Saturday, November 30, 2019

At Moe's Smaller, Faster, Fresher


Restaurant customer service relevance today requires that brands get fresher and faster according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. Fast casual restaurants need to evolve in the fresher, faster space as well and Moe’s Southwest Grill is doing it in-part by getting smaller. The self-order kiosk will accept cash, Apply Pay, and, in the case of Pittsburgh college students, university CC.
Moe’s Southwest Grill is set to become the first brand in the Mexican fast casual space to open a smaller-footprint, all-digital, kiosk-only location. Each store will come equipped with four self-order kiosks and will feature Moe’s new brand design. Johnson believes that this is a good move and will drive customer relevance top line sales and bottom line profits.
Get this, according to a recent study cited by Moe’s, 32 percent of millennials are pre-ordering meals with their mobile devices, which fits these two developing locations as they will be situated near both University of Pittsburgh and University of Virginia campuses.
Not only will the new units footprint be smaller, the self-order kiosk will accept cash, Apply Pay, and, in the case of Pittsburgh college students, university CC adding relevance and increasing speed of service.
Just in case our ‘grocerant guru’ (well past college age) were to happen inside one of the new units there will be one point-of-sale register will be available at the new location.  How are you reducing cost, adding relevance and driving top line sales and bottom line profits?
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

Friday, November 29, 2019

Shake Shack Grubhub Delivery Conundrum


Consumers are dynamic not static according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  All successful restaurant operators will tell you the customer come first.  At Shake Shack someone missed that assignment or simply forgot rule number one the customer comes first.
When Shake Shack entered a new exclusive delivery partnership with Grubhub consumers did not like it, were unaware, and clearly disappointed that the delivery options they were using in the past had been removed from service.
While delivery Grubhub was available at nearly all 151 company operated Shake Shacks. Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti stated that “customers are used to finding the brand on DoorDash, Caviar and Postmates.” The result was clear according to Garutti  “Average weekly sales for domestic company stores declined to $80,000, down from $86,000 for the same quarter last year.” How could this have happened?
Just to stay relevant our Grocerant Guru® stated it was a simple ‘Quid pro quo’. Shake Shack new deal with Grubhub deal was sealed by sharing of consumer data.  Thus, making the delivery relationship more about big data than the current customer base.  
Garutti has some simple justification for over-looking consumers stating “the company went with Grubhub for a variety of reasons. It is less complicated on stores to work with one delivery operator; the long-term economics tied to commission fees are projected to be better; and, most importantly, Grubhub has agreed to share customer data, which delivery companies often hold hostage.”
Garutti over looked the consumer and his sales fell.  That is the simple truth of it. Had he started with an exclusive agreement with on delivery company there would have not been a problem or consumer blow-back. Garutti was caught in within the consumers paradox of choice.  Brands need to empower consumers not confine them. 
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, November 28, 2019

Pizza is Handheld Food for Immediate Consumption


Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® is just about the only food industry professional that would not be surprised by or confused as to why any retailer would buy a Pizza chain.  Its simple retail consumers are dynamic not static and any retailer understands the importance of consumer touchpoint and how to expand their reach with a food type (Pizza) that is consumer interactive and participatory and does not move with the consumer will capitulate market share and earnings.
Are you looking for a new avenue of distribution?  Have you considered a Pizza Chain? In our Omni-channel retail world one cannot overlook the brand commonalities that bring retail companies together. 
They are:
*     Americans spend 38 billion a year on pizza sales volume
*      About 13% Americans eats pizza any given day
*      Pre-teens eat about two times the national
   average demographics
*     More than ¼ boys between 6 and 19 eat
   pizza every day
*      Girls between 6 and 19 eat more pizza than
   any category of guys core demographics
While Costco customers have no problem buying a Ladder, a HDTV, Toilet paper, Rotisserie chicken, and a $1.50 Hot Dog and Coca Cola on the same visit.  Why do you think Pizza would not sell in your retail outlet.  Just as an FYI, the ‘counter’ stand where you buy your Hot Dog and soda at Costco reports sales on its own $1.72 Billion dollars and is profitable! 
Then we have Ikea which reports $2 Billion in sales from the restaurant filled with Ready-2-Eat fresh prepared food each year.  Then of course there is Nordstrom’s who’s Coffee Kiosk at each store average $1 Million a year each in sales!  So, are you now ready to consider buying a Pizza Chain?
Success does leave clues and understanding the dynamic evolving retail environment is a success clue never to be over looked.  The grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is driving change in every sector of retail today. 
Success does leave clues.  Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions FIVE P’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

