Discover how to balance authenticity and passion as a leader from the CEO of Eggs Up Grill.

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Today we talk with Ricky Richardson, a seasoned pro from TGI Fridays who is now leading Eggs Up Grill. Ricky shares practical insights on authentic leadership and managing high-energy environments while fostering emotional connections with teams and guests. He emphasizes the importance of passion and effective communication in the guest experience.

We also discuss integrating systems like Toast and kitchen displays to meet evolving customer expectations, alongside trends like upscale dining with vibrant atmospheres and off-premise dining.

Here are some highlights:

What’s the most important aspect of guest experience nowadays? (10:22)

The speed with which you’re sat, the convenience of their entire experience, food coming out at water, accuracy is always key pieces. So there’s a thousand different elements to a great experience. But if you fascinate around it, at the end of the day when they walk out, if they got a smile on their face, they’re going to tell a friend about it.”

What’s a tactic you’ve used to improve the guest experience? (12:24)

We also organized a group of franchise partners and we identified Toast as a POS solution and it works for most of our franchise partners or small businesses, so it fits that profile really well.”

On the guest side, understanding our guests better, we’ve got a tool with Bikky that works really well as a CDB platform.”

“With Ovation, we can Communicate to guests outside of the four walls which is a critical piece, particularly when you acknowledge the feedback that they gave to you.”

Who’s someone who deserves an Ovation in the restaurant industry? (16:16)

1) “I continue to be amazed at the work the team at Chipotle does in that business. The way that they continue to not only grow the financial success of that business but the brand passion that they have created and the loyalty that they’ve created within that business is really really cool and I think on a macro level, there’s lessons to be learned from what they are doing.”

2) “There’s a brand in Dallas called Mesero, a Tex-Mex Concept that has really upped their game over the last couple of years from a guest experience and guest service standpoint. It’s been around for probably a decade. Over the last two or three years of really invested in elevating that experience.”

For more, visit eggsupgrillfranchise.com or email Ricky at ricky.richardson@eggsupgrill.com!

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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