Sunday, October 18, 2020

Franchisee can drive Success for Chain Restaurants


There is no need to list the thousand of restaurants that have closed during the pandemic. Nor is there  a need to list all of chain restaurants that have filed for bankruptcy over the past five years. There is one question all operators need to ask themselves.  That question is: Do consumer find relevance in my restaurant or brand?

If you don’t have customer relevance, you have very little value.  Consumers are dynamic not static, they evolve, your restaurant needs to evolve with consumer or risk losing relevance, customer, sales and profits according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Think about this in June of 1919 over 101 years ago A&W was founded.  It grew with customer relevance, full flavored food that was craveable. During the late 70’s and early 80’s chain leaders resorted to ‘brand protectionism’ of the status quo and things began to go south.  They were bough and sold and at the core chain restaurant leader after chain restaurant leader trying to do no harm continues with the status quo mindset.  Ok, we all know that did not work.

In August, 2020 sales at franchised A&W Restaurants grew 8.2 percent over last year, following double-digit increases in February, May, June and July. Systemwide, year-to-date same-store sales growth is at the highest level since franchisees acquired the brand in 2011. Now they did that during the pandemic when other chains were folding.  Think about that!  These A&W Franchisee are close to the consumer and moving forward with relevant messaging and branding.

A&W CEO Kevin Bazner stated,  “This is a remarkable recovery from the dark days of March and April,”. “As we head into the fall, sales at nearly two-thirds of our stand-alone restaurants are up over 2019, which was our eighth straight year of comp-store sales growth.” The majority of co-branded locations also are up over last year.

So get this, since franchisees acquired the company from YUM! Brands in 2011, average unit sales have increased by over 38 percent. According to Bazner, the brand’s performance is a key reason it was recognized by Franchise Business Review as a Top Food and Beverage Franchise for the second straight year.

A&W was just one of 35 franchise food brands to be listed by the market research firm that performs independent surveys on franchisee satisfaction. It analyzed 18 months’ worth of data from over 4,300 franchise owners representing 100 franchise brands in the food sector. A&W franchisees were surveyed on 33 benchmark questions about their experience and satisfaction regarding critical areas of their franchise systems, including training and support, operations, franchisor/franchisee relations and financial opportunity.

Bazner continued, “Being owned by franchisees, we are solely focused on their success. According to Franchise Business Review, A&W is outperforming its competitors and franchisees' expectations. “It is very rewarding to have our franchise partners rate their satisfaction with A&W so highly.”

A&W currently has 15 franchise locations in development. A new stand-alone restaurant opens early next month in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Who is better at listening to your consumers? That’s right, those who are closest to them. 

Known for its All American Food, fresh food and beverage including Root Beer that is made fresh in each restaurant and served in frosty mugs, there are more than 900 A&Ws in the U.S. and Asia. Keep doing what you are doing A&W franchisee.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment