The Summit Group Communications, the longest-running advertising and public relations firm in the state of Utah, has just won the business of the Detroit Subway restaurants market. With this addition, TSG now represents 33 Subway restaurant markets with more than 4,100 restaurants in 14 states.
The Subway restaurant chain has been named, in a report by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), as the only restaurant chain in the country to meet the organization’s standards for children’s meals.
“One out of every three American children is overweight or obese, but it’s as if the chain restaurant industry didn’t get the memo,” says CSPI nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan. “Most chains seem stuck in a time warp, serving up the same old meals based on chicken nuggets, burgers, macaroni and cheese, fries, and soda.”
In the last several years, as consumers have become savvier and more educated about the food they eat, words like fresh, local, and artisanal have become the norm in the foodservice industry.
But with many companies throwing these terms around seemingly at will to try to differentiate their brand and resonate with customers, definitions have been grayed and misconceptions have been made. After all, many of these words still go undefined by regulatory bodies (unlike organic, which is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)).
The spotlight on healthy eating is growing brighter, and now even the youngest eaters are taking notice. A recent study by children’s research firm KidSay and The Marketing Store Worldwide (TMSW) showed the majority of children ages 5–11 think they are healthy eaters, with more than 80 percent of kids saying healthy eating was “cool,” up from 59 percent in 2004.
According to Restaurant DemandTracker, a recent survey of restaurant customers in the United States, households with younger kids are much more likely to seek out restaurants with kid-friendly menus, and many of those consumers are looking for healthier food items on the menu for their families.
Households with younger children are especially likely to value a kid-friendly menu and slightly more likely to value healthy menu choices than households with older children.
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It’s being compared to the Sims computer-game franchise and Facebook’s infamous Farmville game. But Subway’s new competition, which has participants creating their own virtual stores online, is handing out more than just token points; the program is also successfully engaging young entrepreneurs, giving the company an early look at talent, and offering prospects a quick and free education on the world’s largest quick-serve chain.
At its annual Subway Team Operations Marketing & Planning (STOMP) Summit, Subway restaurants recognized 10 of 202 markets for their success and leadership by naming them Market of the Year.
Of those recognized, three markets are represented by The Summit Group Communications (TSG), the longest-running, independently owned advertising and public relations firm in the state of Utah.
In a recent survey of restaurant customers in the United States, when it comes to identifying what drives loyalty for restaurants, the most commonly cited factors in determining which quick-service restaurant is visited most often are good value (58 percent), convenience (57 percent), low prices (53 percent), and fast service (51 percent).
Great-tasting food is only the eighth-most important factor in driving loyalty in this segment.
You might consider it a wake-up call. A data-hacking scheme recently targeted more than 100 Subway stores and stole more than $10 million from customer credit cards, putting the threat of data breaches back in the national spotlight and giving restaurants even more reason to pay attention to their network security.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, more than 500,000 Americans endure homelessness each night, while countless thousands more are impoverished.
Many of these citizens live near a quick-serve concept, giving restaurateurs an opportunity to team up with nonprofits to help the less fortunate jumpstart a career in foodservice. The industry is using everything from franchisee incentives to culinary and life-skills training to transform lives and create careers for those who’ve fallen on hard times.