Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Wendy’s Breakfast Three Strikes You’re Out



In 1985 Wendy’s introduced breakfast, then retreated and plug one breakfast after franchisee discord.  In 2007, Wendy’s again launched breakfast then retreated pulling the plug but allowing a few to continue on with breakfast.  Well, here they go again with a national roll-out of breakfast.  Why?  Is it different from their competitors or simply a ‘look-alike’ day-part meal someone with was tasked to do rather than a true strategy point of differentiation?
Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® thinks Wendy’s is making a mistake entering the breakfast niche half-heartedly.  Johnson believes that differentiation does not mean different but familiar with a twist.  In the case of Wendy’s new breakfast offerings that does not seem to be the case. Given that lack of differentiation it is questionable if Wendy’s franchisees will be willing to stick with the new format. After all this is exactly what they have done twice before.
Garnering franchisee ‘buy-in’ is critical to the long-term success of any franchise restaurant group.  One question that has to be asked is how long can a franchisor allow discontent within its franchisee group before the entire organization’s leadership is in jeopardy?
Do chain marketer’s get three months, six months, or a year to drive incremental sales or is one promotion and done?  It takes in many cases two years to roll out a new product from R&D, Supply Chain, and Operational training.  Is six months enough?\
For the third time Wendy’s will be trying to roll out a breakfast platform nationwide in the first quarter of 2020.  Now we hear from Ron Ruggles at NRN that Wendy’s “will consider offering franchise operators the option of opting out later on”.  Let’s not forget that is what they did before and look where that got them back to square one starting from scratch. 
NRN reported that the “new breakfast platform, which has been tested in 300 stores from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., is expected to contribute 6% to 8% of sales in the partial 2020 fiscal year and has been tailored, with help from franchisees, to simplify operations.”
Wendy’s CFO Gunter Plosch, recently stated “franchisees will “have an opportunity to potentially raise concerns if the breakfast business is not creating enough financial returns for them.” … Wendy’s would be willing to discuss with those operators the potential of opting out.”
That sounds a lot like leadership by default. Marketing capitulation even before the roll-out.  That’s not leadership, that is a sign of discontent. Success does leave clues and lacking the support from your franchise partners is not a good way to start a new marketing campaign.  With $20 million in the breakfast launch already invested we ask will it work?  Will McDonald’s and Burger King under cut this copycat lack luster offering and sink the program?  Odds are they won’t sit back and cheer for Wendy’s long-range breakfast after hearing franchisee can opt-out.
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



Monday, November 11, 2019

Biggby Coffee Fighting Bullying is the Right Thing


Biggby Coffee does not like the undercurrent of bullying that seems to be ever present in the United States today.  Biggby partnered with STOMP Out Bullying and thank all of their customers that allowed BIGGBY COFFEE to collect over $25,000 in donations for the national anti-bullying organization. The entire team at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® congratulates Biggby for their efforts.
In case you did not know, STOMP Out Bullying is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture for all students by reducing and preventing bullying and cyberbullying; educating against homophobia, LGBTQ discrimination, and racism; providing practical solutions on how to respond to bullying; and helping those at risk of suicide through their HelpChat Line. With celebrity public service announcements and their long-standing #BlueUp campaign, STOMP Out Bullying has become known throughout the nation and world for their efforts to bring attention to and end bullying.
In a press release Biggby said, “In a world where bullying and cyberbullying are becoming more and more prevalent, BIGGBY® COFFEE is honored to work with an organization like STOMP Out Bullying, who hold the same belief as BIGGBY COFFEE that everyone should feel valued, loved, important, and heard.”
 “We are so tremendously grateful for the support from BIGGBY. We have always been an organization dedicated to spreading kindness and preventing bullying and cyberbullying and we are tremendously grateful for the support from BIGGBY.  This donation helps us to keep funding our programs to make bullying history,” says Ross Ellis, CEO, from STOMP Out Bulling.
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.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Try Popeyes Cajun-Style Turkey for Thanksgiving


