Friday, August 31, 2018

DoorDash Edifies Points of Distribution with DashPass


Consumers demand for grocerant niche food continues to increase and one of the first detected platforms to address that demand was restaurant delivery services sector as readers of this blog known as RDS’s and a key player signing the first 7 national restaurant chains too online delivery contracts was Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® back in the day for cyberslice, cybermeals, and food.com. 
When DoorDash launched DashPass, a subscription service that will give users unlimited delivery for $9.99 a month the value proposition for food delivery was forever changed according to Johnson. Simultaneously they launched a service called DoorDash Pickup that will let customers order from its app and pick up the food at the restaurant for free.
The goal for DoorDash was simple expand the company’s users base, while increasing customer frequency with its most loyal customers and customers certain restaurants. Once again as regular readers of this blog know the foodservice sector is dynamic not static and companies must evolve or simply fade away.
DoorDash Chief Operating Officer Christopher Payne stated that the services “introduce even more convenience and cost savings for customers,” … “We’re excited to see how these new offerings captivate our customers and drive incremental sales for our restaurant partners.”
DoorDash has expanded its last-mile delivery logistics service to more than 1,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada this year.  Now with DashPass DoorDash is not simply a delivery service, they have evolved into a meal aggregation. The food delivery business model has evolved has your business model?
This model is nothing new as many of today’s chain restaurant C-level executive know as Johnson was out pushing this model back in the day as well but back in the day resisting the temptation to evolve was more important than evolving.  Ah how times have changed.   Are you looking for today’s ideations or tomorrows?  In either case if you’re looking for success you like so many others have should call the Grocerant Guru®.
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. 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


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Can’t Beat them Buy into them Aramark’s Smart Growth


Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® late last year called 2018 the year of ‘partnerships’ in retail foodservice.  One of the better examples driving growth involves a new partnership developed by Aramark a global leader in food, facilities, and uniforms whereas Aramark believes that this strategic partnership will provide new electricity driving incremental sales.
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, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, 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.
So, when Aramark, announced a strategic partnership with Oath Pizza to bring the pizzeria’s Certified Humane brand to new, exclusive locations, from university campuses and sporting arenas to offices, hospital caf├ęs and more. Johnson new it was a valued brand with complexity free messaging.
However, creating a point of greater differentiation Aramark edified its belief in Oath Pizza, by investing in it. Orth Pizza which has gained a cult-following for its signature thin crust pizzas that are grilled and seared in avocado oil and feature ethically sourced ingredients.
Victor Crawford, a Chief Operating Officer for Aramark stated “We innovate continually to enhance consumers’ food experiences with unique and on-trend culinary solutions that are also local and sustainable,” … “Our partnership with Oath will further enable us to provide a high quality, convenient, healthy and personalized menu option, not to mention a great-tasting pizza with a purpose.”
As regular readers of this blog know Aramark is one of the largest food service providers in the country and serves clients in multiple sectors, including education (colleges and universities; K-12 schools and districts), healthcare (hospitals and healthcare facilities), sports and entertainment (stadiums, arenas and amphitheaters; destinations and cultural attractions), and business and government (workplaces and manufacturing facilities; convention centers and conference centers).
The ability for Aramark to extend the halo of ‘better-for-you’ food to new avenues of distribution including schools will provide incremental value to Oath Pizza and Aramark according to Johnson. .  Most of you understand that the foodservice sector is dynamic not static and companies in it must evolve or simply fade away.
“Oath Pizza CEO Patrik Hellstrand. Stated We are thrilled to be partnering with Aramark to scale up and reach new audiences,”  “This partnership will give Oath Pizza access to unique and exclusive dining options to bring our certified humane and ethically-sourced pizzas to a greater number of people who love delicious food and want to feel good about their eating decisions.”
Are you looking for some new electricity? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? 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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Gen Z is Driving Grocerant Growth Meaningful Relevance