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Aldi Saving Customer Time on Game Day and More



Football season is in full swing with the NFL & NCAA playoffs just weeks away.  Aldi, has a solution for your game day this year that those of you hosting a game day event are sure to like according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
So, get this Aldi just made it easier to get wine and beer. Aldi said that is has added wine and beer to it lists of items available for delivery via Instacart, wherever permitted by state and local laws. 
Scott Patton, a VP based Aldi U.S., stated “The busy holiday season is fast approaching, making convenience more important than ever, and adding alcohol delivery to our online offerings is one more way Aldi saves you time,”
Patton continued saying Aldi has been building a selection of quality private label wines at sharp prices, ranging from less than $5 for 90-point rated Evanta Malbec to $12 for premium offerings such as Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon, a 92-point rated red wine.
Aldi and Instacart are also offering a free delivery for first-time customers who order with code ALDIHOLIDAY19, until Dec. 31. That, my friends is being offered to stores in more than 10,000 ZIP codes. 
Chris Rogers, VP of retail for Instacart stated, “Instacart is proud to expand its partnership with Aldi and reach across more Aldi aisles so customers can order wine and beer, in addition to groceries and household essentials, for delivery to their door,” …“By introducing Aldi alcohol to the Instacart marketplace, we’re making it even easier for customers to get all their favorites from Aldi delivered in as fast as an hour.”
What pain points are you solving for time starved consumers this holiday season?
For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, local educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson 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. For more information visit www.GrocerantGuru.com , www.FoodserviceSolutions.us or call 1-253-759-7869

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Get Ready for Starbucks Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals



Timing is everything is another old adage that regular readers of this blog are familiar with.  At Starbucks driving incremental sales during the Holiday season is important and one of the things that Starbucks does best according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
What is your food brand doing on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to drive top line sales and bottom line profits? Well, if success does leave clues lets once again look at Starbucks Let’s start with a tumbler with a month-long refill deal to Starbucks eGift card BOGOs, Starbucks has the must-have deals of the season. 
So, the Starbucks brewed refill Tumbler is the gift that keeps on giving. Available at Starbucks company-operated and licensed stores beginning today (Nov. 26).   The tumbler is available for $40. Receive a free grande brewed coffee or grande hot tea anytime you bring it back to a participating Starbucks store during the month of January. Supplies are limited.  Excludes Starbucks Reserve coffees. That’s a good deal.
Ah, but there is more, for those that love the sparkling things in life, grab one of our Gold Foil Tumblers – available at Starbucks company-operated stores in green, black or pink – on sale Nov. 26 through Dec. 25 for $9.95 each.
Want a bonus? You can choose eGift card that can be loaded $5 – $500 – and on Cyber Monday you’ll receive a FREE $5 eGift card with the purchase of a $20 or more eGift card, while supplies last.  These are consumer interactive and participatory they will drive incremental sales according to Johnson. 
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


