Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Scotty’s Brewhouse Partnership to Kick-Off Continued Success


With fall just around the corner that means one thing football will be in full swing.  Restaurant awareness of the importance of what a local football team partnership could add to a chains brand value did not go unnoticed at Scotty’s Brewhouse according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru®, at Tacoma WA based Foodservice Solutions®. 
Scotty’s Brewhouse knew that it could add customer relevance while ‘refresh’ the brand when it signed a sponsorship agreement with the Indianapolis Colts that includes several exclusive promotions through the 2018–19 football season.
Does your brand need a refresh? If your brand looks more like yesterday than today or tomorrow it just might be time that you called for outside eyes to help you drive inside results.  What is your new electricity that is driving top line sales and bottom line profits?  Are your customer counts growing? 
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as sports team partnerships,  fresh foods, urban clothing, grocerant consultants, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing. This program has all of that.
Foodservice retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  That will require brands to embrace new fresh food partnerships more now than ever before according to Johnson.
Chris Martin, brand president of Scotty’s Brewhouse stated “We are very excited to team up with the Indianapolis Colts this season,” … “We will be sponsoring several events and offering promotions that we feel Colts fans will enjoy leading up to and throughout the football season. Watching NFL games at Scotty’s Brewhouse was already a Great Experience, and we feel this will help us take it to a whole other level.”
So, just what is your brands new electricity? According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”
As the season kicks off Scotty’s Brewhouse guests will receive a two for one offer if the Colts score two touchdowns during that week’s game. The promotion will run from Sunday after the game through Tuesday of that week. Guests will be able to order any food menu item and get one free of equal or lesser value when they mention the Colts’ two touchdown offer.
Fans attending Colts’ home games at Lucas Oil Stadium will also receive an exclusive offer on the back of their ticket stubs that will be good through the entire football season, including the preseason.
“We want to reward Colts fans for dining with us,” continues Martin. “We believe these two promotions will give Colts fans something to cheer for all season long as they watch the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium or at one of our Scotty’s locations throughout the state of Indiana.”
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Fazoli’s Hand Held Food for Immediate Consumption


Yesterday’s blog left many of you emailing asking what are chain restaurants thinking and why are they so slow to evolve with consumers. Let me just say that they are not all that way.  Just look at Fazoli’s as they continue to accelerate its success with record-breaking sales and menu innovation specifically evolving with innovative hand held food for immediate consumption according to our own Grocerant Guru®.
Carl Howard, Fazoli’s president and chief executive officer stated “It has already been an incredible year for our brand,” … “We owe Fazoli’s success to the hard work and commitment of our franchisees and the unwavering loyalty of our guests. Alongside our franchisees, we continue to focus on innovation and evolving and our brand strategy, resulting in another successful quarter for the brand.”
Look at this Fazoli’s franchisees set 11 sales records in the second quarter of 2018. The brand celebrated the second highest opening in brand history in Columbus, Georgia. Opening day sales in Columbus reached nearly $14,000 and closed the week at over $95,000. And, in what is a record-breaking year for new restaurant openings, Fazoli’s opened its second Arkansas location in Paragould and re-opened in Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
In addition to strong franchise growth, the second quarter also marks one year since Fazoli’s brand refresh. As part of this refresh, Fazoli’s remodeled nine of its locations with a new contemporary look and feel, including a modern interior redesign. Sales and traffic in remodeled locations are up double-digits, at a remarkable 12%.
“Fazoli’s continues to gain momentum and, if the second quarter is any indication, there are no signs we’re slowing down.” Howard says. “We’re dedicated to being a ‘best in class’ brand that continuously strives for excellence.”
Success does leave clues are you interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit:  www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Restaurant Sector Conundrum Raise Prices & Lose Customers


Restaurant sector year over year menu prices were up 2.6% in June,2018 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. At the same time the Black Box Intelligence index for June, 2018 year over year customer counts for the restaurant sector were down 2%; thus the conundrum according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  
While restaurants got back to growth in June, with same-store sales up 1.1% there was some good news for the sector.  However let’s face it restaurants are losing customers to everyone else.  Last year prepared foods sold in the grocery stores sales sored up 108% according to Nielsen as regular readers of this blog know.  Simply put the restaurant business model is broken, outdated in need of a refresh according to Johnson.
Does your restaurant need a refresh? If your brand looks more like yesterday than today or tomorrow it just might be time that you called for outside eyes to help you drive inside results.  What is your new electricity that is driving top line sales and bottom line profits?  Are your customer counts growing? 
So, just what is your brands new electricity? According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, urban clothing, grocerant consultants, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing. This program has all of that.
Foodservice retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  That will require brands to embrace new fresh food partnerships more now than ever before according to Johnson.
For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us  the Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fresher Faster Foodservice Growth at Checkers & Rally’s



