Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Restaurateurs don’t reduce calories and salt to fast.



Good restaurateurs are food merchants blending food innovation, experimentation with contemporary relevance.  The outcome is a unique point of differentiation that relates directly to the targeted consumer.  I believe that differentiation does not mean different it means familiar with a twist.

With all the talk today about posting calories, excessive salt there is one thing that we all must keep top of mind; customers eat FOOD that taste good.  For all of the pontification and legislative maneuvers to change the food you are selling to your customers beware!  If you want your customers to come back, the food had better taste good.  Food success is in the mind’s eye of the consumer and their palate.
 
Better for you food means many different things to each segmented group of consumers.  Each new menu or product may have one or more new “required constraint” targeted at a specific niche few will be all things for all groups. The one universal attribute or success clue in food innovation is: it better taste good! 

For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Monday, July 30, 2012

IHOP, Darden seek non-traditional avenues of distribution for branded product.



Cultivating a positive brand image is one of the hallmarks US based chain restaurants.  Leveraging the emotion of the brand in non-traditional avenue of distribution is something that chain restaurants are now about to exploit at much faster rate including Darden and IHOP.
In the 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, a majority of operators questioned said they offer merchandise, such as sauces or frozen foods, for retail sale. Few offer fresh prepared ready-2-eat products at alternative avenues of distribution.  That is about to change as well.
Hudson Riehle Senior Vice President of the NRA’s Research & Knowledge Group said “Selling retail items generates additional sales and in some cases, licensing fees, and that's important considering that the average pretax restaurant profit ranges in the modest 3-percent to 6-percent range.”
The study found that in “the family-dining segment, 54 percent of operators said they sell retail items, while 35 percent of casual dining, 37 percent of quick service and 41 percent of fast casual restaurateurs said they, too, have merged into the retail fast lane. The highest percentage, however, was in the fine dining segment, where 59 percent of operators said they also sell retail items.”
While retailers the ilk of Starbucks, 7 Eleven each have found success leveraging branded fresh food items in non-traditional avenues of distribution few others have. That will change as food retailing continues to evolve at ever increasing rate.  Do you know which chain restaurant will be next to offer fresh prepared food at non-traditional outlets?  Do you need help garnering top line growth in non-traditional avenues of distribution?
For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The 5 P’s of Food Marketing



Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, Washington based Foodservice Solutions® has been gathering retail food success clues.  Within the clues he discovered some universal commonalities from those commonalities they developed: The 5’P’s of Food Marketing they are:

1.       Product
2.       Packaging
3.       Placement
4.       Portability
5.       Price

If you are interested in learning how the 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization contact us via this blog or Email us at: grocerant@q.com

For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Food Retailers are you Burger Chef, Tower Records, Kodak or Disney?



Have you noticed that Kodak is nearly out of business. Growing up in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, every family had a Kodak Camera and I still have one of mine. Those yellow boxes were everywhere and getting your very own Kodachrome camera was seemingly a rite of passage, heck, Paul Simon even wrote a song about it.

As digital cameras gained popularity, Kodak stuck to what they believed. They sneered at digital’s quality, righteous in their knowledge that Americans would NEVER give up shiny pictures for their photo albums.

Today, cell phone cameras take most of the pictures and they are rarely printed. Kodak will shut the doors, correct in their assertion that professionally developed pictures look better than low-resolution versions uploaded to Facebook.

Being dead and correct is not a great strategy.  Today chain restaurants are either growing or dying much the same as Kodak. Simply look at restaurants that filed bankruptcy of late: Claim Jumper, Mr. Pita, Friendly’s, Chevys, Sbarro, Perkins.  They are not all dead but they have been far from right.

These are statements frequently heard from legacy restaurant operators. Like Kodak, crystal clear that what has always worked will continue to work.

