Month: May 2018

The new age of App ruled business has attempted to make a toe hold for Subway. Looking to revamp their business image after their spokesman went to jail for heinous crimes and the allegations of foreign material in the breads, the remodel has been met with mixed reviews. While the remodel and menu structure has attracted some new customers, those who are brand loyal have shown about a five percent drop in their approval rating of the restaurant. Translated into real world numbers, this means that more than 1000 stores that performed poorly are now closed with many more to come over the next two years, with franchise buy in increasing.

Key Takeaways:

  • The fast food chain Subway is receiving a mixed reaction from customers about their new loyalty program and recently revised mobile app.
  • In the weeks following Subway’s launch of their MyWay Rewards program, 40 percent of adults 18 and older claimed they might consider purchasing a Subway meal versus 37 percent prior to the release.
  • Subway MyWay claims to offer a customized user experience and be seamlessly integrated with the newest version of the Subway app, which offers online ordering.

“According to consumer research firm YouGov BrandIndex, the world’s largest sandwich provider curried favor with new customers but potentially deterred brand loyalists.”

Read more: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/fast-food/subway-s-loyalty-app-splits-consumers

Commentary

These days, “open letters” seem to be all the rage, whether in social activism, or in marketing. Within the competitive world of quick-serve restaurants, there has been a longstanding debate about whether to address the competition head-on, calling out their flaws, or to simply let your own product do the talking and stand alone. These days, it seems that more and more are doing the former – with the most prominent example being a letter from Burger King calling out McDonald’s.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot about “open letters” from businesses towards their competitors.
  • This completely averts the traditional stance of letting your own product simply speak for itself.
  • But, does it work? Well, as is usually the case, the answer is “It depends”.

“Open letters traditionally are paid advertisements in publications, but they’re also popping up as online statements or in news releases.”

Read more: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/consumer-trends/does-publishing-open-letter-your-competition-work

Commentary

According to The Brewers Association (BA), small and independent craft brewers in the U.S. are growing at a steady rate. In 2017 alone, craft brewers experienced a 5 percent increase in volume and an 8 percent rise in their retail dollar value. Bart Watson, the Chief Economist for the Brewers Association attributes much of the growth to beer lovers increasingly supporting local independent breweries versus more national brands. Furthermore, craft breweries and brewpubs are responsible for 135,000+ jobs in the U.S., which is an increase of over 6,000 from the year before.

Key Takeaways:

  • According to The Brewers Association, independent American craft brewers experienced significant growth in market share in 2017.
  • Chief economist for the Brewers Association attributes the growth, in part, to beer lovers increasingly supporting their local independent breweries over more national brands.
  • Established breweries, craft brewers, and brewpubs are responsible for over 135,000 jobs in 2017, which is an increase of approximately 6,000 from the year prior.

“Beer lovers want to support businesses that align with their values and are having a positive impact on their local communities and our larger society”

Read more: https://www.restaurantnewsresource.com/article99071.html

Commentary

Midrange eateries, those that fall between the fast food diner and the fine dining establishmrnts, are struggling to keep a toehold in the industry. The idea of having something reasonably tasty for everyone isn’t necessarily working for this sector of the restaurant biz any more. Customers that want quick and cheap are fast-fooding, while an ever-growing portion of the population is looking for a more stylish, higher grade of cuisine.

Staying relevant in this squeezed sector could mean leaning on a great !ocation, or creating a special dining experience via ambiance. It could mean putting more emphasis on technology, although app commission fees can eat into an eaterys ‘ earnings.

Key Takeaways:

  • With competition in the restaurant industry at an all-time high, the midmarket brands need to up their game in order to keep customers coming through the doors.
  • With the growing popularity of “fast fine dining” establishments, midmarket casual restaurants such as Jamie’s Italian and Byron Burger are challenged with finding ways to remain relevant.
  • It’s particularly important for restaurants to understand that the habits and preferences of their potential customers in one region may be vastly different from those in a different location.

“On busy high streets, midmarket brands could focus on further differentiating from their fast-casual competitors by investing in their sit-down experience, from on-brand décor and the style of customer service to the size of the space.”

Read more: https://www.restaurantnewsresource.com/article99056.html

Commentary

Seafood chains have always represented the smallest percent of fast casual food options in the restaurant industry. Some of it may be cultural, with options like lobster and haddock simply being the sort of food one eats with a tablecloth and wine. Some of it can be traced to cost, as seafood supply and prices are far more volatile than say that incurred by say a menu of pasta dishes, thereby making a staple like Long John Silver’s a near anomaly in the food biz.

