Freddy’s Chris Dull on Creating Irresistible Guest-Driven Experiences


On today’s episode of The QSR Experience Show, Bobby speaks with Chris Dull, President and CEO at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, a vintage-style chain for steakburgers, hot dogs, and other fast-food staples. They discuss how Freddy’s keeps their experiences consistent across 480 locations, the importance of having dedicated franchisees, and why the human element is key to their value proposition. They also discuss current trends in QSR, where the industry is going, and advice on how to evolve your brand.


Topics discussed:


The evolution of Chris’s career, from climbing the ladder to become the executive vice president at Marble Slab Creamery, to working with a variety of brands at the Global Franchise Group, to taking over as CEO at Freddy’s

– How Freddy’s ensures consistent experiences across their 480 locations by finding franchisees that believe in the brand and by investing in exceptional training for their staff.

– Why the human interaction element is a key part of Freddy’s value proposition.

– The current trends in QSR, including the need for digital initiatives, tools that help with data analysis, great marketing segmentation, and more.

– Advice for new franchisees, and why they need to focus on their point of differentiation.

– How to reevaluate and evolve your brand, and why you should let your customers drive your changes

– What the future of the restaurant industry will look like as it focuses more on digital innovation and delivering value.


Guest Quotes: 


“At Freddy’s, we have three pillars that we stand on. We have absolute cleanliness, high-quality, made-to-order products, and genuine hospitality. And so those are the three things that are very important for us to communicate to our guests. Whether they’re coming via drive through, dine in, or an app based order, we want to make sure that those three carry through. And so we do a great deal of reinforcement and training around how you deliver that to guests.” (8:45)

“As operators, we really have more information, more data at our fingertips, and we have tools that really help us sort that and see it. So at Freddy’s, we’re very focused on the data and letting the data drive decision-making for us.” (10:57)

“If you’re not evolving, you’re dying. So evolution is ongoing and constant. My advice to folks is let your guests guide your evolution. A lot of brands spend a great deal of time talking amongst themselves and forget to communicate with their guests.” (14:58)

“That human element and that interaction with guests is paramount to the overall brand experience. And so, for us, we know that our guests take a lot of comfort in having a great human interaction at Freddy’s. That’s something that we focus on and build on.” (10:06)

“Where I’ve seen restaurants struggle is they start out that way and they deviate off course because they’re trying to meet a short term financial goal or they’re feeling pressure from influences to make changes. But you have to have a clear vision and that vision has to differentiate you from your competition and you’ve got to stick to it even when times get hard.” (13:59)