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St. John and Store By Store Debut Restaurant Marketing Podcast “Smart Takes”

Independent full-service advertising agency St. John and restaurant-growth consultancy Store By Store (SxS) have launched “Smart Takes,” a podcast series created to discuss restaurant growth, trends, guest experience, franchising and how to build long-term brands in the QSR, fast casual and casual categories.

Store By Store, a partner company to St. John, uses guest transactions, proximity data and marketing insights to find hidden opportunities for rapid brand growth and development, often starting at the local store level and then laddering up to the brand footprint. St. John is an integrated agency that has driven lasting growth for multiple restaurant brands over the last 30 years. The collective team at St. John and Store By Store is known for kickstarting restaurant growth while increasing brand value for Zaxby’s, Denny’s, Bojangles, Smoothie King, Firehouse Subs, Metro Diner, Wendy’s and Ruby Tuesday.

St. John COO Jeff McCurry noted, “We believe Smart Takes will engage restaurant marketers looking for inspiration and solutions to drive growth in today’s marketplace.”

Episodes are hosted by Jenifer Boyd Harmon, EVP practice lead at St. John and Store By Store; and Kristen Bankert, ACD at St. John. The hosts – both experienced leaders in driving restaurant traffic, sales, loyalty and brand value – will discuss growth, aligning marketing with brand values, delivering on the guest promise and driving fan loyalty.

Harmon said, “With economically driven price increases, same-store comp sales have become a much less-reliable indicator of growth. Restaurants today view increased frequency, growing traffic with new audiences and long-term loyalty as much more accurate markers of success. “Smart Takes” is a light-hearted approach to exploring how to drive restaurant growth today.”

Episodes began airing December 1, 2023. The first episode discusses St. John’s 15-year relationship with fast-casual chain Zaxby’s. Working alongside Zach McLeroy and the Zaxby’s team, St. John helped to grow the brand from 110 units to 900+ locations. Episode highlights include how the agency tapped into fan fanatics, established strong local roots, worked with the culinary team to deliver exciting menu innovation and partnered with the franchisees to ensure a tremendous return on the brand investment value.

Other episodes will focus on Store By Store’s ability to track and interpret data. While there’s no shortage of data and research, restaurant leaders have little time to pore over the numbers, and marketing teams today are limited in bandwidth. St. John and SxS interpret the findings to tell the brand story, uncovering new opportunities to maximize spend and messaging that will drive new traffic, frequency, loyalty and brand value.

Smart Takes is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, YouTube and storebystore.com.

Store by Store (SxS) helps QSR, fast-casual and casual brands drive rapid growth store by store. SxS mines store-level data to simplify planning, tapping into unique insights to grow menu dayparts, increase average checks, monitor local preferences, determine best-use occasions, and inform decisions around the right message, right offer, and right time for each store’s unique profile. For more information about SxS, visit www.storebystore.com.

St. John is an independent strategy, content and media company headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. The agency inspires growth by helping brands create the relevance, utility and visibility required to earn attention in highly competitive categories. Clients include AbbVie, Florida Prepaid College Savings Plans, Metro Diner, NASCAR, Rooms To Go and Winn-Dixie. St. John is a member of the MAGNET Global Network, composed of 50 independent advertising agencies in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific Rim; and 4A’s, the national trade association for U.S. advertising agencies. For more information about St. John, visit www.sjp.com.


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