Friday, July 31, 2020

Domino's Amps Up Technology with Marketing & Motorbikes

Success is contagious at Domino’s as it seems every time Domino’s Pizza has a success step it is followed-up with another according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Fresher, faster, food delivery has a ‘halo’ of better for you around it that’s in larger part too back-in the Domino’s focus was 30 delivery.

Now to enable fresher faster, urban delivery with a sustainable halo of better for you Domino’s New Zealand General Manager Cameron Toomey New Zealand based electric vehicle manufacturer UBCO about supply possibilities. 

Ok, so just think, with food delivery orders on the rise, Domino’s Pizza is embracing electric transport. And Kiwi business UBCO is providing new electric motorbikes for the growing Domino’s fleet. Two Kiwi businesses innovating for the good of the planet (and pizzas). How is that not a win, win?

Cameron Toomey stated "The UBCO bikes have several advantages over cars when it comes to deliveries. They are faster through heavy traffic, parking isn't an issue, they're cheaper to run and more environmentally friendly. Our delivery teams safely deliver thousands of pizzas each week and we see the UBCO bikes as an important part of our fleet going forward."

For the rest of you, think about this quote for a recent article: “The UBCO 2X2 is not your standard electric bike. UBCO has, in effect, created a new category of vehicle called a ‘Utility Bike’. Originally developed for off-road use the utility bike has drawn an increasing following for on-road use in a variety of sectors such as commuting, prepared food and grocery delivery, postal and freight.”  Prepared food?  Yes, Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food delivered from an electric bike, it cost less than a car and is seen as better for you according to Johnson.

Regular readers of this blog know that our own Grocerant Guru® touts a successful digital marketing platform that is consumer interactive and participatory and once again Domino’s is doing all the right things within the marketing space as well.  So, Domino’s customers can now compete in Domino's Homemade Film Festival contest by submitting a home movie that showcases their love of Domino's for the chance to win free pizza for a year.

Kate Trumbull, Domino's vice president of advertising stated, "Millions of Americans are spending more time than ever at home and looking for activities to entertain their families," .. "What better way to have a fun day than to make a home movie and possibly win free pizza for a year because of it? Domino's might even use some of the submissions in a future TV commercial."

So get started as Domino's Homemade Film Festival is accepting videos through Aug. 21 at Customers can visit this site to vote for their favorite home movie between Sept. 7-11. On Sept. 18, Domino's will announce the grand prize winner who will receive free pizza for a year in the form of $1,560 in Domino's eGift cards. The second-place winner will receive a $500 Domino's eGift card, while third place will receive a $200 eGift card.

Domino's Homemade Film Festival was inspired by the brand's latest lo-fi TV spot, which was filmed with an iPhone. For a complete list of requirements and to read about some inspirational filming ideas, such as showcasing how you eagerly wait for your Domino's delivery, visit .

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, local 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. For more information visit, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A&W Renewed Success Clue

Legacy brands don’t become legacy brands by doing nothing.  In fact one success clues that Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® reminds regular readers of this blog is “consumers are dynamic not static and brands must be as well”.
A&W restaurants have been around since 1919. That’s right 1919. You cannot survive over 101 years if you do not evolve.  Well guess what.  Rethinking its growth strategy, A&W entered the C-store sector and guess what happened?
Same-store sales at A&W Restaurants’ franchised gas and convenience store locations jumped by double digits in June, although Americans were driving fewer miles and buying less gas than usual. Sales at A&W’s more than 90 C-store locations were up 10.5 percent, following an 8.3 percent increase in May. They were an average of 11 percent higher during the January-February period before falling off in March and April, the result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The strong performance comes as the iconic brand prepares to expand its convenience store and travel center presence from coast to coast with eight new franchised locations. 

