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Josh Henderson and Greg Petrillo, Skillet Street Food discussed how they reinvented with a fresh and inventive use of social media and creative product selection.

Josh Henderson and Greg Petrillo, Skillet Street Food discussed how they reinvented with a fresh and inventive use of social media and creative product selection.

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  • Thanks for coming to our session. My name is Greg Petrillo and I’m the CFO of Skillet Street Food. Josh and I are going to tell you the story of where we have come from and where -- we think – we are going.The title of our presentation is Evolving Strategy from “Open Doors”. The reference to open doors is one that came from my son, Carl’s high school principal, Kevin Reel. He told Carl that the real point of the college experience was to discover open doors that would provide him access to new experiences and his mission in college was to explore the open doors and turn them into opportunities that would, in fact, form, shape the rest of his life. I love the metaphor and it is a very apt description of our journey in forming a business strategy that is shaping the direction our Skillet Street Food life.A word about my background. I’m a corporate consultant type. Columbia MBA. 20 years IT consulting, mostly telecom. A lot of work with AT&T, seven years in Europe, did a stint at Unisys, several wonderful years with the Walt Disney Company. But none of that is as much fun as trying to breath life into Skillet Street Food.I am going leave it to Josh to give you the color of his vision and passion in creating the company. But here is a quick profile to orient you. We are a small, Seattle-based company that serves amazing food out of a movable Airstream trailer, outfitted as a commercial kitchen. In its original inspiration, serving street food, but now much more than that. We don’t have deep pockets but we are growing -- rapidly – and that brings its own challenges. We’ve provided some revenue numbers so you can see that we really are small. 2010 and 2011 are estimates so take them for what they are worth. 2010 is pretty well baked so I feel more confident about this. But we will explain where and how we see the growth coming and you can form your own opinion.We are going to tell you a bit about how we have dealt with the transformation of a company becoming a brand, how we have been able to create a relationship with our customers that would not have been possible before the advent of social networking technology, and how we have struggled with and are still struggling with being spontaneous and fresh and , at the same time, process oriented and controlled.I’d like to introduce you to my partner, Josh Henderson.
  • thanks greg…hey everyone, thanks so much for having us here. Before I started skillet I had been cooking on location for photographers and traveling around the US cooking out of an RV. when I graduated from the culinary institute of america I woudn’t say this was my career plan. However when I started ssf in aug 2007 it was a culmination of me becoming aware of an underserved niche that really was true to the craft I was a part of. I felt the niche was street food being done at a higher level.Over the past 5-10 years there has been a definite movement towards us paying attention to where our food comes from and who is cooking that food. with michaelpollans book the omnivores dilemma , as well as chefs becoming more prominent in our world it definitely was a natural progression. This progression of a food culture played a huge part in our initial success on many levels. foodies flocked to us, daily candy had an article about us the day before we opened and time magazine did a piece within the first couple months of us opening. It really struck a chord with folks in an immediate and tangible way. an area I wasn’t really prepared for was the social networking aspect of our business…I remember that when I began, I had the first iphone, and relied on it for sending out a weekly email and communicating… However I was extremely reticent about sending out too many emails to our fans…so when facebook became a bigger part our lexicon as well as twitter, it really changed the game for us. we were able to in a way, “beckon” our customers. People chose to want to hear from us as much as we wanted to communicate with them, and that made it possible for us to really dictate to some degree where our customers found us.the above took…1:43 sec to speak..
  • Get stats on email open rates, number of facebook and twitter fans.
  • Keep it RealContinue the guerilla salesEmbrace the Street Food monikerStabilize the Revenue StreamPredictability everywhereConsistent marginsBetter financial controlsExpand the BrandBacon jam for the world!Skillet Diner coming in January 2011 – the first of ….
  • Transcript

    • 1. Skillet Street FoodEvolving Strategy from “Open Doors”
      Josh Henderson, Executive Chef and Visionary
      Greg Petrillo, Chief Foodie and Financial Officer
    • 2. Introductions
      Who We Are
      The Original Vision for Skillet Street Food
      Founded in 2007
      Building a “populist” street food business – high-end food, mobile delivery, “guerilla” style
      What Happened
      The business became a brand
      Opened new doors – catering, food products, restaurant
    • 3. Create the Demand: Be the First
    • 4. Cultivate the Demand: Don’t Make it Too Easy
      Don’t make it too easy
      Less is more in so many ways
      High on novelty / low on saturation
      Be interesting
      To our customers
      To the media
      Create a dialogue
      Ask for what you want but be careful what you ask for
      Be prepared to devote the time: this is important
    • 5. Follow the Demand: Be Prepared to Open Doors
      Our business has become a brand
      Very strong local visibility
      Reputation as the “elder statesman” in street food, even nationally
      Good news and bad news
      Customer dialogue opens doors
      Tilt toward catering
      Extend to food products
      Intensification of the food experience
    • 6. So What is the Strategy?
      100% Street Food
      10% Street Food
      90% Catering
      Web Sales
      Pop Up Restaurant
      Skillet Diner
    • 7. Thank You
      Josh Henderson
      Executive Chef and President
      Greg Petrillo
      Chief Foodie and Financial Officer