Monday, March 8, 2021

Dunkin' Unveils Fresher Faster Customized Urban Service

 


In urban centers around the world consumers are seeking sustainable modes of transportation, ease of navigating traffic, reducing commuting times, so they are increasingly using a bicycle to get around.  Fast food retailers have taken notice for good reason according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Now Dunkin’ guests in the Philippines can now pick up with the company’s first-ever drive-thru lane dedicated to bikes. Whether the Dunkin’ craving hits while riding a traditional bike, moped, or motorcycle, it’s now even easier for the Philippines’ large population of bikers to get their Dunkin’ order and get on their way. Consumers are dynamic not static and brands like Dunkin and McDonalds are adapting new units and packaging to accommodate bikes of all kinds.

Dunkin’s bike-thru lane opened at a Dunkin’ restaurant in Quezon City in January 2021 and has been receiving rave reviews ever since. To place an order, bikers can simply ride up to the bike-thru lane, place their order at the speaker, then pay and pick up their items at the window.

Battle for Share of Stomach


Rini Ernawati, Regional Vice President of Asia Pacific at Dunkin’ stated, “We’re very proud to bring Dunkin’s first bike-thru lane in the world to the Philippines, giving our guests even more access and choice on their terms,” .. “Our licensee, Golden Donuts Inc., has been a pioneer in the industry by providing innovative and relevant experiences to meet our customers’ needs. We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from guests and employees, and we look forward to expanding this exciting offering to even more Dunkin’ Philippines locations soon.

Regular readers of this blog know that we have highlighted McDonalds special packaging for bikes which opened a new sub-sector for packaging manufactures. How are you extending your brand invitation?

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter





Sunday, March 7, 2021

Shake Shack Stuck in the Middle

 

Restaurant brands continually strive to create a point of differentiation that consumers consider an attribute and a reason for them to come back.  Cravability with a differentiated point of food quality, service, or value drives widespread adoption according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Many chain restaurants have reduced the size of there menu to increase speed of service. The menus become bloated as marketers added new items to help avoid the ‘veto’ one person in a group not wanting beef, chicken, or insisting on vegan. That veto vote comes in play as consumers want fresh food fast and want to simply preorder, and pick up via a drive-thru on the way home.

Shake Shack announced that it is offering $225 million of convertible senior notes, due in 2028, to private investors. Why? Simple, avoid the veto vote by adding drive-thru’s to all units it can, and according to Johnson that makes sense. One problem that will mitigate their long standing fast casual mindset and place them messaging a drive-thru fast food messaging mode? Our question is will Shake Shack’s marketing team be willing to make that move? Will they simply continue fast casual messaging placing themselves ‘stuck-in-the-middle’ in the consumers mindset?


So, “Shake Shack expects to use the net proceeds from the offering to support its growth and development plans,” the company said in the filing. “Investments may include, but not be limited to, the opening of new Shacks, Shack format evolution, such as drive-thru, Shack Track, the digital guest experience and continued investment in talent. Other uses of proceeds include working capital and general corporate purposes.”

Shake Shack has previously said it plans to open a drive-thru, in Orlando, by the middle to latter half of the year. The New York City-based chain has also announced plans to operate five to eight drive-thru locations around the country by the end of 2022.

Marketing messaging is important when adding drive-thru’s, Shake Shack has added pickup windows, curbside capabilities, app-based delivery and more reinforcing the value of service. That are doing that for good reason as same-store sales were down 17.4% systemwide in Q4, with suburban units roughly flat and urban same-store sales declining 31%. Does your marketing messaging look more like yesterdays than tomorrow’s?

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit GrocerantGuru.com for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.



Saturday, March 6, 2021

Cowboy Chicken Delivers Easter Grocerant Meal Solution

 

Looking a customer ahead, Cowboy Chicken knows consumers are time strapped, tired of being forced to stay home and cook, has once again extended a valued brand offering to help its consumers enjoy Easter with a Easter Ham Holiday package and it’s a great customer solution that will drive sales according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Branded food marketing messaging must edify the customer with a direct message.  Here is what Cowboy Chicken had to say: “A fabulous Easter meal is a hop, skip and a jump away with the Easter Ham Package from Cowboy Chicken. Beginning March 1, the wood-fired rotisserie chicken chain expands its expertise to include classic holiday spiral-sliced hams so guests can enjoy a meal with family and friends without spending hours in the kitchen.” Johnson agreed that is the message you want to send. They are a simple solution to a family holiday meal.