“At a time when Americans were staying off the road, it’s remarkable that sales at A&W convenience store locations were so strong,” says CEO Kevin Bazner. “This shows the tremendous value that A&W brings to C-stores and travel centers.”
“A&W truly is an all-American business opportunity that performs very well in all areas of the country,” Bazner added. He noted that in a recent national poll of 15,000 respondents, 74% had eaten at an A&W.
To help new C-store owners succeed, A&W is lowering royalties in the first year of all new franchise agreements from the standard 5% to 3%. Second-year royalties are 4%. Initial fees on multi-unit agreements also are being discounted.
System-wide, A&W experienced double-digit comp-store sales growth in May and June, despite nearly all dining rooms being closed due to coronavirus. Average unit sales have increased by 38 percent since franchisees acquired the company from YUM! Brands in 2011.
“The pandemic is sadly forcing many stores, as well as independent and other chain restaurants, to close permanently,” Bazner says. “We expect more new franchisees will capitalize on these real estate opportunities and convert facilities that once housed other restaurant brands or businesses to A&Ws.” How are you evolving?
Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Wawa Much More than a Fast-Casual C-Store

With close to $4.621 Billion in annual sales there is no doubt that Wawa continues to drive customer interaction with a leave of branded service, fresh food, and fresh beverages that few can mimic according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Wawa intends to offer drive-thru service for the first time at a new store.  So just what does that mean.  Well according to Johnson it is the next level of service that Wawa is exploring extending to its customer based in an effort to expand fresh food and beverage sales while garnering new customers.

The new drive-thru location  have three parking spaces reserved for curbside pickup as well. While the drive-thru hours would run from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. for a limited menu of food and beverage items, including hoagies, Sizzli breakfast sandwiches, soup, coffee and smoothies to start.

Wawa said the new unit should be open by the end of this year. Its reported that the current planned model for the drive-thru will allow up to 19 vehicles to line up at an 88-square-foot drive-thru window.

Terri Micklin, Wawa's head of construction stated "We are hoping to learn from the layout, workflow and traffic flow at this location, as we continue to explore alternatives for longer term application to our stores post-COVID-19,".  Note to accommodate the drive-thru, the site will have a smaller number of standard parking spaces and fuel islands.

Wawa predicts that 30 to 50 percent of the store's customers will utilize the drive-thru. Who are you selling what and how?  What can you learn from Wawa?  What is your AUV’s? Can you compete with Wawa?

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Moe’s Southwest Grill See’s Clear Sailing

Casual dining restaurants, fast casual restaurants, and full-service restaurants are all competing now with the fast food drive-thru for customer takeout customers. If success does leave clues one clue that all food retailers must remember is ‘when the customer moves you must move with them’ according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Without incremental customer relevance chain restaurants capitulate customers, market share, and brand electricity according to Johnson.  Driving new electricity into a legacy brand with a partnership is a good move and will accelerate the marketing messaging for all companies involved according to Johnson. How is your company positioning to grow your brand, the top, and bottom line?

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply chain and includes such things as fresh foods, online ordering, delivery, plant based foods, sampling, toy’s, beer, developing brands,  grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All food and beverage retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food and beverages that are portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.  Does your retail path forward look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Why?

So, when Revel Systems, a cloud-based point of sale (POS) and complete business management platform, announced a new contract with fast casual restaurant brand, Moe’s Southwest Grill. Moe’s is rolling out the Revel Enterprise solution across the entire restaurant portfolio of more than 700 restaurants by the end of 2020.  The team at Foodservice Solutions® agreed that edifying an existing partnership can edify both brands while driving incremental customer relevance.

Consumers are simply ordering more and more via a mobile device.  Digital restaurant orders increased 63 percent¹ in March, restaurant technology that enables innovative ways for customers to order and pick up food is more important than ever. Revel Systems delivers the digital tools and technology necessary to help Moe’s deliver a better customer experience, including a variety of online ordering options, as well as a smooth and efficient order pickup experience.

Erik Hess, president, Moe’s Southwest Grill , stated “As we work through the challenging restaurant landscape, we understand the increasing importance of making everything easier for our customers and in-restaurant crew members,” …“Ensuring Moe’s has best-in-class technology in place that is scalable, flexible and includes advanced digital consumer capabilities is imperative to our success and ability to innovate. Revel’s platform has demonstrated that this is the best technology solution to roll out to our entire franchise system.”

We must note that this new contract marks the fourth engagement in which Revel has partnered with Focus Brands. The previous three engagements were with Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, and Carvel.

