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“British Invasion: How A California-Based British Pub Is Rockin’ and Rollin’ Digital Transformation”

The Cat & Fiddle
Los Angeles, California

Ashlee Gardner comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Having been born the very same month her parents opened The Cat & Fiddle in 1982, Ashlee and her sisters are no strangers to the restaurant life. The Cat & Fiddle is a British pub and restaurant that has a long-standing reputation in Los Angeles, California. It’s a place driven by more than just serving great food; it’s a place that strives to entertain you. Having a father that was a bassist in the British rock invasion of the 1960s, playing alongside artists like Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones and George Harrison of the Beatles, and a sister that plays bass with names like Cher and Pink, Ashlee has entertainment in her blood. That’s why now, Ashlee and her sisters are looking beyond their Michelin Guide recognized cuisine and are looking to expand into event, catering, and delivery services. “We want to be a hub for people. A place for parties and celebrations,” said Ashlee. To achieve this dream, Ashlee is betting big on a digital revolution.

“In business, climates change quickly and you have to adapt.” So, Ashlee is taking her family legacy and she’s acquiring new customers by coming to them where they are—, online. Ashlee notes that The Cat & Fiddle is now on OpenTable and Postmates and that they take pride in their high ratings on Yelp. With a staff of twenty-five, Ashlee finds that she can really focus on marketing and operations. Having a degree in business, Ashlee has taken on most of the company’s digital marketing, but she also notes how important digital has been to their finance and operations with tools like QuickBooks.

For as much success as The Cat & Fiddle have enjoyed over nearly the last forty years, Ashlee is very aware of how challenging it can be for a small business owner. “Restaurants are expensive. Costs are high particularly in towns like Los Angeles.” These high costs are why Ashlee has found digital tools to be so effective. The overhead in engaging customers on social media or by taking delivery orders through their online platform is low and it has really helped them expand in areas outside their brick and mortar.

Ashlee is undoubtedly a go-getter. She really wants small businesses to be heard during the public policy debate about digital tools. “Small businesses could be better represented, but it our responsibility to speak up.” And that’s exactly what she’s doing.

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