Aaron Noveshen has created or co-created over 25 restaurant concepts, including San Francisco staples such as Starbird and Pacific Catch. He is also the founder and chairman of The Culinary Edge, a food and beverage innovation agency working with top chains such as Starbucks and McDonalds. What a catch!
Here’s one of our takeaways from this episode and Aaron’s answers to some of our questions:
Featured Takeaway: Meet Customers Where They Are
Aaron emphasized the importance of being available for your guests in whatever way they want to interact with you. “We think of this omni channel way of doing business. There are something like 15 different ways you can order food at Starbird. Because people are gonna connect in different ways.”
“Understand that different people have different needs. Some of them are better, more profitable, and you can’t be everything to everybody. But, you know, if we can do 80k a week out of a Starbird by meeting people where they want to be met, I’m cool with that.”
1) What is the most important aspect of the guest experience?
“What matters right now is all about accuracy…the main reason is so much more is off premise.
When 85% of your food is off premise and beverages are off premise, whether it’s delivered, or you picked it up – and it’s a sealed stapled bag now for safety – they don’t have the opportunity to turn around and get it right. So I think that that every and any technology to help make it easier for businesses to be more accurate is a massive need state.”
2) What’s something successful you’ve seen or tried lately?
Dutch Crunch bread. Aaron had seen some TikToks about the rising trend, and realized that his business was in a good position to capitalize on it.
“We created this sandwich called the Cali Bacon Dutch Crunch. It’s got our star sauce on it and our Starbird chicken and Applewood smoked bacon… This thing shot to number one. And it’s been battling number one, number two, ever since we launched it, and so I’m like, okay, we’re on to something here.”
3) Who is someone in the industry that deserves an Ovation?
Chris Tomasso, President & CEO of First Watch Restaurant Group. “I’ve really admired how he has taken what was a good business and really made it a great business. We’ve been excited to partner with them for over 10 straight years of the Culinary Edge. I’ve learned so much from Chris. Great marketing mind, great people leader, authentic human being, and I wish nothing but the best in the world for him and for the First Watch team because they’re gonna take this country by storm when they go public soon, and they deserve all the benefits that are coming their way.”