Industry Rockstar, Karen Bird, CIO for Hooters of America

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Show Notes:  Originally aired on March 2nd, 2021

I don’t know if you saw it this week but the National Restaurant Association decided to postpone their show, yet again.  This means that the soonest they will be getting together as a conference will be 2022.   Who would have guessed that one year ago!  

On the flip side, living here in Orlando, White Castle is in the process of building their largest “castle” and before they opened, they decided to launch a ghost kitchen to feed the need of everybody craving their food.  In just a few hours they had to shut it down due to demand.  A few days later, they opened it up again only to permanently close down their ghost kitchen until their restaurant fully opens.  They are going to KILL IT here in Orlando!!!

We had Mike and Susan from White Castle on a couple of months again and they are both rock stars in the industry.  Speaking or Rockstars, let’s get into today’s episode.

Karen Bird, CIO for Hooters of America

Karen Bird, Chief Information Officer for Hooters of America is accountable for the strategy and execution of technology systems and services for multiple Brands and all functional areas within the company.  She has responsibilities for both corporate and franchised departments within the overall organization.  Karen joined the Hooters of America executive team in July 2017.

From late 2011 through July 2017, Karen served as the Vice President, Information Technology for Buffalo Wild Wings. In this role, Karen was responsible for establishing the technology architecture and framework that delivered all core business information to the Buffalo Wild Wings Enterprise.  She was instrumental in the development of the strategic plan that delivered a unified technology platform for over 1200 company-owned and franchised restaurants and the delivery of an enterprise service platform for the automation of data integrations. 

Prior to joining Buffalo Wild Wings, she served as the technology executive for a number of casual dine and quick service restaurant chains.  Her prior history includes CIO for Whataburger Restaurants, VP of Restaurant Information Solutions for Brinker International, Vice President of Business Systems for Advantica Restaurant Group, and Director of Retail Technology Solutions for Dunkin Brands.  Karen started her career as a restaurant-level employee at Burger King.  After two years in restaurant operations there, she moved into store accounting services and ultimately into various roles within the Information Systems department that helped build her technology expertise.

Karen received a B.S. in Business Management and graduated with Honors from the University of Phoenix, Boston in 2006.  She currently serves on the Board of the International Food & Beverage Technology Association (IFBTA) and has previously served on the North Memorial Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors in Minnesota, the NCR Technology Advisory Board, and co-chaired the Franchisee Technology Subcommittee for Buffalo Wild Wings, North America. 

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Next Week’s Show…

As always, next week we have another great show lined up for you… you will have to watch social media to find out who our surprise guest is going to be. So in the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy and stay hungry my friends!

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