm curious, what's your best piece of advice for other marketing leaders out there on how to survive or thrive? And then in particular, I'm curious in the, in the food and restaurant space, you know, it's. incredibly competitive. Like, what's your, you know, your advice or how do you look at standing out in 2024?

Brandy: You know, it's tough. I think we go back to the it's not kind of it wasn't covid. It's a recession or it's it really, it really is. And it's um, it's tough to as a marketer to say, because, you know, of course, when sales are down, it's your job to fix them. And, um, and when they're good, you know, it's, it's, you know, most of the time I won't point any fingers here, but, um, you know, it's, it's usually, um, somebody else in the organization.

Um, so, uh, you know, I think that, um, it's really important right now. It sounds very basic, but to stay positive, um, because it can get very overwhelming because you're just trying to do everything and you're trying to do as much as you can. But. You're doing a little bit here and a little bit here. And sometimes it's, it's, you know, you only have so many resources and you can only work so many hours, um, and your team can only work so many hours.

So, so I actually think kind of resetting on, um, strategic priorities, really looking at what we think will move, and this is different for every brand, but what we believe will really, um, actually drive sales. And we'll move the needle, um, and putting, uh, most of our energy into those things because it can get, it can get overwhelming, chaotic of new technology and software and things we want and things we want to do, but, but resetting on what's really working and what we want to accomplish, um, this year is, is a focus for, for my team, um, just to not get lost in, in the chaos in the, in the, yeah.

The fear of where, um, a lot of the economic issues, you know, its highest debt right now for credit cards in, in history. Um, you know, inflation's still there. Uh, interest rates are still high. Sure. Uh, gas is still high. All of that are indicators that. We may we may as an industry be challenged. Um, and I think that goes outside of restaurants as well.

Um, so kind of being able to be patient, ride, ride the wave, but stay focused on some of those, um, you know, key business drivers in that actually aren't just what everybody else is chasing what you need to chase for your business. Um, and that's unique toe to it should be unique to your specific, you know, brand.

Daniel: Sure, I think that's good advice also for, uh, or unintentionally good advice for CEOs and leadership as well, to give time to their, their marketing, uh, leadership as well and stuff. They're giving unrealistic expectations and timing, uh, it incentivizes, I think, bad behavior and, uh, kind of forces you to try to do shit that doesn't work or that you know, uh, is going to have short term versus long term value.

And 

Brandy: and I think some of the things like loyalty programs, for example, you were to launch when it doesn't launch overnight. It's I think it's a misnomer that those those are 18 month projects, right? So you've got to start them now for our next year. Um, you know, to recognize them next year. Uh, but I think, you know, leaning into some of the I would say also just leaning into some of the, you know, AI, of course, and some of the tools and resources that are have developed recently that can help you, um, uh, reduce some time and some manual labor, um, and manual hours from your team.

But also the stuff that causes like burnout. Um, I think that there's a lot as you more and more online reputation management online, you know, reviews come in and and the volume increases. It's also finding those tools and really investing in them that can support Um, your efforts and some of those channels that really do bog down your team in a lot of time.

Sure. So being smart, being smarter. Yeah, no, 

Daniel: it's great advice. Um, my favorite question of the entire podcast, I'll ask now. Uh, most folks with your title, uh, VPs and CMOs especially, are getting hit up. I don't know, a million times a week by agencies, vendors, salespeople all over the place. Uh, I imagine that is the case for you.

Uh, if you had to give a PSA of sorts to folks out there who, who want to work with you, agencies, vendors, whoever, what would you, what would you tell them? Um, yeah, deep breath, deep breath. Ooh, yeah. I feel this brings up some PTSD for most folks. Are you, I mean, I guess the first one, I just assume these things, but are you getting it up 27 million times a week?

Oh, 

Brandy: yeah. Hundreds of emails, even probably a day sometimes. Um, and for taking the time to come. Yeah, and I ask, I actually, I'm like, I ask my IT, I say, what is, you know, what kind of firewalls or spam filters do we not have? Um, first off, and you know, my favorite, it'll be a little funny, but my favorite is like, you know, I assume you might, you know, have eaten, been eaten by an alligator.

I laugh a little or, but I assume you're too busy to talk to me. And I'm like, maybe I just don't want to, or maybe I have no interest, right? Or there is, there is actually a fact of I might not have interest in talking to you. Now I will say on the flip side, my PSA is to do your homework. There's nothing worse than getting, uh, than a spam email from, I say spam, it's not necessarily spam, a sales, a sales pitch from, that goes to our CEO, our IT person, me, HR, right, just to get a warm body, and then they all forward it to me, so I get now 10 more emails, um, as the right person to talk to.

So there's a little bit of research there and just kind of, uh, being a little more, um, uh, connecting. You want to connect, right? Like say something that might actually be personal if you want Um, but I would say your best bet is is know somebody or have worked with somebody that can vouch. Referrals are really the our world, right?

Restaurant industry. Specifically, we are such a tight knit community. And so I call I can call 510 people to vet out a certain platform or technology or or, um, program before I even have a conversation with that person. You know, group or, um, I can, you know, I'll know somebody that has used that loyalty platform or has used, you know, this reputation management program because there's only so many out there.

And if I haven't heard of them, it's probably. Not a great sign either. Um, so I would just say, you know, the more you can, um, use your resources or, and I, this goes both ways for anybody, I know sales jobs are important too, but, um, before reaching out and, and build a connection and actually have a point of reference or in both ways, um, it's going to cut out a lot of the, the back and forth and it's going to get, be a more meaningful conversation, um, or even get the ability to get a conversation, um, and scheduled is usually because you know, somebody, is there any 

Daniel: expensive gifts or anything?

It was a ridiculous gifts that anybody has sent. Uh, we had a, we had Kaylin from errands on last year. She received an iPad in the mail and when she opened it and press play, it said, go dogs. She went to Georgia. That was a good story. We had on here last year. Have you had any ridiculous gifts sent to you?

Brandy: Yes. Um, and I don't mind a nice gift when I'm already working with you a gift that is nice that has been sent to me that I didn't know was coming right? Because otherwise I would just probably, you know, if it's an offer for tickets or something, I don't take it because it's just policies. But we love ethics here.

But if something just arrives in the mail, which it does, um, and it is, yeah. grandiose and you have either maybe, uh, only talk to the person once or not talk to them even. Um, it feels a little bit like a scary, um, stage five clinger. First date. Second, you know, it's like, it's, it's, I use a lot of like dating analogies.

Um, Back in the online days, you know, it's kind of like you went out once and whoa Like I don't I don't we're not going on a trip with you or I don't need a I don't don't buy me jewelry It's just like too much now I feel pressure because you spent too much money versus it actually being that I like you so You know, and I and I know listen, I know it's hard and I don't want to I don't want to actually say anything negative about the sales world it exists for a reason, but there's certainly Um, don't call my cell phone like it's just there are certain things that just feel like my personal cell phone.

There are certain things that start to feel, um, a little bit like, you know, we can't get away from, um, and have any kind of time away. And I think everyone feels that in this industry. So being mindful and respectful of that or somebody saying no at for a second, third time, there is an element of just being respectful and and no is is no, at least for now.

Yeah, 

Daniel: I, I for sure agree and respect the hustle of the sales industry. I think, uh, there's a thoughtful way of doing it. I think truthfully the biggest thing I see is, uh, the thirstiness around short term thinking versus long term. Like my PSA is like chill the fuck out truthfully, like, like relax a little bit, you know, like, you know, you can't force relationships or like having somebody, it's also, I just think I see it from the agency side.

I think agencies see, like, have an image of, like, CMO sitting at their desk with, like, a bag of money. You know, they're like, 

Brandy: oh, like, eating bonbons, yeah. Yeah, let's shell out some 

Daniel: budget today, you know. Like 

Brandy: online shopping, yeah. A little 

Daniel: bit, so, yeah, I think I agree that it is overall a little thirsty, but respect the hustle.

Uh, for sure. But, uh, no, we'll move it. It's Friday. I'll give you the option. You want to do a positive or negative agency experience, uh, to start, 

Brandy: um, I would say positive. I think that, yeah, I think that, um, you kind of just hit on it too. It's really, um, feeling like you connect with the group immediately that there's not a constant sales pitch RFP.

