Sometimes an industry gets lazy and the restaurant industry became so use to doing the same things the same way over and over they became complacent. They became great at brand protectionism. Seemingly restaurants are the last to embrace competitors, the under-currents of change, and technology.
The restaurant sector customers continues evolving at a rapid pace albeit without many restaurant chains keeping up as 2013 proved to be a breakthrough year for the consumer rise in use of mobile technology. In 2014, more advanced technology systems are on the way, driven by consumer demand. Mobile payments are becoming as normal for Millennials as credit cards are to their parents. Are you prepared to accept their business? Is your brand evolving with consumers or simply following them?
The line between restaurants and food retailers is growing ever thinner. The fight for America’s food dollars continues to intensify as consumers find fresh prepared ready-2-eat food options at a wide and growing array of outlets across almost every channel: convenience stores, chain drug stores, restaurants, grocery stores, club stores, vending and even more non-food retailers like dollar stores. While manufacturers, retailers and restaurants worry about choice overload, consumers have embraced their new choices and show no signs of returning to the old ways.
The restaurant industry is not an industry known for trying to be first as in fastest to market with an ideation, food or technology advance. In the United States the larger the chain in almost all cases the more slowly they are to adopt something than a smaller chain or independent restaurants will. Chain restaurants goal has traditionally been, simply feed one meal at a time in the restaurant while protecting and edifying the brand. That is not enough in our rapidly evolving Onmi-channel retail world.
Today the food industry fresh prepared food growth hackers are chain drug stores, Liquor stores, clothing retailers the ilk of Casey's General Stores, Tommy Bahama, Urban Outfitters, Brooks Brothers, and Ann Taylor.
www.FoodserviceSolutions.us Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit operator, consultant and brand/product positioning. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche