Saturday, October 22, 2016

Grocerant Meal Components Growing Digitally Globally

Restaurants, C-Stores, Furniture Stores, Liquor Stores, and Grocery Stores are all expanding into the grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  The grocerant niche continues to fuel innovation within the retail foodservice sector around the world as regular readers of this blog know from Sweden, Malaysia, Australia, Germany , United States to name but a few.
According to a new study, “Feeding the Global Consumer,” from AlixPartners, a global business-advisory firm meals and meal components that  are targeted, sold or delivered for On-the-go”, Dining, Delivery,  leveraging new Technology are “another trend shining through in the survey is consumers’ growing interest, around the world, in dining while “on the go.”
Here are some of the facts:
1.       23 percent of those surveyed said they plan to increase their frequency of carryout meals over the coming 12 months,
2.       52 percent of the Chinese saying that,
3.       39 percent of the Brazilians,
4.       26 percent of the Germans
5.       The U.S., possibly the most saturated place in the world for drive thru’s and in-car multitasking, came in at 15 percent.
6.       Even more telling was that respondents internationally said that on average they expect that basically one of every four meals (23 percent) of any kind they eat in the coming 12 months to be either carryout from a restaurant or some other form of a “mobile meal,” such as food from convenience stores or grocery stores.
When the study turned to technology the results were just as interesting.  Here is what they found when asked to identify the top-three most-important technologies a restaurant today can have:
1.        53 percent of respondents globally chose online ordering, the No. 1 vote-getter of the options offered.
2.       Digital menus (49 percent) were second and digital loyalty programs
3.       (48 percent) third, with mobile payments
4.       (44 percent) and mobile meal-ordering
5.       (42 percent) rounding out the top five.
6.       Among US respondents, the leader was digital loyalty programs, at 56 percent, followed by online ordering (53 percent) and digital menus (52 percent).  
Building meal component sales today requires the understanding that it take an integrated, branded, customer meal building focus that begin online.  When the AlixPartners study asked how effective online discount services are at influencing their dining-out decisions, 20 percent said such services are “extremely” influential and 49 percent said “somewhat” influential. In addition, an average of 52 percent said they plan to look for more discounts in the year ahead; and notably, those in the two largest economies in the survey, the U.S .and China, came in at well above that average, at 62 percent and 71 percent, respectively. Enough said. If your footprint Digital?  Digital Meals mean fresh food sales.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard.  For brand, or product placement assistance our Grocerant Guru® has the skill-set you are looking for.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sheetz Expands Technology Elevates Competitive Threat too Restaurants

Consumers are dynamic not static and that is something that Joe Sheetz and his team at Sheetz Convenience Stores understand very well.  Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson stated “Joe Sheetz and his team have had tremendous success with fresh food and with this new strategic alliance Sheetz will once again elevate its brand as competitive threat to anyone in the foodservice sector. 
Sheetz recently partnered with OrderUp from Groupon, an on-demand restaurant food-delivery service. Customers click on the free OrderUp app which is available for both Android and iOS phones.  Then customers simply enter the app select Sheetz, view the available items for delivery, and place and pay for the order and it will be delivered.
The OrderUp partnership test is beginning in both Morgantown, W.Va., and State College, Pa., can now place orders from local Sheetz convenience stores and have them delivered to their doorstep. The team tat Foodservice Solutions® expects customer adoption to be fast and highly successful since both are large college towns.
The concern for many in the restaurant sectors is this is the first time Sheetz  will be focusing on the successful signature M•T•O (Made to Order) sandwiches, breakfasts, salads, burritos, snacks such as fries, gourmet pretzels, chicken stripz, tater totz, pizzas and subs all which will be offered for delivery.  The M•T•O (Made to Order) items pose a competitive threat to fast food restaurants, fast casual restaurants, and pizza delivery outlets.
Ryan Sheetz, director of brand strategy for Sheetz stated "We are so excited about this partnership with OrderUp because it reflects the same values and priorities that we have at Sheetz — getting what you want, when you want and how you want it," … "We also know that Morgantown and State College have a strong fan base of Sheetz Freakz, so we are thrilled to be able to serve our customers even when they are not physically at a store location."
Chris Jeffery, CEO and co-founder of OrderUp "We're thrilled to partner with Sheetz and give their customers access to whatever they're craving, when they crave it and wherever the craving hits," … "We will provide Sheetz with the scale and end-to-end ordering and delivery capabilities they need to reach new and returning customers. We are excited to add Sheetz to our lineup of restaurants who haven't offered delivery until now."
If the test is as successful as the Grocerant Guru® at Foodservice Solutions® believes expect to see this program rollout at most of the more  than 535 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® FIVE P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

4 Billion Reasons 12 Examples Why the Restaurant Business Model must Evolve

Success does leave clues and Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® has the leading the Grocerant niche since 1991 and has left many clues that the retail food industry has been picking up.  However one sector in particular has garnered a lion’s share of the migrating restaurant customers.  Our Grocerant Guru® said, that sector is the “convenience store sector.” 