I don't like those things. I don't like it. I don't like a formal RFP. I think it, it, it's needed sometimes, but I think it's, I lead a lot with my gut and so I've had a, you know, good experiences where I've literally had a 30 minute conversation with an agency and I, and I chose or didn't choose to work with them or move forward because I just felt like it was artificial or I felt, and in this case I felt like it was not artificial, um, in the conversations and, um, naturally, um, You know, there has been referrals that have come from prior to that.

So, so I already, I know what I'm going into it that, you know, it's there, I'm at least there's at least some quality and some great qualities of this agency. And they've been a good fit for many, uh, great brands, um, might not be my brand or my need. And so I, I, I love when someone's kind of willing to just.

Listen, be comfortable, not pushy, and I've gone through that. It's been great. And then also isn't trying to sell me on every piece of the business that, you know, full agency. I don't know that every agency does everything. I will say doesn't do everything wonderful. There's you're generally stronger at bits and pieces.

Um, and that's been something I've seen over the years change where it's not just a one stop shop for everything. And if I do my if I do creative in house, I certainly am all for Um, you know, my creative team is in house if I, I'm all for guidance and, and support and optimizations, but I, I don't, I don't want you trying to sell me a whole package of the creative and you know, all the resources and things I might not need for my brand.

Um, and there's a lot of needs to put their stamp on, you know, um, AOR and, um, I think you have to kind of date for a while too. So once you're, you're with an agency, I don't know that it's always. going forward. So I think there's a period of time that I like to get to know an agency after I've, I've, I'm working with them, um, before I can truly say that it's, it's a great experience also.

But just that, that initial gut feeling and, and the, um, willingness to adapt to what your needs are, um, from the get go is, and not try to change that as soon as you get into a partnership has been really a good experience. For me over over the years. Yeah. Yeah, I 

think 

Daniel: code something you touched on of, um, you know, seeing a change from like, uh, full service type agencies.

I think Covid was truthfully like the great. equalizer, kind of like spread out talent to a lot of different places. You know, there's not necessarily like all the talent in New York or Los Angeles or huge cities anymore. Like there's talented people everywhere and there's talented people at small agencies, big agencies, every, you know, a lot of agencies.

So, uh, you know, the, the hard part is finding the right agency. Um, can you think of at some point in your career, uh, a negative agency experience you've had and what made it negative? 

Brandy: There's been, there's been quite a few. I mean, I, I think that a lot of it is your, is honestly your account executive lead and your day to day point of contact.

They can make or break anything, whether it's organization to, um, feeling like they really care and they're proactive and not reactive. So, so I, I, that really is kind of the negative piece is that I, I, One of my biggest pet peeves is, is finding out after the fact, certainly there's a learning curve and everything's, you know, new thing, new campaigns or new channels need time.

Um, I don't want to go like three, four months and say, we, we could have done this or, um, I, I said it would have moved more budget over here. Well, this is why I hired you to tell me those things. And, and I don't, I have an idea, a good idea, but I don't know it or I'd be doing it all myself. Um, and I'm, that's why you're the SME.

So there's a little bit of that, like, push and pull where I want to be respectfully told that maybe my ideas aren't always great or, or that I know you're working throughout these, this quarter to make sure that my money is going, every dollar is, is, is going as far as it possibly can. And I don't know that that always happens.

I think sometimes you get courted. I've seen that happen. And then it's, you know, you go through this. You tell them, here's my budget, right? And then it's set it on and forget it. And, um, I, I always want somebody, I want my agency to be able to let me know when things need to change or better ways to do what we're doing.

And I, and I, that one irks me, nothing irks me more than, than finding out after the fact and then saying, well, oh, we could have put your, uh, data list in here or could have. Done some retargeting with, you know, a lookalikes and, but we, Oh yeah, we talked about it. We didn't do it. Okay. Well hunt me down until we do.

Right. 

Daniel: Now all of your agencies are going to listen to this and hunt you down. 

Brandy: Yeah. I mean, it's like, well, no, but really, I mean, you know, we're going a million miles per hour. Sure. Um. I need you to come to me and tell me what you need from me to make sure that I'm setting you all up for success, and we collectively up for, you know, us both up for success.

