Thursday, August 27, 2009

Restaurant sales well slump in the fall: winners and losers will surface.

Restaurant sales that appeared to have stabilized over the past couple of months are headed for a very difficult September and October! Several over extended chains and many more franchises will get a test of their financial stability. Consumer discontinuity in food purchasing patterns is generating new interest in alternant avenues of food distribution. This interest is found in a plethora of venues including C-stores, Mobile trucks, Dollar stores, Kiosks and prepared food sections of Grocery stores. Utilizing restaurant industry style branding and product positioning, these new points of distribution are currying favor with consumers for authentic look, flavor & price points.
The speed at which media hypes the state of the economy/recession and utilizes sensationalism to do so is a force that even the best restaurant companies have yet figured out how to over come. There has been a surprising lack of leadership for new products, packaging and price-points on behalf of many a restaurant company. The malaise of mediocrity continues at the C-level of the restaurant industry.
There will be winners companies like grocer H. E. Butt, Central Market and Wegmans, Convenience stores the likes of Redner’s Markets, QuickChek and 7 Eleven. Restaurants like Subway, McDonalds and Quiznos. Many others are in for a very difficult fall. Success does leave clues and from innovative new products to newly competitive niche positioning these companies are on track. Redistribution of foodservice marketshare is underway. The price, value, service, authenticity equilibrium is being reset and like many times before it is the customer that continues to lead the way. It is happening again and outside eye’s can provide a window to new opportunity; grocerant niche assessments and or product advantage assessments are available from Foodservice Solutions in Tacoma, WA.

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