• Our executives have 30 years of experience and know how to run the business.
• We never use coupons, nor do we deliver.
• We don’t allow our brand to wander, we protect our brand.
• We don’t use online ordering, I-pad ordering or voice screen ordering.
• We don’t advertise on Google, Twitter or Facebook.
• We don’t open for breakfast.
• We like the umbrella approach each store different personality but under one umbrella.
• Video menus and video signage is visceral gimmickry.
• We don’t measure ingredients, we create daily specials and simply show employees how to make it
• We can’t raise our menu prices.

How did a dominant brand and sector leader like Kodak, in a rock-solid consumer staple lose everything? Simple, they determined the market, the direction of that market and took the steps to conquer it.  If that sounds like your restaurant, retail food sector or niche leader, you better keep reading.

There is little about today’s market, the consumer or food marketing / promotions that was predictable 3 years ago. In the next three years the rate of change will continue to increase. So let’s look at the above list:

Reliability and a comfortable working relationship is correctly a key to success.  However, if you find your team is blaming the economy, minimum wages increases, cost of health care and rising food cost for disappointing results. Do not forget that many restaurants companies are growing both the top and bottom line, number of units and garnering market share.  It might be time for Outside Eyes. 

We always/never use coupons – coupons and promotions are very complicated today. Add the online aggregators the ilk of Livingsocial and Groupon and how can you know what works. Here is the point, what you measure you manage. All advertising must have a objective that is clear and measurable to insure a proper marketing ROI.

We don’t deliver – face it, convenience is a driving reason why foodservice is popular. If you do not want to deliver, consider outsourcing.  Delivery is not about you. That’s right it is about the consumer.

We protect the value of our brand and its integrity for the consumer, our shareholders and stakeholders.  We know the consumer is dynamic not static, but our customer’s comeback because we have a brand promise and they trust in us to keep that promise. Sounds a lot like Kodak, don’t you think?

We don’t use online ordering our food does not “carry” well.  Think about this if you don’t have a way to connect your menu to computers and mobile devices, your competition will woo your customers. Consumers are time starved, and hooked on technology, make it easy.

Google or Facebook – as above, set up a Facebook page, it costs nothing. Have someone help if you need it and then monitor your page 5 minutes a day.  Don’t think about it get started today.

We don’t open for breakfast – you pay rent 24/7, find ways to increase the utilization of your “factory”. Considering catering or school lunch program, contract out your kitchen.  Don’t become the next Kodak of chain restaurants.

Different store brands / personalities under one large corporation and all expected to operate utilizing a uniform set of metrics.  Worked well in the 70’s, 80’s but you have the answer.  Let me know just how well that works out.

Visceral gimmickry does not replace high quality food and great service ever.  Who defines quality service? You via your brand promise and the consumer.

We don’t measure ingredients; my employees know how much to use – why have menu prices, let customer pay whatever they want. If you don’t care what your product costs, you CAN’T make money.
We can’t raise our menu prices – tell that to the gas station owner on the corner, or the farmer growing your food. Costs are up, you must raise your menu prices or you will not exist.

Kodak management, smart and hard working as they were, did not see the world changing, fortunately you do. Realize that change is good and necessary. Act now to challenge your assumption, create new revenue streams and increase profits.  Success does leave clues, Disney movies leave you with a smile, being dead and correct is not a great strategy.

For international corporate presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking will leave success clues for all. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Friday, July 27, 2012

Where are consumers spending their money on food?



Food Dollar’s are moving to Family Dollar Stores more and more. When you hear a CEO of any company is quoted saying “We’re going where our customer wants us to go” you know success is near.  That is exactly what Michael K. Bloom, President and CEO of Family Dollar Stores said.  Looks as if heat-N-eat and ready-2-eat food is the lynch pin of success for another retail sector.
Family Dollar current sales mix is about 64.6% consumables. Plans are now in place to continue to increase the assortment of consumables at its stores to drive sales. They expect to expect to add more than 1,000 new consumable SKUs 2012.  Regular readers of this blog know the retail food landscape is evolving fast. .
Dollar Tree like Family Dollar is continuing to install freezers and coolers at additional stores this year “because frozen and refrigerated product drives traffic into our stores.” A company spokesperson said. Dollar Tree offers perishables and frozen foods at 2,220 stores — about half of its 4,351 total.
Branded fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat is redefining the food landscape.  Walgreens, Rite Aid, 7 Eleven, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are all going where the customers wants them to go!  Is your company going somewhere new?  Are you moving forward with the consumer?

