Takeaways from this episode:
WTF (Weekly Taco Feature) – A part of Velvet Taco‘Innovative Promise’ is that they will continuously try new things. The largest representation of it for Clay Dover and company is implementing a new taco flavor every week.
Think on the road — Like much of the restaurant industry, the pandemic caused Clay Dover and Velvet Taco to change. However, they were prepared because of their tendency to consider what might be on the horizon.
Empower the people — Today’s consumers deserve to make their voices heard. Clay Dover not only understands that, but encourages diners to tweet or talk about their experience in real time.
Most of the time, you don’t want your customers to say “WTF”.
But things are different at Velvet Taco, where the WTF — or Weekly Taco Feature — attracts food fans 52 weeks a year.
Thanks to their unique chef-inspired approach to tacos — and Clay Dover’s appointment as CEO in 2019 — the company has exploded from just a few locations to dozens.
When it comes to innovation, Velvet Taco can’t compete with anyone. That innovation is most common on Velvet Taco’s WTF menu. WTF is the standout name for the company’s ‘Weekly Taco Feature’, where a new exciting taco creation becomes available every week.
“That’s part of our DNA,” says Clay Dover of Velvet Taco’s approach to turning into the Restaurant Influencers podcast, hosted by Shawn Walchef of CaliBBQ Media. “Part of the innovation promise is that we will always try different things.”
Those “different things” include themed tacos, like a Bangers and Mash taco for St. Patrick’s Day or a peanut butter and fried banana taco as a nod to Elvis Presley’s favorite food. Customers come to Velvet Taco expecting a unique culinary experience, which is what they receive every time. It’s not hard to see how the brand was named Nation’s Restaurant News “Hot Concept” Winner in 2016.
Adding Clay Dover to the group has taken Velvet Taco to the next level. He joined the company as a highly regarded marketing executive who played a key role in expanding Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers franchise from 60 to 220 stores during his tenure before serving as Chief Marketing Executive for Pei Wei Asian Diner before moving to Velvet Taco. . He was also named Dallas CMO of the Year by the American Marketing Association and a Top 100 Chief Marketing Officer in 2016 by Richtopia.
Even with such an impressive track record, one look at the CEO’s LinkedIn profile will speak volumes about his service-oriented attitude. Job titles like “President and Chief Marketing Officer, Fry Cook and Cashier” are proof that he is not above the job.
“My official title is CEO, President and Taco Maker,” Dover says of his Velvet Taco job titles. “It’s on my card, my signatures. I went through the entire training. I spent time in the restaurants and learned everything from head to toe.”
The eclectic menu and Velvet Taco, combined with Clay Dover’s innovative vision and successful track record, is the perfect representation of Velvet Taco’s company that says, “anything goes meets the art of the possible.”
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