Monday, November 25, 2019

Free, Fast Grocery Delivery and More


Success does leave clues and when you are one of the world’s largest companies you must have pick-up many success clues along the way according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  One clue Amazon has picked-up and leveraged for its success is: fast service during the holidays not only drives incremental business it becomes a platform of sustaining a long-term relationship with consumers.
This year members of Amazon Prime can now arrange free grocery delivery in one or two hour windows from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market. The available selection includes meat, seafood, produce, snacks and household staples.  Are you time starved during the Holiday season?  If so, this is great!
Amazon VP of Grocery Delivery Stephenie Landry stated “Prime members love the convenience of free grocery delivery on Amazon, which is why we’ve made Amazon Fresh a free benefit of Prime, saving customers $14.99 per month,”… “Grocery delivery is one of the fastest-growing businesses at Amazon, and we think this will be one of the most-loved Prime benefits.” 
Amazon is enabling Prime members currently shopping grocery delivery to continue using these services, however, and get this all other Prime members in one of the 2,000-plus cities and towns with grocery delivery can make an online request for an invitation to shop Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market delivery. So, how fast is your service and what do you charge?
Simply put: Amazon is looking a customer ahead.  Are you playing catch up or are you looking for ways to differentiate your brand from competitors? Are you building a platform for today or tomorrow?
Looking for success clues of your own? Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities, technology, or a new menu product segment.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, www.Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/  or www.twitter.com/grocerant


Sunday, November 24, 2019

7-Eleven Real Beef Burgers Will Attract New Customers.



Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® stated “7-Elevens ability to drive customer relevance leveraging the Price, Value, Fresh, and Service platform within a Limited Time Offer (LTO) is a success clue all food retailers should take note of.”
7-Eleven new LTO at select Dallas-Fort Worth area convenience stores includes three new slider-style sandwiches for only 99 cents. The cheeseburger, pulled pork and smoked turkey sliders feature artisan Hawaiian brioche rolls and are assembled and delivered daily from Village Baking Co., a local bakery.
Bob Frey, director of product development at 7-Eleven  stated "The new 7-Eleven sliders are craveable comfort food, great as a mini-meal, or hearty snack and easy to grab and eat on the run," … "Customers can choose a single slider or mix and match their favorites depending on how hungry they are. All of our grab-n-go hot foods are developed with the needs of customers' in mind — whether they're feeding a family or just themselves, picking up something to take to a party or eating in the car." 
Slider options include:
·         Cheeseburger — An all-beef patty, sharp cheddar cheese, fire-roasted onions and signature secret sauce.
·         Pulled Pork — Pulled pork slow-smoked over mesquite wood, blended with American-favorite Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce and topped with sliced pickles.
·         Smoked Turkey — Turkey breast flavored with a special blend of spices and slow-smoked over hickory wood, served with a tangy jalapeƱo ranch sauce.
Free toppings, including tomatoes, jalapeƱos and other items, are available for customization at the condiment bar.
Frey  continued, "People are busy and grabbing a bite when they can to eat at their desk, in their car or when they have a moment to spare," …"7-Eleven has long been a beverage and snack destination, and two out of three of our customers also purchase something to eat along with their drink. A slider, piece of pizza, mini-tacos, chicken wings or tenders can be a hearty snack to tide you over or, with a salad or cut fruit, a quick and easy meal. Sliders are a great addition to our hot foods menu and we think this little sandwich will have a lot of big fans." How are you engaging new consumers? Need more success clues?
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.


Battle for Share of Stomach



Saturday, November 23, 2019

McDonald’s lead, follow, or get out of the way.



You have all hear the old adage Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way.  Well, Arcos Dorados, the world’s largest McDonald’s independent franchisee, announced a 5-year promotional partnership The Walt Disney Company Latin America to add even more fun to Latin American families with the Happy Meal driving new electricity into valuable customer touchpoints.
According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® there are times that franchisees must step-up to standout.  Arcos Dorados values its relationship with McDonalds and this partnership will edify both the franchisee to the customer and franchisor creating new electricity.
So, as the Happy Meal, celebrates its 40th anniversary, in the last few months, they introduced enhancements to its proposal of kids’ meals to offer a richer and more nutritious menu, through adding more fruits and vegetables and reducing fat, sodium and added sugar. To feature the best combination of food and entertainment, it will now include the characters of kids´ most-beloved movies with this promotional alliance with Disney. What are you doing to drive new electricity?
Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as fresh foods, plant based  foods,  sampling, toy’s, beer, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.
All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  Does your retail path forward look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Why? This new partnership does all of that.
Arcos Dorados, will offer a joint toy collection will be launched in December and will be with one of the most anticipated movie releases of recent times: Lucasfilm’s STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, that will open in Latin American theaters on December 19. The agreement also includes toy collections and promotional activities on McDonald’s kids’ menus featuring some Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Live Action, Marvel Studios and Lucas Film movies (film studios that are owned by Disney). Are you ready to stand-up to stand-out and drive new electricity?
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