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities.  Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Six clues for retail food sales success in 2012



The convergence of non-traditional points of distribution, an evolving grocery fresh prepared sector and lingering economic conditions have created the perfect opportunity for retail food brand expansion. The key to that success can be found under the ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat retail food umbrella aka the grocerant niche.

Companies need to develop a platform that allows consumer focused meal co-creation for in the car, at the office or at home.  Meal bundling options are winning the hearts and minds of today’s retail food consumer.  The grocerant niche comprised of the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food is driving the success of the retail foodservice today building top line revenue and bottom line profits.

Each sector has innovators; Restaurants started with Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera Bread, Domino’s Pizza, MCD, BK and a whole lot more! Grocery started with Wegmans Metropolitan Market, Whole Food and now fast charging Safeway and the “lifestyle stores.  Convenience Stores have Sheetz, Wawa, with fast charging Casey’s General stores and a sleeping giant 7 Eleven is opening a new store every 2 hours somewhere on the world in 2012.  The six clues are all consumer interactive and participatory.  Here they are:

1.       Visceral presentation, Freshness based on how it looks and is presented.

2.       Bundling, the ability to build your meal with components family member will eat.

3.       Individualized portions, power to select quality and quantity of items viewed.

4.       Convenience, unit /store location on the drive home from work.

5.       Time Saving, ability to evaluate price vs. time to cook from scratch.

6.       Portability, empowering choice eat in or take home / office

Success does leave clues and many retail food operators are now adopting Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price. Are you ready to extend your brand?  Are you looking for successful positioning assistance?

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Migration Marketing assessment, grocerant program assessment. For brand, product placement, menu positioning assistance simply call Foodservice Solutions® today.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tengelmann Group, Carrefour, Safeway?



While two of the Europe’s largest retailers prepare for an economic slowdown on their home turf could they both be looking at Safeway as the next opportunity?  The Tengelmann Group has learn lessons of retailing in the United States and now understands what it takes to convert a legacy chain that is out of step with consumers into one with contemporary relevance.  Tengelmann Group is an outstanding multi-concept food retailer with a global reach.  If not Safeway are they looking at Albertson’s?

The value of the Euro has begun its decline and with both Albertsons and Safeway missing the retailing mark.  The United States might be a safe place to leverage the euro currency for retail opportunity. Albertsons seems to be priced at “fire-sale” position.  Carrefour has been looking for a proper time to enter the United States and this again could be and opportune time. 

Trader Joe’s is the food retailer with the highest sales per square foot in the United States and is owned by a German based group.  Americans love Trader Joe’s.  European food retailers can find success in the United States if they focus on quality ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food.  Trader Joe’s has provided a road map to success.    Success does leave clues and Safeway and SuperValu stock price are providing the clues.  Outside eyes can propel the success for the grocerant niche and food retailing in the United States.

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Migration Marketing assessment, grocerant program assessment. For brand, product placement, menu positioning assistance simply call Foodservice Solutions® today.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

McDonalds leading the world again.


    

McDonald's is the penultimate American company.  When the economy faltered in the United States, then around the world McDonalds expanded its industry leading Dollar Menu. Consumers from China, Germany, Canada and every corner of the world responded and McDonalds sales and traffic counts went up. 

Yesterday’s earning call by McDonalds edified that global traffic counts continue strong. In business there is nothing more important that customers and profit other than increased customers and profit.  McDonalds has both.  Can your company say that? 

It’s not just the economy that has changed during the past 5 years technology has exponentially evolved and the consumer with it.  At the intersection of the confluence of time, technology, and consumers McDonalds once again has taken the lead.  It has a new menu platform “Favorites Under 400 Calories” where consumers can find no less than 78 McDonalds menu items all under 400 Calories. 