Integrating brand messaging across your entire company is an arduous task however one of the foodservice companies that is very good at that is Checkers & Rally’s according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Checkers & Rally’s has effectively created a corporate platform where all departments are on the same page.  Currently Checkers & Rally’s is gearing up for a busy 2018, with more than 60 new restaurants slated to open this year, about 30 of which are modular build-outs edifying the brands fresh fast platform..
Checkers & Rally’s is slated to install 18 modular units by end of summer. The brand’s modular units are constructed offsite in a controlled environment, and are delivered to the location site and set via crane. Clearly this strategy allows Checkers & Rally’s franchisees to shave up to 12 weeks off of the development process, allowing for lower construction costs and minimizing time spent securing city permits and on construction.
The increased speed and lower costs allow Checkers & Rally’s corporate and franchisees to expand into markets that were once deemed cost-prohibitive. Once set, locations typically open 30–60 days later. Does your brand communicate effectively across all departments? 
So just what is your New Electricity? Success does leave clues www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  is the global leader in grocerant niche business development.  We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities.  Has your company had a Grocerant ScoreCard completed a Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us


Friday, July 13, 2018

Chain Restaurants Worry C-Store Sales Continue Going Up


The formula for continue success at C-stores today is targeting chain restaurant customers with the hand held food for immediate consumption that Gen Z and Millennials want and top line sales, bottom line profits, and continued customer migration will continue according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Johnson continued “C-stores understand the value today’s consumers place on food and beverage items that have a halo of ‘better-for-you”. The simple fact is healthy food and drink sales expected to drive summer in-store sales at U.S. convenience stores according to the National Association of Conveniences Stores (NACS).
According to a survey of U.S. convenience store owners by NACS “Retailers say a continued focus on fresh and healthy items in stores helped boost sales, and they plan to continue dedicating more sales space to these items.
Prepared foods are expected to continue attracting new customers.  This continues a trend from last year. In-store growth for U.S. convenience stores in 2017 was powered by foodservice (22.5% of in-store sales and 33.9% of gross profit dollars), a broad category that includes prepared food—69% of total foodservice sales—as well as commissary foods and hot, cold and frozen dispensed beverages.
Retailers cited the addition or expansion of the following items in their stores with the ‘halo’ of better-for-you’:
1.       Health bars (45% of retailers added or significantly expanded over the first half of 2018)
2.       Fresh fruit/vegetables (41%)
3.       Packaged salads (37%)
4.       Nuts/trail mix (35%)
During summer months, convenience stores are a destination for packaged beverages, a category that generates more gross profit dollars inside the store than any another other merchandise category. As demand continues for healthier options, many retailers are devoting more cooler space to lower-calorie and lower-sugar beverages options, especially waters.
During the first six months of 2018, a majority of retailers say they’ve added flavored/enhanced waters (54%) and regular bottled water (52%). Water also figures prominently in sales growth, with 46% of retailers expecting more still bottled water sales to increase and 42% expecting sparkling bottled water sales to increase. Lower-calorie teas and coffees also were cited by 42% of retailers.
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tom Thumb Customers want food fresh and fast so will open First Convenience Store



When the customer is on the move retailers must move with them or risk losing the customer altogether according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Grocery stores are not different when consumers are on the move grocery stores must evolve with them or simply fad away according to Johnson.
The new retail ‘C-store’ is called Tom Thumb Express and will occupy about 2,500 square feet of space. It will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with self-service at six fuel pumps available 24 hours a day as reported by the Dallas News.
In a bit of a twist from what other retailers are ding the Tom Thumb Express In-store offerings will include fresh food from an already operating Tom Thumb supermarket, such as sandwiches, cut fruit, salads and hot food to take home. Beverage options include coffee, f'real milkshakes and smoothies, and ICEE drinks.
Grocery store trying the ‘Hub and Spoke’ format is nothing new but in this case in the Dallas marketplace the timing might be right for this format according to Johnson. Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales?
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Grocerant niche offerings fast becoming the Family dinners center of the plate choice


