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Ford Fry of Rocket Farm Restaurants on Making Memorable Customer Experiences Interview with Rocket Farm Restaurants founder/owner Ford Fry on his dream to help others, the increasing role of technology in restaurants, and creating emotional connections with customers.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Key Takeaways

  • A Mission to Help: Ford Fry is a dreamer. He always has been and always will be. However, his long-term plan includes the realization of his dreams to help others reach and exceed his accomplishments.
  • Technology's Role in Restaurants: Technology has changed drastically since Ford Fry started his first concept. Fry has gone from not understanding what Instagram was to a dedicated team of people whose sole responsibility is handling the brand's internet presence.
  • Emotional Connection over Pandering: Ford Fry is specific with the environments that are created within his restaurants. His goal is not to search for fleeting popular trends. Instead, he strives to create authentic ties to customers and create memories around their time in his restaurant.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Ford Fry, the chef-owner and founder of the Rocket Farm Restaurants, is passionate about creating emotional experiences for his customers. What sets Fry apart from other restaurateurs is his commitment to helping others achieve their dreams.

"I've just always been a dreamer," says Chef Ford Fry to Shawn Walchef of CaliBBQ Media. "If there's others, younger people who want to do it, I want to help them because there's nothing like when someone reaches out to me."

The Rocket Farm Restaurants umbrella includes popular food spots, such as State of Grace, Superica, and more across Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Houston.

Fry's goal is to continue creating restaurants that are relevant, timeless, and inspired, and do so in unique, soulful spaces. He wants to run restaurants guided by customer satisfaction and growth, not just sales benchmarks. "I love finding talent in the region, and putting these people in an environment where they can learn and grow," Fry says.

For Fry, technology plays an increasingly vital role in his restaurant empire.

"It's huge," he says about restaurant technology. "We have a department who are dedicated to that. It's just grown over the years… People use that as their direct line of communication to the restaurant."

It's not just about using technology to streamline operations. It's also about creating emotional connections with his customers. For example, Ford Fry created a curated Spotify Playlists to set the correct ambiance for restaurant patrons and website visitors.

"That's what we do." Fry says. "We create a setting for people to come and have experiences amongst themselves. You know? Experience your girlfriend or boyfriend, experience your spouse, your parents, your kids, and those are the memories."

Ford Fry is a man who is passionate about creating experiences and helping others achieve their dreams. One step into any of his many concepts will provide a memorable experience, which is exactly what he is going for every day.



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Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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