Mexican food chain Mad Mex has evidently found marketing guru Gaye Steel its kind of flavour as the chain has appointed the former McDonald’s marketer its new chief marketing officer.
The quirkiness and opportunities of the brand is what attracted Steel to the role.
“The brand is really quite unique,” she told B&T, “it’s very quirky, it’s innovative, it’s a bit bold and irreverent. That made me think, because it’s so authentic, that’s a brand I wanted to work with.
“Quite often we’re attracted to brands and brand personalities – I thought, this is something I want to work on.
“Because the brand’s so young, I can see it evolving and starting to expand. That’s what got me really excited.”
Having to keep the lid on the news for a couple of months now, Steel is finally able to reveal her new role and change up her LinkedIn profile – which previously has read head of marketing and sales as Macleay College, marketing director at GuihenJones, national sales director at McDonald’s and director of consumer marketing at Telstra.
And despite only being in the role officially for three days, Steel has a number of ideas up her sleeve, such as enhancing the customer experience, expanding the Aussie-made franchise internationally and increasing brand awareness.
Similarly, she wants to get the brand out of the notion of it being just a QSR (quick service restaurant). While the QRS method for Mad Mex does work in certain areas such as big cities, more suburban areas would benefit from a sit-down restaurant type approach, she said.
“Yes we’ve got this QSR background, but this brand can expand into fast-casual,” she said, adding the brand launched a sub-brand called Cantina De Mad Mex which is all about a casual sit down type dining experience.
“There are some other Mexican brands around, some really great competitors, but that tells me what a cool segment we’re in. We’re playing in something that’s on trend.”
Steel is currently doing a few weeks on the Mad Mex restaurant floors to get a feel for the company, but so far, so good.
“I feel good working on this product and brand that’s authentic, fresh and set to grow.”