FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM OCTOBER 15, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 51
Schneps Media Insights:
How a Local CEO
Pivoted In Pandemic
By Brian Keith
CEO and co-founder
of fresh&co, doesn’t
sleep well. The insomnia
started in March, when
the pandemic forced
him to shutter all 19 of
his fast-casual, locally
“The thought of
losing the brand entirely
continuously runs through my head,” said Tenedios, who tried to stay open
but hemorrhaged to less than one percent of sales in a matter of days. With
his team of 950 employees reduced to a skeletal crew of five, it took him
60 days before reopening, slowly.
“I keep imagining what the landscape will look like if all independent
operators can’t afford to re-open in the next six months and stay alive,”
Yet Tenedios has found some jewels in the gloom that have quelled his
anxiety, at least a bit.
“One major opportunity we’ve found is to streamline the menu,” he said.
“We were forced to dive into our purchasing and sales data and determine
what the popular items were, and what were not so popular – and reduced
our menu by 15 percent, which will be permanent.”
Tenedios’ methodology translates to most businesses: Identify your labor
intensive items, low volume items, and high cost items, take one or all of
three of these categories and pull your product mix, or purchasing data
and compile a list. “These are the items that you should be removing ASAP,
even if it’s just a five percent reduction,” he said.
His company’s marketing underwent a facelift too. “There are no guerilla
tactics anymore with marketing,” he said, “no one wants to touch anything
– now it’s all digital.”
So Tenedios stopped producing print flyers and promos and has poured
resources into his email list – he’s cleaned and segmented it by zip code
so he can send location-specific announcements. He’s also upgraded the
restaurants’ smartphone app. By drilling down into data and identifying
multiple customer tiers, he’s increased the loyalty rewards program, while
also implementing point of sale technology that’ll make it easier for app
users to get their meals more efficiently.
With hindsight, Tenedios says he would have done things differently, or
course. “In May when we began reopening our locations, I probably should
have opened fewer stores,” he said. “We could have focused more on a
few strategic locations around Manhattan, and honed in on the existing
population of the city.”
He’s had to permanently shutter five locations, and expects that another
four will fail. He’s still only at 10 percent of pre-COVID sales, with about 25
percent of team members back on payroll.
But he’s banking on New York’s resilience. “We’ve gone through it all
before, 9/11, the recession – everything goes into shambles for a time
and then we bounce back,” he said. “Once the political season and the flu
season is over, New York City will be back.”
He’s still anxious, of course, if only because he can’t stomach the idea of
the city devoid of a fast casual, fresh food option. “NYC’s fast casual scene
filled with only the big commercial and fast food chains?,” he asked with
comic effect, “it makes me sick!”
Schneps Media Insights shares insights and innovations that help New York’s
top local businesses succeed. Read more at SchnepsMedia.com/insights.
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QNS and Schneps Media Launch
NYC Home Pros, Providing
Shortcut for New Yorkers Hiring
By Brian Keith
Finding a local reliable contractor to make repairs to
your home can be a daunting task — but now, QNS
Home Pros is here to help.
New Yorkers can quickly access a roster of
professionals and arm themselves with valuable
information to help with hiring.
The NYC Home Pros program is an extension of
Brownstoner Home Pros, a trusted home services
section that has been successfully connecting
businesses with thousands of Brooklyn and NYC
homeowners, buyers, and sellers for over a decade.
Now, the NYC Home Pros directories can be found on
all of Schneps’ borough-leading NYC channels,
including amny.com, QNS.com, BrooklynPaper.com,
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electricians, landscapers, agents, lenders and other
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Or you can let the NYC Home Pros Concierge, a live
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Are you a home services professional in New York City
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