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In Conversation With Pinky Cole

With Pinky Cole and Tara Lewis

31 minutes

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From her early beginnings as a Harlem restaurateur to growing a multi-location business, Pinky Cole has built an empire as the owner and visionary of Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta-based restaurant with celebrity fans like Lala Anthony, Ludacris, and Gabrielle Union. In this recorded session from Yelp’s Black in Business Summit (August 25, 2021), learn how Pinky found her passion and is empowering others to pursue their dreams.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • How to use your personal brand to strengthen your business brand
  • How to utilize your success to aid your community
  • Business tips for aspiring entrepreneurs
Pinky Cole
Pinky Cole Founder and CEO at Slutty Vegan

Aisha “Pinky” Cole is the founder and CEO of Slutty Vegan ATL, a vegan restaurant chain that frequently draws sprawling lines for its plant-based fast food. She is also the founder of the Pinky Gives Back Foundation.

Tara Lewis
Tara Lewis VP of Community Expansion and Trends at Yelp

Yelp Trend Expert Tara Lewis has her finger on the pulse of what’s new and trending across the U.S. Her mission is to empower local businesses to make informed decisions with consumer-driven insights and valuable industry knowledge. From home to food, beauty to wellness, Tara is excited to share what our communities are demanding and when.

Tara: Thank you so much, Emily. My name is Tara Lewis, as Emily mentioned, and I’m Yelp’s vice president of community expansion and trends. Since I first joined Yelp in 2009, I’ve been dedicated to growing Yelp communities all over North America, and connecting people with amazing local businesses. In recent years, I’ve also been named as Yelp’s trend expert, a role that’s led me to appearances on The Today Show and Good Morning America to share the stories behind our consumer data trends. I’m honored to kick off the day with the incredible Pinky Cole. From her early beginnings as a Harlem restaurateur to growing a multi-location business, Pinky Cole is building an empire, as the owner and visionary of Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta restaurant with celebrity fans like La La Anthony, Ludacris, and Gabrielle Union. Pinky, thank you so much for joining us today. How are you?

Pinky: Hi, how are you?

Tara: Welcome. Good morning.

Pinky: Good morning. Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Tara: Well, we’re so excited to have you. First of all, there are congratulations in order for you. You just celebrated… there’s lots of congratulations, to be honest. But you just celebrated your three year anniversary of Slutty Vegan, correct?

Pinky: I did, and I just had me a baby.

Tara: Yes. I heard. Congratulations on that. I believe you also received an honor or award last week as well.

Pinky: Most of my CEOs, so many great things have been happening. I’m just so blessed, and I’m in a season of winning. I’m excited about the win and I can’t wait to see what fourth quarter looks like.

Tara: Yeah. That’s a full season beyond that. It’s going to be over time, but you’re going to keep going. Well, I know that so many people have been able to follow your success through social media and actually experiencing your food firsthand, but I’d like to start off and take it back a little bit. From what I’ve read, you were born and raised in Baltimore. Your parents were Jamaican. My mom’s Jamaican, so I feel close to you in that way as well. I know that you then went to Atlanta for school. I’m curious, how did your initial community, your family, your upbringing, how has that shaped who you are today?

Pinky: Well, first of all, before I start, I know this is Yelp, but I really want to make sure that I could be open, transparent, raw and honest, right?

Tara: 100%.

Pinky: Because there’s, what? 260, 70 people in here, so I want to make sure that by the time we finish this conversation, that people are impacted and motivated to just be the best version of themselves. I started Slutty Vegan in 2018, and it literally, what looked like, was a mistake, right? I was hungry and I wanted some food on a late night and there was nothing available. But the story doesn’t start there. So many people believe that it started in 2018, but I’ve been a hustler all of my life. Right? I can remember, first of all, when I was born, my father was being sentenced to life in prison the day that I was born. So, I literally grew up in a space where I saw my single mother work the same job for now 34 years, and be committed and loyal to one place while my father ended up serving 22 years in prison.