Industry icon Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for The NPD Group’s foodservice division agrees as she recently stated “C-stores are here to stay as a competitor to quick-service restaurants.”  Riggs elaborated explaining that; all across the country, convenience stores are ramping up foodservice offerings, providing hungry customers with spicy chorizo and smoked Gouda on ciabatta, baked tilapia, Arabica coffee and other fresh offerings in interiors that increasingly offer seating.

Here is the proof  as Riggs explained that “NPD found those offerings have been bringing in customers, with consumers visiting c-stores for prepared foods and snacks close to 4.9 billion times in the year ending May 2016—that’s a 15% bump over 2010.” While restaurant sales remain flat and customer counts in decline that’s a huge bump.  When you add in the increase in grocerant niche fresh prepared food from grocery stores, and drug stores; well regular readers of this blog know those numbers grow and are now cause for concern for all of the restaurant sector.

Convenience stores aren’t just making inroads into prepared food sales.  C-stores are also getting into traditional QSR dayparts, and achieving double-digit increases in lunch and dinner traffic. Foodservice Solutions® team refers to that as Restaurant Foodservice Daypart Dementia.
One thing has become perfectly clear that is financial engineering does not trump customer demand for grocerant niche Mix and Match bundling. The proof comes in the form of another big wave of restaurant bankruptcy in 2016.  All of which includes 10 company bankruptcies, 17 chains, and 3 Food Management Partner Companies so far this year according to Nation’s Restaurant News, Senior Financial Editor Jonathan Maze. Think about it; 10 companies, and 17 chains the current restaurant business model is in at minimum in decline. Here is Mazes last public list: 
 Quaker Steak & Lube
Buffets LLC
Johnny Carino’s
Zio’s Italian Kitchen
Logan’s Roadhouse
Garden Fresh Restaurants
Don Pablo’s
Black-Eyed Pea

Financial engineering is an easy out.  This simple truth is the power of grocerant niche Mix and Match bundling has driven customers to adopt new and difference set of choices on where, when, and how they assemble a meal.  The foodservice platform has expanded choice for the consumer while many chain restaurants remain bound by legacy business models that quite simply disappoint the consumer.

Consumers are dynamic not static and restaurant brands must be as well according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.  Understanding the complexities of mix and match meal component bundling is something that the team at Foodservice Solutions® excels at. 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard.  For brand, or product placement assistance our Grocerant Guru® has the skill-set you are looking for.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

New Growth Hacking Retailers Driving Restaurants Nuts

Non-traditional fresh food retailers the ilk of Ikea, Costco, Ralph Lauren, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Plated, Blue Apron, and Munchery have jumped the curve and are stealing customers from restaurants and grocery stores according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® who stated “growth hacking the restaurant industry has become a sport it was described to us as it as easy as shooting ducks in a barrel.”

It appears today that chain restaurant brand marketers while focusing on their brand, customers, and restaurant industry competitors may have over looked a shift in current trends in consumer food buying patterns.  The undercurrents of change indicate grocerant niche mix and match meal component bundling continues to garner customers according to the team at Foodservice Solutions®.

The team at Foodservice Solutions® uncovered some very important key drivers of restaurant customer migration while conducing Grocerant ScoreCard’s   we found three key drivers of grocerant niche adoption:
  1. Convenient Meal Participation
  2.  Differentiation
  3.  Individualization / Family Customization
C-stores Growth Hacking will once again be highlighted at NACS  2016 when everyone once again is talking about  “Ready-2-Eat  Meals On-The- Go, and Meal Kit’s as will our own Grocerant Guru®.  When non-traditional fresh food retailers sales jump the curve and sales are up anywhere from 38% year over year too 65% growth within the Meal Kit sector that is Growth Hacking. That is how fast the evolving fresh prepared food niche is growing.  Simply put Customer Migration is Market Share Capitulation according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.

Restaurateurs need to be particularly mindful of developments within grocerant niche for they are driving the change within the price, value, service equilibrium in retail foodservice.  Do you understand Why? We Do.

It is at the intersection of the consumer, technology and The FIVE P’s of Food Marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability, and Price that retail food sales competition is expanding. Driving ever greater Mix and Match bundled meal options and new points of distribution for consumers. 

Restaurants interested in how to regain market share? There are several steps to success that the team at Foodservice Solutions® has also uncovered that will help you drive top line sales, bottom line profits while building customer counts. 

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based , with extensive experience as a multi-unit operator, consultant and brand/product positioning expert. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven Johnson and Foodservice Solutions® visit or 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Restaurant Customer Migration Can Be Stopped

Steven Johnson is the Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, Washington based Foodservice Solutions®.  Johnson has been gathering retail food success clues since his early days as a restaurant licensee / franchisee in that started back in 1977.  Is your concept experiencing a decline in customer counts year over year?

