Recipe leaders stay curious as they build a brand story

Recipe leaders stay curious as they build a brand story and propel forward through innovation and technology

They say innovation is a crucial part of a business’ success. As a company, Recipe has always pushed the needle forward, innovating and thinking ahead while consistently reinforcing values of owning it and being curious. So how do you propel a company that has been around since the 1800s? By bringing on leaders who not only challenge the status quo constantly, but also innovate in their roles and bring forward diversity of thought.

Pushing boundaries and questioning what’s next is at the helm of who we are, and these two leaders aren’t shy to take on the challenge.

Having been with Recipe for eight years, Kate Harrison, Director of Creative and Communications, knows a thing or two about weaving together a brand story. Her mission: tell the story of a 139-year-old restaurant company in a way that’s never been told before. The story you tell your consumers is important as it builds trust and gives them the opportunity to know your brand. Yes, they know of the Swiss Chalets and Harvey’s of the world, but they don’t always get a glimpse behind the scenes into the bones of the company and the values Recipe stands for.

“I saw a big opportunity in defining the Recipe brand and voice. My first mission was to figure out our story, who we are. That would become the basis for everything we did moving forward and would make our path to greater brand awareness so much easier and clear,” says Kate. “The team works hard to shine a light on the moments that really define us. Our people, restaurant growth and corporate social responsibility are big themes and pillars we focus on. Building on these three pillars allows Recipe to tell a story that’s just as iconic as its brands.”

As we continue to put Recipe in the spotlight, there are always new projects and initiatives being developed to support our growth. Beatrice Robertson, Director of CRM and Loyalty, and her team are continuously looking at being innovative in the loyalty and technology space by testing out new ways to provide the best customer experience.

“Part of my role is to lead Recipe's Customer Data & Loyalty Taskforce. Together with a great group of brand and shared service teammates from across the business, we are spearheading new initiatives that will help us create an omnichannel view of our customer at both the brand and Recipe levels,” says Beatrice. “We’re also going to integrate a new tool that will enable us to build sophisticated loyalty and next best action management programs for some of our biggest brands. Both of these initiatives will give our brand marketers the power to know, engage, influence, and grow their guest base in ways we've never been able to before.”

With these technological advancements, our brands are able to give guests the best experiences and, in turn, continue to help solidify Recipe's place in the market. At the root of it, this couldn't be done without Recipe’s leaders and what they bring to the table. Recipe is on a mission to increase diversity, specifically on its leadership teams, with the commitment to increase RLT diversity (e.g. female, BIPOC, persons with a disability, 2SLGTBQ+) to 50% by the end of 2025. At the end of 2021, Recipe was above its interim goal at 44%, which surpassed the intention of being at 40% by the end of 2023.

With Recipe’s commitment to increasing female presence amongst its leaders, we gained some insight from both Kate and Beatrice regarding their thoughts on this topic. Read on below to see what they had to say.

Q. What is one piece of leadership advice you'd give to women in the workplace?

Beatrice: You belong here. You are not an imposter. You can do it, or you wouldn't be in this role. Ask the question. Be honest. These are not signs of weakness, they are signs of maturity, confidence, and strength.

Kate: Look for opportunities big or small in unassuming places. If you see a gap or have an idea you're passionate about, don’t wait for someone else to take the lead. You can be that leader.

Q. It's been said that diversity fosters creativity and innovation, how do you think being a woman helps foster thought and creativity within your team?

Kate: I think active listening can feed curiosity and help spark ideas in a creative role. I really look to the team for their unique perspectives and love to hear differing opinions. Our group is bursting with creative energy and different expertise, from design to writing, to public relations and photography. It’s clear that when trusting relationships are built, a safe space develops and that really allows everyone to shine in their own unique way.

Beatrice: I'm lucky to have a team that is diverse in gender, background, experiences, and roles. I am incredibly proud of our CRM & Loyalty Team, and they know that I consider my most important job to be supporting their growth and development. We make it a point to ensure everyone has a voice, is asked their opinion, and can share feedback openly. Within the broader Recipe Digital Team, I don't often have more technical expertise than my fantastic peers. But what I do bring to the table is a different perspective, rooted in my experience as a Brand Marketer on our most complex, omnichannel brand. To learn, I ask a LOT of questions, which can help our whole team foster discussion, ideas, and new ways of working. I'm lucky that our Digital Team values innovation, and isn't afraid to challenge the status quo.