During one of the most turbulent times in restaurant history, DoorDash unveiled its commitment to appoint a chief restaurant advisor — an industry-first role designed to better connect the perspectives of restaurant operators to decision-makers within the company.
After an incredible year of partnering with inaugural Chief Restaurant Advisor Chef Stephanie Izard, DoorDash is proud to continue the program into its sophomore year, iterating upon the position’s foundation to better bridge gaps in relationships with restaurant partners.
To continue bringing restaurant partners and new perspectives into the fold for honest discussions, DoorDash is honored to announce that Aisha “Pinky” Cole, founder of Atlanta-based vegan hamburger chain Slutty Vegan, has today begun her year-long role as chief restaurant advisor. Serving in an integrated advisory role and as a “Voice of the Industry,” Pinky will be continuing to infuse the local operator perspective into key conversations at DoorDash.
“Pinky’s ambitious entrepreneurial mindset for expanding her restaurant empire, coupled with her love for connecting with the communities she operates within through the Pinky Cole Foundation, makes her an ideal operator to assume the role of Chief Restaurant Advisor,” said Tom Pickett, chief revenue officer at DoorDash.
“We’re confident that Pinky’s experience scaling Slutty Vegan from a ghost kitchen to a food truck to multiple brick and mortar locations will bring an invaluable perspective to our company — especially as we continue to see the resilient nature and entrepreneurial spirit of the industry.”
New this year, DoorDash is evolving the role to include a “Speed Dial” where select DoorDash executives will be able to discuss hot button industry topics that matter to its restaurant partners in real-time with Pinky. Beyond this crucial development, Pinky will regularly liaise with both internal and external teams, including DoorDash executives, employees, and local restaurateurs. These interactions include hosting industry roundtables, attending strategy meetings with DoorDash executives, and providing feedback on products and services that have yet to be rolled out broadly to restaurant partners.
“Before beginning Slutty Vegan, I worked as a Dasher in Los Angeles — so serving as chief restaurant advisor is a full-circle moment for me,” said Pinky Cole, owner and founder of Slutty Vegan.
“Putting the pandemic aside, the restaurant industry is unpredictable. I’m excited to get to work with DoorDash to ensure restaurants will have appropriate resources to succeed regardless of the hand that’s dealt. Being a restaurateur is by far one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever had. But through experience I have learned to maneuver through this industry in a way that allows me to connect with the customer to identify what they like and what they don’t like. I am thrilled to be able to use this expertise to support the DoorDash team in decision making that will ultimately help this organization better connect with the people.”
Before passing the torch to Pinky, Chef Stephanie Izard shared some insight stemming from her advising on a variety of short-term and long-term merchant initiatives. This specifically included how to better support all U.S.-based restaurant partners with the Merchant Experience Partner Program and sharing insights to shape curriculum development for entrepreneurs participating in the Accelerator for Local Goods.
“It was an absolute pleasure to serve as chief restaurant advisor over the past year, as the partnership shone a light on how many ways DoorDash is innovating to support restaurant partners across the nation,” said Chef Stephanie Izard, owner of Girl & The Goat.
“As this role continues into its second year with Pinky Cole at the helm, there’s no doubt that restaurant operators will see their passion and love for the industry represented within critical conversations at the company.”
To continue learning about Pinky’s new role as chief restaurant advisor, read on here — and if you’re still hungry for more, visit Slutty Vegan in Atlanta and beyond.