Friday, June 2, 2017

Foodservice Channel Blurring Garners Attention as Wawa Wins

Channel blurring only exists in the BLIND eye of Neanderthal chain restaurant and Grocery Stores brand managers according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson as he stated back in 2010 and it has never been more evident than today.   
The line between foodservice channels exist only in the minds-eye those protecting their own jobs not those interested in the evolving consumer, path to purchase, retail sales growth according to Johnson.   A new study shows consumers regard the service provided by Wawa  (a state of the industry convenience store retail chain), as superior to what they get at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. Simply put brand protectionism is dead once again our Grocerant Guru® said that first back in 2009 but so much for understanding the undercurrents driving our evolving foodservice sectors.  
Retail foodservice today is about Share of Stomach, and you are either capitulating share of stomach or garnering share of stomach customer by customer.  Is your retail foodservice brand garnering year over year customer counts or capitulating customers?

Edifying Foodservice Solutions® findings recent research by White Box Social Intelligence found “Wawa is more likely to meet service expectations than all 619 restaurant brands the researcher monitors on a constant basis. Closest to the c-store chain in positive service evaluations was Papa Murphy’s, followed by Seasons 52, Fleming’s and Wienerschnitzel.” The consumer knows best.  Is it time you began rethinking how to integrate Foodservice Solutions® FIVE P’s of Food Marketing?
White Box Social Intelligence also revealed “consumers’ intentions of visiting the monitored restaurant chains have continued to wane, by a hefty 6.4%, and that they believe the food quality of those brands has slipped from a year ago. Yet their estimation of restaurant service rose by 10.2% year over year. Wawa was one of the brands that scored high in customers’ intention to return, with only Qdoba and Carvel ranking higher.
This information will form a new monthly benchmarking report from White Box’s parent company, TDn2K, the source of People Report and Black Box Intelligence data. The Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot scores chains on six attributes: service, food, propensity of customers to return, beverage and value.
Wawa’s top rating on service was indeed a surprise, says Victor Fernandez, TDn2K’s executive director of insights and knowledge. “It all depends on expectations, whatever the expectation of what good service is,” he says. “Obviously people expect something different from Wawa than they do from Fleming’s.” But they’re more likely to have those expectations satisfied at the c-store chain, he indicated. While Victor was surprise no one on the Team at Foodservice Solutions® was after conducting over 7,790 Grocerant ScoreCards.
The 1.2% dip in consumers’ estimation of chains’ food quality was also a surprise, Fernandez said. It could be a statistical blip that’s reversed in the May Restaurant Guest Satisfaction Snapshot, he suggested, or it could be the result of two more persistent factors.  So, Victor we think it is time for you and others to look at some of those persistent factors aka consumer facing grocerant niche valued attributes.

The fact of the matter is the consumers have moved on and channel blurring only exists in the BLIND eye of Neanderthal chain restaurant and Grocery Stores brand managers not in the minds-eye of the consumer.  Restaurants, Grocery stores, must evolve or risk capitulating incremental customer counts to other retailers that are addressing the attributes that are relevant to consumers today. 

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how 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. 

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