How Matt Matros visualized himself as the customer of Protein Bar

Matt Matros, founder and CEO, Protein Bar

Matt Matros, founder and CEO, Protein Bar

Emerging Entrepreneur

FINALIST

Matt Matros, founder and CEO of Protein Bar, pays attention to details — after all, that is what counts to his customers. So every little detail from the lighting and carpet, to the volume of hip-hop music playing in the restaurant is vitally important to building the customer experience. Customer feedback, submitted through the Protein Bar email account or website, comes directly to Matros’s iPhone. That’s how he measures success of the customer experience.

Matros responds to each email himself, averaging 25-30 messages a day. The feedback helps the company improve the customer experience going forward. He believes it is important that the customer be completely satisfied because Protein Bar doesn’t spend any money on marketing. The company’s strategy is to win on the customer experience and let word-of-mouth lead to growth and sustainability.

Matros acknowledges that his biggest strength is knowing the customer. He believes he understands the customer because he is one. The idea to create Protein Bar came to him from a need he had to get high quality, healthy food during a rushed lunch hour. Matros had just lost 60 pounds and was committed to keeping a healthy diet, He wasn’t alone in this need to eat well in a hurry; it is typical to see lines out the door during lunchtime at any of his restaurants.

While not a trained restaurateur, he focuses on attracting the highest performing team. He finds people to join the team who have a proven track record in their area of expertise. It’s similar to putting together a type of puzzle to ensure the talent fits together and creates the ultimate experience for the customer. With this approach, the company has been able to attract and retain talent from successful companies such as Potbelly and Apple.

Since launching in 2009, Protein Bar has opened eight restaurants and will be almost twice the size by the middle of 2014.

How to reach: Protein Bar, www.theproteinbar.com

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