Top Women in Restaurant Technology: Rising Star Creates Wins for Operators

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By Anna Wolfe, Senior Editor - Restaurants - 06/04/2020

HT’s Top Women in Restaurant Technology awards, sponsored by Tillster, were presented at MURTEC in Las Vegas on March 10.

The Class of 2020 is a group of impressive women. This week we feature one of our two Rising Star Award Winners: 

 

Rising Star Award
Richelle Anderson,
OneDine

Creating Wins for Operators

Richelle Anderson has quickly moved up the ranks at OneDine to Chief Operating Officer. As the client-liaison lead for the tableside ordering and payment solution, she ensured customers were able to leverage their data to improve their marketing and business strategies, building loyal and new users. Anderson worked with customers to find ways to generate revenue while ensuring the guest’s dining experience exceeds expectations. She has created faster customer onboarding. Instead of 6 to 8 weeks, the integration, training and activation clocks in at 2 to 3 weeks. This has improved customer satisfaction company growth because customers start experiencing wins sooner with OneDine technology.

Richelle Anderson

Using Actionable Data

Anderson says she is most jazzed about how operators are using data to evaluate and respond to customer habits for the purposes of improving the guest experience. “The combination of gathering and acting on data to better serve customers while giving them more control in ordering and payment processing is the technology I am most excited about because it creates a win for operators, servers and guests,” she says.

Anderson is also committed to mentoring the leaders of tomorrow. She empowers her staff to share their ideas on new solutions and innovative practices. She created a new onboarding process and hosts lunch and learn sessions for staff and interns on a variety of topics: time management, team leadership best practices, and professional communication techniques.

Rom Krupp, founder and CEO of OneDine, says Anderson “takes initiative [and is] friendly and enthusiastic, she works well independently and collaboratively and through her leadership builds morale across all teams through training, follow-up and helping bring visionary ideas to life. She is not afraid to ask questions or take risks to learn or try something different. The relationships she builds with our customers builds their trust and confidence in our services. Richelle Anderson is a Rising Star at our company and in this industry.”

 

Malia Alley, Senior Manager - Digital, successfully led the national rollout of upgraded network infrastructure at 6,500 Taco Bell locations.

Rising Star Award
Malia Alley, Senior Manager - Digital, Taco Bell
Delivering on Complex Initiatives

In 2017-2019, Malia Alley, Senior Manager - Digital,  successfully led the national rollout of upgraded network infrastructure to more than 6,500 U.S. Taco Bell  locations. Network upgrades have stabilized restaurant systems, provided faster bandwidth for in-restaurant applications, accelerated use of customer Wi-Fi and helped grow digital sales of off-premise mobile and delivery orders, as well as growing in-store digital sales from kiosks.

Rafik Hanna, Senior Director of IT, says Alley excels at delivering complex, multi-vendor, multi-year national initiatives with tenacious program management oversight.

Alley is phenomenal at cross-functional leadership and drives solutions to meet the needs of all partners, including: technology, restaurant operations, marketing as well as the franchise community.

She now leads the technology teams that will support the brand’s one-on-one customer marketing platforms and is leading the launch of loyalty for Taco Bell.

“I am most passionate about how technology can create new ways for us to engage and interact with each other. I love how new video chatting devices like Portal or Google Nest Hub are finding ways to help families that live thousands of miles apart feel a little closer,” she says. “I am passionate about these types of technologies that drive the human connection and brainstorming how we can apply these ideas to help innovate new ways to connect with our team members and customers.”

Nicole West. VP of Digital Strategy and Product at Chipotle Mexican Grill, received the Top Women in Restaurant Technology Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Nicole West, VP of Digital Strategy and Product of Chipotle Mexican Grill
Building Bridges Digitally

As Vice President, Digital Strategy and Product  at Chipotle Mexican Grill, Nicole West oversees the development and creation of the digital strategy and roadmap.

West discovered her passion for digital through marketing, where she discovered she could connect the consumer experience online and offline driving sales and convenience. Her passion for problem solving, her digital savvy, quest for creating a seamless customer experience and unique ability to communicate in simple terms has helped build bridges − making complex tech solutions understandable and relatable for all.

Designing a Frictionless CX

West is focused on initiatives that drive exceptional user experience. She executes against concepts that put the customer first to drive a frictionless experience. She strives for simplistic solutions.

