Whether he’s meeting with franchise partners, building out a national digital strategy or solving the world’s burger problems, this is a (edited for clarity) day-in-the-life look through the lens of Johnny Rockets’ Senior Digital Marketing Manager.
5:30 a.m.: Rise and grind. I open my eyes and take a moment to recognize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to chase the dream and happiness, as hard as it gets. I find that starting the day with gratitude is great mental preparation to execute and engage in today’s busy world.
5:35 a.m.: The first case of #FOMO kicks in. Living on the west coast and working for a global restaurant chain that operates 400 restaurants in 32 countries, you realize that life and events have happened by the time you’re up.
As I scroll through my notifications, among the many thoughts that cross my mind are: Did I miss an important world event? Did sales improve over the previous week? What are people saying about Johnny Rockets? Was there another “covfefe” moment?
6:06 a.m.: I scroll through notifications on Sprout Social’s mobile app to get a first glimpse at what’s happening in the burger world. It comes in handy, as I’m responsible for overseeing over 200 local restaurant Facebook Pages, and all the global brand handles.
Making time to check in on people makes a difference.
Sr. Digital Marketing Manager, Johnny Rockets
6:30 a.m.: Breakfast time. Cup of coffee + one sunny side up egg + crispy thick-cut bacon + warm and buttery toast + glass of water + [insert any news channel in the background].
7:07 a.m.: Today is going be a hot one at the office: Busy between meetings, solving the world’s burger problems, pretending to be a burger on the social space and creating content for September. I decide to go with the casual side of business casual, opting to wear jeans, a button down, sneakers and a blazer.
7:45 a.m.: Time to head to the office. I have a 12-minute commute to the Burger HQ, aka The Johnny Rockets Group Restaurant Support Center.
7:58 a.m.: My first order of business is to spread positive vibes to our team. I walk by everyone’s office or cubicle and say good morning and check how they’re doing. Although only a brief gesture, making time to check in on people makes a difference.
It shows people you genuinely care about them and that you’re interested in their well-being. We’re a unified front, with a unified voice. That’s why at Johnny Rockets we live by the mantra of #OneTeamOneDream. We’re all in this together.
8:10 a.m.: Before I dive in, I select a solid playlist on Spotify to get in the zone. A mix of Drake, Luke Bryan, J Balvin, Jay-Z and Calvin Harris is in order.
8:15 a.m.: This is when I get into character and pretend to be a burger online. I start by tracking the global conversation happening around Johnny Rockets. I use Sprout Social’s Smart Inbox to identify conversations that I can engage with. At the same time, I look for any guest related issues that we need to address and resolve.
Guests often times come to social media platforms to comment on their experiences with our food and service. As a guest-driven brand, we’re committed to responding to these issues, and most importantly committed to solving these and earning their trust back. At Johnny Rockets, every guest matters, and we want to ensure every single one of them has a memorable burger experience.
9:00 a.m.: Meeting with the field marketing team to review local digital plans for franchise partners. The goal is to support the national digital strategy with tailored local plans that focus on driving incremental transactions. I won’t give you the secret recipe, but we focus on delivering the right message at the right time through the right platform.
9:30 a.m.: Meeting with the agency to walk through the upcoming grand opening plans. On the digital side, we focus on inspiring burger fans to take action through brand, culture and food offerings.
We do everything from paid social ads, like campaigns, Snapchat filters and email campaigns to build relationships around the communities in which we serve. This year we are on track to open more than 50 restaurants worldwide.
10:00 a.m.: Another meeting with the team to review content concepts for the month of September. We look at upcoming food-related holidays, system-wide promos, new menu items, brand partnerships, new restaurant openings and sales-driving menu items, among other topics.
These sessions are particularly helpful because it ensures that our content aligns with our brand voice, our brand, our business objectives and storytelling pillars.
11:15 a.m.: Almost six hours into the day, it’s time for a pick me up. Two shots of espresso and a splash of half and half, a quick glance at my personal phone to avoid #FOMO, and off we go.