Pinky: He would call me and tell me what books to read. He would call me and tell me how to do stocks and bonds and why I need to be an entrepreneur. So, I got the best of both worlds growing up. I learned how to be an entrepreneur and I learned about loyalty and commitment and sticking to what I believe in. I would sell candy, I would sell food, I would sell everything that you can imagine. As I got older, I knew that I was born to be an entrepreneur. I had a restaurant before, a Jamaican restaurant. Fortunately, that restaurant caught on fire. I say fortunately because if it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t be having a conversation with you about Slutty Vegan. After I lost that restaurant, two years later, I came up with the concept of Slutty Vegan sitting in my bedroom. It literally was just to solve a problem. I had no idea that three years later, this concept would be one of the hottest concepts in the world.

Tara: That’s an incredible testimony. I know that you also lived in LA for a little bit and initially was pursuing, I believe, acting. You had done some stuff in I think casting and things like that. For anybody that’s out there that maybe is looking to pivot or maybe has a vision that’s maybe five years down the road, but right now they’re focusing on something else, I’m sure that first step into your very first restaurant was a big one for you. What made you take that leap? What was that moment where you were like, “I’m just going to do it. I’m changing directions a little bit. I’m pivoting, and I’m ready for it.”

Pinky: Because scared money don’t make no money. Listen, let me tell you something. I believe in myself so much that anything that I want to do, I’m going to do it. If I want to be a landscaper, I’ma research how to be a landscaper, right? If I want to build a building and be a contractor, I’ma to research how to do that. So, the pivot for me wasn’t difficult because my mindset has always been anything that I touch will turn to gold because I’m that confident in my belief in myself. Right? When you have that level of belief, you can literally do anything that you want to do. So, when it was time to pivot, and I tell people this all the time, skill set is skill set, right? If you are smart in accounting, then you can become smart working in restaurants, right? You’re just transitioning and transferring skill sets.If you’re good in one area, you can be good in all areas as long as you apply yourself.

Pinky: So, yes, I was in the television industry. I moved to LA when I was 21 years old. I had dreams of being an actress. You know? I was doing background work. I was making, what? Like $35 a day after being on set all day. Then I got an opportunity to work in television, one of my sorority sisters, and when I got in it, I was really, really good at it, probably because I like to run my mouth, but I was really good at it. All I did was transfer the skillset. When I was working in TV and I got the opportunity to open up my first restaurant, all I did was transfer the skillset. After having that first restaurant and then opening up Slutty Vegan, I get to learn along the way, so now I’m versatile, right?

Pinky: You know how people say, “Get a relationship with somebody who has experience,” I got experience because not that I didn’t learn that in school, but I got the tools by physically being in these spaces, physically being in these restaurants, and learning how to do things differently. The pivot for me was very easy, and I believe that everybody has that capability of pivoting. You just got to transfer that skillset.

Tara: Yeah. I’m so glad that you mentioned that, and I hope that you’re planting that seed that people can feel that within themselves. It’s never too late to pivot, and that confidence, that belief in yourself, if you’re not going to believe in yourself, who else is going to? I mean, people will follow suit once you’re successful. But if you don’t have that first, I hope that everybody, no matter what their current career path is or their aspirations are, I hope that they do take that with them. With that being said, this name, Slutty Vegan, stands out. It’s something that you remember. I remember the very first time somebody mentioned it, it made me think, “What is this? I want to know more.” Right? Years ago. How’d you come up with the name?

Pinky: Sitting in that same room, I realize as a former television producer, I want to merge the most pleasurable experiences in life, right? That’s sex and that’s food. Whether we like to believe it or not, we all love both. Right?

Tara: Right.

Pinky: What I realized is, is that I have to be able to meet people where they are. So, how can I sell sex, but in a way where I’m educating the masses, right? And giving them a certain level of consciousness where they can grow beyond what they see right in front of them. I did that. Right? I remember I was working as a casting director for a show called Iyanla: Fix My Life. I realized in doing that show, people want to spark dialogue. People want to have conversations, tough conversations, they want to have insightful conversations, and they want to have conversations that intellectually drive them.

