Monday, July 8, 2013

Village Inn and Denny’s watch Out for Caribou Coffee and Starbucks.

Legacy chain restaurants the ilk of Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Village Inn and Denny’s many times get trapped in existing footprint malaise in the name of brand protectionism.  Chain restaurants existing footprint is not an obstacle for brands evolving with consumers over time. 
Given that both Denny’s and Village Inn have been around much longer than Starbucks and Caribou Coffee that simply means that they have had both time and opportunity to adjust and change with consumers.
Denny’s and Village Inn brand marketers over time have constrained menus, footprint adjustments, remodel motifs to edify the past not the present. Today, each seems less consumer relevant and more a relic of past consumer preferences.
Starbucks founded in 1971 does not have that problem and is 43 years old.  I apologize.  I should have said SBUX is as relevant today as if it were a start-up; creating new points of distribution and consumer edified relevance. Yes, SBUX is 43 years young.  Caribou Coffee founded in 1992 is now 21 years young and expanding the breath of the concept with consumer relevant new product offerings and new points of distribution.
Does your chain restaurant have footprint malaise?  Does your restaurant and brand still practice brand protectionism?  Are convenience stores and grocery deli’s preparing and selling your customers ready-2-eat and heat-n-eat fresh food?  At one time C-stores and grocery stores practiced brand protectionism, no longer.
Here is a great example from Caribou Coffee contemporized relevance. The new quiche is” designed to be a “tweener” product between Caribou’s breakfast sandwiches and “It’s a plated offering that works as a sit-down meal, but we portioned it in a size and shape that, if you’re so inclined to eat it with your hand, you could,” he said. “It brings in more ham and protein options, and the spinach one has a really good vegetable to round out a complete breakfast offering.”  Success does leave clues.

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