Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Applebee's New Technology to Drive Faster Food Maybe

Applebee’s is trying to play catch-up in the grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.  Today at Noon 83.7 % of consumers do not know what’s for dinner and at 4PM 68.7% still don’t know what is for dinner.  

When consumers are time starved and don’t know what’s for dinner as they are on the way home, they are looking for fast options.  To that end Applebee’s is trying to up its game in the Take-Out, Take-Away, To-Go fresh prepared grocerant meal space.  

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar rolled out a new mobile app that will allow customers to pay ahead, making it faster and easier to order carside-to-go pick up.  Our Grocerant Guru® asks is that enough to drive sales, does Applebee’s understand the consumer or is this new App simply a little incremental step in maintaining the chains status quo?  

CVS and Walgreens drug stores have expanded the reach of their technology to capture meals, meal components, and drive retail bundling to complement the consumers need to save time?  Foodservice Solutions® team wonders is Applebee’s considered how to best expand their reach to edify their brand with consumers? 

In the case of Applebee’s it appears to be a case of simple technology upgrade rather than a focus on the consumer.  Our Grocerant Guru® does not think Applebee’s did enough.  He believes in fact that Applebee’s may not have even done enough to maintain the status quo.  

Ikea like both CVS and Walgreens on the other hand is evolving from a furniture store that sells food to a food focused retailer that sells furniture.  With $ 2.6 billion in Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food sales Ikea may garner more incremental food sales in 2016 that Applebee’s.  

The advance ordering, pre-pay, and allowing them to save credit, debit or gift card details within the app for easy payment developed with digital ordering provider Olo, makes ordering easier according to Applebee’s but 1999 all that was available for online order from companies the ilk of Cyber Meals, while the step up to mobile is important, the customer has move past the basics.  

The battle for each and every retail food dollar is expanding the field of competitors that includes new non-traditional fresh food retailers.  Chain restaurant companies that simply want to inch along, follow the sector leaders, and continue doing what they have always done; may find that is not enough. 

Ikea, CVS, Walgreens, Wawa, Sheetz, Wegmans, Casey General Stores, and Green Zebra Grocery all are increasing year over year customer counts and sales of grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food in excess of 10% a year for the past 7 years are you?  

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, grocerant ScoreCard.  For brand, or product placement assistance our Grocerant Guru® has the skill-set you are looking for.  Since 1991 www.FoodserviceSolutions.us  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or 253-759-7869 

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