NEWS19 November 2012

Buffets hires Looney to consumer insight director role

North America People

US — Restaurant franchise Buffets has appointed Tama Looney as director of consumer insights as the chain aims to create more “real connections” with its guests.

Looney will be responsible for developing and executing all new product, consumer and brand research plans, tools and processes. She will also coordinate all secondary research projects to help identify emerging consumer trends that could affect the family buffet-dining segment.

A key part of her role will be taking responsiblity for Buffets’ SMS texting and email-based loyalty programme, Crave Connection. Looney’s previous experience includes spells with Arby’s, Burger King, Delta Airlines and SunTrust.

Her appointment comes as Buffets appoints new marketing partners, Trend Influence, Ink Link Marketing and IGT Media Holdingsi. Looney will work with all of these agencies and report to Jason Abelkop, chief marketing officer.

Abelkop said: “As we invest in our restaurants, we need to get the message out to guests that we’re better than ever and ready for them to come in and see everything that’s new.”