Children, Seniors, Moms and Dads can all rejoice there are better for you food options; that option is McDonalds.  Low calories, competitive pricing, remodeled clean stores, locations, locations, and more locations.  Seniors need a reason to get out, parents need a kid friendly location and this new menu platform is an invitation that is proactive for consumer and edifying for McDonalds brand.

Success does leave clues and McDonalds is simply a step ahead that is our clue for today. 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Migration Marketing assessment, grocerant program assessment. For brand, product placement, menu positioning assistance simply call Foodservice Solutions® today.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Retail Food Merchants Migration Marketing Works



Some restaurants are great merchants.  You do not need to be a big chain to understand retail or be a good food merchant.  Restaurateurs are first merchants, then ready-2-eat fresh food retailers. Did you know that McDonalds sold more toys in between 2,000 and 2010 than any other retailer in the world? McDonalds is a great merchant.

Look at the Mandeville, Louisiana based restaurant Another Broken Egg Café; soon after opening founder Ron Green began selling handcrafted stone mugs with his logo on them.  Quickly realizing the profit he made complemented his menu mix and customers Ron incorporated retail into his unit growth and profit strategy.

Founded in 1996, Green, has 24 Another Broken Egg restaurants, has sold more than 250,000 mugs which cost him $8.95 he retails for $18.00.  Currently his in-store merchandise includes t-shirts, vases, water pitchers, mugs and more.
36 unit The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grill has sold apparel, glassware, can koozies and a plethora of items with The Green Turtle name.  While branded merchandise at The Green Turtle Sports Bar is not pivotal to the “bottom line” it is edifying brand awareness with consumers.

So why aren’t most large chain restaurants better retailers?  The answer is simple outdated brand protectionism ideology edified by promoting from within and recycling industry marketers.  Combine that with a lack of understanding of consumer perspective on “share of stomach” where, what and how they eat daily.

Don’t get me wrong I love restaurants. I have many friends that are chain restaurant marketers they are great at what the companies allow them to do.  However take a look at Starbucks.  Is Starbucks a restaurant company or CPG retail company?  Their stock price reflects that investors believe that they are both at the same time.  Starbucks integrates the brand with the consumer need-set both in food and beverage.  Starbucks will continue to garner a larger share of stomach for some time. Starbucks is a very good foodservice merchant.

Foodservice Solutions® Migration Marketing programs are in fact catching on.  Simply look at some of the new entrants.  IHOP, introduced syrup and frozen breakfast items in new non-traditional channels of distribution. Darden restaurants Olive Garden brand is testing salad dressing in non-traditional channels as well.  Migration Marketing is consumer focused and integral for integrated restaurant marketing plans. 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Migration Marketing assessment, grocerant program assessment. For brand, product placement, positioning assistance simply call Foodservice Solutions® today.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson “better for you” equals success.



Interviewers regularly ask Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson “Why is the Grocerant niche doing so well”?  Here is how he answers the questions. The grocerant niche provides answers to the age old question: What’s for Dinner?

Most interestingly when 4 PM rolls around 80% of consumers do not know what they are going to have for dinner.  What we know now is that they want simple, quick “better for you” solutions.  Without the skill set to prepared a meal from scratch the questions becomes “Where will I get dinner for tonight?

Consumers today more and more have a focus on foods based on value added nutritional components in fact the Food Marketing Institute reported that 32% of U.S. Consumers are buying more food based on nutritional value than they did in 2011.

In-addition the study found that 55% of U.S. consumers are switching to whole grain bread.  We (Grocerant Guru Steven Johnson) predicted that in 2013 one of the national hamburger chains will offer either whole wheat or a multi-grain hamburger bun options for all burgers.

The same study found that 33% of U.S. consumers are showing more interest in the label on proteins that they buy.  While it may not seem rational to believe buying “healthier chips” is a better for you choice.  It is for consumers.  The grocerant niche filled with fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food is booming in larger part because it fresh, fast.

Foodservice Solutions® provides grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Grocerant Niche is booming. Why does it matter to your Food Franchise?