Friday, November 22, 2019

At Chick-fil-A Virtual Restaurants are Expanding the Brands Reach



Partnerships help brands drive innovation and points of distribution, while customer drive sales.  According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® grocerant niche virtual ‘restaurants / outlets’ drive down cost while edifying a brands relationship with consumers who find themselves online more than on the street corner.
Regular readers remember that we were the first to tell you about DoorDash’s virtual kitchen.  Chick-fil-A began delivering chicken sandwiches from DoorDash Kitchens earlier this month. Consider how this help the brand drive new electricity without a new building, extending its reach with the additional Bay Area markets of: Atherton, Belmont, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos and Woodside. 
NRN reported that Luke Pipkin, senior project lead on Chick-fil-A’s Beyond the Restaurant team, said operating out of DoorDash Kitchens is part of a brand initiative to provide more convenience to its customers.
Pipkin continued "We're continually looking for innovative ways to make the brand more accessible and have been piloting various concepts with food delivery services nationwide since 2018,” he told Nation’s Restaurant News in a statement. “We're excited to continue our partnership with DoorDash by joining its first delivery-focused kitchen and look forward to serving even more guests in the Bay Area.”
Partnerships drive new electricity into legacy brands according to Johnson. What are you doing to drive new electricity into your brand?  Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as fresh foods, plant based foods, sampling, toy’s, beer, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.
All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  Does your retail path forward look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Why? This new partnership does all of that.
The Chick-fil-A partnership comes a year after Chick-fil-A, chose DoorDash for nationwide delivery. DoorDash said that Chick-fil-A has become one of the firm's most popular brands. The top two favorite delivery items are the classic chicken sandwich and the spicy chicken sandwich. 
Keeping its brand integrity, Chick-fil-A is only offering delivery, for now. The full menu is available during regular Chick-fil-A hours, six days a week. 
Fuad Hannon, head of new business verticals at DoorDash, stated “The demand from DoorDash Kitchens' restaurants has exceeded our highest expectations, and we're thrilled to have another customer favorite enter the space,” “This new endeavor with Chick-fil-A is a testament to our strong partnership and joint enthusiasm to find new, innovative ways to reach more customers where they are."
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.

Battle for Share of Stomach



Thursday, November 21, 2019

Albertsons Stumbles with Plated Just like Kroger Did with Home Chef


It took Albertsons two years after buying Plated to figure out what to do with it.  Then, clearly they did not know what to do with Plated, so they played the copycat marketing game and followed the lead of Kroger copying what Kroger did with Home Chef.
Simply put; Albertsons like Kroger stumbled, fumbled, and bumbled away an opportunity for growth instead they devalued an asset in the minds-eye of Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. That is transform the meal kit provided into a private label instore brand.  Why?
Both Home Chef and Plated were forward looking companies that garnered the attention of consumers.  Each was growing albeit they were unprofitable.  Most important they were both threats to the legacy grocery store business model. How do large legacy companies that are unwilling to evolve deal with threats?
Well, according to Johnson, they buy them and then ‘kill’ them.  In essence both Albertson and Kroger acquired these businesses and tried to turn them into old fashion CPG products that can simply sit on the shelf according to Johnson.  How well has that worked for the grocery industry?
Over the past 12 years, there are now 50% fewer legacy grocery stores in the U.S.  The simple fact of the matter is the grocery business model is broken and buying competitive threats and trying to kill them is not the solution according to Johnson.
Meal Kits as Johnson decried are ‘training wheels for Millennials’. Meal Kits could be an asset for a floundering industry, a glimmer of positive hope for cooking at home, a solution to meal time malaise.  Yet what they have become is a legacy branded CPG product that looks more like yesterday than tomorrow.
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, www.Linkedin.com/in/grocerant/ or www.twitter.com/grocerant/