Saturday, October 10, 2015

Restaurant Customer Counts Continue to Slide

Customer count declines within the restaurant sector continue to indicate the undercurrents of customer migration have not ebbed.  It is at the intersection of the consumer, technology and retail food sales where we find the grocerant niche creating and expanding points of quality food distribution driving customer adoption.  It’s at that intersection that Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru identified one universal commonality driving consumers buying pattern changes.  Johnson calls it “The 65 Inch HDTV Syndrome. 

The grocerant niche is the result of the blurring line between restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and drug stores all selling fresh prepared, portable, convenient meal solutions.  Targeted at the time-starved consumer with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food components that are perceived “better for you”, and portioned for one or two. Consumers like the Convenient Meal Participation, Differentiation, Individualization / Family Customization that these retailers offer. 

Restaurateurs need to be particularly mindful of developments within grocerant niche for they are driving the change within the price, value, service equilibrium in retail foodservice. Consumers are resetting the Price, Value, and Service Equilibrium.

Here is Foodservice Solutions® formula:

(Mobile Access + Digital Payment +Delivery) X (Price + Food Quality + Speed) = Value
 Incremental Value:

Constantly Changing Menu (Seasonally / Sustainability with Creditability).

It is at the intersection of the consumer, technology and The 5 P’s of Food Marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability, and Price that retail food sales competition is expanding. Driving ever greater Mix and Match bundled meal options and new points of distribution for consumers.  Specifically Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food offered by non-traditional fresh food outlets the likes of cloting stores, liquor stores, and new online retailers from UberEats, to Hello Fresh. 

Consumers love the on-the-go options in fact a Zaget’s NYC Restaurant Survey found that in New York at-home meals surpassed dining out for the first time in 30 years.  

GrubHub the nation’s number one online and mobile food ordering service data reveled that pre-game orders spiked more than 35 % for the first four weeks of the professional football season when compared to the same timeframe the previous season. 

More than just sports The 65 inch HDTV Syndrome is driving customers away from frozen foods as well. In a 2015 study from Packaged Facts, the percentage of households eating frozen pizza dropped slightly between 2010 and 2014, and the percentage of households that ate a lot of frozen pizza dropped 15 percent.
Here is what is clear consumers say fresh foods the top reason why US consumers have not purchased frozen foods in the last three months, followed by preference for home-cooked meals.

Fresh prepared Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat food in non-traditional outlets poses an ever increasing threat to restaurant growth. Want to know how to best address The 67 inch HDTV Syndrome?  Contact Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru™ at or Call 253-759-7869.

For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Johnson, or

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