At first blush the world of social media can be a little confusing for a CEO. Everyone is rushing to get involved in it; there is almost no way to feel anything other than behind and there is almost no way to understand if it is worth the investment. Then I heard a wonderful thing. Someone said to think of social media as a way to allow your guests to express themselves, for you as a company to have a deeper conversation with them that was much more on their terms by addressing what they wanted to address in the form that they wanted it addressed. That makes complete sense to me and is compelling and inviting. In the beginning of Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes I would simply walk into the restaurants and ask guests what they were thinking to find out what was on their minds. I miss that interaction, that contact that is personal and direct. So I’m excited by the interaction social media brings and am thrilled by what it has to offer.
I am very proud of what we do as company for our guests. I love eating in our restaurants. I think the food is fantastic and I know the quality of our offering comes at a great value. I enjoy talking about what we do as a company and intend to share these insights, as well as knowledge from my 25+ years leading the company, through my blog posts. My goal is to give you a little more insight into our food, our restaurants and our people so you can make the best possible decision when dining out.
I also know that we will always be learning and using insights from you to improve our guests’ experience. So I look forward to your responses and suggestions. I won’t be able to cover everything, but I do commit to responding to what is most pressing to the largest number of people. Most of all, I promise to talk to you in the same authentic way I run my restaurants.
The past year has been a challenging one for us, just as it has been for you. We have struggled to provide you with the right pricing and offers to fit your various needs. One thing we have never forgotten, though, is that we are a restaurant company and that our menu and our food must remain our highest priority. I believe we have stayed committed to both despite challenges and cost pressures and know that 2011 will bring more of that same commitment. I look forward to engaging with you through this new medium and anticipate sharing company insights frequently. Please let me know what you think about the brand and company.