The Sweet Spot Between Marketing & Operations - Heather Leed Neary, KBP Investments
Play • 1 hr 1 min

Season 2 kicks off with a fierce female leader in honor of Women's History Month!

Join the former President of Auntie Anne's, Heather Leed Neary, on her new adventure as the EVP and General Manager at KBP Investments. KBP is a leading restaurant franchise group that operates many worldwide restaurants, including KFC and Taco Bell. Heather is overseeing  the Taco Bell portfolio -- KBP Bells.

After serving as the President of Auntie Anne’s for five years, Heather decided it was time for a new challenge. Hear how she moved on gracefully, taking time for herself, before KBP created a new role for her at the company.

Episode Highlights

  • Opening Lobbies & the Importance of the In-Store Experience - The Taco Bell lobbies were closed for the past year and one of the first things Heather tackled is opening up  lobbies again. And guests are more than ready!  “Bringing back those  small nuggets of joy, I think are really important.”
  • The dynamic between the marketers and the operators is a significant challenge in the restaurant business. The secret to a successful collaboration between these two departments is to pair them together. They need to understand each other's side of the business to be able to work together. "Helping both sides of the fence understand what drives the other is what is the key to our success."
  • Dynamics between franchisor and franchisee - Hear how Heather views the different roles and perspectives and how she's making the transition from Franchisor to Franchisee side of the business.
    Challenges to tackle after the pandemic - “The one big challenge for us is labor. It’s a common issue across the country. Minimum wage is a concern from a cost perspective, but we also want to make sure that we’re always doing the right thing for our crew members. 
  • Setting a goal but then also being vocal about it is the key to success. Heather shares a few practical tips for young women in the industry trying to work their way to executive positions. She says goal setting played an essential role in her business journey. "I remember my first month at Auntie Anne's; I was sitting down with my boss, who was the CMO at the time. And she said to me, 'Where do you see yourself in five years?' And I said, 'In your seat.' 
  • Find a tribe to help you improve. “There are things that I need to work on all the time, but I think being willing to continuously improve and continuously learn are strong reasons to continue to grow in your career. Finding mentors is important. Find multiple mentors because each mentor brings something a little bit different to the table based on their own experiences.” 

KBP Investments
Heather on LinkedIn

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