Pinky: So, I paired what I learned there in the restaurant industry and veganism, and I said, “Okay, how can I make vegan fun?” Because when you think about veganism back in the day, it’s like, “Flavorless, I don’t like it. I’m not going to eat it. It’s nasty.” But I’m like, “I have to tie in an experience to that,” so I named it slutty. Slutty is provocative, it’s racey, it sounds raunchy, but the concept has nothing to do with sex. Every single burger has a sexual name to it, the ménage à trois, the one night stand, but when you really start peeling the layers and understanding intention of the business, it’s really to help people to reimagine food. That is the mission, to help people understand that you can be a flexitarian, and if you want to eat meat, that’s okay, but try these vegan options. Try these plant-based options and be open to trying something different, because you can live longer, you can live stronger, your mental and emotional health can be a little bit better, even if it starts at vegan burgers and fries.

Pinky: So, I did that, and the name in the beginning, I got a lot of pushback from it, right? “It’s too racey. Kids aren’t going to eat here. How dare you do that?” But let me tell you something. I have Muslims, Christians, old people, young people, people from around the world that come to eat Slutty Vegan because they now realize that it has nothing to do with sex. There’s a bigger picture, and that bigger picture is food and community.

Tara: I consider myself a vegan ally. I don’t call myself a flexitarian, but I am a vegan ally. My sister’s been a vegan for 20 something years, and through her, I’ve been able to explore more and open my mind and expand my mind. She always encourages me every little bit counts. Every little step along that path counts. So, I love that you are starting people off and meeting them where they are, which kind of brings me to my next question. We’ve seen that there is a black vegan movement. Even on Yelp, we’ve seen that searches have been up 2,142% for black owned vegan restaurants since this past year. You are the embodiment of that. Your business is the embodiment of that. What do you think is driving that interest in black owned vegan businesses?

Pinky: Well, I like to think that Slutty Vegan was the guinea pig for a lot of that. Right? In the heart of the south, I created a concept where once upon a time, I could only eat some fries and a side salad from Chick-fil-A as a vegan, right? Because there weren’t many options. Granted, there are amazing vegan options in Atlanta, some of the best restaurants out. But what I realized is there was nothing on the late night. So, me being the guinea pig and creating a concept in the heart of the south, where traditionally we are accustomed to soul food, that is what brought black families together. So, to create something in the south where people ain’t really checking for vegan food, and doing it in a way where I put the emphasis on the experience and not the food, it made it super successful really, really fast.

Pinky: So, what happened in my opinion is that the big boys, the big companies started trying out vegan options on their menus, which I appreciate, because it just showed me that, okay, now we are progressing in the world because everybody is just not linear. Right? Everybody just doesn’t eat meat. There are people who are vegetarians, flexitarians, alkaline vegans, so now there’s something for everybody. I like to say that Slutty Vegan kick started that movement. Beyond that specifically for slutty vegan, people have fell in love with my story, right? Here you have a young African American woman from East Baltimore who come from Jamaican roots, humble beginnings, who became an entrepreneur, lost everything, but was able to get it back, and not just it back, get it back and pour that back into the community. I’m really committed to community. I think that people see that, they believe in it, they want to be a part of it, and they support it.

Pinky: So, when you come to Slutty Vegan, the line is down the block. People come, and it’s not just for the food. It’s because when you walk through those doors, you feel like it belongs to you. You feel like you could also identify with Pinky Cole because I’m a woman, I’m African American, I’m brown skinned, I’m a vegan. I used to not be vegan. Right? I’ve had trials and tribulations in my life. I was supposed to be a statistic. I went to college, right? I had a dream job before I became an entrepreneur, and I focus on the community. So, everybody, whether you’re black, white, blue, hell, I don’t care, if you yellow, if you’re Asian, it doesn’t matter, you can identify with the Pinky Cole story and Slutty Vegan. I think that is a big part of the reason why people love the brand and why it’s been so successful in veganism.

