In the Dual Roles, Lee will Oversee Marketing and Technological Initiatives
Flame Broiler, a Korean-inspired fast-casual franchise, appointed Daniel Lee as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). With these dual roles, Lee will oversee the fast-casual franchise’s marketing and technological initiatives. He previously served as head of brand and technology and was a franchise owner with the brand.
“Being CTO and CMO wasn’t something that was on my mind, but it came up as we talked about how to take our company into the next generation of growth. As a company, we have such a strong base of amazing employees, franchisees, and restaurants that allow us to dream about what’s next. I’m excited to bring innovation to the forefront of what we do and spark a rapid technological evolution. Plus, it helps that I love all things technology and branding,” Lee said.
Flame Broiler has been focusing its technological efforts on bringing value to the guest, Lee said. “We are all about simplifying access to our healthy meals, and that’s also why our customers love us so much. Technology is a fantastic way to make our food faster and easier to get and also allows us to engage with our loyal fans on an emotional level. We’ll stay ahead of the competition with a laser-focus on how we can continue to serve them better.”
Since Flame Broiler does not have the capacity to develop its own technology, “we will need to take advantage of our smaller footprint to deploy products from newer software vendors across our system in a more agile way than a brand with thousands of locations would be able to.”
The Family Business
In addition to Lee, Flame Broiler’s leadership team also grew to include his brother, Christian, the new Chief Operating Officer. He and Chrisitan worked together to get the brand through the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic and launched the new Flame Broiler app to improve the customer experience.
Lee has enjoyed working with his family because they know how to have fun together outside of work while still respecting each other as colleagues. “We listen to each other, have lively, healthy discourse, and value our different giftings and personalities. We are all in positions that best suit our individual strengths, which allows us to lead effectively and work towards our common mission.”
Lee got started in franchising when he owned and operated a Flame Broiler franchise with Christian. “It was an illuminating experience to learn all aspects of running a restaurant and become more connected to our frontline team members and loyal guests. I love that this is an industry that employees and serves people from all walks of life. Food is something that everybody needs and relies on to fuel their day, so it’s rewarding to offer a product that is affordable, tasty, and healthy.”
Improving Technological Initiatives
For franchisors who want to improve their marketing and technological strategies, Lee believes that what happens within the four walls of restaurants is critical. “Traditionally, technology has been seen as cost centers. However, advancements made over the past decade have changed this, and we can now see IT departments as profit centers. Technology can continue to improve the bottom line by increasing operational efficiencies, while it can also drive the top line by facilitating exceptional guest experiences.”
He added that “this has led to the line between marketing and technology becoming increasingly muddled. Properly understanding this and managing the synergy between the two departments will be crucial in leading companies to the future.”