Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, AppNeta Blog, Liz McMillan

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
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Big Data, cloud, analytics, contextual information, wearable tech, sensors, mobility, and WebRTC: together, these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Erik Perotti, Senior Manager of New Ventures on Plantronics’ Innovation team, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it m...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
WebRTC sits at the intersection between VoIP and the Web. As such, it poses some interesting challenges for those developing services on top of it, but also for those who need to test and monitor these services. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Tsahi Levent-Levi, co-founder of testRTC, reviewed the various challenges posed by WebRTC when it comes to testing and monitoring and on ways to overcome them.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, CTO and founder of Striim, will delve into four enterprise-scale, business-critical case studies where streaming analytics serves as the key to enabling real-time data integration and right-time insights in hybrid cloud, IoT, and fog computing environments. As part of this discussion, he will also present a demo based on its partnership with Fujitsu, highlighting their technologies in a healthcare IoT use-case. The demo showcases the tracking of patie...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, 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.
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...