Dive into the inspiring journey of Solomon Choi, founder of 16 Handles, as he shares the tactics and plays he made to create such a successful brand and life.

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Note: This episode was recorded before the recent passing of Solomon Choi. He was a dear friend to Zack and the Ovation team, and though we are saddened and shocked by his passing, we were grateful to share this conversation with him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

In this episode of Give an Ovation, Zack Oates sits down with the remarkable Solomon Choi, founder of 16 Handles and CEO of Jabba Brands. Solomon shares his journey of building and scaling 16 Handles, insights on the importance of customer obsession, and innovative strategies like the Oatly partnership that revitalized his brand during the pandemic. This episode is a tribute to Solomon’s enduring legacy his invaluable contributions to the restaurant industry, and his bright mind.

Here are some highlights:

The Importance of Customer Obsession

The reason why all that happened and how I was able to continue down that journey and not only build and scale this concept during very difficult times… has really come from the simple desire to stay customer obsessed.”

The Role of Conferences in Continuous Learning

“The learning doesn’t come from working in my business as much as it does from being able to work on my business… the working on my business and understanding at scale what’s best for the customer and how the customer is responding to products, communication tools, marketing these things come from again like learning from industry experts.”

Innovation and Early Adoption

“16 Handles was the first brand in the world to use Snapchat for a marketing campaign and working directly with the founder, who at the time was very young, still much younger than I am, but was building again something new and different to really be able to connect with that younger generation.”

The Value of Technology in Enhancing Customer Experience

“Fortunately for us, being early into technology, having worked with Lunchbox, where we had a native ordering application already ready to go that summer of 2020, we had launched the mobile app where people could also order ahead. So again, fortunately, we were prepared by being early.”

Solomon was a luminary in the industry. Today’s Ovation goes to him!

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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