If you are Ready-2-Eat, then there is a very good chance you are looking for Grocerant meal components. Heat-N-eat and Ready-2-Eat fresh prepared food with portability is driving retail food success in 2012.

As long as multi-generational family’s gather for meals together, the demand for a more divergent flavors continues to permeate. Grocerant mix and match bundled meal component offerings allow for increased family integration, understanding and acceptance in less time without a required cook from scratch skill set.
In the 1940’s cooking from scratch was the normal. The average home cooked meal took 150 minutes to prepare. Everyone sat down at the table and enjoyed it or not but they all ate the same thing. Today’s “home cooked meal” takes on average less than 30 minutes to prepared. But, in most cases at least two different entrées are served.

The average time spent inside a McDonalds in the 2,000 was 11 minutes. Today 65+ percent of all McDonald’s food is sold via the drive-thru. U.S. fast-food chains are increasingly remodeling restaurants in an effort to garner additional drive-thru customers inside and increase sales because the drive-thru can’t hold all the cars.

According to an article in the New York Times magazine, McDonald’s Corp. saw a 50% increase in sales during the first quarter after opening a remodeled restaurant in Riverside, California, that features a new décor, solar panels on the carport, and ceiling panels that contain L.E.D. lights. During the first 12 months, sales at this restaurant increased 20% overall.

Walgreens is creating and bundling distinctive differentiated food consumable’s as an entity with identity by day part in a mix and match meal component format in select urban setting targeted at both the office worker for lunch and meal components for them to take home for the family dinner. It is a successful program.

The grocerant niche continues to grow with companies like Central Market, Whole Foods, Wegmans and 7 Eleven entering the fresh prepared better for you space.

Meal time is now becoming a time of convenient meal participation, with differentiation and individualization for the entire family.

More often than not the multi-generational family today is multi-ethnic as well. Creating a demand for more varied flavors and additional cooking skill set that is simply not there. Grocery stores, Convenience Stores, Restaurants and Chain Drug Stores are all selling ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food. Is your focus family dinning?

Are you selling meals or meal components for Take-Out, Delivery or Take-Away with consumer contemporized relevance?  Are you expanding your share of stomach? If not we can help. 

Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a grocerant program assessment, brand, product placement or positioning assistance.  Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Yum Brands innovative new product pipeline preforms.



After floundering in the domestic U. S. market and in a quagmire created by looking “east” only Yum Brands is back.  Understanding the need to re-establish contemporized consumer relevance in the U.S. Yum has focused on technology, innovative new food, and messaging.

1.       KFC is testing self-serve touch screens terminals.  These “self-serve” kiosks are aimed at enhancing customer in-store experience.  Recipes for potato pancakes and upside-down peach cobbler can be found on the KFC website.
2.       Pizza Hut unveiled “Pasta Masti” 11 new pasta dishes including Arrabbiata Penne, Creamy Tomato Penne and signature Pizza Hut Chicken Bonantza Lasagna all for the India market.
3.       KFC introduced Original Recipe Bites; they are as self-described bite-sizes.
4.       Pizza Hut has introduced new garlic bread pizza, Signature Single pizza thin crust pizza with bold flavors and priced at only $5.00 (Quattro Formaggio, BBQ Chicken, White Pizza with Garlic Shrimp and Heat Lover’s)
5.       Taco Bells is expanding its menu from simply Fast Food to “Cantina Bell” will 8 different new ingredients including whole black beans, cilantro rice, fire-roasted corn salsa to name a few.
6.        All of this was on top of the success of Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos.

Yum brands excels as supporting each program with a solid integrated marketing including national advertising, LSM and digital placement.  Contemporized consumer relevance is difficult to maintain over time for legacy companies.  In many times legacy retail food chains practice brand protectionism in an order to maintain an identity. When the identity is no longer relevant to the consumer dramatic changes need to be made.  Yum is making consumer relevant adjustments.

Interactive and participatory Yum’s new products all leverage Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price.   If success leaves clues Yum’s current actions are clues to success.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Restaurants capitulate $32.45 Billion in ready-2-eat food sales and more market share.