Tara: Yes. Well, thank you for touching upon veganism and your impact there. But also, you mentioned community. I know that’s such a big part of the foundation of your business and the way you approach business. You’ve made an impact in your immediate community and in a greater community in so many different ways. I’m curious, how you identify? There’s so many people that need help, and I’m sure you have your values that are your marching orders of how you operate. How do you choose when you want to support certain causes, people, things? I know that you have such a range. You also have the Pinky Cole Foundation that is part of this. But what fuels that desire to continue to give back? Then also, how are you identifying what makes the most sense and what initiatives you want to get behind?

Pinky: Yeah, absolutely. You’re Jamaican, right? So, you know how it goes. Growing up, you got like five cousins living in the house that become your sisters and your brothers. Right? I grew up watching my mother help everybody. Right? She literally would take the clothes off her back to make sure that somebody else was good, even if I meant sacrificing us. As a kid, I didn’t understand it, but as I’ve gotten older, I realized, I’m becoming my mother. I love to help people. I love to provide people with opportunities, and I’m an empath, right? It really is hard for me to see someone suffering and me not do anything about it. Right? I’m just wired that way. I get that from my mother a lot. So, when I created the foundation, it was a way to formalize what I already have been doing all all my life.

Pinky: When you ask me how do I choose organizations or people to help, I come from nothing much, right? Except for character and integrity, so I know what it looks like when somebody needs help. When my spirit moves me, then I say, “You know what? I want to help this cause. I want to help this organization.” A lot of what we do, everything that we do is very meaningful. I’m intentional about everything that I do. With the foundation, we’ve done a lot. In the height of COVID, we’ve paid for local businesses, the rents for them so that they didn’t have to close their doors. When Rayshard Brooks was murdered in the Wendy’s parking lot, myself and the local entrepreneur, we paid for life insurance. We paid scholarships for school for them to go to college in a brand new car. We partner with Impossible Foods and [Jamay Dupree 00:14:46] to help people understand why it is important to vote for the people who aren’t interested. We partner with the Steve Harvey and Margie Harvey Foundation to provide lights for families in Atlanta.

Pinky: Just recently, I did an initiative where we’re getting every single black man in Atlanta life insurance that they don’t have to pay for. We are paying for the policies, and they get to choose their beneficiary. Those are just a few of the things that we’ve done. We’ve done so many, a lot of which we don’t talk about, but I do that because that is the most fulfilling thing for me, right? More than money, more than notoriety, to be able to utilize my platform and my resources to help somebody in need and to give them an opportunity is priceless. You can’t pay for that. I wish more entrepreneurs would jump on that wave, because that to me is what purpose is. I believe that God, and whatever you believe in, God, universe, Allah, I believe that the universe has given me a gift to be able to extend that gift to other people. As long as I continue to do that, the success will continue to come.

Tara: Thank you. I believe that. You are truly a real one. We appreciate you sharing that. We appreciate all you do. I hope that other will think about how they can direct their own talents, their interests, their businesses, and funnel it into their communities as well. A lot of people see the success, and that success can be really loud, but sometimes the struggle is a little more quiet. What are some times maybe in your career, or even when you first launched Slutty Vegan, or maybe you’ve struggled, or maybe you learned something that was a really valuable lesson that ended up changing the trajectory of the business, if there was something that you wanted to impart to somebody that is starting off with a new business right now, what would some of those learnings be that you’d give them a heads up on?

Pinky: Make sure that you have two things, an attorney and an accountant. Those are closer to you than your best friends in the whole wide world. I’ll tell you a story. When I had my first restaurant, I didn’t know anything about taxes, right? I’m just like, “Okay, I got this restaurant that’s going to be great.” Right? I went to Google and I went to YouTube and I learned what I could learn. But what I didn’t realize is how important it was to pay your sales and use taxes. I learned that after my wages started getting garnished when I first started my business. After I closed the doors to my restaurant, my wages still continued to get garnished two years later. So, I say all that to say that it is necessary to have the right people in place to make sure that your finances are in order. Yeah, it may look good. Business may be good. You may have lines down the block. But if you don’t have your finances in order, then you don’t have a business. Right? That’s the first part that I learned.

