Sunday, September 23, 2018

Buffalo Wild Wings Refocus with Outside Eyes for Inside Results

Success does leave clues and Buffalo Wild Wings recently did what restaurant chains did all the time back in 1970’s to 1980’s they hired leaders from successful retail CPG brands to lead the company to the next level.  Back in the day restaurants were known as ‘mom & pop organizations’ and ‘funky’ companies that were not very professional according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Once again the restaurant sector while not ‘funky’ is in a funk that requires disciplined outside-eyes to drive inside results elevating chain restaurants out of the ‘self-imposed brand protectionism’ that has stifled customer count growth for nearly 10 years.
So when Inspire Brands named Lyle Tick president of Buffalo Wild Wings, Johnson knew that the undercurrent of grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food was helping a sector get back to basics focusing on the customers first.
Tick was most recently managing director for the beauty brands business of Walgreens Boots Alliance in the Americas. Before working for Walgreens, Tick was senior global category director for Bacardi, based in London, and also the rum producer’s president of marketing for North America, based in Miami. He also has held various positions at marketing and advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson, Gotham, McGarryBowen and DDB, according to a press release by Inspire Brands.
Tick’s appointment comes on the heels of the appointment in late August of former hotel executive Seth Freeman as the chain’s chief marketing officer. To many chain restaurants have been doing what they have always done and continue to do it the same way.  Well, regular readers of this blog know that does not work forever! 
The line between retail channels continues to get thinner and thinner.  Food retail brands that insist on a policy of ‘brand protectionism’ will continue to capitulate market share, store numbers will shrink, and average unit volume will continue to slide according to Johnson. Is it time you invite in some Outside-Eyes?
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a new menu product segment and brand and menu integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Johnson, or

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