Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1 - 124

r

RESTAURANTS

HuHot Mongolian Grill

>> HuHot helps to encourage frequent visits with its loyalty program, which offers incentives for return visits and
"surprise-and-delight" rewards that are periodically loaded to customers' accounts.

market. The company offers a revolving
door of new items for its customers to
try in their bowls, including offering a
quarterly "sauce of the season" and developing new on-trend sauces.
"The need to continuously change
the offerings on our food line is something we absolutely are dedicated to
- it's the core of the operating model,"
Martin says. "We're committed and
disciplined to the core of the operating
model while introducing new, on-trend
optional varieties."

For its variety of food item offerings,
HuHot remains completely transparent
about ingredients and nutrition facts.
"We're fortunate because we offer all
these fresh ingredients, and there's
nothing to hide," Krause notes. "People
will ask, 'What's in your veggies?' And
we say: veggies. People are suspicious
because they're not used to it being so
transparent, but it is a trend that continues to grow."
To help spread this message, HuHot
has partnered with a new advertising

agency to work with its marketing department to home in on its brand and
create a strong voice, despite being in a
challenging, competitive industry. "I'm
proud to say we have a talented marketing team that develops and creates
promotions that elicit excitement in our
marketplace," Martin says. "For any
dynamic brand, you can point to the
marketing efforts that helps brand them
in the communities. People understand
the personality of the restaurant, and
they find ways to encourage greater
frequency and trial."
One of the ways it encourages frequent visits is through HuHot Rewards, the company's loyalty program.
The program offers incentives for
return visits, while also offering "surprise-and-delight" rewards - such as
money off of a meal or a free appetizer
or dessert - that are periodically loaded
to their accounts.
"Getting new guests in is always a
challenge; that focus on variety and
customization will hopefully inspire
guests who may not know what a Mongolian grill really is," Krause says.
"Once people come in and try, they enjoy the concept. As long as they have a
great experience the first time and we
get them signed up for the loyalty offers, we can stay in contact and reward
them for their visits."

Investment in People

A Warm Culture
HuHot is a family owned company that focuses on its people and wants to show
care for them. The company invests in a number of initiatives to help its staff
develop professionally and grow. The company is in the process of launching a
new online training and certification system that will give them the tools, as well
as developing better communication tools company-wide
"We have a warm culture with a lot of support and encouragement to try new
things and suggest ideas," Vice President of Marketing Stephanie Krause says.
"Everyone in the company is involved in the business. We look for ideas at every
level and department. It's a great way to collaborate and make decisions based
on what people really think will move the needle; what will make them happy in
the workplace. We're responsive to those needs."

124

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 1 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

The restaurant industry can be challenging, but HuHot's focus remains on
its people. If its people are proud of
their work and engaged with the company, that will trickle down to the guest
experience. "It comes down to the fundamentals: finding the right people
that have natural hospitality," Martin
explains. "If you do that, you exhibit sincere concern for the experience
of every guest. We're both making
sure we are attracting and retaining


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 1

Contents
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