Regular readers of this blog reminded me every year that I need to write about Popeyes Cajun-Style Turkey.  If you have never had a Cajun-Style Turkey you should add it to your list of items to buy this Holiday season according to many regular readers and our own Grocerant Guru®. Our success clue for November is selling complete meals to go for the holidays is a great way to expand your grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food sales.
Depending on the area of the country you live, you can get about 13-16 pounds of pre-cooked Popeyes Cajun turkey starting at $39.99. All you have to do once you get it is quickly pop it in the oven for about two hours before you eat, and before you know it, your dinner is served. So, if your having a hard time getting Popeyes new chicken sandwich.  Why not order a turkey!
Here is how to get started, you can already pre-order the turkey now by visiting or calling your local participating Popeyes restaurant.  Save time from cooking from scratch this year and call or visit your local Popeyes as they tend to sell out pretty quickly. Note: make sure you order all the side dishes as well then you will have all the time in the world to shop or watch football. How are you building sales?
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

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Dash In the C-store with a Fast Casual Restaurant Appeal


In a hurry for a good fresh meal fast?  Well, in the Northeast you just might be going out to a convenience store called Dash-In according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®, Steven Johnson based in Tacoma, WA.
For those of you who don’t know Dash In, it has close to 60 locations throughout Maryland, Delaware and Virginia, the company is “rapidly expanding, with a focus on a number of locations across the Mid-Atlantic region.” Dash In locations feature the company’s new “neighborhood stores” concept Johnson says that is has the look, feel, and menu of a fast-casual chain restaurant.  
The ‘neighborhood stores’ include an open kitchen in the center and a wide variety of made-to-order, fresh and grab-and-go items. Darleen Nascimento, director of brand marketing at Dash In stated “All of these neighborhood store elements are informed by our commitment to deliver fresh, quality food and a personal experience to our customers every time,”
These new Dash In neighborhood store in Midlothian, Va., is 5,600 square feet with 16 fueling positions. It includes an expansive beer and wine selection — with craft beer offered through a draft growler and crowler program.
All Dash In stores feature “quick bites,” such as breakfast sandwiches, sliders, pizza and wings. But select locations also offer “food market” items, including subs, quesadillas, wraps and salads.
“When adding new menu items, we review the current menu to determine if there are any gaps in terms of flavor profiles or styles and cross-reference those against emerging trends. Then we review how new dishes can be created from components that we currently source,” said Nascimento. “The wants of the customer and the need for executional ease for our employees are always top of mind. …”
In June, Dash In debuted the French Dip Sub, which features U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prime shaved steak, provolone cheese, caramelized onions, brown gravy and black pepper mayo on an Italian roll.
Dash In also debuted its “fresh bowl” concept the Fresh Bowl Chicken Salad is an all-white chicken salad tossed with dried cranberries, red onion, a hint of lime and a croissant on top of fresh romaine lettuce. The Fresh Bowl Tuna Salad features albacore tuna, red onions and hard-boiled eggs blended together on top of fresh romaine lettuce and tomatoes.
Additional new menu items include the BLTM — crispy, center-cut bacon, lettuce, tomato and fresh mozzarella on Texas Toast — and the Poutine Meatball Sub — meatballs tossed with brown gravy, cheddar cheese curds, Monterey Jack cheese and black pepper mayo on a garlic butter roll.

They recently launched a Thai Chicken Wrap. The wrap is made with diced, antibiotic-free chicken tenders, romaine lettuce, red onion, sliced cucumber, almond flakes and sesame dressing wrapped in a flour tortilla. 
Also well received by customers, she said, is the quesadilla line, which includes four offerings: Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla; Buffalo Chicken Quesadilla; Bacon, Egg and Cheese Quesadilla; and Sausage, Egg and Cheese Quesadilla. 
Just like many chain restaurants Dash In’s in-store pilot in September 2018 with No Kid Hungry, which provides nutritious meals to children, enabled Dash In customers to give back as well. Is your restaurant business model evolving as fast as many C-store business models? Are you growing food sales and 9.7%?
Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.


