Quick-serve and fast-casual specialist Secret Ingredient Marketing (SIM) announced that it has teamed up with Silicon Valley innovation professional Cliff Jue to expand its insight-based innovation methodology (D.I.N.E.) beyond SIM’s existing strength in food innovation, brand development, and marketing communications.

The collaboration with Jue adds experience in product innovation, restaurant systems design, functional packaging, and consumer experience design to SIM. This synergy allows SIM to address a broader range of innovation needs and offer more integrated solutions to its clients.

“While many companies are good at providing a culinary vision for their clients, we now have the capability to look at a brand’s image, its menu offering, the customer experience, and its operations as a single system,” says Secret Ingredient’s CEO David Hattenbach. “The benefit of this new holistic innovation process is that it enables our clients to develop more innovative products and services and create more engaging brand experiences while insuring successful execution of both across the entire organization.“

Jue hails most recently from the innovation firm IDEO, based in Silicon Valley, where he maintained a relationship with McDonald’s Corporation for more than 10 years as part of his role in helping a wide range of other forward-thinking companies like Apple and Proctor & Gamble innovate. Jue’s innovation successes in the quick-serve and fast-casual space include work in drive-thru experience/efficiency, functional packaging, order accuracy, the application of new technologies, the design of corporate innovation centers, kitchen/staff operational design, the teaching of innovation methodologies, self-order kiosk systems, and customer experience design.

“Cliff is an incredible talent and has an amazing track record developing industry leading products and systems with large, complex [quick-serve] innovators like McDonald’s and small entrepreneurial game-changers like Sheetz,” Hattenbach says. “His grasp of technology and his behavior-based approach to innovation combined with our marketing and advertising know-how make for a very compelling offering.”

“I’m delighted to be collaborating with Secret Ingredient Marketing. The [quick-serve] and fast-casual arena is highly competitive and constantly evolving,” Jue says. “The current economic climate puts an even greater emphasis on bringing innovations online quickly and effectively. It’s an exciting time to be working in an industry that’s always looking for fresh ideas.”