Her tenure at Chipotle and leadership has driven some of the company’s most innovative and exciting initiatives including: launching Chipotle’s award-winning app and website, and the addition of digital make lines at most all restaurants. By providing a dedicated make line for digital orders, Chipotle has increased order accuracy, efficiency and speed. Digital make lines have also increased the employee experience by making it easier and more enjoyable to fulfill digital orders.

“I am most proud of bringing our Digital Kitchens to life, from early days of concepting through to full system installation,” states West. “It has been incredibly rewarding to hear feedback from Chipotle team members about how the addition has transformed their work experience, making it easier and more enjoyable to service Chipotle’s growing digital demand.“

Her dedication to creating a seamless customer experience has helped Chipotle win in the digital space. Under West’s leadership Chipotle has become known for its digital innovations and dedication to the digital customer.

 

 

Susan Carroll-Boser

Lifetime Achievement Award
Susan Carroll-Boser, VP of Technology, White Castle
Developing Technology & People

Susan Carroll-Boser started her career with White Castle in 1994 as a systems administrator. She has consistently advanced and worked her way up to her current position as the vice president of technology – where she's responsible for the company’s technology strategy, leading the tech shared services, IT and information services departments.

Her teams are responsible for software development, software implementation, the server/data center, network services and cybersecurity. Carroll-Boser also serves on White Castle’s restaurant leadership team and technology strategy team.

Driving AI Innovation

Over the years, Carroll-Boser has made many contributions to White Castle’s technology and systems integration.

With a constant drive to find solutions, she has led the development of internal and external apps, and introduced AI into White Castle’s technology infrastructure. Developing the technologies and the people to support them are at the heart of her role at White Castle.

She has many memorable moments in her 26 years with White Castle. Two of her favorite projects were ones that reduced internal loss through trend and predictive analysis.

Carroll-Boser sees an increasing role for AI. “Security, fraud detection, analytics, NLP … everything is improving with machine learning. The challenge we all face will be continuing to grow our heart for hospitality as we adopt new technologies and tools to better serve all our communities, especially our team members and customers.”

Carroll-Boser says she’s “very excited about our voice AI projects in our restaurants. We have tested a customer-facing kiosk for 15 years, but the UI challenges for the customers cause friction. Allowing voice in ordering channels and mobile inside our stores are all ways we are removing this friction. The future is now, as we start moving around these problems and move forward.

“As a 99-year old family-owned business, the one constant in all our progress remains taking something complex and getting it to elegant – easy to use, easy to understand and representative of our vision, to feed the souls of craver generations everywhere.”

Carroll-Boser is active with the National Restaurant Association (NRA), serving as chairman of both its Cybersecurity Committee and its Information Technology Executive Study Group. She is also a member of Women in Technology, a tech organization that offers programs and resources to advance women in technology. At MURTEC, she shared her insights on the IT Leadership Panel: Tech Leaders Tell All. She was also a rockstar presenter at the 2019 MURTEC Executive Summit in Scottsdale, where she shared how White Castle is rethinking the customer journey − AI, voice technology, automation, geolocation and more. Carroll will show how to approach the IT roadmap with the customer journey as a foundation.  

About the Awards

HT’s Top Women in Restaurant Technology awards, sponsored by Tillster, were presented at MURTEC in Las Vegas on March 10.

The Class of 2020 is a group of impressive women. In the coming weeks we will be featuring each of the 10 honorees.

Now in its fourth year, this awards program recognizes women in technology roles at both restaurants and technology suppliers who are making their mark in a male-dominated industry. Currently only about a quarter of professional computing jobs are held by women, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

Forty-eight percent of women surveyed say the primary reason why women are underrepresented in technology is the lack of mentors, while 42% cite a lack of female role models in the field, according to Adeva IT's State of Women in Technology report.

Recognizing the accomplishments of women in restaurant technology will not only benefit the perception of women in tech, it will also shine a light on the opportunities available and inspire future generations.

The Class of 2020 is a group of impressive women. In the coming weeks we will be featuring each of the 10 honorees.

HT’s Top Women in Restaurant Technology awards recognize women in three categories: Rising Star, Innovators and Lifetime Achievement.