Friday, November 8, 2019

City Barbeque Holiday Takeout Package



At least one grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food will grace 87.4% of all meals service at home this year according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  
This year City Barbeque wants to sell you an entire meal and is now taking orders that available by reservation only. You can choose from a smoked bone-in ham or a whole smoked turkey: both meal options come with two pan sides and a quart of gravy, feed 14 folks (with leftovers), and are available for $149.
There is also a meal featuring a smoked turkey breast is for $69; this meal feeds eight folks (with leftovers) and comes with two-quart sides and a pint of gravy. Due to limited supply, these holiday meals and meats are only available to order in-store or over the phone.
Hams, whole turkeys, and turkey breasts can be purchased independently as well, with hams and whole turkeys available for $79 and turkey breasts for $45. Just like the award-winning meats City Barbeque serves every day of the year, all of the joint’s mouthwatering holiday meats are smoked on-site over local hickory wood.
Mix and match meal components are hallmarks of the grocerant niche and City Barbeque serves a wide range of classic homemade sides—including sweet potato casserole, smashed potatoes and gravy, green beans with bacon, creamy mac & cheese, corn pudding, and more—available by the pint, quart, or pan. For those looking for something a little less traditional for their holiday table, City Barbeque serves up whole briskets and whole pork shoulders to carve at home; full-service holiday catering is also available for those who want to avoid the kitchen entirely.
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.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Stop & Shop Flying Forward with Wing Bars



When Ahold Delhaize USA’s Stop & Shop chain introduced its chicken wing bars to stores across the Northeast Foodservice Solutions®, Tacoma, WA based Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson stated “elevating grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food will drive incremental sales for lunch, dinner, and snacking day-parts without doubt.”
Stop & Shop began deploying the wing bars at stores last month and plans to add them at 187 locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey through November.
Stop & Shop’s team understands that mix and match bundling is a hallmark of grocerant program success; thus, the wings come in eight flavors and retail for $7.99 per pound.

Stop & Shop said the wing hot bars are located in the prepared food section, and the wings are freshly made and fried in-store. Mark Messier, executive vice president of merchandising at Stop & Shop “We know our customers are busy, and our new wing bars offer an easy snack, meal or entertaining solution for tailgates or at-home gatherings,”,… “In testing this concept at a handful of stores, the response has been fantastic. We’re excited to bring these new varieties and flavors to more customers across our footprint.”  
The Mix & Match offerings include breaded mild wings, breaded spicy wings, breaded honey wings, buffalo boneless wings, garlic parmesan wings, barbeque boneless wings, sweet chili boneless wings and pit-boss pork wings. More flavors — such as Kickin’ Bourbon Barbeque, Korean Barbeque and Mango Habanero — will be added seasonally.
Will selling fresh food fast top of mind at Stop & Shop; they have a five-year capital spending plan — estimated at $1.6 billion to $2 billion — to refresh its 400-plus stores chainwide. Dubbed “Reimagining Stop & Shop,” the initiative includes a modernized store format and a new logo that reflect a more customer-centric strategy based on convenience, particularly a wider array of fresh, fast, healthy and local food options. That includes more prepared foods — such as stir fry stations, sushi bars, hot bars and meats like brisket and pulled pork smoked in-store — along with in-store cafes offering smoothies, coffee and treats.
How are you looking a customer ahead?  Grocerant niche fresh food is driving growth in every sector of retail foodservice today 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

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

McDonald’s Continues Looking A Customer Ahead


Brand managers know that in order to Look A Customer Ahead more often than not you have to look back.  Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® stated “brand differentiation does not mean different it means familiar but with a twist”.
Regular readers of this blog know that McDonald’s for over 25 years sold more toys than any other retailer in the world.  Now that Millennials are having children McDonalds is resurrecting 17 classic Happy Meal toys as part of the Surprise Happy Meal, which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the classic kids meal. Toys are consumer interactive and participatory and a value added brand attribute. 
The limited-edition meal will only be available for a few days: Thursday, Nov. 7, through Monday, Nov. 11.  The lineup of toys will include:
·         The Cowboy McNugget, Fireman McNugget and Mail Carrier McNugget from 1988
·         The Hamburger Changeable from 1989
·         Grimace from 1990
·         The Dino Happy Meal Box Changeable from 1991
·         The Hot Wheels Thunderbird from 1993
·         Hamburglar and Power Rangers from 1995
·         Space Jam Bugs Bunny from 1996
·         Beanie Baby Patti the Platypus and 101 Dalmatians from 1997 
·         Tamagotchi and My Little Pony from 1998
·         Furby from 1999
·         Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey from 2002
·         Hello Kitty from 2013
McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook stated “Since the Happy Meal was introduced on the menu, it quickly became synonymous with our brand,” The Happy Meal has become a major centerpiece of the chain’s family-centric focus, giving it a broader customer base than many of its primary rivals over the years.
Easterbrook understands that success does leave clues and while the company has come under some fire for using toys as a way to lure kids to eat, it has also worked to improve the healthfulness of the menu selections included in the meal. There is no reason food, meals, and meal time should not be fun according to Johnson.
McDonald’s has reduced the size of the French Fry box, for instance, and offers items such as fresh fruit or yogurt, as well as water or milk rather than soft drinks. More than half of Happy Meals are now served with milk, water or juice, rather than soda. Success does leave clues and Looking A Customer Ahead at time requires looking back from time to time.
Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Chipotle Mexican Grill Chides Parents Risks Kids Privacy



