What happens when you are a C-level executive at a restaurant chain and you wake up one day and read a CNN Business story that in the politest way says, convenience stores success with fresh food has disrupted the restaurant industry, and today “Wawa, Sheetz, and 7-Eleven are now our FAVORITE RESTAURANTS”.
According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® stated “if they are the CEO, they repeat to themselves the number 1 rule of being a CEO; DO NO HARM.
However, if they are a chain with year over year customer counts that are in decline, they better step up and help lead their brands evolution or risk losing everything.
Chain restaurant CEO’s need to ask themselves if they have been practicing brand protectionism of the 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s rather than repositioning their units to reflect the need-set of today’s consumers’. Simply put do your restaurants look more like yesterday than tomorrow?
Battle for Share of Stomach
Let’s look at some of the facts that the CNN Business story found:
1. Over the past decade, convenience chains have increased sales inside their stores by around 30%, according to the National Association of Convenience Stores.
2. The number of convenience stores in the United States has grown by 28%.
3. In 1965, there were 5,000 convenience stores in the United States. Today, there are upward of 153,000 of these mini-marts, more than all the grocery stores, drug stores and dollar stores in this country combined. 7-Eleven is the largest US convenience store chain with more than 9,000 outposts.
4. Around 93% of Americans live within 10 minutes of a convenience store, a highly-fragmented sector where regional chains and mom-and-pops dominate.
5. From 2009 to 2018, food service sales in convenience stores grew at a higher rate than any other area in the store.
6. Spending on food away from home surpassed spending on food at Americans' home for the first time in 2010, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Regular readers of this blog know all of these numbers. They also know that consumers are dynamic not static and unless today’s large restaurant evolve with the consumer, they will look a lot more like Burger Chef, Howard Johnson’s or A&P. Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food continues to drive top line sales and bottom line profits for those who allow it.
Johnson warns there are many grocery niche retailers that keep trying to make Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food into a CPG product of yesterday and that simply is not working for them. We all know who they are but the simple fact is saying you’re going to evolve within the grocerant niche is one thing but doing it right is another. Thank you, CNN for focusing on the evolving fresh food space success.
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