Regular readers of this blog know that consumer migration from cooking from scratch, too dinning out nightly have become adversely disrupted as consumer migrate from one set of dinning norms to another.  Driven by The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome consumer demand fresh food fast that is ‘better-for-you’ and that they can eat while watching TV at home according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Here is another recent report that finds Americans are expecting to both dine out less and spend less per meal in 2018. AlixPartners, a global consulting firm found that “Overall, consumers said they plan to spend an average of $14.95 per meal this year, down from the $15.20 they said they spent over the past year. Furthermore, 31 percent of respondents in the survey said that “lower price” was “important” or “very important” to them in defining value, vs. 21 percent who said that in a similar AlixPartners survey released in the spring of 2017.
One again this study found that the fast-casual sector may be hardest hit this year in terms of dining occasions.  Even more important according to the survey, fast food has surpassed fast casual for as the preferred spot for lunch, with just 32 percent of diners in this year’s survey picking fast casual as their preferred location for lunch, down from 37 percent in AlixPartners’ survey of a year ago—while fast food was preferred for lunch by 35 percent in this year’s survey, up from 30 percent in AlixPartners’ survey of a year ago.
Adam Werner, global co-head of AlixPartners’ Restaurant, Hospitality and Leisure Practice stated  “We’re starting to see a shift in spending patterns among the millennial generation, and restaurant operators need to be prepared,” “A lot of focus in recent times has been on the buying patterns of this generation, but it’s important to understand that Millennials are now having families and children, and that their spending priorities are beginning to reflect that.”
Restaurant disruption is well underway according to the survey, both delivery and take-out are expected to decrease slightly in the year ahead, particularly at fast-food and casual restaurants, with consumers saying they expect their monthly delivery and take-out orders to dip 11 percent (to an average of 3.34 visits this year) and 8 percent (to an average of 1.67 visits), respectively, vs. their number of visits in the past year.
Meanwhile, meal-kit services (services such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Sun Basket, etc.) seem to be slow in gaining consumer adoption, according to the survey, with only 18% of respondents having tried such a service. In addition, 68 percent of those who said they haven’t tried a meal-kit service say they don’t plan to try one in the near future.
Yes, we saved the best information for last.  The survey results also suggest that grocerant niche ready-to-eat meals from grocery and convenience stores could be becoming a bigger threat to restaurants, with 25 percent of respondents citing such meals as a way to reduce restaurant spending, up from 19 percent in the AlixPartners survey released a year ago.
Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for new product ideations or positioning assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991 www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Captain D’s Seafood you can Afford



Many Americans live in land lock states and are simply unfamiliar with how to select fresh seafood. They rarely eat seafood and don’t know how to prepare fresh seafood. Then when they go to a restaurant and try seafood many times it is very expensive and they are hesitant to order something they are unfamiliar with according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Captain D’s is about to change all of that by extending a branded invitation to try seafood for dinner by offering five mouth-watering full meals all for under $5.  What a welcome branded message according to Johnson. Who said “the 5 under $5 is a variety of new tastes and customer favorites at an amazing price creating a platform for trial that is sure to win new customers.
Here is a look at the offerings and you can see there is something for everyone.  This line-up features the new Captain’s Seaside Fillet, breaded and fried with crispy panko on the outside and tender fillet on the inside. For spicy food enthusiasts, try new Nashville Hot Fish and Popcorn Shrimp, done the Captain D’s way. An additional variety of customer favorites have been included in this all-star line-up with a choice of two sides and the Captain D’s world-famous hush puppies for just $4.99.
Bob Kraut, Captain D’s chief marketing officer stated “We recognize that our $4.99 full, abundant meals are important to our customers” .. “This year, we have added new products to this value line-up, like our Captain’s Seaside Fillet and Nashville Hot seasoning on our Signature Batter Dipped Fish, as we continually innovate around new seafood flavors to bring to our guests.” How are you extending your branded invitation?
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or twitter.com/grocerant



Monday, July 9, 2018

Restaurants struggle as consumers are forced to take a step backwards


US labor force participation rate for June 2018 was 62.9% according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. While there was an increase in jobs during June many of those jobs continue to be part time jobs notably less than 35 hours per week.  Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® believe cash strapped part time workers simply can’t afford to eat out as often as they use too.
In a new survey Nielsen  found “fully 45% of consumers are preparing more meals at home” in addition 45% or more have cut back on restaurant meals which includes both at restaurant visits and restaurant food delivery.
Talking about taking a step back in time topping the list of actions consumers are doing “about as often” or “more often” today versus a year ago are:
1.        Checking the pantry for inventory before shopping 94%;
2.       Preparing home cooked meals, 93%; serving leftover meals at home, 93%;
3.       Trying to reduce food waste to save on food bills, 93%;
4.       Stocking the household food pantry, 91%;
5.       Making healthy food choices when eating at home or away-from-home, 90%.
6.       Checking prices or deals before deciding where to buy food, 88%;
7.       Preparing meals at-home or taking leftover meals to eat at work or school, 84%;
8.       Checking prices or deals before deciding where to purchase a restaurant meal, 79%.

