Brian Loeb was initially skeptical of Cheba Hut’s hazy vibe, but his reservations about the brand disappeared when he took a bite of his first sandwich. Six months later, the seasoned marketing pro is now a member of the marijuana-themed sandwich shop’s leadership team, serving as the brand’s Vice President of Marketing.
“I found the concept somewhat unfamiliar at first because I’m not a consumer of weed, but once I tried the food, it was a done deal,” Loeb said. “It was the best sandwich I ever had, and I was completely hooked. I immediately recognized how special this brand was and actually sought out Cheba Hut to join the team and run their marketing efforts.”
“Brian joins us from Smashburger as our first outside corporate hire, and we’re ecstatic about him joining our team,” Cheba Hut Chief Relationship Officer Seth Larsen said. “We’re focusing on building our bench and adding to the team to keep our business going and growing.”
Loeb first learned the guerilla side of marketing working in the music industry out of Las Vegas. He began his time in the restaurant industry as a marketing analyst for Smashburger before expanding into a role on the brand side of the business and gaining a more holistic view of marketing. Loeb oversaw various aspects of marketing including analytics, web, email, and events before building and leading the company's digital marketing efforts altogether, where he evolved Smashburger’s basic email marketing platform into a hyper-tailored omnichannel CRM and developed the brand’s personalized rewards program and app.
“Using analytics as a tool to understand how a brand fits into the marketplace is a key element of digital marketing and social strategy as we know it today,” Loeb said. “Consumers expect relevant content that matters to them individually, and getting to that level of 1:1 personalization is one my favorite challenges. Executing on a clear marketing strategy while increasing Cheba Hut’s digital footprint is my primary focus and there’s tons of opportunity for us that I’m excited to tackle.”
In his role as VP of Marketing, Loeb will be in charge of telling Cheba Hut’s story to the demographic that makes up the majority of the brand’s loyal customer base while also identifying and pursuing adjacent customer segments that may carry the same reservations about the concept that he once had. He also plans to develop and launch Cheba Hut’s rewards program, bringing about a new era for the brand.
“Cheba Hut, at its core, is a place for extraordinary food and extraordinary service,” Loeb said. “While marijuana represents embracing a counterculture to some extent, Cheba Hut is really about coming as you are. That’s the vibe we want every guest to feel when stepping through our doors.”
Loeb’s hiring adds to the excitement 2019 is poised to bring the fast-growing brand, and couldn’t be better timed. Already in action this year is the relocation of its corporate headquarters to downtown Fort Collins, Colorado as well as the recent singing of three-unit franchise deals in Atlanta and Austin, Texas.
“I’m most excited about joining Cheba Hut’s corporate team because of the culture that’s been established here,” Loeb said. “This brand was built on passion, blood, sweat and tears and everyone is very protective of it as a result. The care that goes into every decision is clear and I'm excited to be a part of that. This team always strives for excellence, and they do it in their own way.”
For more information about Cheba Hut franchising, please visit https://chebahut.com/own-a-joint.