Bold marketing moves can garner positive results, however risking Children’s Online Privacy is not a bold marketing move it is a risky one according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
So when Chipotle announced that it is the first major restaurant brand to market itself on TikTok that is exactly what they have done according to Johnson. TikTok recently agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after allegations that the app knowingly and illegally stored the names, email addresses, and locations of users under the age of 13. The fine was $5.7 million fine for collecting personal information about its pre-teen users.
While today Chipotle is popular with Gen Z—and the chain is reaping high user engagement numbers from its efforts with TikTok while many parents are unaware of the FTC violation of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  The FTC continues to want more information on TikTok privacy usage.
TikTok, which started in China in 2017 and became the most downloaded app in the U.S. about a year ago, allows users to create and share short videos. It’s especially popular with those born between 1997 and 2012. Chipotle’s official presence on TikTok began after the chain noticed “organic” content about the brand frequently appearing on the app, said Tressie Lieberman, Chipotle’s vice president of digital marketing and off-premise.

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based chain first posted on the app last summer, when a Maryland Chipotle employee had a customer film a video of him flipping a lid from one of the fast-casual chain’s bowls. The video, which was originally posted to Instagram, has received more than 1 million views.
“We instantly knew from the reaction that this was the right content to start our first partnership with TikTok, inviting our customers to try the lid flip trick for themselves with a branded hashtag challenge,” Lieberman said.
So, is risking children’s customer privacy with Lieberman and Chipotle?  It would appear so.  Do you think that Chipotle should warn parents or the underage users of the risks of using TikTok? Is your brand prepared for the down side if TikTok were to continue gathering your kid’s app usage, interest, and online information for other purposes? Is this how you want to market to Kids?
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, November 4, 2019

If you are Selling Innovative New Foods Sell Too the Young



Success does leave clues and Millennials seem to have an unquenchable thirst for food discovery and adoption according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®. So, if you have a new food or packaging product the messaging should be targeting the grocerant niche.
Recently, the Michigan State University Food Literacy and Engagement poll surveyed more than 2,100 Americans on emerging food technologies and options, including plant-based meats, cell-cultured meats, insect proteins, meal kits and GMOs. 
Sheril Kirshenbaum, co-director of the poll stated, "Willingness to adopt new alternatives to traditional agricultural products varies tremendously across age groups, and public acceptance of these emerging technologies will determine winners and losers in the international marketplace.” Let’s see the key findings:
PLANT-BASED MEATS
·         35% of Americans have consumed plant-based meat in the past year; 90% say they would do so again. 
·         42% have not consumed plant-based meat but are willing to try it. 
·         30% are unwilling to try it. 
·         Of consumers already eating plant-based meat, 48% are under 40 years old, 27% are over 40.
CELL-CULTURED MEATS
·         35% of American consumers say they are likely to buy cell-cultured meats.
·         49% of these consumers are under 40 years old.
·         25% are 40 and older. 
INSECT PROTEINS
·         25% of American consumers are willing to try foods made with insect-based protein, such as cricket powder.
·         40% of these consumers are under 40 years old.
·         15% are 40 and older. 
MEAL KITS
·         32% of American consumers have tried meal kits within the past 12 months.
·         44% of these consumers are under 40 years old.
·         24% are 40 and older. 
GMOS
·         47% of Americans think they rarely or never consumer GMOs or don't know how often they do so.
·         55% of those under 40 recognize they consumer GMOs daily or once a week.
·         32% of those age 40 recognize this.
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