Restaurant chain Tony Roma's promotes exec
Restaurant chain operator Romacorp Inc. announced it has named a new president to lead its operations, according to the company
Ken Myres was named president, and was most recently executive vice president and chief operating officer for the company, as well as its Tony Roma’s brand.
In a statement, Romacorp Chairman John Morgan said Myres has played an integral part of the company’s management team, and he was the right choice to lead the Tony Roma brand forward as it continues to grow.
Dallas-based Romacorp, through corporate-owned and franchisee locations, operates close to 200 Tony Roma’s restaurants in the United States and 32 other countries. The restaurant chain, which opened in 1972, specializes in baby back ribs and other grilled dishes.
Myres told DailyVista he will have an overall leadership role with Romacorp
, overseeing restaurant operations and a number of other initiatives.
He said Director of Marketing Angela Hughes is the top marketing decision maker for the company, though he maintains an active role.
“I try to be knowledgeable about the general direction of our advertising and marketing,” he said. “I’m involved, but I try to allow the department heads to run their disciplines of the business. I delegate to the people in charge of our different areas.”
Myres said Romacorp uses a lot of television advertising, and has recently shot some new commercials that will be aired in the near future.
“We also use a bit of radio, but that’s more for the remote markets,” he said. “Our Web site is big, and we have a frequent guest e-mailing list. Those are the people that like us and want to know more when we have promotions.”
He said the company also uses print ads and direct mail, and will continue to look for innovative ways to market to potential customers, with a message that Tony Roma’s restaurants can offer value and quality.
Myres said the company’s prime demographic is the 35- to 54-year-old age group, with an even split between male and female. He said the company used to be male-heavy, with ribs being the main focus, but a revamped menu offering salads, seafood and chicken meals have brought a better balance.
Romacorp has also recently begun selling in retail venues.
“We just rolled out five products into 2,500 Wal-Mart Super Centers,” Myres said. “We have a section for Tony Roma's pulled pork ribs. We also have those selling in more than 1,000 grocery stores under our brand. We’ve taken some significant market share from our competitors.”
Myres said Romacorp looks at a number of different groups for its advertising, marketing and media needs.
“We don’t have an agency of record. We have groups that do certain things, outsourced vendors. One group did a photo shoot, another helped with media placements. It’s kind of an a la carte approach to our advertising support, as opposed to one group,” he said.
Myres said the company remains open to looking at different ways it can improve, and new areas it hasn’t advertised through before.
According to The Nielsen Company, Romacorp spent about $1.4 million on measured media in 2008, nearly all of which was spent on spot television ads.
Myres said social networking and viral marketing is an area the company may be interested in. He wanted to get a feel for return on investment potential there, so any groups that have expertise in the area should make it a point to show what marketing dollars the company can get back. Hughes is the most appropriate exec to contact, and Myres said e-mail would be the best way to get in touch, as the management team is often traveling between the Texas and Florida offices.
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