Yeah, 

Daniel: I think that's what makes, uh, it's like a sixth sense too, like for great account people and whoever's managing the account to know when to push and when to not, and to know like when, Regardless of what you have going on when they finally say things like, Hey, like, we really need to get you on the phone and stuff like that.

Like, it's important enough to do that. So I think that is, uh, it's hard to teach that type of stuff. I feel like that's one of the skills at agencies that, like, as an account person, you either have it and get it or you kind of don't. And you have to, like, have something bad happen for you to, like, be like, Oh, shit, I should have done 

Brandy: pick up the phone.

Yeah. Transparency and You know, and really just, um, just transparency is a lot of it. So I think when I haven't felt there's transparency or don't understand what's being or why things are happening, that's been the challenge. And so I would just say, you know, um, the more communication and clearer, uh, agency can be with the, with the, you know, the brand, um, and the client is, is, is going to make for a more successful partnership.

I agree, 

Daniel: you just hit the nail on the head too with something I say a hundred times a day. Whenever there is a scenario, my first question is, did you pick up the phone yet? Yeah. And like, 90 percent of the time it's like, no, we've been emailing. I'm like, just call them. Like, it'll get solved in 12 seconds, I'm guaranteeing it.

And then it usually does. So, yeah, picking up the phone 

Brandy: is, uh People think that something's wrong, right? Like, if you need to get on the phone, it's kind of, it's kind of, it's amazing how things have changed. I'm like that 

Daniel: too sometimes when people ask to chat, 

Brandy: so. Yeah, my friends were joking the other day.

We did a, you know, a dinner and they said, they said, unless you're dying, don't, don't call me, you know. My partners 

Daniel: think I'm weird. I 

Brandy: said, be mine. And we're girls, we're supposed to talk and we, yeah. So, I guess, yeah. 

Daniel: What are you most excited about in the marketing space at the moment? AI is a very, uh, hot topic these days.

In person stuff is back. What are you most excited about? You 

Brandy: know, um, I think I'd be remiss not to say a little bit about A. I am not a guru here, but I certainly understand there are plenty of positive, scary things too, but positive implications and, um, results that are going to come from continued A. I movement.

I listened to a lot of the stock market and, you know, it's all the buzz there. Um, you know, I follow the money, right? Um, so I think that, uh, A. I in general, um, is I see it helping us already with again. I mentioned this earlier, but the, um, specifically like online reputation management, you know, we we have the ability to, uh, with one of our platforms, a eyes, you know, helping us to answer the first pass at some of the basic reviews or even a five star, you know, and it's kind of rotating some messages.

We don't use all a I we have a person that physically does everything and does a first pass before it goes to franchisees. But if somebody doesn't leave a comment, they just leave stars, and we want to say thank you, and we have our brand voice, and we have, you know, approved, um, and we work with it to learn, um, it certainly is helpful because it, it does, um, uh, listen, I, I, I don't want my social media specialists to be answering reviews all day, every day, all weekend, um, that's how people quit, and that's how they get burned out, right?

So it has, it has served a purpose there. I think, um, it serves a purpose in, um, Um, smarter media buys. We have a limited budget. And so as we look at where we spend our money, It helps us go narrow, um, our target now, honestly, and also in talk to them and More real time, because I think that's one of the biggest challenges.

Like, it's one thing to know who your customer is. It's another to, um, find a look alike, but to be where they are at the right time, um, is where I think AI is starting to, to really jump in. Um, and I do think also just, um, just like I said, efficiencies, efficiencies when it comes to technology, um, and, and marketing, AI is going to continue to make things smarter for the brands and for our messaging.

Um, other things I'm excited about, um, is are really some of the just the technology and tools that that are available for, um, for even like media, like deploying media, like local store media, you know, part of the problem has been For marketers forever and still is, is like, how do we show a true, like return on your ad spin and not everything's going to have that summer impression, summer awareness, right?

And top of the funnel, but there are platforms that we're starting to look at or we are working with that, that enable us the ability to see results in real time. And AI is actually, you know, able to make the local storm marketing and, um, dollars and media. More effective and for example a franchise even could could invest on their own in the platform dial up their meta efforts dial up something, you know, some of their Google ads and See the return in real time Or you know pretty real time And so then it's not us claiming that if something worked and then obviously we want it to translate to sales So that's always bought, you know at the end of the day if it doesn't translate to sales It's hard to justify, but it does give us more of the ability to show, um, transparency around media dollars spend and the efficacy of those dollars and how far they actually go.

