Virtual Dining Concepts CEO Stephanie Sollers on the Creator Economy

Interview with CEO of Virtual Dining Concepts Stephanie Sollers about branding and marketing in the creator economy, the importance of storytelling, and working with Mr. Beast, Faze Clan, and other icons.

learn more about Shawn P. Walchef

By Shawn P. Walchef

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Takeaways:

Building an Omnichannel Brand - The many channels of information flowing at us every day can make it difficult to figure out the best way to build a brand. Stephanie Sollers believes partnerships with companies like Virtual Dining Concepts is vital in today's economy.

It's Not Just the Burger, It's the Brand - Stephanie Sollers has the unique opportunity to collaborate with brands, such as the massive Mr. Beast operation, to create brand stories beyond the products they have to offer. Storytelling can be done through packaging, videos, and more.

The Creator Economy - By tapping into the creator economy, brands can reach massive, devoted audiences through collaborations and re-thinking old concepts in new ways. Virtual Dining Concepts knows that attention is a currency in the modern era and is partnering with some of the best in the world at getting positive attention.

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Stephanie Sollers, CEO of Virtual Dining Concepts, uses boxing for self-care and inspiration.

"I think it's an incredibly challenging sport. It's scary and you're always improving. It's always getting harder," says Stephanie Sollers to Restaurant Influencers podcast host Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media.

The inspiration drawn from sports and athletes has pushed Stephanie Sollers to create unique opportunities for brands to collaborate with Virtual Dining Concepts (VDC) as they build their visibility through incredible stories. That's despite the shortening attention span of the modern consumer.

"It's incredibly hard to build any brand. There's so many channels, there's so many new brands out there, and it's competitive. It's getting more expensive to gain any visibility with a new audience if you don't already have brand recognition," says the VDC CEO.

"If you are going to build a brand online, why not partner with somebody who has built their entire world by communicating with an audience online?"

The Virtual Dining Concepts company boasts amazing numbers and a portfolio of hugely popular partners, such as Mariah Carey (Mariah's Cookies), Mario Lopez (Mario's Tortas Lopez), FaZe Clan (FaZe Subs), and top YouTuber and Philanthropist Jimmy Donaldson and his Mr. Beast Burgers.

"For Virtual Dining Concepts, that makes us a little bit different than the other companies in this space," says Stephanie Sollers about working with VDC. "We partner with creators and with brands who have a combined social reach of around 2 billion."

The creator economy is sometimes a way for individuals to leverage their popularity for deals. Soon though, if properly executed, these individuals transition from representing brands to becoming brands themselves.

That's where Virtual Dining Concepts can step in to capitalize on this new terrain. That is done through telling brand stories that are tangible, memorable, and shareable.

"From the packaging experience to the QR codes where you can engage in unique content to our social communication with our audience," Sollers says of VDC's partnerships. "It is not just the burger, but it is about the brand and it's about being part of a brand story."

Relationships, innovation, and storytelling are at the foundation of Virtual Dining Concepts' model which has led to impactful collaborations with kitchens and creators.

As they continue to be amongst the leaders in digital hospitality, the next round for VDC will indeed be a knockout.

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Shawn P. Walchef

Shawn P. Walchef is the founder of Cali BBQ Media, podcast host, business coach, and proud dad. Since opening Cali BBQ in 2008, he has grown his San Diego restaurant and media company into a global brand using digital tools and smartphone storytelling. 

As a restaurateur who opened during the Great Recession, Shawn learned to use the power of the Internet to stay in business. During the Pandemic, Cali BBQ developed a scalable growth plan that is three times more profitable than the traditional full-service restaurant model.
Email shawn@calibbq.media to get in touch.

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