Smokey Bones announces it has elevated Nichole (Cole) Robillard to Chief Marketing Officer for the 61-unit casual dining chain. Cole joined Smokey Bones a year ago as Vice President of Marketing and assumes her new role as CMO immediately, reporting directly to CEO James O’Reilly.
Since joining the Smokey Bones team, Cole has led the launch of an integrated new brand campaign, positioning the restaurant as the “Masters of Meat” and capitalizing on consumer demand for protein-forward meals and comfort food. She has spearheaded a revamp of the company’s beverage program, focusing on over-the-top colorful cocktails, beer + burger drink specials, and other specialty drinks that make for Instagram-worthy moments guests crave, and partners with Chef Peter Farrand, Smokey Bones’ Chief Food & Beverage Innovation Officer, on limited-time menu introductions to showcase Smokey Bones’ meat mastery and cocktail creativity. She also drove the recent launch of the brand’s first connected TV campaign as part of an ongoing marketing mix evolution, and has helped drive significant comp sales growth while navigating the pandemic.
“Cole is an excellent leader and very successful marketing executive deserving of her promotion to CMO,” said CEO James O’Reilly. “She has improved the quality of our marketing execution, positively impacted our business results, added significant creativity to our brands and is positively impacting our culture.”
In addition to directing marketing efforts for Smokey Bones’ 61 restaurant and ghost kitchen locations in 16 states, she is also leading marketing efforts for Smokey Bones’ two virtual brands, The Wing Experience and Burger Experience. The pick-up and delivery-only brands have experienced tremendous growth the last year and are an important part of Smokey Bones’ off-premise dining strategy. Cole is also overseeing the grand opening of Smokey Bones in Avon, Indiana next month – the first new location from the company since 2019.
At the beginning of 2022, Cole was named one of the 13 most influential marketing leaders in the restaurant industry by FSR. Prior to joining Smokey Bones, she spent nearly 20 years at top-tier national marketing and advertising agencies, leading integrated teams focused on driving growth for restaurant, retail and food and beverage brands. Her food service industry expertise spans several multi-unit chains, including McDonald's, Chuck E. Cheese and Jamba Juice.
“This role has been a dream come true for me, merging my passion for marketing with my love and appreciation for the power that food has to bring people together. I am so proud of our industry-leading team at Smokey Bones and all that we have accomplished together over the last year – and I’m excited for the new initiatives we have planned for 2022 and beyond,” said Cole Robillard. “It’s so exciting to work for an organization in the midst of an explosive growth mode, alongside people who both inspire and challenge you.”
About Smokey Bones
The Masters of Meat Smokey Bones is a full-service restaurant delivering great barbecue, award winning ribs, perfectly-seared steaks and craveable sides with a sweeping central bar in 61 locations across 16 states. Smokey Bones serves lunch, dinner, and late night, and has a full bar featuring a variety of bourbons and whiskeys, a selection of domestic, import and local craft beers, and signature, handcrafted cocktails. We offer a variety of meats that are slow- smoked, fire-grilled, and available for dine-in, pick-up, online ordering, catering, and delivery. Smokey Bones offers a 10 % discount to active duty military members and veterans with ID. Smokey Bones is an affiliate of Boca Raton, FL based Sun Capital Partners. For additional information and a list of locations nationwide, please visit www.SmokeyBones.com. Smokey Bones, Meat is What We Do!