When it comes to leveraging data to develop valuable insights for foodservice including restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, drug stores, you can bank on Google, according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®
First you have to understand that Gen Z is comprised of tech natives who have always had exposure and access to technology, particularly hand-held technology such as smartphones and tablets. This access has created a sense of comfort, immediacy, urgency among Gen Z as well as a reliance on social engagement that impacts their on- and off-premise experience with restaurant brands.
Consider this smartphones, tablets and touch kiosk are for Gen Z complexity free are great for creating a hassle-free dining experience according to Johnson who added those tools should complement the stated brand messaging and goals.
Since 83.6 % Gen Z’s, use technology to determine where to eat the new foodservice sign must first be on a handheld digital devise. Then that messaging, advertisement, or invitation must be integrated into digital payments systems and social media marketing platforms.
Some things never change as regular readers of this blog know the old adage ‘KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid” well Gen Z believes in the old adage as they find food and brand authenticity to be the strongest the simpler and more straightforward the messaging and food with the fewest ingredients win big with this group according to Johnson.
Michiel Bakker, director of Global Foodservice Programs at Google, believes that authenticity extends beyond the restaurant experience to the ingredients people are consuming. “Our search data shows that Gen Z is using food for peak personal performance and behavior,” he said, which makes ingredient lists and nutrition data important to Gen Z decisions around food. “I think the foodservice industry needs to take a long, hard look at what the beauty industry has done. There’s a changing tide around what you put on and in your body.”
With authenticity comes responsibility members of the Gen Z cohort, believe that brands must show some sort of involvement with social responsibility. To start they must provide food for a good value at a fair price to protecting the environment to advancing racial, gender, and income equality. In short Gen Z promotes, supports and engages with brands that embrace social responsibility.
We must note that supporting the idea that social responsibility includes more than protecting the environment.  Today all food brands have a responsibility to deliver what they promise in an era of ‘Trump’ when ‘Truth is not Truth’ members of Gen Z expect food and foodservice messaging to be complexity free.
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. 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



Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Will Zippin a Checkout-Free C-store Begin the Decline of Fast Food Restaurants


Customer migration and customer count declines have created the undercurrent of C-level discontent and turnover at many national chain restaurants.  Things may not be getting much better for the restaurant sector as other retail food sectors are evolving much faster than most within the restaurant sector according Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma WA based Foodservice Solutions®
Most regular reader of this blog have read about, visited, or understand the threat that Cashier-less convenience-store Amazon Go has become to the restaurant sector.  Well now is not the time to sit back and rest if you are running a chain restaurant according to Johnson.  Recently Zippin launched a “checkout-free” software platform that enables retailers to deploy frictionless shopping. How are you reducing your labor cost? 
 Zippin is a San Francisco-based startup. They have a concept store in the South of Market (SoMA) neighborhood to showcase its automated shopping technology in a real-life retail environment. It will be open to the public for limited hours during the week beginning in mid-September. Think fresh food fast.
The new store follows a wave of retailers and technology firms utilizing new technologies to address checkout speed and consumer convenience. Food chains such as Fairway Market are experimenting with “line-free checkouts,” and Anderson, Ind.-based convenience-store chain Ricker's as regular readers of this blog know announced recently that it is rolling out frictionless checkout technology in its 58 convenience stores in Indiana with Salt Lake City-based software provider Skip.
Zippin CEO Krishna Motukuri  stated “Consumer frustration with checkout lines is driving a tidal wave of demand among retailers and real-estate owners keen to provide a frictionless retail experience,"  “With annual sales of grocery stores, convenience stores and quick-serve restaurants totaling nearly $1.6 trillion in the U.S. alone, we believe there is a sizable market opportunity for us to pursue.”
Johnson asks; is your company evolving its business model? Does your restaurant operation and food sales platform look more line 1980, 2,000, or 2,015?  Does your business model and retail offering look more line yesterday than tomorrow you might soon become of the retailers closing more units than opening them.  
Zippin's patent-pending approach uses AI, machine learning and visual cognition technology that “brings an end to waiting in line,” the company said. It does not use self-scanners, and it lets shoppers enter, select their purchases and walk out. The secure Zippin platform can be deployed by any retailer wanting to offer autonomous, checkout-free shopping, it said. Once again I ask how long do your customers wait in line or the drive-thru?  Who is looking at your throughput other than your customers?
Is it time you offered more meals, meal components, and beverages that can be mix and matched into a perfect family meal for a family of one or a family of 21?
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? 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.



