Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lacking Innovation Restaurant Customers Choose Customization Over Brand Loyalty

Legacy restaurant chains have been focused on brand execution since 2008 not innovation, capitulating market share to non-traditional retailers.  The opposite of innovation is execution as we all learned in business 101. The void created with the lack of innovation compounded by copy-cat menu items has created additional restaurant consumer discontinuity, most important a plethora of new competitors.

Restaurant customers are dynamic not static.  During February 2013 inContact conducted a survey and found that consumer are “making less of their buying decisions based on brand loyalty, but rather on which companies can match their desired experience..”  Here are some of the key findings:

56 percent of U.S. adults indicated that they would be at least somewhat likely to switch to another brand/company based on customer service options.

25 percent of U.S. adults do not feel loyalty toward any type of brand.

63 percent of U.S. adults indicated that brands that don't offer options for communication other than the 1-800 number seem outdated or old fashioned.

86 percent of U.S. adults expect brands to offer multiple options and flexible timing to interact with customer service.

Women (71 percent) are nearly 10 percent less likely than men (79 percent) to feel loyalty toward a brand.

70 percent of U.S. adults say that mobile apps are at least somewhat important.

Here is what we know Convenience Stores are adding fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food at an unprecedented rate and food sales within the C-store sector are propelling unprecedented numbers of new store openings. The only sector of the grocery industry to see same store sales growth the past two years has been the prepared food / deli sector. Retail drug stores are adding fresh prepared food in urban centers with success and when refined plan on expanding into the suburbs. 

Complicating restaurant problems is the continued use of the1960’s, 70’s, 80’s, C-level mind-set of brand protectionism.  If the consumer is dynamic not static your brand should be as well.   Was your brand considered innovative when it began? Why is it not today? It’s not due to the economy, not due to the number of stores you have, and not due to your customers.

If you would like to learn more from the inContact survey contact Paul Jarman CEO of inContact at: If you would like to understand how to best break the shackles of brand protectionism contact Foodservice Solutions at:

Grocery stores, Drug stores, Liquor stores, C-stores have all extended brand values to include ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food. Have you hear of the 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome? If not it just may be time you had.  Success does leave clues moving with the consumer is one very valuable clue.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Migration Marketing assessment, grocerant program assessment. For brand, product placement, menu positioning assistance simply call: 253-759-7869 or Visit:   Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche.  For more contact: 

1 comment:

  1. Pardon my ignorance, but as stated above, "25 percent of U.S. adults do not feel loyalty toward any type of brand." Doesn't this suggest that 75% do feel loyalty towards brands? I do know of many people that prefer Wendy's over McDonald's, Burger King over Wendy's, McDonald's over Wendy's and Burger King, Coke over Pepsi, Budweiser over Miller, ad infinitum.