Brad Frederick is a long-time chef who today is Restaurant365’s Senior Account Executive of Customer Growth. He started in the industry as a dishwasher at 16 years old and carried his love of food and restaurants with him throughout his two-decade-long career. After a number of restaurant leadership roles, Brad ultimately found in technology where his passion for food and people combined perfectly when he joined Compeat (now Restaurant365).
Brad sat down to walk us through his career and the shifts along the way that ultimately led him to his pivotal role at Restaurant365. Today, Brad’s depth of experience and passion for the industry continues to help restaurants thrive as he develops new connections with operators who, with technology, have more time to spend on the tasks and the people that truly matter.
What’s your favorite food?
What’s your favorite restaurant?
Uchi, a sushi restaurant, in Austin, Texas.
How long have you been with Restaurant365?
I came to Restaurant365 after the Compeat merger, so I’ve been here for almost seven years now.
What do you like most about working at Restaurant365?
One, I love the industry. I spent so much of my life in this industry and being able to help restaurants is so rewarding. Two, it’s the people I work with and being able to help them be successful. It all boils down to waking up, kicking ass, making people’s lives better, and repeat.
Started from the Bottom
Tell us about the beginning of your career, where you started and how you got here.
Growing up, I always wanted to be a chef. As a kid, I loved to cook in the kitchen with mom and I did a lot with 4-H . From there, I got a job washing dishes at 16 years old and started working my way up within the restaurant. Then, I moved to Austin and went to culinary school.
After culinary school, I worked at a few different restaurants and spent about 18 years with Brinker’s concept, Macaroni Grill. Then, I ended up leaving the restaurant industry abruptly to pursue a career in sales. Making a leap of faith and jumping into something different is never easy, but I was fortunate to land a position doing small business sales for AT&T. I fell in love with the balance of having the ability to still interact with people but also having nights and weekends off. In my spare time, I cooked for family and friends at home which allowed me to still fulfill both of my passions: cooking and talking to people.
I noticed that mobility was evolving from hardware to software, and I realized that technology was a good industry to be in. As I bounced around to other jobs in the following years, I made a point to stick with software and technology companies. Then, Compeat reached out to me and mentioned that they were intrigued by my mix of restaurant and sales experience, so they offered me a job. After a really great interview, I fell in love with the people and I’ve been here ever since.
How would you compare your experience in sales at previous companies versus Compeat/Restaurant365?
Here, I can apply my 20-plus years of restaurant experience when I’m interacting with customers instead of selling something that I really wasn’t proficient with or didn’t understand first-hand. Not only can I commiserate with restaurant operators seeking a solution, I am able to really express and clearly illustrate how our product makes their lives easier. Now, I work with people I understand, and I have fun being able to improve their day-to-day lives.
No 'Brad' Days
As you moved from restaurants to sales and eventually Restaurant365, what skills carried over? What did you have to push yourself to learn?
A lot of it was just taking what I knew from the restaurant industry about how create the perfect dining experience. I apply that to my work now by asking myself how I can ensure our customers have a successful experience with Restaurant365.
Also, I am really able to focus on developing people here. During my tenure at Macaroni Grill, I went from being a chef to a general manager, to a managing partner and running a training program. I was taking employees who were new or struggling a bit and developed them to help make them successful at the restaurant. I’ve been able apply that here as well through, not only supporting R365’s customers with our amazing solution, but also working with my team on growing their careers. As someone who has worked their way up, it’s a big part of what I enjoy doing now.
Based on your experience working in restaurants, explain what the day-to-day was like without our solution. What were the pain points that Restaurant365 could’ve solved?
When I’m on the phone with customers, I connect with them through storytelling and being able to relate to what they’re going through. I have the unique ability to tell them that they’re still experiencing things that I was experiencing when I ran a restaurant almost 30 years ago, and then introduce them to our technology. I tell them about the day-to-day grind of my experience and apply it to the customer so I can show them the ways Restaurant365 alleviates the cumbersome manual processes that they’re still struggling with.
Today, I can also pass down stories from my restaurant days to some of my reps and explain how those same hurdles that were there for me decades ago still exist. That, combined with their own stories of their industry experience, really connects them to the customer on the other side of the phone. They identify with customers, understand where they’re at, what they’re going through, and how amazing life can be on the other side – with Restaurant365.
What advice do you have for current restaurant workers looking to grow their career?
I think it’s simple: follow your heart and be the best you can be. Be genuine at what you do and give it your all. Do what makes you happy.