Well that same survey found that consumers are doing less of this:
1.       Buying meal kits online, 54% of households claimed to be doing less often;
2.       Buying meal kits at a retailer, 50%;
3.       Ordering meals via phone or online that are delivered to the home and eaten at home, 50%;
4.       Eating at higher-end restaurants, 50%;
5.       Eating at fast-food restaurants, 47%;
6.       Ordering meals via phone or online that you or another household member pick-up and eat at home, 46%;
7.       Purchasing meals out during work or school (to eat there or at the restaurant), 44%; eating at fast-casual restaurants, 44%;
8.       Taking prepared meals purchased at a retailer to eat at work or school, 42%;
9.       Serving ready-to-eat prepared meals purchased from a retailer, 42%;
10.   Serving heat and eat frozen or refrigerated meals purchased from a retailer, 39%.
So just what does that mean for the grocerant niche.  Simply put Americans are taking a step back due to higher gas prices, doubts about the Trump tariffs, and continued economic uncertainty according to Johnson.  Remember Foodservice Solutions® findings on SNAP (food stamps) users from 2014 that found McDonalds was an aspirational brand.  Well the team at Foodservice Solutions® believes that millions of part time workers want eat at a restaurant more often than they can.  Consumers continue to find the middle ground in grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.
For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us  the Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Foodservice Retailers Looking Outside the Box for Inside Results



While regular readers of this blog know that Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® has been crafting new non-traditional business relationships edifying legacy brands while building foundations for star-up and regional chains; since 1991 his foodservice operations experience began as a franchise back in the late 1970’s.
Does your brand need a refresh? If your brand looks more like yesterday than today or tomorrow it just might be time that you called for outside eyes to help you drive inside results.  What is your new electricity that is driving top line sales and bottom line profits?  Are your customer counts growing? 
So, just what is your brands new electricity? According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, urban clothing, grocerant positioning, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, Fresh fast food, cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing, food with value (better-for-you), new strategic alliances .
Foodservice retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  That will require brands to embrace new fresh food partnerships more now than ever before according to Johnson. Are you ready for growth, increased customer counts?
Success does leave clues www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  is the global leader in grocerant niche business development.  We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities.  Has your company had a Grocerant ScoreCard completed a Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us



Saturday, July 7, 2018

Red Robin resets the Price Value Service Equilibrium to Drive Sales


Removing price as an obstacle to drive sales is the new electricity for Red Robin a fine fast, fine burger, or sit down restaurant according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  
In a new marketing campaign called #BurgerMath Red Robin is leveraging Price to garner incremental customer visits and trial. .Red Robin CEO Denny Post stated “The goal is to make it stone-cold easy for our guests to say ‘Yes’ everyday to visiting Red Robin, and to unlock greater frequency and share going forward.” ..“This is only the first of many messages to come contrasting our everyday value with others,”
While unemployment is a record low levels Red Robin is leveraging its brand invitation with new electricity looking to garner those consumers who are ready to move up from fast food to fine casual according to Johnson. 
What is your brands new electricity? According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.” Red Robin CEO Denny Post understands that.
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, urban clothing, grocerant positioning, price,  branded relevant messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing. This program has all of that.
Foodservice retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  That will require brands to embrace new fresh food partnerships more now than ever before according to Johnson.
Grocerant positioning works as Red Robin’s off-premise sales rose by 40% year over year during the quarter, revealed CFO Guy Constant. Delivery, takeout and catering now account for 9.4% of overall sales, added Post.
However, the typical off-premise check tends to be a little lower than what patrons would spend for a comparable dine-in order because it’s not likely to include a beverage, said Constant. Off-premise customers “do add on a little more, but the nonalcoholic beverage incident does make it a little bit lower than what you see in dine-in,” he said.
So just what is your New Electricity? Success does leave clues www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  is the global leader in grocerant niche business development.  We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities.  Has your company had a Grocerant ScoreCard completed a Grocerant Program Assessment, or new Grocerant niche product Ideation?  Want one?  Call 253-759-7869 Email: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us