Find out how you can craft a unique experience that will ensure you stand out to guests with the CEO and President of Velvet Tacos.

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The Off-Premise Restaurant

by Restaurant Experts

Clay Dover is a true restaurant marketing vet with over 30 years in the industry (even though he barely looks 30 years old)! Clay is the CEO and President of Velvet Taco, a concept known for its gourmet tacos and strong brand. He has former experience as a Marketing Manager for Chili’s, the VP of Marketing for Apex Restaurant Group, the CMO of Raising Cane’s, and more.

Here are a few highlights from this episode:

Featured takeaway: To create the best experience, tune into your customers and your team members.

“When you’re leading an organization, whether it’s one restaurant, one hundred restaurants, twenty restaurants – be in touch with your team. Be in touch with consumers. Listen to them.

As long as you’re connected, and you’re talking to the people that are boots on the ground – that’s huge.” – Clay Dover

What is the most important aspect of the guest experience nowadays?

I think that it’s just a unique offering. What do you do differently than anyone else? There are so many choices out there, and when you look and think about where you go to eat, what is it that grabs you?”

What successful things have you seen or tried lately?

“The digital tools that are available to us in the restaurant industry are amazing. We’ve created a loyalty program…The ability to connect with our customers we have today would have been unheard of ten years ago.”

Who deserves an Ovation in the restaurant industry?

Clay gave a shoutout to 3 companies:

1) First Watch. “I think they’ve done a really nice job…They’ve just won a Menu Master award, they’ve got seasonal menus…I really like what they’ve done with the breakfast space.”

2) Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar. “I went there last week and had this curry brisket rice that I’m literally craving right now, just talking about it. It was so good.”

3) Chipotle. “It’s a no-brainer, but I think Chipotle is just so smart…I talked about having the contingency plans. They’re looking ten years down the road!”

For more, check out @velvettaco on Instagram!

Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out the whole episode, as well as other interviews with restaurant gurus by checking out “Give an Ovation: A Podcast For Restaurants” on or your favorite place to listen to podcasts.

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