A Letter From Our New CEO: Angela Leet
Can you believe we’ve been in quarantine for over a year now? It’s hard to imagine, but most of the company has worked remotely since mid-March of last year, and what a year it’s been. The good news is that spring has sprung and brighter days are ahead.
It’s hard to express how challenging the last year has been without coming off as clichéd. The pandemic has rocked the restaurant industry to the core with job losses, slashed revenue, and so many operations shutting down. While every year is “one for the books,” we’ll feel the impact and lessons of 2020 for years to come. We’ve seen many technology partners scramble to keep up with the changes. Then there are the general anxieties and uncertainties that have, at times, caused us to lose focus on the future. But we’ve made it through together and we will thrive together.
Together means not just within the company but outside as well. Our industry partners rapidly responded just as quickly as we did to find their path forward. Lee always said that 2021 would be the year of the customer, but honestly, so was 2020. Last year, we made good on a pivot that included ConnectSmart® Go, which we’d planned since before the pandemic. We re-emphasized our focus on developing the best data-driven operational platform aimed at providing operators the solutions they need to execute on changing hospitality strategies. We certainly saw a drastic rise in off-premise dining and worked to help our customers solve for that too.
While the company and our industry partners weathered the pandemic we didn’t avoid personal tragedy. In March, QSR Automations unexpectedly lost our leader to illness. While we’ve been fortunate enough to endure, we’ll be doing so without our founder, mentor, colleague, friend — and my husband, Lee. To be honest, we’re all still shocked, saddened, and processing his sudden loss, but just as we overcame the challenges of the pandemic, we’ll overcome this too.
Despite that, we’re optimistic. Since taking the reins as CEO, I’ve already started implementing my 100-day plan. Daily, I’m inspired to walk alongside the QSR Automations family. I’ve already worked to install our former Chief Financial Officer Anthony Griffin as the Interim President and Joshua Nord as our VP of Software Development. We are expanding the executive leadership team by adding the key position of Vice President of Product Strategy. And if that’s not ambitious enough our next milestone, of course, is the completion of construction on our new technology campus. We’re so close to the ribbon-cutting that even with my new responsibilities I couldn’t walk away from the construction hat that I was wearing; now I just don’t wear it all day!
At the company’s inception, I was there when those first lines of code were being written for our kitchen display software. It was done on my kitchen table in Texas. It was incredible to see Lee really go after his dreams fearlessly. He created and defined the fast-casual Kitchen Display System market segment. It was an accomplishment to behold and admire and continues to move me. If I were to summarize his legacy, it would be “fearless innovator.” He could see the needs of the future as it related to creating efficiency through technology for our customers in restaurants.
As we go forth, we can expect change, our only constant. As we reflect on the legacy of Lee, we are inspired to look forward to what tomorrow holds. The restaurant industry is in a state of recovery, working simultaneously to survive, rebuild, and restaff while looking for smart solutions. On behalf of the entire QSR Automations team, you have my personal guarantee that you can count on the same great industry-leading solutions to anticipate the needs of operators and their guests, continuing our tradition of innovative, adoptable automation.
All the Best,
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About the Author
Angela Leet prioritizes people and problem-solving above all. With a Masters in Engineering from the University of Louisville, a Masters in Business from the University of Houston, and a career in environmental engineering, business ownership, and politics, she brings a lifetime of experience in coordinating massive projects and unique personalities. QSR’s place at the forefront of innovative restaurant solutions will be further propelled by Angela’s leadership, emphasizing data-driven, adoptable automation for operators and their guests. She enjoys quality time with her sons, community volunteering, cycling, and golfing (when she can).