Mar 30, 2024 15 min read

The Triple D

The Triple D
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Friends of Branded!

Happy Saturday and I hope everyone had a great week.

The importance and criticality of embracing the “Triple D” is what’s been on my mind this week and I’m sharing right out of the gate the theme for this week’s Top of the Fold section of the H^2.

First, we need to define the “Triple D” b/c words matter and I respect that two such innocuous words put into quotes can easily and quickly have people produce any number of thoughts.

For Branded and for this week’s H^2, let me know me tell you what “Triple D” is not!

It’s not Guy Fieri’s "Triple D" or better known as his hit show on the Food Network, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

It’s also not Jamie “Triple D” Lakey, the professional wrestler from the world of CAW. Mr. Lakey’s "Triple D" stands for “Deadly Defying Drop” which is his finishing move against his opponents.

This nickname was created by an announcer who had forgotten Mr. Lakey’s name and instead called him “Triple D.” Pease note, if Mr. Lakey would prefer that I cease using the “Triple D” as part of Branded’s vocabulary in connection with the hospitality industry, I will of course respect that and will cease doing so (Mr. Fieri, sorry, not sorry, I love your brand and your schtick, but I’m not willing to make you the same offer). 😊

So, if the “Triple D” is not "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" and it’s not a professional wrestler with a “Deadly Defying Drop,” what is it?

Great question and thank you for asking.

The “Triple D” I’m referring to is the far less exciting, but also far more important for the hospitality industry. It's the process of “Data-Driven Decision-making."

According to Wikipedia, data-based decision-making or data driven decision-making is really rooted in the field of education and refers to an educator’s ongoing process of collecting and analyzing different types of data, including demographic, student achievement test, satisfaction, process data to guide decisions towards improvement of educational process.

DDDM becomes more important in education because of federal and state test-based accountability policies. The No Child Left Behind Act created broader opportunities and incentives in using data by educational organizations by requiring schools and districts to analyze additional components of data, as well as pressing them to increase student test scores. Information makes schools accountable for year-by-year improvement and DDDM helps educators recognize problems and who is affected by them.

I hope you find all of the above at least a little interesting, but I expect you’re still waiting for me to bring this home. Thanks for your patience and now here we go!

I don’t want to front-run Branded’s Hospitality Hangout podcast, which was recently recognized by International Hospitality Institute as one of the Top 40 Hospitality Podcasts, but this week we recorded a super-fun and interesting with Friend of Branded, Scott Redler, the Founder of Redler Hospitality and the Co-Founder of Freddy’s Frozen Custard.

In the episode, Mr. Redler was dropping knowledge and attributed a great deal of his success to what he called his “Triple D Strategy" or his obsession with Data Driven Decision-making.

With respect to the above-mentioned recognition by the International Hospitality Institute of our podcast, just two quick points: (i) I didn’t know there were even 40 hospitality podcasts in the market; and (ii) in the words of Ricky Bobby’s father, “if you’re not first, your last.”

Even though you can clearly come in 2nd, 3rd or even Top 40 place, the Branded Team appreciates being included on a list that recognizes the folks putting out content via podcasts and what Branded strives to do with our own ‘cast’ (I understand that’s what the cool kids call podcasts these days) which we’re now positioning as infotainment!

Now back to Mr. Redler and his emphasis on the “Triple D.”

I told Scott I loved his "Triple D Strategy" and that I was going to share it with all of you, but with absolute attribution to him.

Scott, I'm a man of my word!

Scott emphasized (and Branded enthusiastically agrees) that the hospitality industry, as much as any, has historically and traditionally used instincts, gutfeel and experience to make decisions and run the business. I never want to tell an operator that such resources aren’t amazing tools to utilize, but I like to add that with data & analytics, the operator’s instincts, gutfeel and experience will simply get much stronger and be better at decision-making!

