BOULDER, Colo. -- Wild Oats has placed an order for management talent from outside the food retailing industry.
The natural product specialist, based here, this year has run several classified ads in a trade publication serving the restaurant industry in order to attract people with a food-service background and expand the breadth of talent at the company.
"We did it to add diversity to the pool of workers who we have here at Wild Oats," said company spokeswoman Sonja Tuitele.
The ads featured three different Wild Oats employees who came from a restaurant background, and encouraged individuals with similar backgrounds to apply at Wild Oats. The ads touted Wild Oats' "quicker advancement, better schedules and less stress" and offered a career that would be more rewarding.
Although the ads specifically mentioned opportunities for store managers and assistant store managers, Tuitele said the company has had success recruiting higher-level talent from the restaurant industry since the print campaign began several months ago.
"We have been able to make some really good hires at our home office, largely in our food-service area," she said. "We found some people who had been chefs or had managed a restaurant, so they had a high level of experience. As we have revamped our food-service department, that has been very valuable to us."
She said the ads, which appeared in Nation's Restaurant News, a weekly trade publication, also provided exposure for Wild Oats that it hopes will yield dividends in the longer term.
"It's a good opportunity to get our name out there and reach out to a different audience," Tuitele explained. "So that if somebody is looking to make a change, they know that Wild Oats is an opportunity for them down the road."
Wild Oats isn't the only food retailer looking to spice up its recipe with management from the food-service channel. Sam's Club, the membership-club division of Wal-Mart Stores, Bentonville, Ark., recently named Mark Goodman, the former vice president of U.S. strategy and operations at McDonald's Corp., to be executive vice president of membership and marketing at Sam's. He oversees strategy development, marketing, www.samsclub.com and "enhancing the member experience," Wal-Mart said.