Pinky: Secondly, having a great attorney. I’m fortunate to be partnered with Foley & Lardner out of Chicago. They’re my attorneys. Amazing. But when I first started Slutty Vegan, somebody tried to sue me for $5 million, somebody that I was connected to at the time, because they believed that because they were present when I came up with Slutty Vegan, that they should have partnership in that business. Right? Again, I didn’t know any of this. I’m like, “I got a great idea.” I said it out loud. Great. But if it wasn’t for the attorney that I had, I probably would have been in litigation probably even until today. Obviously, Slutty Vegan is my concept, but I probably would still be going to court today.

Pinky: But a great attorney will protect you and your business so that you don’t have to deal with headaches like that, because in business, people are going to sue you. Just naturally, you may have or may have not done anything wrong, but that’s the name of the game when it comes to business. There’s no business that hasn’t gotten a letter saying that they want somebody to take them to court. But having a good attorney will make sure that your contracts are accurate, will make sure that your handbooks are accurate, and that if there is anything that happens in your business, you are protected. Those are the more structural things. A lot of the things that I learned along the way is that you can’t hire family. You know? You can give family opportunities, but it’s very difficult for people to be able to separate the lines, and that’s universal, right?

Pinky: When you create a company, just try not to bring your whole family in, or if you bring them in, put them on something else where you don’t directly have to work with them. I learned that. Again, this is very transparent advice, and I’m speaking from my experience, but it just didn’t work for me. Then lastly, you can’t be too loyal in business that your business falls apart. When I first started Slutty Vegan, I people on past their expiration date. Again, I’d go back to relationships, just like when you’re in love with somebody and you know the relationship is over, but you keep them on. You are hurting yourself more than you’re hurting that person, because you are stuck in something that’s stale that no longer has life, and it prevents you from allowing yourself to be great.

Pinky: So, now when I identify that there’s somebody that no longer fits my organization, I still will have a amicable relationship with them, but we just don’t work for each other anymore. It took me three years to learn that, and I’m so happy that I learned that. For anybody listening, if you own a business, if you just started a business, be very diligent and strategic about your business, because if you do it like I’m doing it, it’s all you got.

Tara: Yeah. That is such valuable advice. Thank you so much for sharing and for being just so transparent about that. I know you mentioned you just had a baby. I can’t believe you’re juggling all of this with a newborn. Congratulations.

Pinky: It’s all help.

Tara: Well, still, I mean, even with help, it’s a lot. For anybody out there that is trying to figure out how they’re navigating their personal responsibilities and obligations and priorities, while also balancing an ambitious expansion and their dreams and their goals, how do you prioritize both of those things when you are running a multimillion dollar business and and you value family and the people that are close with you the way that you do?

Pinky: Team, having a good team. This is a good one for everybody listening, right? I had to learn a long time ago that you are only as good as your team, right? I don’t run Slutty Vegan by myself. It takes a village to run Slutty Vegan. I have people like my assistant and my chief revenue officer and my business manager and people who really make this wheel turn every single day. I have them in place so that I can be able to expand the narrative of Slutty Vegan and have interviews like this with you and be able to spend time with my family. I’m very honest about that, because you cannot do it by yourself. Does it feel like work? Absolutely not. I didn’t start this company for money. Money don’t drive me. It don’t motivate me. It don’t move me.

Pinky: So, because it doesn’t motivate me or move me, I think about out my business all day long, morning, noon, and night. I get excited about creating for my brand because this is a passion project for me. When I’m with my baby and when I’m with my family, I get to be with my business at the same time. Does it get difficult sometimes? Absolutely. But because I have a really good team, I have the necessary support that I need to be able continue to grow my brand.

