Thursday, March 29, 2012

Technomic: Restaurant Brand Protectionism is a non-starter.

Eddying Foodservice Solutions® industry leading insights on Restaurant Brand Protectionism industry icon restaurant research guru Ron Paul founder of Technomic speaking at UCLA Extension’s Restaurant Industry Conference saw participants conclude that brand protectionism leads to customer discontinuity.

During the session that looked at “why winners win and why spinners spin” Paul identified several key points for stall-out within some chain restaurants. Here are some of the points he identified:

  • Concept fatigue is taking its toll on consumers who are turning to more contemporary restaurants
  • New competitors in each segment are putting greater pressure on more established brands
  • Chains with narrowly focused customer demographics can suffer from customer base issues
  • Several larger chains are focusing on international expansion with less effort spent domestically
  • Weak or deteriorating economic models are generating weaker results
  • Under-capitalized brands or those with weak cash flow can’t invest more aggressively at the unit level

Many legacy chain restaurants continue to operate under a model made popular during the 1970’s and early 1980’s.  That model has opened the door for many evolving restaurants chains and new chains to exploit. Within the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food niche retail foodservice operators are redefining success while garnering customers from legacy operators.  If success leaves clues abandoning brand protectionism is one of them.  Is your company growing with the times and with conusmers?

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Johnson, or

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