Next, B.GOOD simplified the look and feel of its menuboards so customers, especially first-time visitors, would have a better understanding of where they should start and what they should try. “It’s made our sales and service leaders more effective,” he says. “We think it’s going to improve the line and speed of service.”
The chain added kiosks in some stores. It took pricing from ending on the 9s to ending on the dollar or the 5s ($7.50 for instance).
But perhaps the biggest change in ordering behavior can be illustrated as follows: In the past, guests walked up to the cashier and were showered with options. Order the burger. What bun, cheese, protein would you like? It was a back and forth customers started to get a little frustrated with, Fuqua says.
Now, B.GOOD’s options are built. They’re still chef inspired and can be customized if needed, but they are designed offerings from top to bottom on the menuboard.
It’s critical to note, Fuqua says, how the simplification process provided room to grow and innovate instead of limiting it, as some cutbacks do. Especially as off-premises business accelerates and drives decisions into the kitchen. The chicken platform, for example, is one built to travel. And so are the bowls that often carry a seasonal choice, like the BBQ Chicken version with Stubb’s barbecue sauce featured recently.
All of the menu changes, however, are just one element of what boils down to a three-pronged strategy Fuqua has championed. It breaks down as menu, app and loyal, and off-premises upgrades.
B.GOOD shares another thread with Dunkin’ in regards to its potential. Much of the work taking place is designed to evolve the fast casual from a geographically centered cult brand into one capable of penetrating markets all over the map. Dunkin’ currently is focusing 90 percent of its 1,000 net new store target outside of the company’s Northeast stronghold.
B.GOOD’s footprint looks like this currently:
- Connecticut: 4
- Illinois: 4
- Maine: 2
- Massachusetts: 24
- New Hampshire: 2
- Virginia: 3
- New Jersey: 6
- New York: 6
- North Carolina: 9
- Pennsylvania: 1
- Rhode Island: 2
- Texas: 1
- Vermont: 1
- Canada: 5
- Germany: 3
- Switzerland: 5
Clearly, it jumps in one specific spot.
“I think we have a lot of work to do to transition us from a brand that was maybe geographically centered in New England into one that could move beyond the area and have the right systems and processes in place to expand and become something more interesting,” Fuqua says.
Since Fuqua joined, B.GOOD has opened 10 locations. Sixteen of the current 77 restaurants are franchises. Fuqua says the majority of B.GOOD’s future growth will come via franchising and the brand is engaged with partners up and down the Eastern seaboard. The company is targeting multi-unit operators looking to add a healthier option to their portfolio. Non-traditional has been effective, too, especially B.GOOD’s Boston Logan International Airport location, which opened in May.