It ‘s changing though, in large part due to the deconstructed sushi trend that has made the masses consider casual, yet attractive, seafood options in a new light. By creating a wedge into the fast casual marketplace, Poke dishes are leading the way for more traditional seafare to latch onto the trend.

Key Takeaways:

  • Seafood food trucks and casual dining establishments are making a comeback
  • Pokaeatery is one restaurant that has capitalized on the trend of seafood being a leaner, healthier choice for protein
  • such eateries have incorporated global flavors to attract the culinary curious as well as traditional dishes, which keep customers coming back.

“With fast casuals diving into the fray, seafood options in the limited-service restaurant industry are going upscale.”

Read more: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/menu-innovations/seafood-rides-fast-casual-wave

Commentary

Due to a changing wage landscape in the U.S. and Canada, fast-food franchises will be facing some steep financial challenges in the short- and long-term. As of January 1st of this year, 20 states have initiated minimum wage increases, including Maine and Alaska. In the Canadian provinces, there is a similar trend. While some feel the way to mitigate mandatory wage increases is by raising prices, the fast-food industry is a very competitive market and consumers can just choose to go elsewhere. To survive and thrive, restaurants will have to be flexible by leveraging their purchasing power and adapt new technologies quickly in order to cut their hidden costs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Very visibly, this year, starting in January, in the U.S., twenty states have instituted minimum wage increases, as have already numerous Canadian provinces.
  • Old and new franchises are going to have to cope in a business world where the financial markets are showing volatility such as has not been witnessed since the last big recession in 2008,
  • Many franchises are concerned, because it’s clear that the cost of the new wage hikes will not be successfully offset by price increases.

“The wage landscape is changing in both the U.S. and Canada and with more quick-service restaurants estimated to enter the market in 2018, franchisees will face new challenges that is going to make 2018 and beyond extremely competitive.”

Read more: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/how-franchises-can-survive-minimum-wage-hikes

Commentary

Within the quick-serve restaurant industry, the focus of restaurateurs has spread far beyond just the food and service. Discerning customers are also concerned about their impacts on the planet, and operators must keep in line or get left behind. Major points of focus include reduction of food waste, which is a huge issue from an environmental impact, as well as a budget-buster. Additionally, energy use and treatment of cooking oil are factors which wise QSR owners should keep in mind to stay green.

Key Takeaways:

  • QSR operators always need to be on top of the newest trends, and a major one in 2018 is eco-friendliness.
  • For starters, a major point of contention with customers is reduction of food waste.
  • Moreover, cutting down on the amount of wasted food will go right to your bottom line, so everyone benefits.

“To hear Field Failing tell it, building a sustainable restaurant is more about the journey than it is about the destination.”

Read more: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/sustainability/what-it-means-go-green-2018

Commentary

The technological and digital era that has erupted in recent years with the advent of new devices and software has left many industries wondering what their landscape will look like in the coming years. One of these that has since re-emerged due to a clear need for them, is that of kiosk demand for quick services, which can apply to a wide array of industries that may find themselves having long wait times in their traditional locations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Quick service restaurants are seeing a lot of changes in their business models thanks to technology.
  • One of these is the replacement of human agents and cashiers with self-serve kiosks.
  • These ordering kiosks actually feel more intuitive and easy to use for customers who have now become used to 24/7 digital interaction.

“Customers are eager for the technology, especially in an industry where convenience sits on the throne above all others.”

Read more: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/technology/study-kiosk-demand-rise-quick-service

Commentary

Every year brings with it new trends in the restaurant industry, and 2018 is no different. Quick-serve establishments need to keep an eye out and remain apprised of the top changes coming their way. These include a trend towards customization, coupled with convenience in the form of mobile ordering or instant pick-up. And, customers are looking for a true services experience, as well as high-quality ingredients. A tall order to be sure, but success will come to restaurateurs that can fill it.

Key Takeaways:

  • Every year brings with it new trends in the restaurant industry, and business owners need to be aware of them.
  • One of the biggest trends for 2018 is focused on customization: allowing the customer to build exactly what they want.
  • Another, however, is much more low-tech: customers are seeking out good service and an irreplaceable human element.

“Kiosks and other convenience-driven innovations are the wave of the future.”

Read more: https://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/5-trends-restaurants-can-t-afford-ignore-2018

Commentary