The chief executive officer is often the face of a brand. And when the time comes for a new leader to assume the role, experts say, an efficient succession plan can help establish a smooth transition and reassure employees that all is well with the brand.
Convenience stores are increasingly taking a larger slice out of the quick-serve pie with fresh food offerings. It’s become such a lucrative business for C-stores that Sheetz, the Pennsylvania-based C-store chain that this week opened its 500th location, is planning stores designed more as fast casuals, sans gas pumps.
A recent study by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC) highlighted a troubling trend of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry: 60 percent of female and transgender workers and 46 percent of male workers report harassment as an uncomfortable aspect of work life. These findings follow an MSNBC review of 2011 data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which found that restaurants accounted for 37 percent of all claims.
When you’re a quick-serve executive for a brand with decades of history, it can be hard to change with the times while retaining a connection with loyal, longtime customers. But, as in all things, evolution is necessary in the restaurant business, and a brand refresh that touches all aspects of a concept can propel growth. The key, the experts say, is striking a balance between old and new, and then tracking the progress.
Reinvesting in employee training, improved food quality, and more efficient supply chains are all viable options to strengthen an underperforming quick-service restaurant. But before any outward changes can take root, the core of the business must be unified, and several businesses are finding that a better internal culture can lead to better results.
Technological advances have influenced the restaurant industry in obvious ways, including through virtual reservations, online reviews, and increased customer interaction through social media. But in the back of the house, new tracking software and standards are revolutionizing supply systems, allowing restaurant operators to have a better understanding of where their food comes from.
Brands report that the traceability changes have increased efficiency and food safety, while also boosting the bottom line.
For upstart quick-service restaurants considering the move to franchising, the path can precipitate a major shift in business model and operations. Beyond the economic investment in franchising, experts say, operators must ensure their brand will consistently deliver quality across all locations.
While it’s become standard practice for corporate brands to engage consumers through channels such as Facebook and Twitter, location-specific marketing could be the new wave of social media. Increasingly, quick-service brands are targeting consumers in individual markets across the U.S.
“It’s really messy [for a brand] to set up [social media pages] regardless of if they intended to start localized social or not,” says Erica McClenny, senior vice president of product management at social software firm Expion.
In a globalized world, many quick-serve restaurants look to emerging markets in the Middle East, Asia, and other regions for new growth ventures. While these retailers strive to maintain the cornerstones of their brand, international menus can’t be carbon copies of the American originals. Regional flavors, religious dietary restrictions, and different suppliers all play a part in shaping unique dishes for consumers abroad.
From its controversial rollout to its wide-reaching impact on individual healthcare plans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has dominated recent headlines. What has received less attention, however, is the law’s impact on the foodservice industry.