Greg Dukat, CEO, Revel Systems, stated “Revel has become the leading choice for large chains who want to move from legacy solutions to a cloud-based POS and we are very proud to partner with Moe’s Southwest Grill to fuel the success of their business,”  “Even during these very demanding times, major brands realize the need to move away from solutions that hamper their ability to meet rapidly changing consumer needs. We are working hand-in-hand with Moe’s to deploy our flexible solutions to help improve the customer experience, increase efficiency and drive down costs.”

Moe’s will leverage Revel’s open API to easily integrate with key Revel partners including Decision Logic for restaurant cost management. HonorBuilt, a trusted partner providing nationwide technology implementation services and 24/7 U.S. based support for quick service and fast casual restaurants, will deploy the Revel solution at all Moe’s locations. Moe's is leveraging Revel's FreedomPay commerce platform integration to support secure omni-payment transactions including P2PE and EMV contactless payments. How are you driving relevance today, in operations, in marketing, in research?

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Amazon’s Success Solving Service Pain-points

Success does leave clues and at Amazon identifying, quantifying, and qualifying retail pain-points and then solving them has been key to the success they have found in every retail sector from books to food according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Now that Amazon is front and center in brick-and-mortar food retailing, they are reducing the age-old customer pain-point the time it takes to check-out of the store.  So, Amazon is introducing Amazon Dash Cart (pictured-above), which will be available for use at its new grocery store in Woodland Hills, California, slated to open later this year.
Designed for 87% of consumer trips that consist of a small to medium-sized grocery trips of two bags or fewer, the smart shopping cart “.  The number one overall complaint over the last 24 years is that it takes to long to shop a grocery store, and even longer to check out.
By the way the Amazon Dash Cart enables users to bypass the checkout line. The company spokesperson stated, “It employs a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to identify items a shopper puts in the cart. When the shopper exits through the Dash Cart lane in the store, sensors automatically identify the cart, and the shopper’s payment is processed using the shopper’s credit card on the shopper’s Amazon account.”

Additional features of the cart include a screen at the top where a shopper can access an Alexa Shopping List to check items o and view the subtotal, and a coupon scanner to which store coupons can be applied during the shopping trip.
Regular readers of the blog know that Amazon isn't the first retailer using smart carts. Sobeys has been testing them since 2019, using Caper technology, and WalkOut offers a similar option. Both these versions, however, are the size of an average shopping cart. How are you edifying your brand with relevance for consumers?  Tired of just watching others grow? Don’t become your own pain-point.
Looking for success clues of your own? Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities, technology, or a new menu product segment.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Chipotle Test Drives Virtual Restaurant Success

How valuable is a brand?  How valuable is a Brand Manager?  According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® at Chipotle the value of its brand can be determined with the success of its virtual restaurant trail aka second make line for their ‘digital kitchens’.
With restaurant sales in a quagmire not of their own making restaurateurs like all retailers must find new avenues of distribution.  While for many virtual restaurants are still an idea, others an experiment, and some say they will ‘never try’ a virtual restaurant, they just might want to reconsider after they hear what Chipotle has done with ‘digital kitchens’.
Regular readers of this blog have read and heard about Chipotle’s virtual restaurants ‘digital kitchens’ here. Well get this the digital kitchens are bringing in $1 million a year on their own per store.  That my friends is the power of brand marketing.
At the intersection of the consumers, technology, the pandemic, is the continued drive for grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food and Chipotle once again has tapped into the number one drive of food customer migration relevance according to Johnson.

 Chipotle Mexican Grill’s  CEO Brian Niccol stated “  the chain is able to generate the average unit volume of many standalone restaurants from just a portion of its stores is no small feat and one that is giving Chipotle some extra runway during the pandemic….“One of the things that’s been a nice benefit of all the growth in our digital business is we now have scale,” …We’re doing over $1 million of business off this digital make line … and we’ve got some restaurants doing well beyond that.”
So, get this at Chipotle digital sales were up 216%+  for the quarter ended June 30 and now make up 60.7% of Chipotle’s total sales.  Stop right now, and think sure that up-number 216 is high and it should as it new. Now while your thinking consumers what our Grocerant Guru® says all the time.  The consumers is dynamic not static.  Are you watching the consumer move or are you moving with them?
Niccol continues “We have found is we can have success providing digital-only menu items,”.  Which means growth for Chipotle will cost less that someone else that has to build out a new restaurant.  Chipotle can now define areas of need and simply open a virtual restaurant.  Not only that but it looks as if sales for a new virtual store could well top $ 1 Million a year?  What’s your cost for growth?
What role will grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared play for your branding moving forward.  Is your restaurant practicing brand protectionism or are you evolving your brand with relevance?
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Saturday, July 25, 2020

