Success story

Zippy’s Restaurants


Honolulu, HI


Zippy’s Restaurants aligns network of freelancers with Canto

Zippy’s Restaurants is woven into the fabric of Hawaiian life, having served delicious, local comfort food for over 50 years. This iconic brand has grown from simple beginnings to a chain with 24 locations and counting. As Zippy’s expands, it’s essential to the team to preserve the family-friendly and community-oriented brand that their loyal customers love.

Jacquie Siegler, the marketing operations specialist at Zippy’s, champions the brand by managing the company’s network of freelancers and making sure they adhere to brand guidelines.

The goal

Zippy’s marketing team needed a way to manage their large network of freelancers and keep their content on brand.

The result

Canto makes it easy for Zippy’s to share digital assets with all their freelance creatives, ensuring brand consistency across the expanding restaurant chain.

Goal: Serving brand assets to network of freelancers

To meet their content needs, Zippy’s relies on both in-house creative specialists and a large number of freelancers. Their freelancers take photos and design visuals for promotions, social media and more, while their in-house team takes care of print materials. Making sure that the freelancers create work that’s consistent with the brand is a key part of Jacquie’s job.

“We use a widespread network of creators to make content for us, so we need to make sure everything they create is on brand. We decided to get a DAM to centralize our assets so that they’re all in one place to send to freelancers,” says Jacquie.

Before, Zippy’s was using a shared drive to store all of their assets, which made it difficult to share with people outside the company. The team chose Canto to simplify how they share content.

“If we wanted to send something to a freelancer, we couldn’t give them access to our shared drive. With Canto, it’s easier to share and it’s all in one place, all online,” says Jacquie.

A woman enjoying a meal at Zippy's.

Enter Canto: A central hub for all brand assets

Zippy’s stores all of their brand assets, food photography and other creative content in Canto. The marketing team uses these assets for social media, promotions and digital menus. For Jacquie, having Canto in her toolkit has been a boon for managing the company’s extensive network of freelancers.

“Canto is super user-friendly and accessible. It was very easy to pick up and learn the mechanics; even with all the new features they’re adding, it’s still easy to use,” says Jacquie.

Screenshot of the Canto media library of Zippy's.

Getting organized

The Zippy’s Canto library is organized into folders for each corporate entity, and one for marketing. Jacquie primarily uploads content and uses keywords and tags liberally to make everything easy to find.

“If it’s a photo that’s going to be used for social, we tag ‘social’; if it’s for the bakery, we tag ‘bakery,’ and so on. We also use common tags, such as ‘lifestyle photography’ or ‘food photography’ to make it easy for people to find images,” says Jacquie.

“The biggest thing that we have in Canto is our food photos. After a photo shoot, we make sure the photos are put in the right folders because they’re our biggest asset that we use in our month-to-month promotional materials and the menu. In Canto, we can see what food photos we have and easily find the ones we need.”

When freelancers submit their work, Jacquie uploads it into Canto with the appropriate metadata to keep it all organized. The team has created custom drop-down fields with the names of the freelancers they most frequently work with and the type of content.

Screenshot of the Canto media library of Zippy's with selected images.

Simple content sharing

It’s easier and faster for everyone, including both internal and external stakeholders, to get the assets they need to do their work and stay on brand. The Zippy’s internal team can self-serve, and Jacquie is able to easily send freelancers links to assets in Canto.

“Our in-house creative specialists have access to all our photos with Canto. They’re able to search key terms and find assets at their own leisure. We also have other teams within the company that have access, like our Education and Development group. They use Canto for food photos to share with the rest of our stores to demonstrate how food should be plated. Our administration team also uses some assets in Canto, such as letterheads or community event photos,” says Jacquie.

“With freelancers, I will send them a Canto link with what they need. I have a folder containing all the assets I usually send to freelancers so I can do that pretty quickly.”

Canto has also come in handy for bigger projects, such as website and brand redesigns. Having all their assets in one place helps their external agency partners self-serve and get the work done more quickly without taking up more of the internal team’s time.

“With longer-term projects, we’ll grant the agency or freelancers temporary access to Canto with an expiration date. For example, we’re working with an agency to help us with a brand redesign, and they can just pull what they need directly from Canto,” says Jacquie.

To further streamline the process, Jacquie is using the Style Guide and Portals feature in Canto to create a one-stop shop for brand assets to send to freelancers and other external partners.

“We’re in the process of setting up a style guide and a portal within Canto so that we can just send that one link, rather than pulling directly from Canto each time. Media outlets or the community partner that we’re working with for the month may need our logo and brand colors, so we’re making a portal to share those assets with them. The portal will be more generic and the style guide will be directed towards freelancers with more of the assets they will need, such as our fonts and badges,” says Jacquie.

Picture of a bento dish from Zippy's.

Dedicated customer support

With how user-friendly Canto is, the Zippy’s team hasn’t had many issues with the platform, but they appreciate that their dedicated customer success team is proactive in reaching out to share new features and tips for optimizing Canto.

“We haven’t had very many issues, but the customer support team has been extremely helpful with keeping us up-to-date with new features and how to properly utilize them, and helping us learn how to use Canto more efficiently,” says Jacquie.

Jacquie Siegler, Marketing Operations Specialist at Zippy's.

Canto is super user-friendly and accessible. It was very easy to pick up and learn the mechanics; even with all the new features they’re adding, it’s still easy to use.

Jacquie SieglerMarketing Operations Specialist

Results: Ensuring brand consistency for a growing company

Zippy’s is a quickly-growing chain that has captured the heart of Hawaiians, and will soon make its way to the continental U.S. Throughout this growth, the company is focused on maintaining a consistent brand and positive customer experience in all of its locations.

Working with so many freelancers gives Zippy’s a creative and agile edge, but has also posed a challenge in keeping the brand consistent. With Canto, the marketing team is able to align their freelancers with their assets and truly unlock the potential of both their in-house and freelance creatives.

“It’s important for us to really make sure that our brand voice is accurately portrayed through whoever we’re working with, because we work with so many freelancers,” says Jacquie. “All of the freelancers we work with haven’t had any issues accessing what they need in Canto.”