Samantha Wasser is the co-founder and creative director of popular plant-based fast-food chain, by CHLOE. She has a keen eye for design, IS massively creative, and a huge inspiration for women wanting to break through into the restaurant industry.
We are so pleased that we were able to interview Samantha ahead of our Veganuary events in partnership with by CHLOE. next month!
Why do you think by CHLOE. became popular so fast?
by CHLOE. appeals to a wide audience. Our goal from day one has been to offer delicious food that happens to be vegan, not the other way around. Our spaces were designed to be comfortable, playful and welcoming. We’ve also created a unique Instagram voice and community that helps us extend far beyond our restaurant locations. To me, it’s the perfect combination.
“I always wanted the by CHLOE. Instagram to be more of an artistic platform.”
Your Instagram is so unique, and beautifully curated. What inspired you to have an artistic theme that isn’t constantly promoting your food/restaurant?
I see Instagram as so much more than a promotional tool. It’s a way to connect with people and discover new brands and ideas, so I always wanted the by CHLOE. Instagram to be more of an artistic platform. We’ve been able to collaborate and partner with so many amazing artists, photographers, and designers to feature on the account, it’s become an exciting extension of brand that goes far beyond the food we serve in the restaurant; it’s become a community.
“I love seeing the way our brand has impacted our customers.”
What is your favourite by CHLOE. UK menu item?
I love the Fish n’ Chips. When we first opened in Covent Garden, it was the dish I was most excited to see on the menu because it was unique to the restaurant and such an iconic UK item. It’s been really fun to experiment and create plant-based twists on classic UK dishes.
What is the best part about your job?
Getting to see our customers, now around the world, enjoying what we’ve created every single day. I read each email we get to our firstname.lastname@example.org account and I still start my mornings by browsing recent Instagram posts! I love seeing the way our brand has impacted our customers, it’s the most gratifying and humbling part of my job.
What is the hardest part of your job?
We have been really lucky to grow so quickly over these last three years and I of course, wish I could be in 13 places at once! Since that is impossible, believe me I have tried, it is incredibly important to build a strong team you can rely on and trust. It is also difficult to accept that you cannot be physically present at each restaurant every day, interacting with our staff, checking on the restaurants, seeing our customers. Over time it gets a little easier but it is still hard to watch from a distance and trust that all is ok!
by CHLOE. is popping up in so many new locations! How do you do such an amazing job at maintaining brand identity, whilst also honouring the city/country that you’re in?
Our brand standards were created when we opened our first location on Bleecker Street in NYC in 2015. I believe so strongly in this brand and I knew it was going to be able to translate from location to location. It takes a lot of work to ensure that each space feels like by CHLOE. while still providing each location with its own unique identity. We always make sure that each new location has something special to call its own, from the bathroom design and kitschy sayings to the swing chair fabrics and neon signage. We take inspiration from the city and neighborhood to make the location its own.
“We have to work that much harder to have our voices be heard.”
Name a female entrepreneur that inspires you.
Leandra Medine, it’s been inspiring to see what she has created and grown with Man Repeller over the years. We were lucky enough to partner with her and the Man Repeller team recently for the launch of their first accessories line, Buffet with a pop up at Sweets by CHLOE. in New York City. The way Leandra has created a media company and more importantly a strong community is incredibly inspiring. I’m lucky to call her a peer and a friend.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for women in entrepreneurship/business?
I’ve found, especially within the restaurant industry, there are still too many instances where you can walk into a room or meeting, and still not be taken seriously as a businesses owner and entrepreneur. We have to work that much harder to have our voices be heard. But it’s inspiring to meet and collaborate with other inspiring women who are working towards changing this dynamic and conversation.
What are 3 qualities you look for in a potential employee?
Creativity, team player and the ability to go with the flow are three really important traits I look for in a potential member of our team.
Do you have any advice for individuals who would like to open their own restaurant?
You have to commit yourself 100% to the project and remember that as much work that you do leading up to the opening, the real work starts once the restaurant is open.
Can you tell us about any exciting plans for the future of by CHLOE.?
We are really excited to continue expanding with additional locations in London and throughout the US and have a few fun new menu items we’ll be introducing at our UK locations in 2019 so stay tuned!
CELEBRATE VEGANUARY WITH VEVOLUTION, BY CHLOE. & OTHER INSPIRING PLANT-POWERED PEOPLE
This January come celebrate the biggest Veganuary yet!! We have partnered up with by CHLOE. to deliver the Veganuary Topic Talks, a series of exclusive free-to-attend intimate events. They’ll feature some of the UK’s most inspiring plant-powered thought leaders.
There are only 40 tickets available for each of these events, so pre-register using this link. Tickets go live at 1pm on 1.01.19.