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Don Fox – CEO, Firehouse Subs

Don Fox - CEO, Firehouse Subs

The Restaurant Chain Executives Podcast with Brad Brooks and Israel L'Heureux

Don Fox is Chief Executive Officer of Firehouse of America, LLC, in which he leads the strategic growth of Firehouse Subs, one of America’s leading fast casual restaurant brands. Under his leadership, the brand has grown to more than 1,070 restaurants in 44 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, and is recognized as one of the best franchises in the country.

In this episode, he tells us:

  • The history of this true blue collar success story
  • How community involvement has helped to shape the company
  • The challenges of growing and keeping brand integrity
  • Where people go wrong with franchising
  • His profile for an ideal franchisee

Firehouse Subs:

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Joseph Michelli – Crafting Customer Experiences

Joseph Michelli - Crafting Customer Experiences

The Restaurant Chain Executives Podcast with Brad Brooks and Israel L'Heureux

Probably best known in this industry for his book, The Starbuck’s Experience, on this episode he has us look to the automotive industry for lessons on crafting compelling customer experiences.

  • What Mercedes Benz can teach all of us about great restaurant experiences
  • Tips for measuring customer impact
  • How to pick the people for your customer experience team
  • Getting buy-in from your organization for a shift in the customer experience

Joseph Michelli Experience Website:

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Irene Cook – COO, Dig Inn

Irene Cook - COO, Dig Inn

The Restaurant Chain Executives Podcast with Brad Brooks and Israel L'Heureux

Irene Cook, the Chief Operating Officer at Dig Inn, a fast casual chain based in New York. Irene was formerly the SVP of Operations for Panera Bread.

Irene is a self described “Burger Brat” who began her career with Burger King. Early on, she demonstrated natural leadership and training abilities.  Those leadership abilities took her to top posts at some of the industry’s most respected brands.

In this interview Irene shares:

  • What makes Dig Inn special and how they’re creating a new category of food
  • The most important qualities she learned from her mentors
  • How to create the best engagement between HQ and the field
  • The product trends she sees in the industry
  • How integrating your values changes not only the food, but also your HR processes
  • How she’s stayed passionate about the restaurant industry

Dig Inn:

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Jen Denis – Chief Brand Officer, honeygrow

Jen Denis - Chief Brand Officer, honeygrow

The Restaurant Chain Executives Podcast with Brad Brooks and Israel L'Heureux

Jen Denis, the Chief Brand Officer for honeygrow,a restaurant concept born in Philly in 2012, offering wholesome, fully customizable stir-frys, salads, honeybars + cold pressed juices.

Jen shares:

  • How their technology supports their customer experience
  • The importance of creating a connnection with the local community
  • How the branding can reflect the passion behind the food
  • Creating a recovery process that disarms and repairs the relationship with an unhappy customer


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Larry Harte and Chris McGourty – Loss Prevention and Organized Crime

Larry Harte and Chris McGourty - Loss Prevention and Organized Crime

The Restaurant Chain Executives Podcast with Brad Brooks and Israel L'Heureux

Chris McGourty is the Founder and Executive Director for the National Anti-Organized Crime Association and comes from a background of working in loss prevention with companies like TJX, the parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshall’s and Lowes Home Improvement at Filene’s Basement

Larry Harte, a Franchise owner for DIGIOP, one of the leading companies in the world of security cameras and loss prevention.

On this episode, they tell us about:

  • The vulnerabilities of the Restaurant Industry to Organized Crime
  • Some of the most common crimes and scams being perpetrated
  • Ways that gift cards can be exploited by organized crime
  • The surprising link to the opiod crisis
  • How you can protect your profits

Chris McGourty:
National Anti-Organized Retail Crime Association:

Larry Harte:

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Sponsored by:

Hosted By

Brad Brooks

Brad Brooks has spent over 25 years working with restaurant chains starting by flipping burgers and serving tables. After discovering an aptitude for technology, he went from serving in a restaurant to the head of technology of a $200M restaurant chain in less than 18 months, where he spent a decade building, implementing and managing software. He then began working with restaurant and retail associations, enabling them to use data to influence government policy and drive awareness for the industry. Since then, Brad has worked with some of the most recognizable brands in foodservice, helping them to gain insights from their operational data. In addition, Brad hosted a radio show on Vancouver’s top rated talk radio station.

Israel L’Heureux

Israel is the founder & CEO of Touchpoint, a POS, mobile, loyalty and data platform. He has a proven history of business, process and technical innovation that was developed as a product design engineering student at Stanford University in the early ’90s. Before Touchpoint, Israel co-founded Redline Networks, the company that first turned network load balancing into smart and flexible devices. He has also held positions at Dell Computer – where his team developed a unified online system to run the entire ARB business unit – and BMW in Munich, Germany – where he started the BMW X5 project. Israel has 10 patents granted and 20 more pending.