Saturday, December 26, 2020

While Luby’s lays lifeless


Hand held digital Technology could have saved Luby’s.  You know success does leave clues and Luby’s looked more like yesterday than tomorrow there was no reason for that according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.  Johnson continued Hand Held Food Marketing is a clear undercurrent driving brand adoption putting a new electricity in brand relevance for many younger consumers.

Today, new partnerships can drive sales in foodservice today as your brand is searching for the new electricity to help drive the brand forward. So, just what is your brands new electricity? According to Johnson, “Brand relevance is in part driven with innovation in new food products in combination with new avenues of distribution all of which are the platform for the new electricity.”

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, Fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different

Luby’s new many employees continue to work remotely, the traditional company cafeteria model has been broken for years and that they had the perfect platform to drive online sales reaching new consumers with food make for takeout and delivery.  

Employees working at home missed all of those chef-driven onsite foodservice programs—many of which are positioned as a perk to lure workers to companies such as Google, Apple and other corporate giants? Luby’s was the perfect fit to pick-up when they were closed.

Ali Sabeti, CEO of ZeroCater, a corporate catering and snack platform stated “You don’t need a 3,000-square-foot cafeteria or several onsite restaurants when only 20% to 25% of the workforce is there at any one time,” .. Additionally, head counts are going to be unpredictable and can vary greatly from day to day, he believes.”  So, where was Luby’s?  What were they thinking? Let’s keep doing what we always did and keep doing it the same way?

So a couple of weeks ago, Sabeti rolled out CloudCafe, a digital solution for the new hybrid workplace. The platform is populated with hundreds of restaurants and caterers, which prepare meals out of central commissaries in various cities.

“One commissary can feed up to 2,000 people for $6 a meal,” he says, “but groups of any size can sign on.” Like the corporate cafeteria, CloudCafe offers employers the opportunity to pay for all or part of their employees’ meals.

Sabeti said the platform currently offers 120 different cuisines and 35,000 items, but he intends to add more as it evolves. “We’re ramping up offerings to include healthier options and more portable foods, like burritos and bowls,” he says. “There’s a shift from the traditional plate of an entree and sides.”

As businesses and office buildings began reopening after the first wave of the pandemic, onsite feeding options were still limited and many employees turned to third-party delivery platforms.  Sabeti sees CloudCafe as a more economical and efficient alternative for the employee and a way to provide a consistent benefit by the employer.

“Going forward, there won’t be one corporate feeding model, even within one company,” Sabeti believes. “There will be the office evangelists and the work-from-home evangelists. Engineers and finance people may prefer to work in isolation, while those in sales may be more productive in teams.” Luby’s what are you doing?  Do you want to drive top line sales and bottom line profits tomorrow?

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing ideations look more like yesterday than tomorrow? Interested in learning how can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us or visit: for more information.


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