Have you lost customers?  Do you want to know how to get them back? According to Thomas L. Friedman in his best selling book The World is Flat  explains how the retail sectors will need to evolve faster and faster and many restaurateurs are just now accepting that fact.  Our own Grocerant Guru® identified, quantified, and qualified just how fin in a proprietary research report titled The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome back in the day.   Are you ready to stop losing customers? Contact:

Our own Grocerant Guru® also identified, quantified, and qualified many universal success commonalities that profitable, growing food retail operators have and it’s from those commonalities the team at Foodservice Solutions® developed The FIVE ’P’s of Food Marketing they are:


If you are interested in learning how the FIVE P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation, and individualization contact us via Email at: or visit: or 253-759-7869

Monday, October 17, 2016

What’s Trending is Perfect for Limited Time Offers

Menu items come and go by time of the year too hot concepts featured item.  What is unmistakably clear is that driving customers in to seats or the drive-thru requires menu magic and much of that magic come from limited time offers (LTO’s) according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.
So what’s the best way to keep up with the undercurrents of menu magic?  Foodservice Solutions® team follows a Culinary Visions Panel report  "What's Trending in Foodservice: Cultural Contradictions Driving the Trends," that explores the dining out expectations, attitudes and tendencies of more than 2,000 U.S. consumers yearly.  
In the most recent Culinary Visions Panel found:
1.       Unforgettable Food Experiences. Today's food-centric culture has paved the way for fully immersive experiences like food festivals, street markets, food emporiums, food trucks and more. Because of this, food serves as both the attraction and the entertainment. The goal is to have food experiences worthy of sharing via online and in person.
2.       Food as Fuel. The fast-paced and over-committed lives of today's consumers have fueled visits to fast-casual and quick-service restaurants. Consumers also eat to provide themselves with energy to get through the day.
3.       Loving Local. Consumers are will to pay more for locally sourced food when dining out in their continued desire for local and sustainable food. However, consumers enjoy exploring new cultures through food, including exotic spices, unique ingredients and global cooking styles.
4.       Healthful, Yet Indulgent. Today's consumers expect meals to be both healthy and delicious when dining out. They are unwilling to trade taste for healthfulness, but they do prefer to limit certain ingredients vs. completely eliminating them. Despite the talk surrounding healthfulness, consumers also love restaurants that offer "over-the-top" menu items and believe that indulgent foods are worth the splurge.
5.       Childhood Nostalgia Meets Adult Sophistication. When dining out, consumers search for nostalgia and crave foods that remind them of their childhood. However, this doesn't change the fact that consumers also admire artistic food presentations, sophisticated flavor combinations and avant-garde cooking techniques.
6.       Simplicity and Transparency. Consumers like foods they can taste and ingredients they can understand. This means they desire fresh ingredients prepared with simple techniques and elegant presentations. Yet, consumers are also drawn to the simplicity of rustic, home-style foods and crave authentic flavor experiences.

Foodservice Solutions® team of industry leading experts can help you interpret how these findings can help you drive new customers into you stores while creating incremental customer relevance to drive both top line sales and bottom line profits. 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard.  For brand, or product placement assistance our Grocerant Guru® has the skill-set you are looking for.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Foodservice Daypart Dementia

Lifestyle laziness, lifestyle lifeless, or lifestyle lingering food marketers have uncovered a plethora of perplex indicators that combine indicate that today’s consumers has abandoned traditional food consumption patterns, day-parts or meal periods according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.
In a new study conducted by Q1 Consulting found “The idea of "grazing," or eating multiple meals per day, is not a new concept in away-from-home dining. Look at any casual-dining menu today and it is clear that small plates, "lunch for dinner" and take-home meals for "later" are a reaction to this consumer trend.”
Here is one example by Q1 Take, “for example, two shoppers: Mike drives a big rig and stops at a convenience store outside of Atlanta at 2:30 a.m. He orders two hot dogs, chips and a fountain beverage. A little farther north, in Chicago, at the same time, Larry is leaving work as a bartender and orders two breakfast sandwiches. Two meals, same time, but is it a meal, dinner, breakfast or snack?
Does it matter?  The simple fact of the matter is there are far fewer workers today than at any time in the past 38 years.  There is record 94,708,000 Americans were not in the labor force in May, 2016 that was 664,000 more than in April, 2016 and the labor force participation rate dropped two-tenths of a point to 62.6 percent, near its 38-year low, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The point is with fewer Americans working and those that are working many are working part-time and non-traditional hours retailers must adapt to a changing retail landscape.  Consumers are dynamic not static and retailer the ilk of Convenience store retailers are better positioning themselves to become the  top venue for "snacking, small-meals, and non-traditional day-part consumers according to Foodservice Solutions® Steven Johnson.
Q1 Consulting suggested the following questions may help in menu development:
1.        Would our top-selling items sell well during another timeframe? Could we offer it all day?
2.        Have we polled our customers and asked if they want roller grill food, breakfast sandwiches, pasta salads, etc., longer (or shorter) than what we currently offer?
3.        Are we willing (as an operator) to deal with 15-20 percent waste during this process?
  1. What equipment do we have that may help us offer a wider variety of hot items for longer or shorter periods?
 Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® FIVE P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information.