Tara: Yes. Thank you. I know that we are almost at time here, but I just know that you recently collaborated with Shake Shack. Can we look forward to additional collaborations? Is there anything that you want to leave our audience with that maybe you didn’t have a chance to share?

Pinky: Oh, so many great things happening. I just signed a book deal with the number one publishing house, and it’s coming out first quarter next year.

Tara: That is so exciting. Congratulations.

Pinky: Thank you so much. It’s a cook book, so it’s right on brand with everything that I’m doing. Secondly, I’m coming out with a documentary about the rise of Slutty Vegan.

Tara: Wow.

Pinky: So, fingers crossed you’ll watch that on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Also, the Shake Shack partnership obviously was amazing. Hopefully we get to do some more things in the future. Randy Garutti, the CEO and I are really good friends, so I’m looking forward to that. There’s some other plant based companies that I’m working on some big partnerships with. I just got offered a deal to one of the biggest shoe companies in the world to do a Slutty Vegan shoe and handbag capsule collection.

Tara: Wow.

Pinky: Yeah. That’s coming out top of next year too. So, I’m working.

Tara: Congratulations. You are land, sea and sky taking over.

Pinky: There’s a lot of great things happening. To be honest, I really want to let this resonate with the entrepreneurs in this chat. Literally, I’m just a dreamer. I’m a visionary. I’m the person that I’m sitting down like this all day just dreaming big and saying, “I see my life being so impactful that I’m able to change generations.” That is what I think about all the time. What I realize is that the power of the tongue is so real, so now anything that I say I want to do will happen, because I believe in myself and I believe in my vision and I believe in what I’ve created.

Pinky: So, if you have a dream, do not stop dreaming. If you have a gift, unpack that gift and let the world have a piece of that gift. If you have something that you keep thinking about and you feel a little stagnant, that’s the universe telling you to do it and just pay some more attention to it. Hopefully somebody felt that because I literally went through the same thing, and now I have a company that’s on its way to being one of the most premier companies in America. I’m excited about that.

Tara: That is incredible. We’re so excited just to continue to support you on your journey and the business as it continues to evolve and take all different types of forms and make a ripple effect in the world. We do have five more minutes if anybody has additional questions. I’ve already seen a few come in already, and so I won’t be able to get to all of them, but there are some trends here that I’ve seen. Pinky, how do you find the right accountant, attorney? How do you build a team with the right people?

Pinky: Absolutely. Great question. How I got my attorney and my accountants was through a referral. Sometimes, all you got to do is ask questions, right? Some good resources is obviously LinkedIn. You can make connections there. Instagram, people underestimate Instagram and social media. I got so many employees off Instagram and Facebook. Is it unconventional? Absolutely. But sometimes you do things that are a little bit different, because this is what people are paying attention to. So, how can you reach the people, meet them where they are? But my accountant and my attorney, they are amazing. Again, Tom Bowen is my accountant. If you look him up on LinkedIn, you can reach out to him. My attorney, Foley & Lardner, and Steve Cade is partner, so if anybody’s interested in getting an attorney there, feel free. Again, like I said, I’m so transparent. I don’t withhold information. I want everybody to win. I want people to be able to do all the things that they dream about with the right resources. I have really good resources, so I love to share those.

Tara: That’s great. This is almost a piggyback question, but related, but little different from Patricia. How do you trust others with your brands? I’m sure she probably might mean in terms of partnerships, and not only your team, but how do you lend your brand to other names and people’s. When you built something that’s just so pure and positive, how do you trust people with your brand?

Pinky: It’s interesting that you said that. I’m going to give some very nontraditional advice, but I’m going to explain why I said that. When I was working in TV a couple of years ago, my boss, I really admired him a lot. I was just working really, really, really hard. Something got done, but he didn’t know that it got done. I told him, I said, “Well, I got it done.” He was like, “Well, I got to be honest. I don’t trust anybody in business. You’re never supposed to trust people in business.” At first, I didn’t understand it. I’m like, “Okay, why would you say this? I’m working for your organization.” But what I realized is his delivery probably was wrong. Right? But the message was very clear. When you get too comfortable in business and you don’t maintain what the business is and what it means and have the proper systems and structure in place, then people can destroy your business, and it’s not personal, right? It’s not emotionally tied. It strictly is business.

