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Director of Innovation and Experience

Texas-based fast casual concept is getting some national love as the chain eyes a nationwide expansion, which should see their Mediterranean fare in states all over the country.  (TX, MA, NY, PA 31 Locations)

Our client currently has 30+ locations across 4 states. 

Reporting Directly to the Vice President of Marketing
Direct Reports: Two: Restaurant Experience Manager and a Guest Engagement Specialist (both positions based at headquarters in Austin, TX). 

Job Summary:

The Director of Experience and Innovation is known to make special arrangements for guests and answers to “The Fixer.” He or she is concerned, no, obsessed about making our guests happy and is on a never-ending quest to improve their engagement with the client's brand in our restaurants and across digital and mobile platforms.

He or she loves nothing more than to see a wall-to-wall smile on a guest’s face and will fight in their honor to create experiences that surprise and delight. This guest satisfaction plays a massive role in growing the Brand's awareness, building brand love, driving traffic and increasing sales.  

This ideal candidate will be extremely flexible and enjoy a “high-change” environment where priorities shift from day to day. Candidates who connect through positive and respectful interaction, inspire greater success, and create extraordinary experiences, solutions and ideas will be at the top of our list. 



  • Implements solutions to improve the guest experience in restaurants.
  • Serves as product manager for digital and mobile services utilized in the customer journey.
  • Manages and coaches people to achieve goals.
  • Architects the customer journey  customer  and executes initiatives that positively impact the customer experience.
  • Leverages customer insights to execute on business growth opportunities.
  • Identifies and spearheads guest experience research initiatives that drive key business decisions 
  • Steers product and technology decisions through in-depth analysis and clear communication of data insights.
  • Evaluates vendor partnerships and recommends and implements opportunities to improve them.
  • Ensures marketing continues to test-and-learn in the digital space, collaborating with business partners to identify new technology platforms and digital innovations so that VERTS capitalizes on new technology opportunities.
  • Oversees the Rewards loyalty program and implements updates that increase engagement and loyalty.
  • Manages web and app online ordering and progresses these channels to achieve revenue growth.
  • Owns management of food delivery app providers; maintains relationships with existing partners and handles rollouts of new vendors.
  • Supports guest service communication through various channels in a professional and timely manner, achieving positive guest recovery resolution.
  • Leads and mentors the Experience team to enhance their capabilities in service improvement.
  • Defines policies, procedures and best practices to advance the quality of guest service practices within the organization.
  • Serves as the subject matter expert on quality improvement tools and techniques in anticipation of changing guest needs.
  • Measures, reports guest service satisfaction performance metrics from Yelp and Google+.
  • Collaborates with public relations, social media, digital marketing, field marketing and graphic design to align brand and marketing strategies with guest experience objectives.
  • Works cross-functionally with operations team to maximize the food experience.


  • Business Planning – Develops business plans that will strengthen brand position in each consumer segment and market, and takes advantage of opportunities in new markets. This requires a deep understanding of target consumers and development of programming and visual concepts that will attract and convert them as guests.
  • Financial Acumen– Manages a budget and takes a disciplined approach to analyzing, presenting, and taking ownership of results and return on investment. Relevant experience balancing both the strategic and tactical challenges of meeting financial goals.
  • Passion for People– Displays a genuine interest for people, builds relationships and sees the good in people. Possesses a positive outlook and has an inviting personality. Serves as an ambassador for the brand and for people. Be cool. 
  • Executive Presence – Reputation for excellence as a leader. Provide clear direction, sets and monitors high standards of excellence, and rewards people based on performance. A strong collaborator who combines listening, coaching and agile learning capabilities.
  • Strategic Thinking – Creates vision in an emerging, dynamic and fast-paced category that positions the brands for continued market growth. Identifies risks and opportunities as the fast-casual restaurant industry evolves. Couples strategic thinking with a willingness and enthusiasm to engage in hands-on activities.
  • Consensus Builder – Proven expertise in building consensus and positively influencing marketing initiatives within an environment that includes very diverse stakeholders. Must be able to leverage relationships and make decisions consistent with brand strategy.
  • Self-Directed – Sets clear, measurable objectives for self and for others. Continuously looks for ways to improve performance and works to achieve stretch goals. Invests and takes appropriate risks while evaluating the potential return. Ability to work independently, taking initiative to set goals and accomplish them.
  • Effective Communicator – Listens proactively and sells ideas collaboratively using logical arguments. Excellent verbal, presentation and written communication skills. Communicates with honesty, directness and candor. Actively seeks and incorporates feedback for self and others.
  • Leadership – Demonstrated ability to build, develop, inspire and recognize diverse teams focused on marketing strategy development and execution. Strong conflict resolution and influence management skills. Provides effective leadership to multiple cross-functional efforts coordinated by the brand marketing staff, and ensures that multi-functional issues, priorities and requirements are considered and integrated into overall project plans so that commitments are met.



  • 8-12 years of progressive professional experience in consumer marketing roles for lifestyle brands
  • 6+ years of experience in consumer marketing leadership roles
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications or a related field.
  • Retail, restaurant, food, or beverage experience preferred
  • Travel: 10-20%






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