Food is a powerful thing when it comes to triggering memories. Probably everyone can think of an experience that was at least partly defined by food eaten, whether it was a special occasion celebrated at a restaurant or a holiday eating a home-cooked meal with family. There are plenty of businesses that aim to deliver a memorable experience to consumers, and by not giving food and beverages the attention they deserve, some operators are missing an important opportunity to impress customers and keep them coming back.
At an education session at the 2013 National Restaurant Association Show titled “How to Make Concessions Part of the Guest Experience, Not Just a Transaction,” Steve DiPrima, president of leisure services at Sodexo, moderated a panel discussion with three executives who manage guest experience at venues.
DiPrima opened the session by talking about the importance of venues in consumers’ live. “Think about your life experiences. (read more…)
Smoothie King founder Steve Kuhnau opened his first store in 1973, began franchising the original smoothie concept in 1989 and last year sold his controlling interest in the 600-unit chain to SK USA and successful South Korean franchisee Wan Kim, who took over as CEO.
The company announced last week that it has signed 49 new franchise agreements, and Smoothie King is seeing signs that the post-recession funding shortage is starting to ease, Kim said this week. We talked with him Tuesday to get his thoughts on franchising and hear about what’s next for the New Orleans-based chain.
On motivating franchisees
I told my team “I think like a franchisee, I know what they need.” So for less than a year, I have been telling my team that whatever we do, we should be able to translate it into sales or profits to the franchisees, then they will understand why they have to do this. (read more…)
The state of a restaurant’s floor upon entrance is what more than 40% of patrons use to judge the overall cleanliness of the establishment. The cleanliness of restrooms is usually mentioned next, including whether toilet paper, soap and paper towels have been replenished.
Both of these issues can be relatively easy to address. Naturally, most of the dirt in an entryway is carried in on customers’ shoes. Some of this debris can be removed by industry mats or carpet specially designed to act in the same way as a bristle-brush boot scraper at a domestic doorway. A sturdy but discrete carpet sweeper can be stored within the host’s lectern for quick, discrete cleanups once customers are seated. If the restaurant entry opens directly to the outdoors, the outer mat should be exchanged daily for a clean one under an agreement with an industrial-carpet service.
Cleaning the restroom before each shift’s opening and after the establishment’s closing is standard and expected. (read more…)
Wendy’s is streamlining its corporate IT systems by integrating Esri Business Analyst into its reporting at new locations. The geographic information systems software will help the quick-service chain in conducting market analyses and selecting new sites. “The company’s decision to integrate GIS as a scalable technology within its existing systems means that any staff member, from marketing to design, can gain the benefits of mapping intelligence without any training and at any time,” said Simon Thompson, Esri’s director of commercial business.
The software utilizes customized analytics, Esri demographics data and server GIS applications to create a mapping interface that allows staff to have easy access to sales records, demographics and other reports from any of the more than 6,500 existing chain locations. The new system also gives the company the ability to create predictive models and analyze potential restaurant cannibalization at new and existing restaurants, which span across America, the U.S. (read more…)
Hoyt Jones is president of Jersey Mike’s Subs, which opened its first store in Point Pleasant, N.J., in 1956. Last year, the company saw record unit growth of 15% and planned to add 100 additional units. Jersey Mike’s currently has 750 locations open or in development in 30 states and the District of Columbia.
What was the greatest challenge for restaurants in 2012? How did they overcome it?
Overall, 2012 was a good year for restaurateurs with welcome stabilization in financing and commodity pricing. An important challenge in the fast-casual/quickservice arena was the large amount of dining choices for the consumer. How do you create customer loyalty with all the opportunities out there? How do you cut through the clutter with so much messaging through social media and other technologies?
At Jersey Mike’s, we continued to stick with the fundamentals — authentic brand, quality product, strong customer and team member relationships — and saw positive growth both in terms of sales as well as a pipeline of new locations. (read more…)