7-Eleven’s 7NOW App Offers Pick-Up

With over 70,000 retail stores around the world no one can say that 7-Eleven does not do a lot of things right.  We talked a lot about carbon footprints this week.  So, it’s once gain time to talk about sector leaders staying dynamic to maintain customer relevance. According Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® that is just what 7-Eleven is doing once again.
When the customer moves 7-Eleven moves with them.  So, adapting to new consumer preferences at the speed of convenience and contactless service amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 7-Eleven Inc.'s 7NOW delivery app now offers customers the option to order and pay for items ahead of time.
The move provides customers with added convenience and minimized time spent in stores, according to the convenience store retailer.

7-Eleven Chief Operating Officer Chris Tanco, stated, "As people struggle to adapt to new routines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 7-Eleven is committed to helping customers get what they need — when, where and how they need it," … "The new pickup option on our 7NOW delivery app is an example of how we're meeting customer's needs to be in and out of stores quickly with minimal touchpoints and increased physical distancing, while also making life a little easier."
To utilize the new service, customers:
·         Download the 7NOW app via the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store;
·         Enter their location in the top left corner, then select "Pickup" instead of delivery;
·         Add items to their cart and pay in the app to complete their purchase;
·         Track the entire order process as it is "picked," "packed" and "ready for pickup”; and
·         Head to the store, show the nearest store associate the four-digit code on the 7NOW app and pickup their items.
In addition to the new pickup feature, 7-Eleven is doubling its delivery footprint to ensure more customers can access the convenience of delivery and pickup. Both experiences will soon be available to 60 million households in more than 1,300 cities across nearly 2,000 stores, according to the retailer.
Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions® can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit us on our social media sites by clicking the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

Friday, July 24, 2020

Outside of the Box Thinking Drives Edible Success

Five years ago, the Edible Arrangements brand had be ignored abandon and became a postmark at industry cocktail parties as it did not fit in.  Then Edible leadership spotted the grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food filling overflowing customers and new customer migration, all just looking for new avenues of distribution and guess what.  A turnaround began to happen. 
According to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® when you combine a brand known for fresh food, grocerant messaging, and a pandemic you will end up a winner.
So, when Edible announced a record-breaking performance across the organization for the first six months of 2020. Over the course of the first half of this year, Edible sales were up 18 percent in total, with U.S. company sales since April 1 up 70 percent as the brand continues picking up steam Johnson was not surprised.
Edible Brands president and COO Cheikh Mboup credits the impressive results to the company’s commitment to being a trusted and comforting brand in times of need, as conveyed by the brand’s evolution to meet changing business demands of a loyal worldwide customer base at the height of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Across all industries, this year has presented its fair share of obstacles due to the coronavirus,” Mboup acknowledged. “As the crisis began to unfold, we focused on doing what we could as a [quick-service restaurant] to support society as a whole. We pivoted our business in many ways so we could serve communities, families and friends in ways like never before in our 20-plus years, and we are grateful those efforts paid off.
Highlights of achievements across the Edible network from January – June of 2020 included:
the launch of whole fruit and produce boxes, free delivery and curbside pickup initiatives to serve customers at-large during the pandemic;
·         best April sales in company history, up 38 percent YOY
·         best single sales month in company history in May, up 45 percent YOY
·         an all-time high Mother’s Day with more than 700,000 orders fulfilled
·         best June sales in company history, up 55 percent YOY
·         the launch of the Manage-to-Own Program that will award existing Edible stores to select candidates who otherwise could not afford to open a franchise.
Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869
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