#072 – Matt Eisenacher: How Piada Italian Street Food Defies Fast-Casual Expectations
July 24, 2018
Today we start our show off with a toast to breakfast for lunch – one of the delicious concepts that Matt Eisenacher of the Columbus-based Piada Italian Street Food is experimenting with right now.
Our guest, Matt Eisenacher, is the Chief Concept Officer for Piada Italian Street Food. It’s a great title, and it means he oversees the branding, marketing, IT, and business development efforts as the restaurant expands nationwide. Matt joined Piada in 2013, when they had 16 restaurants open, and has overseen a LOT of growth already. PIada now operates 42 locations across 7 states, offering a healthy and convenient option for today’s hectic world.
Piada’s fast-casual, Italian-inspired concept is perhaps best represented by its namesake dish: the piada, a thin Italian flatbread (cooked on a stone right in front of you) wrapped around the same delicious meats, herbs, cheeses, and vegetables you might get from the most popular food carts and corner markets in Rimini, Italy.
“People aren’t buying food – they’re buying an experience, they’re buying the person.” –Matt Eisenacher
We also discuss:
What is the Piada concept?
Scaling a company
Leveraging technology to improve the guest experience
Crafting the guest’s journey
The peasant food that inspired the piada
Working in a test kitchen
A day in the life of Matt Eisenacher
Building a culture of decentralization
Testing the concept in different markets
How a profit-sharing plan gives the local chefs and partners running each restaurant ownership
Matt Eisenacher is currently the Chief Concept Officer for Piada Italian Street Food based in Columbus, Ohio. Piada is an upscale, Italian inspired fast casual eatery serving a Chef driven menu in a fast, high energy setting. Matt is responsible for the branding, marketing, IT and business development efforts as the concept expands nationwide. He joined Piada in 2013 at 16 units and has helped grow the brand to 42 units across Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas and Minnesota.
Prior to joining Piada, Matt spent 12+ years in the Consumer-Packaged Goods industry across a variety of food & nutrition brands working for Nestle USA, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Abbott Nutrition. Matt received a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Management from Ohio University and his MBA, specializing in Marketing, from The Ohio State University.
I love the world of food and beverage, everything about it, it’s soo damn sexy! Every time we eat and drink it ignites us sensually…the look, texture, taste, smell, sound all in a unique combination, encapsulating a moment in time. The act of sharing a meal with friends, chatting, eating, and drinking together is so forking perfect. It is a feeling that echoes a sense that All Is Good! Very, Very good!