Garcia-Lorenzana will Broaden the Restaurant Franchise’s Reach
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, a well-known family-dining restaurant franchise, tapped Diana Garcia-Lorenzana as vice president of marketing. She previously served as vice president of digital Marketing and CRM for Darden Restaurants.
“Perkins is an institution in the family-dining category, which is rare, and as a marketer, working with such a strong brand is very exciting. Given all of this, once I met the passionate and experienced team at Perkins, I knew it was the right fit for me,” Garcia-Lorenzana said.
She looks forward to continuing to serve Perkins’ guests and ensuring that they have great dining experiences. Her focus is on strengthening the Perkins’ brand by expanding its reach while also captivating younger consumers. She is excited about broadening Perkins’ appeal and exploring innovative ways to share the brand story, particularly through digital marketing.
Ascent Hospitality Management, Perkins’ parent company, is thrilled to have Garcia-Lorenzana take on this role. “Diana’s passion for understanding our customers and reaching them where they are digitally aligns perfectly with our goals. We are confident that her collaborative approach, leadership skills, and expertise in growing brands in a competitive market will propel Perkins to new heights,” said chief brand officer Alison Glenn Delaney.
Garcia-Lorenzana’s Franchising Background
Garcia-Lorenzana’s franchising journey began at Darden, where she served as marketing director for LongHorn Steakhouse. Her favorite aspect of franchising at Perkins is that the national brand is rooted in local communities. “Despite being a national presence, we strive to embody the spirit of a community restaurant, creating connections and forging lasting memories in each of the communities we are a part of.”
The Changing Restaurant Industry
Garcia-Lorenzana was initially drawn to the restaurant industry because of the opportunity it presents to create lasting and memorable experiences for guests. She notes that the Covid-19 pandemic drove changes in how guests dine that are still impacting restaurants to this day. She believes that there has been an evolution in why guests visit restaurants, creating new opportunities for Perkins. A good example of this is to-go and third-party orders. Guests have adopted digital technology at an accelerated pace, and it is shaping how restaurants are evolving to meet their needs, she said. She added that while technology changes, the need to deliver great service doesn’t.
For Candidates and Franchisors
Garcia-Lorenzana urges prospective franchisees to gain a comprehensive understanding of the business through research and familiarize themselves with their target consumer base and financial aspects. It is also important to seek out a franchise partner who shares the same objective of achieving success, she added. “By combining thorough preparation, consumer understanding, financial knowledge, and a compatible franchise partner, you can pave the way for a successful journey into the world of franchising.”
In her view, franchisors should take their marketing initiatives to the next level, know their guests and ensure marketing efforts align with their needs and preferences. She values a franchise system that prioritizes measuring performance by tracking and analyzing key metrics to get insight into how well marketing initiatives are performing. “Measurement shines a spotlight on areas of opportunity and helps you identify where improvements can be made. As a proponent of measurement, I firmly believe that it enables informed decision-making and continuous growth.”