Scott talked about the scaling of Freddy’s from a single unit to 360 units (and its ultimate sale to Thompson Street Partners) and how his growth and success would not have been possible with a commitment and reliance on data driven decision-making.

Data & analytics have come a long way in the hospitality industry and for avoidance of any doubt, this was long overdue!

After spending years working in the financial and capital markets, it was commonplace for my team to utilize, and leverage data & analytics as part of our workflow. The preceding isn’t intended to remotely suggest that data & analytics are infallible and there have certainly been enough failures in financial community to make that point crystal clear.

However, not leveraging available data & analytics is as poor a decision as a complete reliance or blind obsession on said data & analytics. Like most things, it’s a balance and I don’t think it’s a bold statement to say that one can improve the chances of winning by using all the available information to make the best decision you can within the timeframe in which you need to make it.

What Mr. Redler was sharing, and Branded embraces, is that data provides objective and quantifiable insights that are essential for decision-making in the hospitality industry. And here’s where I find it particularly interesting. I believe the hospitality data is the bronze model winner (standing only behind the gold medal winner - financial data, and the silver medal winner – healthcare data) as a most valuable data set.

In an industry where guest preferences and market trends can change and shift rapidly, the data flowing through the hospitality industry reflects consumer preferences. Hospitality groups that leverage consumer preference data can be far more agile and adjust faster than those who don’t.

Analytics from a single unit may be interesting and modestly helpful, but leveraging pooled data from a larger dataset becomes incredibly meaningful and there are now tools and platforms that enable operators, as well as those that are selling into the industry, to be the beneficiaries of such data.

To be clear, I don’t know many people that enter the hospitality industry to be data analysts, but then again, historically, most people didn’t enter the hospitality industry to be technology specialists either.

Branded’s operator-centric investment strategy is to identify technology & innovation platforms that are allies to operators and address the most pressing challenges and opportunities with as little friction as possible. This is exactly what we're doing with our focus and investments in data & analytic companies that here too are trying to be allies to operators (and those selling into the industry).

Readers of the H^2 know that over 2/3rds of the restaurant industry are comprised of SMBs and independents. These smaller companies are rarely resourced to collect data or be sent a comma separated values (“CSV”) files.

Similar to the business-to-business (“B2B”) software as a service (“SaaS”) investments we’ve made, there are companies working hard to collect the desired data and deliver it to operators (and sellers into the industry) in a way that is as user-friendly as possible and is specifically tactical and actionable.

The hospitality industry is and will always be about the food and the people, but it’s clear that the digital transformation that is underway is only gaining momentum. The exploration and embracement of technology & innovation is already paying dividends for so many operators and there is no doubt that this will continue.

While I’ve witnessed an explosion of software and automation, I think data & analytics remain underweighted by my investor peers and by operators as well. It’s with great enthusiasm that Branded continues to speak and work with platforms that specialize in data & analytics.

Any company can include a slide in their pitch-deck about data, but that doesn’t make them a data company.

If you would have asked me if I was EVER going to borrow a quote from Joan Cusack from the 1988 romantic comedy, Working Girl, I would have bet against it. I would have bet wrong! 😊

To all Branded’s operator friends and specifically our Hospitality Network, if you want to talk about how you can leverage actionable data to create incremental value for your business, call me. To our Strategic Connections (the sellers into the hospitality industry), this is for you as well!

There are platforms that we work closely with that are on your side and can be of help.

It takes a village.

What are the odds that after making the Top of the Fold section about data & analytics, that I would follow up in the Shoutout section with an article by Branded’s portfolio company, Brizo FoodMetrics (long terms readers of the H^2 know the odds were pretty freaking good, right?). 😊

Brizo Foodmetrics is the source of truth for the foodservice industry and Branded is thrilled that we were able to get involved in this company so early in its journey.

I’ve written about Brizo before, but this week, nobody puts baby in the corner and Brizo will be speaking (writing) for itself.

Brizo published an article on “How to master foodservice prospecting with advanced market intelligence (and why you should avoid generic contact lists).”

