Wednesday, November 25, 2015

McDonald’s Focus is Fresh Food Fast at Fastbite

When Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® said don’t discount McDonald’s he did so knowing that McDonald’s understands consumers want fresh food fast!  Expanding innovation in service McDonald’s is now leveraging Caviar to start delivering McDonald’s to offices around New York.

It began this week as Caviar’s quick delivery service, “Fastbite, will be serving up McDonald’s sausage McMuffin and hash browns for five bucks. Fastbite promises to deliver meals in 15 minutes or less to hungry workers at lunchtime. This is the second major food chain that Caviar has teamed up with, after Chipotle.”

Caviar is now a subsidiary of Square, which has been bulking up its restaurant services since acquiring Caviar last August. This year, the company acquired Fastbite and added a point-of-sale interface geared toward bartenders. The partnership with McDonald’s is helping to solidify its position in the fast-food delivery space.

We all know that NYC is the ‘City that never sleeps’!  What a perfect tie-up promotion as McDonald’s recently made their breakfast menu available all day to the delight of many.  This is Fresh Food Fast and McDonald’s is now delivering breakfast in NYC whenever you do sleep in NYC McDonald’s breakfast is only 15 minutes away! Success does leave clues and McDonalds picks them up!   

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Has Restaurant Quality Grocery and C-store Food Extended Restaurant Discontinuity?

When NPD restaurant research industry icon Bonnie Riggs, in a press release announced new data that found: "The lines between retail foodservice and QSRs are blurring for consumers, and these channel s are competing for visits from consumers looking for a quick meal or snack. The Riggs stated “Consumers use QSRs, convenience, and grocery stores interchangeably for fast food, particularly when they find the same quality and variety," That is devastating news for the restaurant sector.  

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® has regularly posted on this blog as our followers know that consumer consider many C-store and grocery Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat menu items as good as or better than those found in the restaurant sector.  Until very recently many in the restaurant sector denied either the C-store or grocery store fresh food sectors were direct competitors.  

The NPD Group's QSR Plus Retail Market Monitor a daily tracker that monitors awareness, trial, and usage for QSR operators in major markets and nationally found that “the number of prepared-food purchases made at retail outlets (c-stores and supermarkets) per customer beginning March 2015 through June 2015 period is more than six visits higher than those made to QSRs in an average 4-week period. The new data validates that c-store threat that NPD reported in 2013.” Clearly this is an ongoing problem for restaurants. 

It’s all about numbers and the most important number is that customer place an equal rating on food quality at all three (Restaurants, C-stores, and Grocery prepared food).  Foodservice Solutions® can assist any retailer that wants to drive sales in the Grocerant niche with Ready-2-Eat or Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  Are you ready to look ‘A Customer Ahead?’

Today, there are over 155,024 C-stores in the U.S., according to trade group NACS while traditional Supermarkets number nearly 37,350. According to NPD's Spring 2015 Census, there are 6,092 independent burger QSRs and 45,555 chain burger QSRs. So burger restaurants are outnumbered by C-store competitors. 

According to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® the ability to mix and match bundle fresh prepared meal components is the one key drive of top line growth and bottom line profits for both the grocery sector and c-store sector.  

So, what are consumers buying at c-stores according to NPD? “They outsell restaurants on purchases of coffee, snacks, breakfast foods, soft drinks, and Mexican foods. Many of these purchases are in conjunction with fuel buys. Between meals and in afternoons--dayparts restaurants have been slow to go after--c-stores are winning the battle for consumer snack dollars, too. Supermarkets hold a high share of purchases of chicken, side dishes, and salads.” Are you ready to win the ‘battle for share of stomach’?

Success does leave clues.  Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Can Growlers Help Restaurants get Customers back from C-Stores and Grocery Stores?

Millennials adoption of Grocerant niche mix and match fresh prepared meal components has been documented for the better part of five years as regular readers of this blog know.  Too the craft beer industry Millennials could very well be the sales driver to elevate the industry to it next level according to Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®.

Grocery stores and C-stores have been garnering customers offering Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food.  Recently C-stores have been garnering Millennials by offering Growlers as well.  Now Zpizza International Inc. may have cracked the code on boosting alcohol sales in the fast-casual segment by empowering Millennials to quench their thirst for discovery with Mix and Match self-serve craft beer.  

Zpizza is but one of a growing number of fast-casual concepts experimenting with self-service beer technology. Other concepts on the West Coast include gourmet hot dog purveyors Dog Haus and Br├Ątworks, as well as Blast 825 Pizza.

The successful growth of the Grocerant niche is being extended into the craft been beverage sector and is about to change the restaurant business model once again.  Based on relatively new technology that some contend could be a game changer in attracting craft-beer-loving Millennials while reducing labor cost in the restaurant. That is a game changed customer adoption that saves money! 

Currently most fast-casual chains carry craft beer and wine in bottles and cans, but the limited-service model can inherently hinder alcohol sales beyond one drink. Customers are less likely to get back in line for a second drink, and workers are often too young to handle alcohol, or are not trained to upsell. As a result, few concepts within the segment have put much effort into alcohol sales.

Chris Bright, president of Zpizza. has transformed three units into Zpizza “tap rooms,” which feature a beer wall with 10 to 20 taps. Each restaurant offers a unique collection of local craft brews on draft,   Bright stated “After customers IDs are scanned, customers can open a digital tab and pour their own draft, paying by the fluid ounce. That allows them to taste an ounce or two of different options before they settle on a “long pour.” If they want a second drink, they can get it themselves without having to wait for a server or table runner.”

Traditional Zpizza units offer beer and wine in cans and bottles, as is relatively common in fast casual. But those units typically see only about 2 percent of sales from alcohol, according to Bright.  However, “at tap room locations with the beer wall, alcohol sales have reached as high as 20 percent” 

Success does leave clues and attracting Millennials back into restaurants with less labor, higher sales, and increased bottom line profit is a clue for all.  Could you use Outside Eye’s to drive inside profits?  Contact or visit for more information. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Royal Farms Joins Wawa focusing On Fast-Casual Fresh Food

When Royal Farms opened a new 5,166-square-foot convenience store in Hunt Valley, Md. they wanted regular consumers to immediately recognize that the new store Royal Farms store now offers high-end, fast-casual food in a fast-casual dining environment. Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® stated “Royal Farms is taking a page out of the very successful Wawa playbook and it will work”

The new concept unit is the first of its kind for the chain.  According to the press reports “the interior features a checkout with an innovative queuing system for impulse merchandising and speedy service. Food cues like bar-height seating along the storefront and clean views into the store support the fast-casual concept.

The focal point is a high-volume, on-stage kitchen and deli that offers the retailer’s famous fried chicken; a wide variety of subs, sandwiches and wraps; cold coffee and fruit smoothie drinks; a selection of sides like macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes; fresh-brewed gourmet coffee; and cold beverages.”

Royal Farms reported that they have set and broke its daily foodservice sales record multiple times at the new concept unit and has already learned the limitations of many processes, equipment and workstations to the point that they have all been upgraded.  

Success does leave clues.  Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food is a clue all food retailers need to pay close attention too.  Are you breaking sales records? Do you need Outside Eyes? Contact or Email: for more information.