The insightful discussion with Jared Cohen is a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of food, strategy, and customer engagement.

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Why should all of us care if restaurants are adopting a big-picture strategy? Sure, Mcdonald’s should have a strategy team, if not an entire department. But let’s get real – say you’ve got 14 locations. How do you justify having someone as talented and expensive as Jared Cohen?

Jared and Zack explored this on the podcast this week and we learned how he’s taken his experience as Senior Director of Global Strategy at Mcdonald’s and turned it into real-world change as the COO of Protein Bar & Kitchen.

What stood out to us was the intelligent ways he uses customer data gathered by Ovation and Incentivio to provide a customized guest experience.

Today’s Ovation goes to you, Jared!

Here are some highlights:

What’s the most important aspect of guest experience nowadays? (6:58)

I think for us at Protein Bar and Kitchen, the most important thing is taking the customers that we have and trying to do what we can to foster a one-to-one connection with them. I’d say that permeates every bit of the choices that we make in constructing our experience.

“…And we try and orient our tech stack in a way that facilitates that communication, that engagement, and makes that person feel like they have a real, unique and personal connection to who Protein Bar and Kitchen is and how they can best leverage the brand for what they’re trying to do.”

What are some tactics that you’ve used to improve the guest experience? (9:30)

Ovation’s been a huge part of what we’ve been doing to understand the impacts our stores are having on people and the reactions that we’re creating. I’d say we’ve gotten a long part of the way there and there’s still more stuff I’m excited to do with the platform.”

Who’s someone who deserves an Ovation in the restaurant industry? (18:44)

Incentivio. I think the relationship and experience we’ve had with the Incentivio team has been reflective of we view them as: an emerging company that’s doing a lot of cool stuff and the right solution for us and for the things we want to do with our customers.

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 ovationup.com/podcast or your favorite place to listen to podcasts.

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