Let’s look at the offer: The Easter Ham Holiday Package feeds up to 10 people and features an eight- to 10-pound spiral-sliced ham, Twice Baked Potaters, garden salad, an additional Wild West side and peach cobbler. The $125 package allows for an easy, hassle-free holiday feast. Meals can be picked up hot and ready to serve or with reheating instructions to serve later. A ham-only option also is available for $65.

Cowboy Chicken’s menu features bold, simple and natural food including all-natural chicken cooked over an open flame and a variety of homestyle sides. Since 1981, Cowboy Chicken has excelled in serving fresh ingredients while treating guests like family and employees like partners. The welcoming, authentic experience, with food as honest as a handshake, has kept guests coming back for more.

Consumers are dynamic they more forward, retailers must be there to help.  This Easter Ham Holiday package with hams are available until Easter Sunday, April 4 at participating locations, is a solutions consumer will like and should be ordering early to take the stress out of the holiday as availability due to demand just might be limited.

Success does leave clues. One clue that time and time again continues to resurface is “the consumer is dynamic not static”.  Regular readers of this blog know that is the common refrain of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Our Grocerant Guru® can help your company edify your brand with relevance.  Call 253-759-7869 for more information. 



Friday, March 5, 2021

Walmart Vs Amazon with Technology / Service

 


Is copy-cat marketing a competitive tatictc or s lackadaisical strategy?  If you are looking for a true point of competitive differentiation according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® you need to remember that differentiation does not mean different it means familiar but with a noticeable differentiated twist.

Recently Walmart announced that it was removing the $35 order requirement for its Express delivery service just a few months after scrapping the same minimum order rule from its Walmart+ subscription service. Service is about more than just price and when combined with first mover advantage Amazon still leads the pack.

Battle for Share of Stomach



This move from Walmart is just the latest in the ongoing battler to garner market-share back from Amazon and bid to attract more shoppers to its e-commerce offering. While Walmart's growth in the e-commerce segment has been higher than Amazon in the last three fiscal quarters, but they were at a very low level.  In the case of Walmart thank goodness for the pandemic as the company has attracted new wave of shoppers to its grocery pickup service during the pandemic, some may not have wanted to walk into a store at any cost.

Now, Walmart's Express delivery service empowers customers to order both, food or non-food, delivered to their doorstep in two hours or less. Just, like Walmart’s pickup and delivery service, there is no up-charge any item everything is priced the same as it is on the shelf. Express delivery costs $10 on top of the existing delivery charge. Walmart+ members simply pay the $10 Express fee.

“Tom Ward, SVP of customer product at Walmart stated, “Many customers use Express delivery for when they’re in a pinch, whether it be a missing ingredient for a weeknight dinner or a pack of diapers,”  “Customers told us sometimes the items they needed in a hurry didn’t meet the minimum, so we’re removing it, making it even easier for customers to get what they need when they need it.”

With over 126 Million Amazon Prime members in the US Johnson wonders if once again Walmart is doing too little to late? Express delivery is currently offered in nearly 3,000 Walmart stores, reaching nearly 70% of the U.S. population. It is one of several no-contact pickup and delivery options at Walmart. Several of Walmart's other e-comm options continue to carry a $35 minimum, however: grocery pickup, regular delivery and Walmart+ delivery.

Walmart keeps pushing forward in a copy-cat style according to Johnson, while they are pushing to create more local fulfillment centers in its stores. The vision of what they can do to edify the customer with a point of differentiation seems to still allude them. Amazon Go is simply a fresher, fast, avenue of distribution that edifies the one-on-one customer relationship with interactive participatory technology and the tactile familiarity that consumers grew up with. That is hard to beat with yesterday’s distribution model.

As Ward defines it, a local fulfillment center (LFC) “is a compact, modular warehouse built within, or added to, a store. In addition to fresh and frozen items, LFCs can store thousands of the items we know customers want most, from consumables to electronics. Instead of an associate walking the store to fulfill an order from our shelves, automated bots retrieve the items from within the fulfillment center. The items are then brought to a picking workstation, where the order can be assembled with speed.”