Pinky: When it comes to partnerships, I’m all over it. I have my team all over it, to be honest. Especially because my company is so young, I want to make sure that we are moving in the right direction. Am I physically in the restaurant anymore? No, but mentally and offering my thought leadership to the business, absolutely. It’s a lot to trust somebody with your baby, just like having your own child. Right? That means that I got a babysitter and a nanny watching it, cleaning it, doing all that. So, yes, while I lean on people with the expertise to do what it is that’s necessary to do, I always keep my eyes on my business so that my business continue to grow.

Tara: Thank you for answering that. I hope that everyone took a little bit from that answer. Then just I think one final question, how did you promote your business? I’m assuming this probably had to do with those early stages before everyone knew who Slutty Vegan was, but how did you start promoting your business initially?

Pinky: Social media. Till this day, I have never paid for any paid ads in Slutty Vegan ever. No marketing, no advertising. I’ve never done that. No boosts, anything like that, because I really wanted to build an organic brand. Right? I have an organic personality. I’m authentic in everything that I do, and I wanted the brand to speak that way as well. Not saying that I won’t, but I’ve never had to do that, because I utilize the free assets online. I utilize Instagram, I utilize Twitter, I utilize Facebook, I utilize Yelp. You know what I mean? I focused on customer service. People want really good experiences. I am totally obsessed with the customer experience. Because I’m obsessed with the customer experience, I make sure that the restaurant is always clean, that people always have a good experience as far as the food and the entertainment and the food quality.

Pinky: As a result of that, they’ll go online and give you a review. The more five star reviews I got, the more people will come to my restaurant, because we literally eat with our eyes. Right? Every time I go to a restaurant, the first thing I’m doing is going on Yelp. Literally. I want to know how many reviews it got. But I do that because it will shape the way I feel and think about that business. That is a part of the reason why Slutty Vegan has been able to grow, because we have such high reviews online, and people are like, “Okay, well, this got to be good because everybody is saying it’s good.” Then I also utilize my marketing team on social media. We literally have one of the best marketing teams out, and we create content that makes people feel good.

Pinky: Coca-Cola and Pepsi, why I like them is because they focus on the experience and not the product. With our marketing, we make people laugh, we make people proud, and we give them information. What that does is it makes people feel connected to the brand and invested in it, instead of saying, “Here, here’s a burger. Buy this.” We don’t do that. We focus on that experience so that by the time you finish having your experience, you don’t even realize that you just ate a burger that wasn’t compromised with a dead animal, and people love it and people keep coming.

Tara: Well, Pinky, I think we’re just about at time. If people want to connect with you, I know a lot of people that have joined are already following you on Instagram, whether it’s Slutty Vegan or you personally, are there any other places that you’d like for them to connect with you on, whether it’s for business opportunities, collaborations, anything else in terms of how to stay in touch with you?

Pinky: Go to my restaurants. Currently, we have three locations, so you could just Google us. If you want to speak directly to me, my personal Instagram is Pinky907, and I’m always dropping nuggets like these. I’m always going on live talking about business the rawest way ever, so please follow me. Or you can file a Slutty Vegan ATL, If you want to partner with the foundation,, if you want to donate to all of the things that we’re doing in the community. Or you can go to our website, Hopefully I get to connect. There’s a lot of people in here. If you do have any advice, feel free to reach out to me. I may not get back to you today, but I’m going to get back to you one day. I’m looking forward to see all the amazing businesses from the people that are in this chat.

Tara: Pinky, it has been just a pure joy and pleasure speaking with you today. You dropped so much knowledge, and we are going to continue rooting for your success. We are here with you. We’re going to continue to also support your business with our dollars, but we’re proud of you, the islands, proud of you, and keep going. Keep going. Thank you so much for your time.

Pinky: Thank you so much. Talk soon.

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