Um, so I'm excited about a lot of the technology that's out there. Um, our CRM, our customer data, I geek out over that, like how we actually finally do know how often a A person comes to visit another broken egg. Um, and, and I would say that Covid also propelled a lot of that technology and people, at least for the restaurant industry, a lot of, we always relied on genuine hospitality.

And while that's still critical core, the business. And operations are core to success. We, we absolutely have to understand who our customers are and be able to find them with our media dollars because it's a crowded space out there. Sure. 

Daniel: Yeah. Extremely crowded. Um, what keeps you up at night and stresses you out from a marketing or business standpoint?

Brandy: All those sales emails that come in. I don't have it on silent or turned over. Um, no, I'm kidding. Um, Uh, you know, I'm going to edit 

Daniel: out your real answer and just leave that in 

Brandy: there. That's fine. Um, that's okay. I don't, I don't really, I don't hide much. Um, the, I would say this, I'll honestly go back to like the two things.

So economic factors, really. Um, there are just some things that if people aren't spending and cutting costs. I don't always think I'm going to be the only place that they go spend their discretionary income at. I'd like to be, but it's, it's, it's fair to say that, um, we still are in a challenging market.

So that, that truly keeps me up at night because I could do anything I want to do with marketing. I could get more money to market. It doesn't change if somebody is not able to spend. Um, and I do think we are in a weird time for that. And I think the next six months are absolutely going to continue to feel those pressures, if not longer.

Um, And so that is a that's that's a big one for me. Um, secondarily, the just the enormity of the software and technology that's out there. So I find that it's challenging to really know if you, um, are missing out on something or or to want something, but you have to pay for it for 100 units in order for adoption to happen.

In many cases, Um, and so your marketing budget tends to start becoming a technology budget, but you actually need dollars to go spend on media. So there's an element of that, like, um, constant new technology better. Am I, do I have the right one? Do I want to change? Because it's a nightmare to change, you know, online ordering or your POS system.

But all those costs add up and they start to eat away at margins and bottom lines, not only for your marketing budget, but for your franchisees and just being really mindful of like how much is too much sometimes with technology and how much do you really need a platform and is it going to drive sales and improve your overall business and, and versus being a shiny object.

And I, I really think I struggle with, you know, erring on the side of franchisees quite often versus. Getting the new technology and the software that I want because I, that's, because I know that that's their hard earned money and that every penny matters to the, you know, on a dollar for a franchisee.

And so when you start to think like that, you, um, you don't sell in things that are just nice to haves. They're half to haves, generally. 

Daniel: Well, I hope you get some sleep, uh, in between worrying about all of that. But, uh, no, we'll finish with some fun ones here. Uh, what was your very first job growing up? 

Brandy: I worked at a gift shop.

Um, when I was 16 shortly after I worked in a restaurant. So I do want to preface that is 17. I worked in a restaurant, but 16. I worked in this little, um, fancy gift shop and I was required to, um, I was required to wrap quite a bit of presents. And I, to this day, I'm still terrible at that. So I can only imagine how, like, awful people that got the, you know, presents when they buy something.

Oh, do you want this wrapped up? So, um, it was I still like cringe when I think about some of the gifts that I handed over to people. Um, but it was a, it was a little, a little, um, fancy gift shop with, you know, uh, lots of, lots of trinkets and things. I 

Daniel: always want to know if there's anything from that job that you still, uh, that set you up for success.

Uh, I was apparently not in the, no, 

Brandy: no, no customer service. Maybe. Well, I couldn't have gotten worse. So I'm sure I got a little bit better in that. Um, customer service. Um, My the owner was owned a restaurant next door, actually, um, that was not the restaurant I worked in, but she was terrifying and she was like the I say terrifying.

But, um, she was terrifying. She was but she was like she was a wonderful businesswoman. And, um, I I went back 10 years later because it was back in Winter Park where I was from and saw her and you know, she just hugged me. And it was, uh, it was pretty cool. It's pretty cool to see that I had sort of grown up and become a big girl.

