Through this, the brand brought the average age of its diner down from 49 to 44. While the Visionary Department started out as a separate arm of Wienerschnitzel’s business, it’s now integrated within the company’s broader marketing aim. During COVID-19, it got set aside due to the fact events, generally, stopped happening. It’s building back up now, Galardi says.
His marketing role tailed into another position, which carried over into another. And Galardi kept asking questions and figuring things out. One outlet he wanted to explore was philanthropy. Then the company’s “chief visionary officer,” Galardi ignited a program called, “Hot Dogs for Homeless,” partnering with Skate for Change founder Mike Smith. The Hot Dogs for Homeless Tour, which also included Skate for Change CMO Josh Schmitz, visited 20 cities and raised $200,000. It gave away more than 40,000 hot dogs. Another end result—seven people inked matching tattoos of a skateboarding hot dog. Galardi got his on his left arm.
Interestingly, the notion of a Wienerschnitzel tattoo isn’t all that unique, he says. Galardi has seen them on customers plenty of times before. CMO Doug Koegeboehn once even walked into the office and pulled his pant leg up to reveal Wienerschnitzel’s famed pole. “He’s like, please don’t ever fire me,” Galardi jokes.
This kind of loyalty struck Galardi from the moment he rejoined the company. “People live and die by this food. And I get it. It’s delicious,” he says. “But it threw me for a loop. I never experienced it until working in the brand.”
And now he’s tasked with guarding it. Under Galardi’s time as president, same-store sales jumped 42 percent. Digital sales ballooned 400 percent. This past year marked the brand’s 11th consecutive run of comps growth.