For years, the two most important words in franchising—for both franchisors and franchisees—have been unit economics. The success or failure of a franchise concept can pivot off of how well unit economics are tracked, managed, and improved. Yet many franchisors and franchisees alike pay inadequate attention to, or ignore altogether, perhaps the most effective way to identify and exploit the chief levers for driving profitability at the franchise unit level.
Restaurants looking to increase their customer base and drive sales through digital marketing should focus on local search engine optimization (SEO) because of its proven ability to drive in-store sales. Local SEO improves a restaurant’s rankings in local search results and puts businesses in front of consumers at the very moments in which they are actively searching and looking to make a purchase. For restaurants, it is essential to include local SEO as part of their overall marketing strategies.
Stories surrounding food-borne illness outbreaks in national quick-service restaurant chains have become very common, with many national brands having suffered at least one major food-borne illness outbreak. Whether the cause of the outbreak is due to contaminated food or unclean surfaces, food safety at these quick-service chains, which feed nearly all Americans at least once a week, needs to be regarded as a top concern and priority. Restaurants have an obligation to ensure customers are protected against food borne illness which affects too many Americans.
Picture this: You’re trying to decide where to go for dinner. You’re stuck between two new restaurants. One has a line out the door; the other looks deserted. Which do you choose?
Chances are, unless you’re in a rush, you pick the one with the line out the door. If that many people like it, it must be good, right? If everyone wants it, it has to have some merit. In fact, you almost need to try it.
This is social proof—the grown-up version of peer pressure and the core of FOMO (the fear of missing out).
Competition in the quick-service industry is heating up after Taco Bell rolled out hard-hitting advertising for its new breakfast menu with jabs at McDonald’s that suggest the quick-service leader is not keeping up with the times.
Mobile payments are a hot topic within the fast-casual restaurant industry. We’ve seen Starbucks find success with mobile payments. We hear Chipotle is ready to invest $10 million in improving its current tech to allow for mobile payments. Still, there is a lot of doubt and uncertainty. Are my guests ready for it? Will we increase frequency or check average for our franchisees?
Just after stumbling out of bed each morning, the first thing I do is scan the local and national news stories posted on a half-dozen different websites. I don’t read every article, of course, but I do try to read the ones that are important to me either personally or professionally. And recently I find that I’m interested in more news items because of how they connect with my career as a hospitality trainer.
Within the quick-service restaurant industry, every executive has an interest in growth, innovation, and sustained success. This statement, while hardly novel, is more complex than many imagine or some care to recognize. Deciphering, dissecting, and analyzing the most relevant components—the information responsible for streamlining operations, enhancing productivity, improving morale, refining menu items, and customizing marketing initiatives—is a substantial undertaking, fraught with risks (of wasted money) and worsened by frustration (from individual managers).
Most restaurant openings contain rich backstories. Business models and financial projections seldom motivate individuals to pursue endeavors with 90 percent failure rates. In the world of quick service, this spirit of stubborn entrepreneurialism can often be experienced in its purest form by visiting new, independent restaurants and by spending time with the people who opened them.
Ordering a beer with your burger or a margarita with the taco special at your favorite fast-casual restaurant used to be a rarity, but more concepts are now offering alcoholic selections, from beer to signature cocktails. With the increased awareness and education of adult beverage culture in our society, consumers are expecting, even demanding, a better selection of adult refreshments with their meals, causing more fast-casual concepts to take a look at alcoholic beverage programming.