Oct 14, 2023 3 min read

6 Top Takeaways from Fast Casual Executive Summit 2023

Fast Casual Executive Summit just concluded in Louisville, KY. This is a show for proactive brands and proactive thinkers and I'm giving you the pivotal takeaways that are set to redefine the fast-casual landscape.
6 Top Takeaways from Fast Casual Executive Summit 2023

Fast Casual Executive Summit just concluded in Louisville, KY.

They describe it as “a chance for restaurant executives to get together in a casual work setting and learn from one another. Interactive sessions delve deep into topics that are on the minds of restaurant leaders today, and the Summit’s format allows the collective wisdom “in the room” to be distilled into concrete, actionable ideas that attendees take home with them.”

This is a show for proactive brands and proactive thinkers. They also have a built-in dinner and networking event. If you want to make great connections, put it on your agenda for next year.



The best marketing is an incredible experience. An incredible experience could be great food, outstanding service, good value, an easy or quick transaction, an Instagramable moment or a full on carnival experience. If the experience sucks or its hard to transact with you, there's no marketing that can help you.


Having a tool that helps you understand customer behaviors and preferences that can also help you calculate AOV, LTV, ROI and all the other fun acronyms are the tool marketers want and need. It just has to be easy to use and within budget.


Dear Tech companies, write this down => you need to hold our hands. A one hour overview of all the features your platform has is not onboarding, that's a demo. Now I'm being dramatic for effect but I heard over and over, and have experienced this myself, learning and adopting new tech is hard and its even harder to teach it to other team members. The best tech companies have a strong customer success plan or even a services upgrade.

"Learning and using all the tech is hard and teaching it to team members is really hard."

- Otto Othman | CEO & Co-Founder | PINCHO


Have a question about what your guests want? Ask them. Want to know why they do what they do? Use surveys. Bring people in 1 on 1 to ask them face to face. Want to know how you are doing? Ask every guest on every trip for feedback. Ask every day. Ask all the time. Get all the insights you need by asking.

"We learned so much about our lapsed and late guests by running surveys."

- Sara Kear | Chief Marketing Officer | Condado Tacos


I heard lots of good marketing tactics and tricks. Here is a rapid fire bullet point version of them:

A. Use contests to drive engagement, awareness and loyalty sign ups.

B. LTOs drive frequency and  are great exclusive rewards for loyalty members.

C. Email + SMS > Loyalty. Loyalty is great but its important to focus on your whole CRM since less than 20% of your guests will sign up loyalty.

D. Target your digital ads for an under 8 minute drive time.

- Rob Elliott | Hungry Howie’s

E. Take all of your guests who haven't opened an email in more than 30 days and send them an SMS with an offer. "We saw a 350x ROAS on that effort."

- Julie Wade | Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe


Operators are operators. They should focus on incredible operations. Operators are not marketers, especially franchisees. Get help. There are companies out there (like me and Targetable) that can not only guide your marketing but also execute it for you. There are no resources out there to know the best playbooks for marketing and the smartest brands are outsourcing for help. 

Email me: rev@brandedstrategic.net

If you were at #FCSummit, what did you take away?

- Rev Ciancio

*I help restaurants to build guest marketing programs.
*I help hospitality tech companies with lead generation and content marketing.

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