Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series on pricing strategies within the quick-service restaurant industry.
Frozen-yogurt shops are reaching critical mass as sales and momentum start to slow down. The next obvious step in this fad is for the segment to reach its breaking point when weaker brands begin to fall away leaving only the strong to survive. Change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean change has to be negative. Fro-yo brands with less market penetration don’t have to fail, but in order to persevere they will need to change the game in some way.
Within the quick-service restaurant industry, there is an urgent need for more effective and quantifiable marketing. The current use of conventional advertising and promotions does not work—it certainly does not work easily or affordably—and there must be a way to better engage consumers.
Don’t you get tired of hearing about the impending minimum wage increase? It is no longer if it is going to happen, but rather when is it going to happen and what will the magnitude be? The reality is that nobody really knows, but if you look around, isn’t it already beginning to happen?
In some states there has already been action with hourly managers, minimum wage servers, and the hourly minimum being higher than federal minimum wage. In other states, there is quite a bit of legislation of one sort or the other pending.
Many vendors slap the phrase “mobile payment system” on their products hoping to increase their appeal, adding to misperceptions of what the technology entails. In reality, this broad term can encompass several different things, including open-loop mobile wallets like Google Wallet and closed-loop mobile wallets such as the app from Starbucks, as well as mobile payment acceptance solutions used by merchants.
It’s the age-old question, resurfaced: Why fix what ain’t broke? Restaurateurs are often faced with the dilemma of handling change in their chains. As a hospitality-focused design firm, starrdesign has worked with a wide range of quick service restaurants over the years, gaining insight into their operational mindset and processes. What the company has discovered is a distinct difference in the approaches of small and emerging chains versus those that are already well established across the country.
Social media restaurant communities are littered with conversations revolving around one of the most costly and frustrating elements of the business: employee turnover. Every LinkedIn group, Google+ community, and Facebook page dedicated to the industry sees its share of questions and answers as to how to make It stop.
First, Taco Bell turned the burrito on its side with the launch of a new breakfast menu, and now, traditional morning daypart chains Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are looking to extend their bite to the much-larger lunch slice. Although Dunkin’ has been after the coffee-drinking market that makes up the largest piece of Starbucks’ revenue, and Starbucks for years has served pre-made or heat-and-eat fare, both brands are looking to increase food sales revenue and chip away at Panera Bread’s market share.
Quick-serve restaurant owners are some of the busiest people you may ever know. In addition to sales, food quality, staffing, safety, regulations, marketing, staying ahead of the competition, and inventory management, quick-serve restaurant owners have to keep track of financial performance, payables, tax liabilities, and payroll. It’s no wonder that being a restaurant owner is one of the most stressful occupations—even more so if you operate multiple locations. But converting to a cloud-based accounting system can ease the stress and help you run your business better.
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.