Famous Dave's has long delivered a dine-in experience to satisfy even the most exacting of BBQ fans. With the emerging importance of its catering and to-go sales, the company is reorganizing its marketing department to capitalize on those businesses as well.
"The reality is that our customers access our brand in four different ways; dine-in, to-go, catering and retail," says John Gilbert, CEO of Famous Dave's. "Not addressing these customers in a fashion that anticipates their different motivations for each occasion is simply leaving money on the table. In light of the continued softness in same store sales, I have decided now is the time to make this move."
Famous Dave's is proceeding with the immediate alignment of core marketing functions with the four revenue streams. Each "line of business" owner will be responsible for the strategy of that business—from market insight to planning and execution. The company will staff dine-in, to-go and catering positions immediately by redeploying existing resources.
The move also introduces a "Digital Services Group," through which the company intends to create sales and traffic growth through the use of digital tools, including CRM, B2B campaign management, email, social media, web advertising, web-site, on-line ordering, and mobile technology solutions. According to Gilbert, "Nearly 40 percent of our business is 'data-collectible' through catering and to-go. The Digital Services Group will capitalize on this. It will be a point of difference."
With the realignment, the company announced the departure of Aric Nissen as vice president of marketing and research & development. Aric had been a member of the Famous Dave's executive team since 2009. A successor has not been named, though the company expects to make a decision quickly.
"This structure is critical and the team is ready. Its impact on our future will be significant," Gilbert says.