Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Mike Raia, PagerDuty Blog

News Feed Item

Buffets, Inc. Restructures Marketing Agency Line-Up and Adds Consumer Insights Expert to Internal Team

Restructuring initiatives fuel "Plan to Win" Rollout

GREER, S.C., Nov. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Buffets, Inc. recently finalized realignment of its marketing agency roster to create more "real connections" with its guests. These efforts assist its entire portfolio of family-style buffet restaurants to stay on course with goals set in the "Plan To Win" initiative.  Agencies playing a vital role in the restructuring are: Atlanta-based Trend Influence, which has been named Creative Agency of Record (AOR); Ft. Lauderdale-based Ink Link Marketing, which has been named Promotions and PR AOR; Miami-based IGT Media Holdings, which will handle all media buying for the brands; and New York-based Conversation, which will handle the digital initiatives for the company.  The company also appointed a new senior-level consumer insights professional, Tama Looney, to the marketing team.  She reports to Jason Abelkop, Chief Marketing Officer. These moves complete the marketing restructuring of the brands that began earlier this year.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121116/FL15453 )

Abelkop explained the changes are an outgrowth of the dynamic business plan adopted by the company earlier this year.  "These agencies have an aggressive approach to planning and execution that matches our own, and their talents complement the team of internal professionals we have assembled," Abelkop said.  "All are nimble, smart, efficient and, most importantly, laser-focused on the guest."

The new agencies will be instrumental in communicating the expansive reconcepting plan for the chain.  Abelkop explained, "As we invest in our restaurants, we need to get the message out to guests that we're better than ever and ready for them to come in and see everything that's new."

New Creative AOR
Trend Influence is part of KBS+ and the MDC Partners network of companies, the 9th largest marketing organization worldwide.  They will provide integrated branding and communications solutions, including television, radio, print, collateral and direct point-of-sale.  

Media Planning & Buying
Miami-based IGT Media Holdings, with satellite offices in New York and Los Angeles, will handle media planning and buying for the brands.  "IGT has a solid track record in developing layered media campaigns that incorporate both traditional and nontraditional methods.  We believe IGT can effectively help us improve our share of voice in the marketplace," said Abelkop.   IGT Media Holdings reports more than $200M in billings.  It has developed media strategy for multi-unit QSR and family dining brands including Pollo Tropical, Friendly's, Tony Romas, and Arby's® restaurants.

PR & Promotions Support Added
Ink Link Marketing, a Promotions and PR agency from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. will work with the Buffets marketing team to create an integrated 360 degree calendar with complimentary public relations, promotional tie-ins and events.  The agency's principals have more than 25 years experience of strategic calendar, promotions and public relations campaign planning and execution with restaurant brands such as Burger King Corporation and Pollo Tropical. 

New Focus on Digital
New York-based Conversation, which most recently earned acclaim as winner of AMC's "The Pitch'" will manage and grow Buffets 400,000+ Facebook fans and help reach out into other social media platforms. They are charged with creating key digital promotions, social media efforts and mobile marketing outreach for the brands.  Their client list includes dressbarn, Hearst Communications, and L'Oreal. 

Consumer Insights
As the new Director of Consumer Insights, Tama Looney is responsible for developing and executing all new product, consumer and brand research plans, tools and processes.  She will also coordinate all secondary research projects to help identify emerging consumer trends that could impact the family buffet-dining segment.  Looney will also be responsible for the Buffets' SMS texting and email-based loyalty program, "Crave Connection."   

Looney has more than 13 years of experience in marketing research & analysis on both the client and agency side.  She has worked with such brands as Arby's, Burger King, Delta Airlines, SunTrust and multiple homebuilders across the Southeast focused on understanding consumers through customer satisfaction, social media, qualitative as well as quantitative research. 

She holds an Executive MBA from Georgia State University and a BA in Psychology from the University of West Georgia.

About Buffets, Inc. 
Buffets, Inc., the nation's largest steak-buffet restaurant company, currently operates 350 restaurants in 35 states, comprised of 340 steak-buffet restaurants and 10 Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse® restaurants.  The restaurants are principally operated under the Old Country Buffet®, HomeTown® Buffet, Ryan's® and Fire Mountain® brands. Buffets employs approximately 18,000 team members and serves approximately 100 million customers annually. For more information about the company, please visit www.Buffet.com.

SOURCE Buffets, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Akana has announced the availability of version 8 of its API Management solution. The Akana Platform provides an end-to-end API Management solution for designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs. It is available as a SaaS platform, on-premises, and as a hybrid deployment. Version 8 introduces a lot of new functionality, all aimed at offering customers the richest API Management capabilities in a way that is easier than ever for API and app developers to use.
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CDS Global Cloud, an Infrastructure as a Service provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CDS Global Cloud is an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provider specializing in solutions for e-commerce, internet gaming, online education and other internet applications. With a growing number of data centers and network points around the world, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.