Sunday, April 19, 2015

Are Chain Restaurants Branding the Past? The Past is Not the Status Quo.

Are you branding the past attributes of your restaurant menu, CPG food, or retail outlet? Simply put, are your customer counts down? Are your units sold down? Are you evolving a brand of yesterday or tomorrow? 

The last I check it is April, 2015.  Yet the other day while watching a Bloomberg business TV news cast a restaurant CEO was on talking Home Meal Replacement an industry term of the 1980’s and 1990’s. The 38,500 regular monthly readers of this blog know that our industry vernacular has change, the customer is migrating, and successful brands have moved.  I knew that the CEO speaking on this show was in a quagmire status quo of sameness and was of his own making.  

In the most recent report by TDn2K’s Black Box Intelligence and its Restaurant Industry Snapshot shows some sign that the $45bn restaurant industry may be emerging from its long Recession nightmare. However for some restaurants branding the status quo is a comfort of the past that just may be too much of an obstacle.
While the TDn2K reported that industry same store sales were up 2.8% in the last quarter, the sector’s best performance since 2008. Industry sales were up 2.2% in February, but advanced only 0.8% in March many blamed the cold weather or were simply maintaining the status quo.

The main stream restaurant industry media have been trying to put a happy face on terrible numbers for years, all the while industry insiders and regular readers here have followed Grocerant Guru™ success clues right here on this blog.  

While many chain restaurants have kept profits up by slashing operating expenses all the while watching market share slip as supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores and other new expanding grocerant niche points of distribution flourish. How can that be? The fact is CEO’s love the status quo.

Simply put many restaurant chains are maintaining the status quo; by implementing strategy and tactics of the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s.  One problem the industry and customers have evolved. Those in the status quo camp (you know who you are) are waiting for things to return to 2008 levels.  There is a big problem with that strategy.  The customer has moved, the industry is moving, without them or their brands. 

Back in the day Restaurants were leading the charge in “better for you” offerings, O’ how times have changed.  Today, those that are relying on the “same old, same old” ways of doing business maintaining the status quo will continue to capitulate market share to movers and shakers in the grocerant niche. Are you in need of outside eyes for inside results?

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat Fresh Prepared Food niche aka the Grocerant niche.  Our Grocerant Guru™ can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy. Call 253-759-7869 today.

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