And, um, she was still cranking away and You know, running that restaurant. But I had a lot of respect for her because she did it all by herself and there was, and then she opened a second restaurant on the other side of the gift shop. So a little neighborhood. Nice. What would your final meal be? I would say pizza.

I like, I mean, I could, I could eat pizza. Any specific, any specific every day. Um, yeah, I'm a Hawaiian, I'm Hawaiian girl. Um, so I have to do half Hawaiian and. My partner does, he does something else, which is a very expensive pizza, especially if you go, if you customize both halves. That's a big relationship.

It's like a 35 medium pizza, you know, so. 

Daniel: If you guys can figure out splitting your pizzas, I feel like that's a pretty important 

Brandy: relationship. He'll eat the leftovers all day long, no problem with the Hawaiian leftovers, so. What's 

Daniel: your favorite item at Another Broken Egg? 

Brandy: Um, so I am a shrimp and grits person.

I'm a little more on the savory side. Um, but gosh, we have so much good food that, um, there's not anything on our menu that's not delicious. It's just how much, how much do I want to indulge in a day and how much do I want to, um, you know, like splurge on something. Sure. 

Daniel: And then my final question, who is somebody who inspires you personally, professionally or both?

Brandy: So I wouldn't say it's a typical answer for a celebrity or anything like But, um, the couple, there's a couple of women in my industry and I'll just name them, um, Julia Stewart, Karen Stutz. They're, they're women that, um, inspire me in the industry because they have, um, kind of worn both sides of the hat.

They're, they are, they've worked in marketing and then they've worked in operations. They've been CEOs, um, which I think in a, in a honestly, especially years ago, male dominated industry. I, they're just like boss bitches, you know, I, I look at them and I'm, and I, I, I like you, you divide odds in a very much, even a much more challenging time and just ran circles around, you know, some, some of, some of everybody, but you know, some of the men even in the organization and, um, just really powerful women that I honestly think are like just kind of icons for me.

That's awesome. And I become, and I've been able to meet them, which, you know, or, and, or, and even become friends with. You know them and others of course, but just those are two that stick out to me And they they just have a good story. 

Daniel: That's awesome. We love to hear it Thank you very much for joining if anybody wants to look you up I would suggest LinkedIn, but do not send a shitty sales message unless you have done your homework Uh, also don't send a real, send me the expensive gifts.

I'll make sure they get to Brandy. Um, where should every, is there anything you'd like to, to push for another Broken Egg? Any new menu items or anything especially exciting, uh, that everybody should go check 

Brandy: out? Yeah, we are opening, um, well, so we, we always, let's start with the menu, cause I oversee culinary and, um, our beverage innovation.

Um, and we do have a, uh, uh, chef that's massively talented. Um, we launched, um, our, uh, winter menu on January 10th and we have, you know, four unique, um, seasonal selections and we launched another, um, four at every restaurant, um, in April. Then April. Um, I will tease out that we are continuing to expand and test some, um, some great, like, uh, lunch forward items that we're introducing.

Um, we just launched mocktails and, um, and we'll be launching some more, uh, when it comes to the beverage category. But what's really exciting is that we are going to open our hundredth cafe, um, and it's still a secret of which, where it's going to be, but lots of celebrations. 

Daniel: You don't want to soft, you don't want to soft launch it on the, you should talk to podcaster.

Brandy: Um, well, let's just say, um, it could be in Texas. It could be in Virginia. Those are just a little tease there. Um, You know, construction and never know what it's gonna happen with restaurants getting built in a timely manner. So it could be neither, but we are just pumped about our road to 100. And it's a big milestone for the brand.

And I'm just so, I feel very blessed to be a part of the organization at a time where, um, you know, not many, not many brands could say they had, you know, 100. And, um, and we have a wonderful brand with a great core and culture that, um, that I'm just proud to be a part of. Yeah. 

Daniel: Well, it sounds like, uh, you guys are doing awesome stuff and they're lucky to have you.

And, uh, yeah, you're, uh, you're killing it from what I see and hear in the industry. So, uh, thank you very much. One day at a 

Brandy: time. Thanks for 

Daniel: having me. But thank you very much for joining and we will chat with 

Brandy: you soon. Thank you. Thanks for having me.