Monday, August 27, 2018

Blaze Pizza Leveraging Technology Targeting Consumers


Food Marketing once again is evolving.  Today consumers use technology more than ever before and it now take new technology that can help retailers understand the consumer and find them according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Marketing automation platform Punchh recently announced a strategic relationship with Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza.  Blaze will be using Punchh technology for its new customer engagement and loyalty app. The Punchh-powered program will enable the company to provide guests with a more accessible mobile platform highlighted by a revamped loyalty program. As part of its "Blaze Instantly" initiative, the company is focused on becoming the most accessible fast casual pizza brand through online ordering, mobile ordering and delivery.
Blaze believes that Punchh could become their new electricity as Punchh’s mobile engagement and loyalty program excels at precise segmentation and targeting.  In addition Punchh ability to engage guests through dynamic messaging featuring detailed information about current and upcoming offerings. Via integration with Olo, the app will also offer online ordering and a new point-based reward structure that gives more guests the opportunity to cash in their flames for food and beverages.
Punchh CEO Shyam Rao stated "Blaze is growing at an incredible pace, and we're elated to be a core part of their forward-looking strategy, entrusted with the responsibility of bringing in new guests and then turning them into loyalists who will spread the good word and further accelerate global expansion,"
Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza CMO Shivram Vaideeswaran, "Blaze's success is based on serving amazing pizza and providing an even better guest experience. With a brand focused on cultivating fanatics, we're seizing every opportunity to give our fans more of what they love. Our new loyalty program with Punchh gives us the ability to truly understand our guests and develop exciting new innovation and messaging that speaks their language." Where is your new electricity?
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? 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, August 26, 2018

Soulman’s Bar-B-Que Expanding the Brands Reach


Time and time again regional brands are finding new ways to drive top line sales and bottom line profits without breaking the bank.  One such leading regional chain is Soulman’s Bar B Que according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Texans have been visiting Soulman’s for 43 years and those who have been transferred away or moved out of state can now get their favorite meats shipped directly to their front doors with no shipping fees. Leveraging the internet to garner sales and word of mouth advertising Soulman’s brand is now going national.
Brett Randle, CEO of Soulman’s Bar-B-Que stated “There is nothing quite like coming home to a fresh delivery of Soulman’s succulent bar-b-que at your front door,”…“After launching e-commerce nationwide last year, we have shipped to more than half of the states in the continental U.S. To expand that successful delivery map to every state, we are offering free shipping of Soulman’s favorites for a limited time.” Free Shipping for a limited time is Soulman’s new electricity.

Shippable meats include Soulman’s St. Louis Style Pork Ribs, Smoked Sausage and the Hot Links that Zagat raved about. Each order includes a bottle of Soulman’s Signature Bar-B-Que Sauce.
Offerings include:
·         Soulman’s Hickory Smoked Ribs for $69.95
·         Two (2) slabs of St. Louis style pork ribs
·         One (1) 14-ounce bottle of Soulman’s Signature Bar-B-Que Sauce
Soulman’s Hot Links for $44.95
·         Three (3) pounds of hot links
·         One (1) 14-ounce bottle of Soulman’s Signature Bar-B-Que Sauce
The Trifecta: Ribs, Hot Links & Sausage for $94.95
·         Two (2) slabs of St. Louis style pork ribs
·         One (1) pound of hot links
·         One (1) pound of smoked sausage
·         One (1) 14-ounce bottle of Soulman’s Signature Bar-B-Que Sauce
Soulman’s Smoked Sausage for $44.95
·         Three (3) pounds smoked sausage
·         One (1) 14-ounce bottle of Soulman’s Signature Bar-B-Que Sauce
Soulman’s Signature Bar-B-Que Sauce for $39.95
·         Six (6) 14-ounce bottles of Soulman’s bar-b-que sauce
So, what is your new electricity driving top line sales and bottom line profits?  Are your customer counts growing?  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, sports partnerships, free shipping , urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, , cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing and Grocerant Advisors. .
Foodservice retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing new avenues of distribution, 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.
Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing 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.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Pizza Hut Fills Papa John’s Void


