Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Restaurant Sector Discontinuity and Growth Hackers

Sometimes an industry gets lazy and the restaurant industry became so use to doing the same things the same way over and over they became complacent.  Restaurateurs have become very good at brand protectionism but very bad at brand evolution. 
Chain Restaurant Continuity is Not the New Normal
Industry transition is never easy.  Restaurant industry transitions periods have a history of being devastating on sector leaders.  Harkin back when Howard Johnson’s Ice Cream Shoppes, Walgreens Soda Fountains dotted the highways of America along with Burger Chef .  All three filled an unmet need for choice of flavors, speed of service, and convenience at the time. They became the restaurant chain leaders until technology advanced.
Technology Food Industry Seductress
Then the U.S. began its race to space and technology advances drove companies the ilk of McDonalds to sell food faster, cheaper with a level of quality service never experienced.  One after the other companies copied McDonald’s success.  Today, 80 percent of meals sold within the restaurant sector are sold at Quick Service Restaurants. 
Today, with restaurant customer migration firmly underway, and CEO’s and CMO’s of legacy chain restaurants capitulating market share and customer counts year after year it is once again time for turnover.  This time unlike before technology has become the seductress of the Millennial consumer not the industry.  Advances in technology are once again changing the face, the place, and pace of retail foodservice. 
Stalwarts leaders capitulating market share, customer counts or store counts this time around include the ilk of Red Lobster, Quiznos, Sbarro, Tony Roma’s, Ground Round, Country Kitchen, TCBY, and Big Boy.  This list could go on and on.  Do you need outside eyes for inside profits?
Mediocrity is the Seductress of Lemmings
Should your chain restaurant worry? You might if you’re CEO’s, COO’s, and CMO’s are like lemmings headed to a cliff.  Are they flocking to conferences to hear the latest news delivered by the same experts that delivered it for the past 25 years or their colleagues. While at those conferences are you leaders drinking the elixir of complacency,  the “I’ll have the same”?   There are if your sales are not up 20+% the past 5 years.
The sales and customer count results are in and for eight years the industry has failed. The experts failed, and if your sales and customer counts are not up 20% over the past 5 years your company is failing as well. Restaurant chains either grow or die a slow death.  Where are you headed?
It’s Not “The New Normal” unless that’s what you expect or accept.  When market research firms and industry leaders accept eight years of market share capitulation, declining customer counts, without address footprint malaise, menu management, and the undercurrents of consumer evolution, its time you’re your firm to look elsewhere. 
Growth Hackers Find A Way
New entrepreneurs are asking how can we enter the restaurant business, the meal business, the food sales industry, while growing our business faster, cheaper than ever before?  Well here are a just a few companies doing just that. Firs,t is Hello Fresh a two year old company that delivers meals sold 1 Million last quarter alone operating in Germany and New York City.  How many meals did you sell last quarter? Have you check out,, or
It’s not just new entrepreneurs there are chain restaurateurs and fresh food retailers that are gaining 8% 10%, 14%, and 17% a year in sales and customer counts. They are doing it by not doing what they have always done.  They are migrating with consumers. Companies like Wawa, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard, Casey’s General Stores.

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information. 

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