Award-Winning Branding Expert Espey Brings 19 Years of Developing and Growing the Chipotle Brand to Nextbite
August 3, 2021 (Globe Newswire) — Nextbite, a leader in virtual restaurants, today announced that William Espey, a 19-year industry veteran and former Brand Voice of Chipotle Mexican Grill, has joined the company as Director of Creative Services. Espey will lead Nextbite’s creative team as the company rapidly expands its portfolio of virtual brands that include George Lopez Tacos and HotBox by Wiz Khalifa, along with a growing collection of concepts from the best-selling Miss Mazy’s Amazin’ Chicken to Grilled Cheese Society. Under Espey’s guidance, the Brand Creative team oversees all creative assets, from concept logos and photography, to the Nexbite.io and Ordermark.com websites, to B2B and B2C marketing campaigns.
An award-winning branding expert, Espey was instrumental in the creation and evolution of Chipotle’s unique brand voice and customer experience. Joining Chipotle when it had less than 20 locations as its sole marketing creative, he curated the development of the brand as it expanded to more than 2,400 locations in the U.S. and abroad. This role entailed hundreds of campaigns and initiatives that garnered dozens of the advertising industry’s top awards including a Cannes Grand Prix, Gold and Silver Lions, Emmys, Clios, Webbys, and more.
“Back in the day, Chipotle was a key player in the fast casual revolution and now I see the next era happening in the restaurant space with virtual brands like we’re developing at Nextbite,” said Espey. “It feels like lightning has struck twice for me in my career, and I’m fortunate to be part of this new wave of restaurant innovation. The potential for growth is staggering, and successfully building the brands for Virtual Restaurants will be the key for driving awareness and trial and building customer loyalty.”
“William brings an amazing background and insights from Chipotle’s notable journey that will help Nextbite put our unique stamp on the evolving restaurant industry,” said Alex Canter, CEO and co-founder of Nextbite. “With virtual restaurants, we need to ensure that all touchpoints with our customers are on brand and exceed expectations. William has the expertise and spark that will help our brands flourish and stand out from the competition, while creating engaging experiences for our customers.”
Espey said he was particularly attracted to Nextbite because of the company’s business model that helps existing restaurants be more successful through collaboration instead of generating more competition. He described his initial impression of Nextbite as “a brilliant solution that works in partnership with local restaurants while giving customers access to an expanding variety of cuisines where they want, when they want.”
Nextbite is focused on helping restaurant partners successfully enter the virtual restaurant space by diversifying their portfolio, using under-utilized labor and kitchen capacity, and driving demand to increase margins and revenue. Founded in 2019, Nextbite is the only complete virtual restaurant solution for existing restaurants and kitchens that pairs the proven Ordermark ordering/delivery management solution with a selection of highly visible, on-trend, delivery-only brands. Headquartered in Denver, Nextbite/Ordermark recently announced the close of its $120M funding round led by SoftBank.