Papa John’s leadership challenges have created an open opportunity one of its chief rivals Pizza Hut.  There is no doubt now that Papa John’s franchisee are paying the price for recent leadership missteps according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
When Pizza Hut announced that they have added the Los Angeles Rams and Chargers to its roster of local team partnerships for the 2018 NFL season it was clear it will take years for Papa John’s to recover from the miscues of its leadership team and that Pizza Hut has found its new electricity to drive top line sales and bottom line profits. . 
Zipporah Allen, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut stated “Since their return to Los Angeles, Rams fans have ignited a new wave of excitement with NFL fans. We are proud to partner with the team and elevate the fan experience all season long,” Throughout the multi-year partnership, Pizza Hut will team up with the Rams to bring fans exciting new activations in the stadium and give fans watching the game from home the opportunity to win one-of-a-kind prizes every week through a new digital platform launching in September.
Jamie Reigle, executive vice president of business operations for the Los Angeles Rams stated “As Los Angeles gets back to football, we’re thrilled to partner with Pizza Hut to enhance the game-day experience for our fans,”  “We are proud Pizza Hut has chosen to amplify their NFL partnership with us and we look forward to working together to deliver creative ways to bring our fans closer to the Rams all year-round.” 
The multi-year partnership will provide Pizza Hut with an array of marketing rights, benefits and designations that will unmistakably connect the brand with Chargers fans throughout Los Angeles.
Chargers president of business operations A.G. Spanos  “As an organization, everything we do begins and ends with the fan in mind,” “With the start of football season right around the corner, we’re excited to establish a local relationship with league partner Pizza Hut—one that enables the Chargers to bring additional value to our fans while creating fun new ways for them to engage with both brands.”
So, what is your new electricity driving top line sales and bottom line profits?  Are your customer counts growing?  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, sports partnerships, coins /currency urban clothing, grocerant consultants, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, , cash-less payments, digital hand held marketing.
Foodservice retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing new avenues of distribution, 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.
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. 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

Friday, August 24, 2018

Ricker's Checkout Technology is a Competitive Advantage Over Restaurants


Restaurant customer service is defined the type of service say fast food drive-thru vs table service.  However, each type of service is evaluated on speed of service.  One convenience store chain that is selling as much fresh fast food as most chain restaurants just elevated it’s speed of service leaving fast food chains looking more like yesterday than today or tomorrow’s fast food outlet  according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Ricker's announced that it is implementing frictionless checkout technology at its 58 convenience stores throughout Indiana. Fast, faster, service is going to be the new electricity that drive incremental customer adoption at Ricker’s according to Johnson.
Ricker’s now has a partnership with Skip is a hybrid of mobile pay and the Amazon Go concept. The mission, according to Skip, is to provide a best-in-class convenience store experience, easy access to promotional deals, and enable customers to purchase in-store items at the pump or prior to arrival.
Quinn Ricker, CEO and president of Ricker's  stated "By adding Skip to our arsenal of customer service competencies, we expect to see higher frequency and volume of transactions simply from the competitive advantage this partnership will provide. Not to mention being able to convert frequent fuel purchasers into loyal in-store customers,"
Skip's technology reduces the speed of checkout from an average of 60 seconds to an instant pay-and-go action controlled by the customer. Via its partnership with Zipline, Skip also acts as a cost cutter for retail businesses bringing down transaction fees.
For Ricker's, Skip provides a competitive advantage expected to drive more transactions and frequency, including higher conversions from the forecourt to the food court thus garnering incremental restaurant customer migration according to Johnson.  So, what is your new electricity that is driving top line sales and bottom line profits?  Are your customer counts growing? 
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, coins /currency urban clothing, grocerant consultants, urban farming (produce, seafood, etc.), autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, 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.
Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? 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.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Grocerant vs Grocery: Stack them High & Let the Fly or Fresh Food Fast


What a conundrum for legacy grocery stores that are run by aging baby boomers do what worked for decades or evolve with today’s consumers.  Gone are they days grocers could just sit back collect slotting fees for stocking the shelves with products food manufactures wanted them to sell for little or no profit.  Living off slotting fees is a thing of the past according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Today consumers have elevated fresh food choices.  There are now 29 restaurants for every traditional grocery store in the United States and most offer meals and meal components for takeout and delivery extending their brand’s reach directly into the home according to Johnson.
Back in the day stacking the shelves high and selling at velocity was all grocery stores had to do to find success.  Consumers no long want to cook from scratch they want Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food, and they want it fast.

Like it or not the grocery store business has to change and that change must be driving by leaders willing to focus more on the present, and future than the past.  Sales of many legacy CPG shelf stable products continue to slip as consumers migrate to grocerant niche fresh prepared food for immediate consumption.
The fact is fresh and perishable foods generated at grocery stores sales of more than $177 billion in the latest year according to Nielsen. That’s nearly 14 times as high as all food and beverage sales online this year. Across the FMCG brick-and-mortar landscape, fresh categories have driven nearly 49% of all dollar growth this year. Furthermore, many fresh ingredients have been the starting point for category reinvigoration across both packaged food and non-food items. When so many retailers are struggling to get people in store, it’s no surprise that many are placing a heavier emphasis on fresh categories throughout the perimeter. Today, fresh categories are an invaluable source of growth within the four walls of your in-store environment according to Nielsen. So are you still looking for slotting fees? Why?   
Cook it fresh sell it fast. 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 www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869