EXECUTIVE INSIGHTS | Staff Reporter, Australia

Guzman y Gomez CMO Lara Thom: Our top priority is our franchisees

She returns to the QSR Media Sandhurst Conference and Awards for a panel on social media and marketing.

Currently the chief marketing officer of Guzman y Gomez (GYG), Lara Thom joined the brand after a period as General Manager of Digital and Marketing for Vittoria Food & Beverage. Thom says she is  an entrepreneur at heart and thrives within founder led businesses.

Having launched several successful ventures, including digital agency Be.Interactive which was sold to Salmat in 2010, babywear brand “L'il Fraser Collection” and the “Junior MasterChef” range of children’s cookware and aprons, Lara strives to keep the entrepreneurial spirit of invention and expansion at the core of GYG’s marketing. Lara is a mother to 5 children and spends her weekends driving children to sports and answering questions like “Are you completely mad?”.

In 2018, Guzman Y Gomez were awarded the QSR Media Multi-Site Restaurant of the Year as well as 2018 Best Marketing Campaign for #BRINGCALHOME. Guzman y Gomez operates more than 116 taquerias and drive-thrus in Australia, Singapore and Japan.

QSR Media: How did you get involved in the multi-site restaurant industry?
Thom: My parents owned a number of restaurants when I was younger, my Mum made me promise her that I would never get involved in hospitality as it was hard/physical work and she didn’t want me to follow in my parent’s footsteps. Needless to say, it must have been in my DNA as I met GYG Founder Steven Marks and CEO Mark Hawthorne for a coffee one day and after one chat, I was hooked. I was so amazed with their vision and energy for the brand that I stalked them until they hired me. 

What particular industry issues or developments are you currently thinking about?
Our top priority is our franchisees, their energy and financial success is integral to our future. We’re also focussed on giving our guests the best experience possible at GYG and ensuring that no matter what channel they buy GYG from, eat in, takeaway, via our APP, Delivery, Drive Thru or Drone, that it’s a memorable one.

What are you most excited to do during the QSR Media Conference and Awards in Sydney?
The QSR Media Conference and awards are one of the best events of the year and the GYG team always have a great time. I always walk away with a great deal of knowledge and insights about the industry as a whole. The highlight for us last year was winning Best Marketing Campaign of the Year for #BringCalHome, certainly one to remember.

(Australia's biggest event for the multi-site restaurant industry is coming in less than 70 days - don't miss out to meet fellow c-level executives by clicking HERE.)

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