Saturday, October 24, 2020

P.F. Chang's Late to the Party but On Track


Consumers are dynamic not static.  Wanting to do no harm, P.F. Chang’s did little to keep up with the evolving consumer for the past five years even after witnessing dramatic customer migration from sit-down restaurants to drive-thru and takeout fresh food grocerant niche operations according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Forced into action by the pandemic P.F. Chang’s is at last making the turn the concept and consumers have been clamoring for according to Johnson. Let’s look at some numbers for September in the U.S. In Drive-thru led the way, with 68% consumers having used it, followed by takeout (63%), curbside pickup (48%), third-party delivery and direct delivery (both 45%). 

Over the past 7 years sales of meals from all restaurants have occurred 80.3% of the time from within the fast-food sector with 69.7% of those from the drive thru.  Say all that you want about fast food, and most people say they don’t or never go to fast food outlets.  The simple fast is they lie wen polled about eating habits according to Johnson as the numbers prove.

Now after opening three P.F. Chang’s To Go stores in Chicago this year, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro is now turning its attention to growing the off-premise format store in new markets including New York, proving even the urban consumers is evolving or the suburban consumers moved into the city and is driving change.

P.F. Chang’s has opened the first of five to-go stores planned in New York City. The “to-go” stores have smaller footprints designed for off-premise orders which represent about 25% of sales. The company plans to open 27 by 2021.

Don’t miss understand the numbers, there is a place for full-service restaurants, they will rebound but some concepts a grow and adapt their menu’s for inclusion into the hot button consumer touchpoint of grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food better than others.  It just so happens that P.F. Chang’s instance on brand protectionism, did not help the brand keep pace with consumers.

Damola Adamolekun, who started as CEO June 1, stated that “the company plans to open 20 more to-go format stores next year, which is in line with growth plans prior to the pandemic.”  The consumers have led, and validated the grocerant niche migration since 1991. 

The facts are clear, the consumer likes full flavored fresh food and likes it fresh and fast.  Does your brand look more like yesterday than tomorrow?  How is your brand going to edify its relationship with consumers?  What is the right mix of fast food, fresh food, and full-service restaurants any one brand should have? 

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

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