While Walmart’s focus on LFCs looks a bit dated we wonder if it might be prudent to edify the technology and ease some of the pain points for consumers.  While distribution in the early years was the foundation of Walmart’s success it looks as if its dependence within ongoing strategy might just become it Achilles’ heel.

Looking for a true point of competitive differentiation? Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869




Thursday, March 4, 2021

Burgerville Local Fresh Food Faster

 


Burgerville, was a staple for our Grocerant Guru® back in the day when he was commuting to college. A local Pacific Northwest concept that has focused on freshness, local, and customers since it opened according to our Grocerant Guru®.  They serve burgers, fries, and shakes made with ingredients from local farmers, ranchers and producers, is celebrating their 60th birthday in March. The secret to Burgerville current success? Digital transformation.

The consumer is dynamic not static and Burgerville has evolved with consumers maintaining customer relevance, even build new brand electricity with technology, fresh local food in season, and relevant messaging according to Johnson.

Local companies the ilk of Burgerville, can have the same foresight to invest in a solid suite of technology for off-premises orders. As an early adopter of third-party delivery, curbside pickup, and completely digital ordering, Burgerville has focused on creating a five-star digital consumer experience. After trial and error with a manual curbside solution, Burgerville partnered with FlyBuy Pickup to create a smooth experience for all off-premise orders.

Here’s how FlyBuy Pickup works:

o    The customer places an order for pickup online at burgerville.com or through the BV app, available at the App Store or from Google Play.

o    The customer receives a text from Burgerville initiating the FlyBuy app download.

o    When the customer leaves for Burgerville, they tap, “I'm on my way.”

o    Staff is alerted that the customer is on the way and an accurate arrival time is displayed on the FlyBuy Dashboard.

o    Staff receives location updates including arrival at the restaurant and when the customer or delivery driver has parked in the curbside zone.

o    The staff meets the customer or delivery driver at their car immediately upon arrival!


Stacey Chapman, Director of Marketing at Burgerville, stated, “FlyBuy has changed our whole business,”. “Our volume in drive-thru and curbside had become so high that our crew had a hard time keeping up. FlyBuy makes it simple for our staff, enabling them to do what they do best: serve our delicious food to the customer right when they arrive, with no wait.”

So, after launching FlyBuy, customer wait times are significantly lower, and Burgerville’s loyalty program is thriving. Customers speak very highly of their experience, leaving 5/5 star reviews with overwhelming comments. 

Jeff Baskin, FlyBuy’s Chief Sales Officer, stated, “You don’t have to be a 3,000-store chain to have state-of-the-art technology to provide your guests a great experience,” .. “As they shifted to an entirely digital ordering model, it was imperative that they added technology to their existing curbside solution to completely eliminate friction for both the staff and the customer. FlyBuy makes it simple and eliminates all guesswork inside the store and at the curb. Burgerville has a great team and implemented FlyBuy’s technology seamlessly and extremely fast. How are you creating new relevant brand or customer electricity?

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as; corporate partnerships, fresh foods, smell, online ordering, delivery, self-driving cars, plant-based foods, music, streaming, food sampling, toy’s, podcast, movies, cereal, developing brands, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different and this fits that bill according to Johnson.

Don’t over reach. Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter









Wednesday, March 3, 2021

At Rutter's Partnerships Adds Value

 


Building incremental sales with grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is something they do well at Rutter’s. Leveraging partnerships to develop distinct differentiated fresh food faster has helped drive menu trail, menu electricity, and customer frequency according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Why would customer go anywhere else?

Rutter's debuted the Philly Cheesesteak Traveller on menus chainwide March 2. It is the second product launched in partnership with Australia's Patties Foods Group known for hand held comfort food that is ‘irresistible’. How are you building new brand or menu electricity with you consumers?

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as; corporate partnerships, fresh foods, smell, online ordering, delivery, self-driving cars, plant-based foods, music, streaming, food sampling, toy’s, podcast, movies, cereal, developing brands, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different and this fits that bill according to Johnson.


So, Rutter’s rolled out the Four N Twenty Beef and Cheese Traveller, a beloved product in Australia, in February 2020, and success does leave clues. Consumers loved them, the clue is giving consumers what they want, the way they want it.

Yes, the Philly Cheesesteak Traveller features the same flaky golden pastry crust as the Four'N Twenty and is full of shaved beef and American cheese. It was designed to be a delicious and convenient item for on-the-go consumers.

Robert Perkins, Rutter's vice president of marketing, stated, "After the success of the Beef and Cheese Traveller last year, we were very excited to continue expanding the Four'N Twenty offering, as part of our Award-Winning Food Service," … "The partnership we've built has been great because both companies have the same goal of continuing food innovation to meet customer demands. Being the first retailer to sell this great product will keep customers saying, Why Go Anywhere Else?"

Rutter's is the first retailer anywhere to offer the Philly Cheesesteak Traveller. Exclusive to the United States, it was created under Patties Foods' Four'N Twenty brand as an ode to its ambassadors, Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.

Anand Surujpal, general manager, marketing and innovation for Patties Foods, stated, "We are extremely proud that Four'N Twenty has been embraced by Rutter's customers," … "The generous hearted people of Philadelphia have really welcomed our Aussie beef pies and travellers since we launched in the U.S. in 2018.

"We were inspired by working with Four'N Twenty ambassador Ben Simmons and in collaboration with Rutter's we wanted to create something innovative and delicious that honored Ben's two homes," he added. "The new Four'N Twenty Philly Cheesesteak Traveller is the perfect combination of something quintessentially Aussie and a Philadelphian classic, and we know our fans will really love the new flavor."

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit GrocerantGuru.com for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.



Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Murphy USA Grocerant Niche Fresh Food Will Drive Growth

 


Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive growth in every sector of food retail focusing on garnering incremental customers and customer frequency according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Let’s look at some facts:

1.       When asked if they wanted to cook dinner from scratch or assemble dinner from fresh meal components 90.4 % of Gen Z chose assemble from Fresh Prepared Meal Components and Millennials 82.7% chose meal components, grocerant scorecards.  

2.       83.1% all dinners have at least 1 grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meal component and 68.4% have two meal components, grocerant scorecards.

3.       Online food and beverage sales — including grocery plus restaurant online delivery — jumped 125% to $106 billion over the 52 weeks ended Nov. 30, accounting for 12% of overall dollars spent in those categories, NielsenIQ data shows. 

4.       35% of off-premises customers ages 21+ are more likely to choose a restaurant if it offers the option of including alcoholic beverages with the to-go order, NielsenIQ.

5.       Restaurant digital ordering and delivery has grown 300% faster than dine-in traffic since 2014, Technomic

Since Murphy USA recent acquisition of QuickChek they have ramp up its food and beverage offering as regular readers of this blog know. Murphy USA's, President and CEO Andrew Clyde stated, “ the company was open to pursuing targeted merger and acquisition activity, particularly if it includes chains with existing at-scale food and beverage capabilities that could deliver immediate benefits and upgrade Murphy USA's existing operations.” Note: The deal closed Jan. 29, becoming the first notable c-store M&A transaction of 2021.

Clyde continued "With QuickChek, we are well positioned to accelerate our strategic agenda, creating an even higher-quality income stream that is inclusive of a best-in-class food and beverage offer," …"Together, we can grow better, faster and stronger as our highly engaged teams share a passion for delivering excellence to our customers, our employees, our communities and our investors."

According to the CEO, the main strategic initiative going forward will be leveraging QuickChek's food and beverage platforms on "a fit-for-purpose basis for all formats." "The 1,400-square-foot stores have a coffee program, have dispensed beverage, have a made-to-stock food and beverage offer. There are definitely opportunities there," .

Let’s stop right here.  I want everyone to reread the last two paragraphs.  Yes, you read it right they bought the company because of their quality grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat was scalable fresh food.  

Clyde acknowledged we can absolutely benefit from the coffee program, the practices,"  Then "As the former [QuickChek] CEO Dean Durling said, there's 100 steps to making a great cup of coffee and we need to add about 90. There will be opportunities to do that, as well as improving our grab-and-go food program."

Clyde noted that the changes will not have immediate benefits in 2021, according to Clyde, but will set the foundation for accelerated growth in 2022 and beyond. Murphy USA and its team of nearly 15,000 employees serve an estimated 2 million customers each day through its network of retail gas stations and c-stores in 27 states. Are you looking a customer ahead? Should you buy or build?

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit GrocerantGuru.com, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869