Saturday, July 15, 2017

Chain Restaurant Industry Leadership Diminishes

If success does leave clues and it does according to Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson.  One clear clue is that when and industry capitulates customers over time its leadership diminishes as well.
Lacking market innovation, product innovation, or distribution innovation one thing is crystal clear chain restaurants have lost their mojo, customers, and chain restaurants once prized foodservice industry leadership is slipping away from chain restaurants to new avenues of fresh food distribution according to Johnson.
According to TDn2K’s Restaurant Industry Snapshot chain restaurant same-store sales and traffic again fell in June and in the second quarter of 2017; year over year, same-store sales have declined for the last six consecutive quarters. It must be noted that since 2007 Chain Restaurant customer counts have been down and that without price increases same store sales at most restaurants would be flat or down for that period as well.
The truth of the matter is that the line between restaurants non-traditional fresh food retailers is growing ever thinner. The fight for America's food dollars continues to intensify as consumers find grocerant niche 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. This fight is taking place in for what the team at Foodservice Solutions® calls ‘the battle for share of stomach’ and as of now the restaurant sector is losing its grip on customers.

The restaurant industry is not an industry known for trying to be first as in fastest to market with an ideation, new menu items or technology advance most chain restaurants what until a trend is in place then they all jump in seemingly simultaneously. Chain restaurants goal is simple feed one meal at a time in the restaurant while protecting and edifying the brand. So just how is that working today?  Not so good.

With over 7,750 Grocerant ScoreCards completed the team at Foodservice Solutions® and our own Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson understand the key drivers of both consumer product adoption, concept adoption, and concept abandonment.  Johnson stated “a set of universal success commonalities and recurring findings driving consumers buying pattern changes has emerged that any retail foodservice operator can leverage to their advantage.
Clearly restaurant industry performance has been dismal for the past six quarters, and going back as far as 2007.  The question is when will Chain restaurants evolve their business model to reflect the new consumer path to purchase? The consumer is dynamic not static.  Is your brand evolving?

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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