I’m not sure producing titles of articles is Brizo’s strong suit (😊), but these are some of the very best people in the industry and they’re obsessed with helping restaurants and the companies that sell into restaurants more successful.

Please read on and enjoy this guest contribution from Branded's portfolio company - Brizo Foodmetrics.

Are you a manufacturer, distributor, or technology vendor in the foodservice industry? Does your sales strategy hinge on buying prospect contact lists? Do you rely on generic cold calls and mass marketing emails when reaching out to establishments?

It’s time to stop and reconsider what you’re doing.

The truth is, these approaches to prospecting are ineffective and inefficient. Your prospects have already heard run-of-the-mill sales pitches from a hundred different suppliers. Their inboxes are full of spam emails promoting products irrelevant to their business, and yours is just another in the pile. Why should they consider working with you?

The “spray and pray” tactic is no longer viable in an increasingly competitive world. Your time and resources are valuable, and so is that of your prospects. To cut through the noise, you need to adopt a more targeted, knowledgeable approach.  

By narrowing the focus of your campaigns, you can use the same level of time and resources to personalize your messaging and connect with your audience. Your prospects will be able to tell that you have taken the time to understand their business and be more likely to listen to you. At the same time, you will be better-equipped to link your product with their business objectives and close the deal.

Embrace the power of fresh market insights

So, if quality, not quantity, is the secret sauce to prospecting success, what resources do you need to adjust your approach?  

Brizo FoodMetrics is a market intelligence platform with the power to transform how you target, evaluate, and qualify prospects. With over 1.5 million foodservice establishments in its database, Brizo has the data-driven insights needed to reignite your sales strategies.

Basic third-party contact lists provide minimal insight into each establishment. You don’t know what they sell, what they need, or if they’re even still in operation (lists can quickly become out-of-date). In addition, if your competitors are using the same lists, you’re all fighting over the same small subset of a much-larger market.

While Brizo includes over 1.3 million verified contacts, that’s only the beginning. It also offers granular insights on everything from menu items to in-use restaurant technologies. Brizo’s data is dynamic: with a monthly refresh rate, you can base your business decisions on the current market, not a static list of phone numbers.

In addition, user-friendly filters and dashboards help you sort and visualize all those rich insights. With Brizo in your prospecting toolbox, you can level up your sales strategy and supercharge your conversion rate.

Cut the fat (and your prospecting time) 

Let’s say you’re a producer selling specific fruits and vegetables to local farm-to-table restaurants. Before Brizo, you might have purchased a list of prospects without any idea how many of them have a need for your product. You probably spent time cold calling or emailing your way through the list; or, you may have wasted even more resources digging through online menus and websites, trying to determine which prospects are a match for what you’re selling.

With market intelligence from Brizo FoodMetrics, you can skip the generic contact list and accelerate your qualifying process. Brizo’s detailed filters let you zero in on establishments who fit your ideal customer profile, leaving out less-relevant prospects that only succeed in eating up your time.

Are you targeting local restaurants serving asparagus? Just apply a geographic boundary in Brizo and select asparagus as an ingredient. You’ll be rewarded with a list of every establishment in your region with asparagus on the menu. There are even filters for Organic, Farm-to-Table, and Locally Sourced establishments, so you can get ultra-specific with your target audience.

When you’re ready, you can export verified contacts for your search results directly from Brizo. Based on the filters you’ve applied, it’s highly likely that these contacts have a strong interest in locally grown asparagus. By prioritizing your prospects, you can optimize the productivity of your sales team and increase your return on investment.

Segmenting your market with precision-cut data slices

Now we’ll dig deeper into another practical example of how Brizo can help pinpoint the best prospects for your business.

In this scenario, imagine you’re a halal meat distributor in Pennsylvania. We can start by selecting halal under the Dietary Styles filter. Your search will now be restricted to the 14,734 establishments noted within Brizo’s database as offering halal products.

You also want to keep things close to your warehouse, so let’s target the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area using Brizo’s location filters. 

Filter applied: Metro Area = Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington | 450 results

Already, these filters have reduced your search to 450 local halal establishments, but we can take it further to build an even more targeted sales campaign.

With over 2.5 billion menu items tracked within Brizo, you can also use granular dish- and ingredient-level filters to analyze current menu offerings. The most common halal meats are beef, lamb, and chicken. However, if the focus of your current campaign is to increase beef and chicken sales, you can add filters for beef or chicken to hone in on restaurants with these ingredients on the menu.

Filter applied: Ingredients (Meat & Poultry) = Beef or Chicken | 398 results

You decide to approach large chains in a separate sales campaign and concentrate on smaller independent operators right now. To make this easy, you can refine your Brizo search to include only independent establishments.

Filter applied: Independents (under 5 locations) only | 344 results

Finally, your preferred restaurant partners are those with a solid reputation. A large number of positive online reviews tend to align with establishments who are running a good business and thus less likely to fall behind on payments. Luckily, Brizo also allows you to segment search results based on aggregated review data from sources like Google, TripAdvisor, and Yelp. 

For this search, we can filter for high-performing establishments with an Average Review Score between 4 and 5 and a Total Review Count of more than 50 reviews.

Filter applied: Average Review Score = between 4 and 5 | 216 results

Filter applied: Total Reviews = more than 50 | 185 results

Overall, this search leaves you with a refined list of 185 establishments that meet all of your campaign criteria. In addition, Brizo’s flexible charts and dashboards help you interpret and gain further insights into your search results at every stage. Instead of blindly contacting restaurants en masse and hoping they are interested in your products, you can focus your efforts on a smaller group of prequalified prospects and maximize your conversion results.

Leave your competitors with the leftovers

The benefit of strategic prospect segmentation is twofold. Not only can you avoid wasting time on low-quality leads that don’t pan out, but you can also engage top-tier prospects with messaging that resonates with their business needs.

Brizo makes prospecting a hassle-free process by equipping your business with fresh, granular data and powerful filters. If you don’t already believe that Brizo can make a huge difference to your success, check out some of our case studies from satisfied clients, like ezCater, DAVO, and Bbot (powered by DoorDash).

If you’re ready to reduce your prospecting time by up to 75%, you need the insights Brizo FoodMetrics can provide. With this much data power in your pocket, your competition will be stuck picking at the leftovers while you enjoy our feast of fresh data.

If you're interested in speaking or being connected with Branded's portfolio company Brizo Foodmetrics, please contact me or shoot an e-mail to the newsletter team at

Readers of the Hospitality Headline, that are interested in learning more about Branded’s portfolio companies, investment strategies and future opportunities, are invited to explore becoming part of our Access Hospitality Network.

In this week's episode of Hospitality Hangout, Michael Schatzberg “The Restaurant Guy” and Jimmy Frischling “The Finance Guy” are joined by Theresa Montanaro, Regional Director of JSC Management for Burger King in New England; Jennifer Chavez, Chief Financial Officer of G2G Management Group, LLC; and John Hernandez, Chief Executive Officer of G2G Management Group, LLC. This episode was recorded LIVE from the Restaurant365 Studios at the Restaurant Transformation Tour in Boston!

You can tune in on SpotifyAppleAmazoniHeart, or your favorite listening platform!

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That’s it for today!

See you next week, (about the) same bat-time, same bat-channel.

It takes a village!

Jimmy Frischling
Branded Hospitality Ventures
235 Park Ave South, 4th Fl | New York, NY 10003

Branded Hospitality Ventures ("Branded") is an investment and advisory platform at the intersection of food service, technology, innovation and capital. As experienced hospitality owners and operators, Branded brings value to its portfolio companies through investment, strategic counsel, and its deep industry expertise and connections.

Learn more about Branded here: Branded At-A-Glance

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