Meet Jarrett Whitlow: April’s Beverage Automation MVP

Meet Jarrett Whitlow: April’s Beverage Automation MVP

Restaurant Expert Jarrett Whitlow Speaks to the Power of Beverage Automation

Meet Botrista’s April MVP Jarrett Whitlow, VP of Beverage Strategy! Jarrett exemplifies a remarkable combination of business savviness and client-centric focus, consistently driving success in cultivating and maintaining key partner relationships. His commitment to excellence, coupled with his understanding of enterprise needs, positions Jarrett as an invaluable team member at Botrista.

Jarrett’s role as VP of Beverage Strategy consists of working very closely with our partners to grow restaurant profit. “I’m here to be their friend on the inside. I’ve previously sat in the seats of these restaurant executives and can understand what goes into making the largest restaurants in America tick. I help to guide our partners through the resources that Botrista has, ensuring that the process is seamless and successful”!

25 Years of Building Bigger Brands

Jarrett comes to Botrista with 25 years of restaurant experience, primarily at Darden Restaurants and Red Lobster. “I was primarily focused on system wide project management within beverage, service and culinary departments at Darden. In 2011, I made a significant move to Darden’s International Group, where I helped expand Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and Capital Grille into new international markets”. Jarrett’s opportunities with Red Lobster continued, leading the brand’s international expansion from 2016-2020. Additionally, “I led Red Lobster through the COVID-19 pandemic through a menu strategy, culinary development and operational simplification”. Finishing his time at Red Lobster, Jarrett took on the role of Senior VP of Concept Development & International Operations.

“My whole career has been about helping operators solve challenging problems, so I was inspired to join team Botrista because that’s what we are all about! The company culture was also attractive to me. When I had the opportunity to meet our CEO, Sean Hsu, and the key executives on his team, I was immediately welcomed. There’s no question that beverage automation will play a large role in the future of the restaurant business, so I’m really excited to gain experience in the beverage automation world”. As a food and beverage industry native, Jarrett was psyched to jump from the restaurant side to the supplier side. Crafting fresh blends through innovative beverage dispensers was a stepping stone in the right direction. “Moving to Botrista felt like a natural next step in my career”!

Be a Mentor and a Mentee

Jarrett follows the fact of “always learning, always teaching” when it comes to professional development. “Mentorship is critical, you should always have someone that you look to as a mentor, and someone that you’re mentoring”. The best advice Jarrett can give to someone on their professional development journey is “never assume that people know what you want next”. “Always put yourself out there, make sure your leaders know what your aspirations are”.

“As a leader, I think it’s very important to get our future leaders to be the problem solvers. Far too often the boss comes to the meeting thinking they have all the answers and fail to challenge their employees. The best leaders that I’ve worked with empower their employees to find viable solutions”.

What if Dinosaurs Were Pink and Beverage Automation was Simple?

Something that many people might not know about Jarrett is that he is a children’s book author. “In 2018, my daughter and I were at the Orlando Science Center. Ever since she was old enough to express interest in color, her favorite color was pink. In the dinosaur center, I told her, ‘these dinosaurs could have been pink’! By the end of that day, I wrote my first book ‘What If Dinosaurs were Pink’ in the notes app of my phone. After publishing, it went on to sell about 20,000 copies on Amazon. We had so much fun with this book that we ended up creating two follow up stories”!

If Jarrett’s life had a theme song, it would be Tears for Fear’s “Head over Heels”. “It’s a hidden gem from the 80’s, and when you’re working in business development or culinary/beverage development, you have to fall in love with what you’re working on. You have to be head over heels in love with it, that way you know that you’re on the right path”.

If Jarrett’s family and friends could describe him using three words, he says that they’d describe him as “trusting, easy, and fun”! Jarrett says, “I’m a no stress friend”. It’s what makes his dedication to pioneering the exciting new drink machines coupled with his understanding of restaurant owners problems the perfect combination.

Jarrett’s favorite Botrista drink is the orange creamsicle smoothie. “It’s so nostalgic, it makes me feel like I’m a kid again”. His close second though, is our taro milk tea. “I have an addiction to our Taro, I can’t go more than a week without it”!