Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Restaurant Conundrum: Compliancy or Consternation


Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® Steven Johnson ask can you afford to sit back and wait for the COVID-19 vaccinations to reach 100% of your consumers?  The time to look a customer ahead is now. You have a choice barrow money and wait it out, hoping all of your customers return or you can fight the tenancy of compliancy and opt for a degree of consternation as you move forward with new menu items in new avenues of distribution.  

So. back in the day (2009), Domino’s awoke from a long period of brand protectionism practices, self-imposed rules that contributed to stifling sales growth, product quality, and a loss of customer relevance.  Domino’s was the first major retail brand to discard it core product for and completely new one since the failed rebranding of Coco Cola. It was a huge risk.  Guess what Domino’s won.

Domino’s did what no other restaurant chain did; they stopped doing what they always had done and moved forward focused on the customer. In short, they abandoned brand protectionism.   It is not back to the basics.  It was a macro step, not a micro step.  It was a step into the future of brand marketing, positioning, and essential for legacy brands continued consumer relevance.  Abandoning brand protectionism means repositioning a product or a company focusing on the core foundation of the legacy product with a dramatic shift in contemporized customer relevance.  Simply put incremental steps are not enough today. 

In Seth Godin's book Purple Cow where an entrepreneur wants to recapture some of the magic that the brand at one time had. Godin suggests that the key to success is finding a way to stand out and be remarkable, like a purple cow in a field of regular cows. That’s what Domino’s did and the company has never looked back.

Domino’s same-store sales have risen 19 percent on a two-year basis, which six years later and with a recession in the middle is not bad at all. They continue to rise.

Rebuilding customer relevance is important if a brand somehow grows out of touch.  In the case of Domino’s abandoning brand protectionism contributed to drive top line sales and bottom-line profits, driving customer relevance and sales momentum resulting in same-store sales in international markets rose 7.7 percent in the quarter in 2015. Growth can happen when both the franchisee and customers are happy at chain restaurants.   The customer is dynamic not static any your brand must be as well. 

The challenged for any restaurant today is to move past the yesterday and look at Gen Z and Millennials think about how a digital native is going to shop, buy meals, and eat moving forward. The grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food, gives retailers the to drive incremental food sales, the ability to see and understand the customers focus at its core, then evolve. Success does leave clues and companies leading the charge in 2021 will be leaders within their niche for years to come.

Food retailers that do not evolve be warned that the rest of will be reading headlines that C-level change is coming or came at your company. Without bold new leaders many legacy retail food brands may simply become non relevant. In the event that they are more about their brand than the consumer they will simply fall to the way side. Do you need outside eyes to help drive top line sale and bottom-line profits?

Consternation is not a bad thing. It can be both uncomfortable and rewarding. Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions FIVE P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information

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