11:25 a.m.: An unexpected call from a company trying to pitch their services. Just like any relationship, I think it’s important to be honest and transparent in these conversations.
If you’re not interested in [insert any product or service], make sure you answer and share why—it’s the right thing to do. Everyone wants to be heard.
11:45 a.m.: Last call before lunch. A franchise partner wants a local piece of content published on their Facebook page. As part of our process, I review the content to ensure it meets brand guidelines. I log on to Sprout Social to schedule it for a later day and time. As you can imagine, with over 200 domestic restaurants, I get requests like this all the time.
12:15 p.m.: Our rockstar in-house graphic designer and I are heading to our flagship Johnny Rockets restaurant, in Orange, CA, to shoot some content for September.
12:22 p.m.: We are stuck in traffic in the deathly hallows, aka the I-5. Those who have been to California know how soul crushing, and at times stressful, this highway can be. Rule of thumb, breathe in and breathe out.
1:04 p.m.: We arrive at the restaurant, pick a table and order lunch. My go-to meal is the Smoke House Burger, paired with a Chocolate Banana Shake. Seriously, this is what dreams are made of. While we grub, we talk through the shot list and we coordinate with the kitchen to bring out food in that order.
1:52 p.m.: Post-lunch, we set up in the far end of the restaurant to shoot. We pick this place to ensure minimal disturbance of service and operations.
2:00–5:30 p.m.: Armed with an iPhone 7+, some food styling skills and a desire to capture beautiful burger imagery, we make our way through the shot list. In order to tell the right story, it’s important to find the right composition, the right angle, the right lighting and the right time to take a photo. But truth be told, sometimes you just have to let food and every ingredient do the work.
In the restaurant industry, it’s imperative that you create craveable moments that add value, spark emotion, inspire action and/or drive people into restaurants. It’s just as important to put yourself in people’s shoes as they are making food decisions. What burger moments will get mouths watering as they travel through their daily hunger journey?
5:45 p.m.: Clean up. Pick up. Before we leave the restaurant. We make sure we extend our deepest gratitude to the restaurant team. They’re the real MVPs. They make invaluable contributions to the brand.
6:00 p.m.: I like to end long and busy days with a bit of Southern California. I head over to Pacific City in Huntington Beach. As I make my way via Uber, I check emails to make sure I’m caught up. This time I decide to shower burger fans that share their burger moments via #JohnnyRockets with likes and comments.
It warms my heart to see pictures of families with their kids enjoying a burger, couples on a date sharing a shake, a group of friends refueling after a long day in class or those burger loyalists that share mouthwatering burger pictures with us. Moments like these remind me how special our guests and fans are.
6:17 p.m.: The group decides to live up to the SoCal lifestyle. Fish tacos, margaritas and an ocean front view.
7:00 p.m.: We take a walk down to the beach. Shoes off, sand in feet, the breeze hitting your face and the last rays of sun for the day. It’s absolutely amazing and, in my opinion, the best way to unwind after a long day at the office.
8:45 p.m.: Eleven hours later, I’m finally home.
9:00 p.m.: I start my nightly routine:
- Read one chapter of a book. This month I’m reading, “The Captain Class” by Sam Walker. It’s a book about “the hidden force that creates the world’s greatest teams.” As a student of life, I feel it’s important to constantly find ways to learn, get better and feel inspired and empowered.
- Catch an episode of a series on Netflix. This month I’m re-watching two great shows: House of Cards and The Office. I think everyone needs a bit of Frank Underwood and Michael Scott in their life.
11:00 p.m.: One last look at email and Sprout to make sure all things social and digital in the burger space are in check.
11:45 p.m.: Time for bed. I like to end my day just like I start my day, with some gratitude. I realize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to do what I love along with a fine group of men and women, but most importantly to have a roof over my head and a plate of food every day. Over and out.