Subway

The Power of Two

Marketing professors over the years have lectured students that they should never give a customer too many choices. Quick-serve operators must have missed that class. A look at several successful quick-serve menus reveals some form of a Choose Two option, where consumers can create a meal by combining items from an array of choices. 

Rolling in Dough

There’s something about the smell and taste of freshly baked bread that triggers powerful, positive emotional responses in most of us.

Psychologists have noted that the aroma of baked bread evokes happy childhood memories, comfort, and even tender feelings of being loved. One recent survey found the fragrance of freshly baked bread is a favorite smell of both men and women.

This lesson is not lost on supermarkets, which for years have used the distinct aroma of bread baking from in-store bakeries to lure customers to buy more items.

Washington May Not Have the Economy Pegged Just Yet

Timothy Geithner is “welcoming” Americans into the recovery, but restaurant operators aren’t feeling the hospitality.

On August 2, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote an op-ed in the New York Times with the title, “Welcome to the Recovery.” Despite the brash headline, Geithner was cautiously optimistic about the direction of the economy.

“Recoveries that follow financial crises are typically a hard climb,” he wrote. “That is reality. The process of repair means economic growth will come slower than we would like. But despite these challenges, there is good news to report.”

Local Heroes Top Golden Arches

In a recent survey, local brands, fast casuals, and (of course) Chick-fil-A rank at the top of consumer satisfaction list.

Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, and Panera Bread rank among the best quick serves in the country in customer satisfaction, according to a study J.D. Power and Associates released on Tuesday.

The 2010 U.S. Restaurant Satisfaction Study evaluated consumer responses to an online survey that measured four aspects of customer satisfaction: price, environment (ambiance, cleanliness, convenience of location/hours), meal (quality/taste of food, meal presentation, portion size), and service (speed, wait staff courtesy/friendliness). 

Subway, Unscripted

When 17-year-old Fred DeLuca decided he’d try to earn his college tuition by launching a sandwich shop, he and partner Peter Buck set a goal of opening 32 outlets in 10 years.

“We fell a little short,” DeLuca recalls 45 years later. “I think we had 24 open” by 1975.

It might’ve been the last time his brainchild, now known as Subway, would miss an expansion target. Last year, at a time when the restaurant industry appeared to be contracting, the chain grew by 1,153 units in the U.S. alone. That’s roughly an opening every eight hours.

Quality Control

Timothy Howes is tired of hearing about product quality—at least the way most owners and operators frame the topic.

“If I hear one more restaurant owner say, ‘We serve quality food,’ I think I’m going to scream,” says Howes, a principal consultant and management expert for performance consultant Spyglass Strategies. “Quality food is not a differentiator. It has to be more than that. What restaurant would ever tell their customers that they serve mediocre food?”

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