When consumers are hungry they want to eat. They will buy food at a gas station, train station, bridge, or along the side of a road. Consumers are dynamic not static and chain restaurants must evolve with consumers. Only stubbornness on the part of c-level executives at chain restaurants can be blamed as sales fall at chain restaurants once again or so says Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
The chain restaurant business model must evolve as there is no notion of channel blurring in the minds-eye of the consumer. Channel blurring only exists in the BLIND eye of Neanderthal chain restaurant and Grocery Stores brand managers according to Johnson as he stated back in 2010 and it has never been more evident than today.
The customer has moved and legacy chain restaurants continue to try to do what they have always done and are doing it in the same way. It’s time for a new business model for chain restaurants according to Johnson.
In July 2017 same-store sales dropped 2.8 percent across the restaurant landscape, a significant 1.8 percentage point decline from the previous month. Customer traffic at restaurants plummeted 4.7 percent in the July and 1.7 percentage points worse than June of 2017 according to numbers from Victor Fernandez, executive director of Insights and Knowledge for industry tracker TDn2K.
When same store sales are calculated on a two-year basis, July’s sales were down 4.2 percent versus July 2015, and same-store traffic declined an eye-opening 8.7 percent. These are the weakest two-year growth rates in more than three years.
The line between foodservice channels exist only in the minds-eye those protecting their own jobs not those interested in the evolving consumer, path to purchase, retail sales growth, or brand relevance according to Johnson.
A study shows consumers regard the service provided by Wawa (a state of the industry convenience store retail chain), as superior to what they get at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. Simply put brand protectionism is dead once again our Grocerant Guru® said that first back in 2009 but so much for understanding the undercurrents driving our evolving foodservice sectors.
Retail foodservice today is about Share of Stomach, and you are either capitulating share of stomach or garnering share of stomach customer by customer. Is your retail foodservice brand garnering year over year customer counts or capitulating customers?
Edifying Foodservice Solutions® findings recent research by White Box Social Intelligence found “Wawa is more likely to meet service expectations than all 619 restaurant brands the researcher monitors on a constant basis. Closest to the c-store chain in positive service evaluations was Papa Murphy’s, followed by Seasons 52, Fleming’s and Wienerschnitzel.” The consumer knows best. Is it time you began rethinking how to integrate Foodservice Solutions® FIVE P’s of Food Marketing?
White Box Social Intelligence also revealed “consumers’ intentions of visiting the monitored restaurant chains have continued to wane, by a hefty 6.4%, and that they believe the food quality of those brands has slipped from a year ago. Yet their estimation of restaurant service rose by 10.2% year over year. Wawa was one of the brands that scored high in customers’ intention to return, with only Qdoba and Carvel ranking higher.
Wawa’s top rating on service was indeed a surprise, says Victor Fernandez, TDn2K’s executive director of insights and knowledge. “It all depends on expectations, whatever the expectation of what good service is,” he says. “Obviously people expect something different from Wawa than they do from Fleming’s.” But they’re more likely to have those expectations satisfied at the c-store chain, he indicated.
While Victor was surprise no one on the Team at Foodservice Solutions® was after conducting over 7,790 Grocerant ScoreCards. Again we continue to think it is time for chain restaurant brand managers to look at some of those persistent factors aka consumer facing grocerant niche valued attributes that are driving change customer adoption of new fresh food avenues of distribution.
The fact of the matter is the consumers have moved on and channel blurring only exists in the BLIND eye of Neanderthal chain restaurant and Grocery Stores brand managers not in the minds-eye of the consumer. Restaurants, Grocery stores, must evolve or risk capitulating incremental customer counts to other retailers that are addressing the attributes that are relevant to consumers today.
Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way? Interested in learning how www.FoodserviceSolutions.us can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization? Email us at: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us or visit: www.FoodserviceSolutions.us for more information.