NPD Group reported that this week that U.S. restaurant industry should see another year of stalling customer growth this year after seeing flat traffic in the year ended in June. Visits to full-service casual dining restaurants fell 3 percent, while trips to midscale restaurants fell 4 percent, while chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King, were flat in the year ended in June.
Success does leave clues and 7 years of down or flat customer counts within the restaurant sector might be a clue that doing what you have always done, and doing it the same way simply is not a formula for success in 2014 or going forward according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™.
Endless store remodels contributing 2.65% top line growth on average leveraged off the backs of franchisee or investors is simply a formula of prolonged mediocrity. If chain restaurants wants to thrive in the coming years they need to adapt to new demands of consumers while paying particular attention to Millennials.
Millennials are attracted to food perceived to be of higher quality, they want transparency in food labeling, while increasingly demanding fresh Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat meal components that can be bundled into a single or family meal.
According to NPD Group, the number of restaurants in the country grew by just 0.8 percent in the year ended in March leading Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ to speculate in an article for LinkedIn just where the “smart money” is being invested in the food space and he suggest it’s not restaurants, but food technology.
Today retail foodservice is less about coupons, steep discounts, décor upgrades and more about food authenticity. Legacy brands with copy-cat menus, messaging, and missteps will fail to invigorate consumers, and will be left with a deteriorating brand. Are your customer’s counts flat or in decline? Is your brand experiencing customer migration? It might be time for Out Side Eyes for top line growth and bottom line profits.