The restaurant industry is not an industry known for trying to be first as in fastest to market with an ideation, food or technology advance. In the United States the larger the chain in almost all cases the more slowly they are to adopt something than a smaller chain or independent restaurants will. Chain restaurants goal is simple feed one meal at a time in the restaurant while protecting and edifying the brand.  The problem is that others in the retail food space have been thriving selling ready-2-eat food all the while restaurateurs continue doing only what they have done in the past and do it the way they did 30 years ago.
On the other hand Supermarkets, grocery stores and convenience stores have focused on restaurateur’s specialty of selling ready-2-eat food and have captured $32.45 Billion in salesin the U.S. alone from what was once the selling advantage of the restaurant sector as reported by Packaged Facts. 
Seemingly without missing a restaurant sector Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores and now Drug Stores are selling fresh prepared store made / assembled meals and meal components including Rotisserie Chicken, Pizza both hot and take-N-bake, Asian including (Chinese buffet style and Sushi made to order), Sandwiches ( hamburgers, sub’s, hot-dogs, hoagie’s, penne’s), Salads, Soups, and Deserts.
While McDonalds has the “Big Mac”, Supermarkets, Convenience Stores, Grocery Stores and now Drug Stores have begun creating distinctive differentiated food consumable’s as an entity with identity by day part in an area of their own. Sheetz, Wawa, Whole Foods are leveraging private label advantages to garner price advantage while creating fresh prepared ready-2-eat food positioning equilibrium with restaurants.
Success does leave clues and one clue is the retail food space is not static.  Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food continues to expand in non-traditional locations.  Are you expanding?  We can help.
Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant Email: grocerant@q.com

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Albertsons missed re-branding with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food.



Ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food re-branding is not back to the basic’s. It’s a step into the future of food marketing, positioning and essential for legacy retail food brands continued consumer relevance. Grocery stores, Restaurants and Convenience stores are all scurrying to reposition their product / menu mix of “better for you” prepared food to garner an increase in share of stomach. Now Albertsons is forced to discount deeply which is the penalty they must pay for being unremarkable and out of step.

Competitive may not be a strong enough word for the battle between sectors and companies for the consumer. The Grocerant niche is where all the action is consisting of better for you prepared portable ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food.  The Convenience store sector has led with Ready-2-Eat food innovation and over the past three years captured a larger share of stomach while sectors had flat or down sales.
McDonalds, Wegmans, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Sheetz, Boston Market and Wawa have done great things with fresh prepared ready-2-eat food.  Each is capturing market share.  The equilibrium between financial success and breakthrough top of mind recognition is but one key in the success.  Ready-2-eat and Heat-N-eat grocerant niche fresh prepared better for you food is the main driver. 

Safeway’s “lifestyle” is another example for grocerant re-branding and a turn away from the middle of the store and focus on consumer relevant fresh, prepared food. The “lifestyle” units have proven a focus on the grocerant niche prepared food sector provides a halo for even the burdened center of the store. This is about winning the heart and minds of the consumer. Safeway’s miss-step is they expanded each of the new remodeled units.  They did not need to do that.  They should have simply shrunk the middle of the store.  All new Whole Foods stores will have a maximum of 30,000 SQFT.  

The challenged for each company is the ability to see and understand the customers focus at its core, not your brands core. Success does leave clues and companies leading the charge in 2013 will be leaders within each niche for years to come.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

7 Eleven and Coinstar vending for your retail food customers



What goes around comes around, remember the automat?  At one point in time it was going the retail food technology solution.  That never happened at least in the United States.  There is a renewed interest in automation and vending particularly aimed at the U.S. comfort food sector.

7 Elevens ready-2eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food rollout continues in the United States extending its exposure to more and more consumer in the grocerant niche.  Food is playing an even greater role at 7 Eleven of late for many of its new units if not most of the new units are opening without offering gasoline. 

Consumers around the world have become use to more and more automation in food production an design. 
Coinstar is in the process of rolling out 1,000 Seattle Best Coffee vending machines featuring a regular cup of Seattle Best for $1.00.  That’s comfort around the clock for most of the units will be located outside or other retail locations.

7 Eleven is selling mashed potatoes a U.S. comfort food via vending machine (picture above). These mashed potatoes are currently only sold in Singapore 7-Eleven stores. Who’s to say this machine will not complement 7 Elevens current fresh food offerings around colleges and nightclubs?  

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant Email: grocerant@q.com

Monday, July 16, 2012

Who has the best fresh fast food Restaurants or Convenience Stores?



Consumers like winners and industry leaders do as well.  Nation’s Restaurant News is the go-to industry trade paper for multi-unit restaurant operators and industry insiders.  This year when Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) publisher Randall Friedman announced the NRN 2012 Golden Chain Award winners no one was surprised to find Sheetz Inc. included.

Once known as a regional convenience store operator, today Sheetz is perceived as a restaurant that sells gasoline.  Sheetz has help recast the image of convenience stores food from legacy CPG reseller to fresh prepared made-to-order ready-2-eat food.  In fact for several years they have been calling themselves a restaurant that sells gasoline.  Why not, Starbucks sells coffee machines, music and food, Cracker Barrel sells birdhouses, pancake mix, books and candy clearly Sheetz fits right in with award winning restaurants.

What Sheetz does exceptionally well is that they focus on made-to-order fresh prepared food.  Which is one of the reasons that they are able to open invest roughly 5 million for each new store and open 30 new stores a year.  Currently Sheetz operates 425 units in 6 states including their home state of Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia.

The primary driver of the grocerant niche is quality food bundled as components allowing and promoting consumer choice.  Meal time is now becoming a time of convenient meal participation, with differentiation and individualization for the entire family.  When a family can mix and match components everyone wins.  Sheetz understands that individualization leads to differentiation and their Made-to-order food is a success clue for industry insiders. Congratulations on your Golden Chain Award. 

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Where will dinner come from tonight?



Year after year we find food research companies have uncovered that a family meal can be many things. Most important companies the ilk of Technomic, The Hartman Group and Mintel all have discovered multiple options for obtaining the family meal. Key in each of the findings and most interesting too all of us is where the food for the meal comes and how it is prepared and or assembled in the home.
Here is my take from the collective data: Meal time is now becoming a time of convenient meal participation, with differentiation and individualization for the entire family.  
Here are three examples of which we have seen firsthand and each reflects a composite of research on just how meal times are changing.
1. IN home Family Dinner with Children: Comprised of meal components from McDonalds & Taco Time for children under 14 years olds and dinner for adults from Whole foods prepared meal section.  This is dinner, is it a family meal.  Since they all eat together it is assembled in the home and eaten at the same time.   This is not an every day occasion but more often than you may think.

 2.  Urban family Dinner: During a recent business trip after a meeting I went to a business associates home ordered food in.  His wife, I and him, we ordered from three separate companies (Italian Chinese, Greek) one was pickup next door.  I was assured this was not unusual in their household. Again we all ate at the same time, same table simply different food. This occurs much more than you think.

3. Take & Bake pizza is the sole food item only 60% of the time. The other 40% of the time it is complemented with prepared food from other outlets either grocery stores or restaurants. The frequency of 18 – 24 years consumption of pizza is once every 3.7 days. 

Are you selling food that can be bundled and or un-bundled in order to become a mix and match meal component for a family meal? Success does leave clues and many retail food operators are now adopting Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price. 

Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® a Tacoma, WA based retail foodservice consultancy has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche.  For product or brand positioning assistance contact Steven A. Johnson or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson, BING / GOOGLE: Steven Johnson Grocerants or twitter.com/grocerant

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Look who is planning to overtake McDonalds in market-share.



The one that is garnering the most market share is Tim Hortons who is second in lunch-time market share and CEO Paul House says that in less than five years they can over take McDonalds in total market share in Canada. House stated that right now 8 out of every 10 cups of coffee sold in Canada come from Tim Hortons.  So does that mean the fast growing Dunkin Brands may become the new Fast Food Feeder in the United States?
During the past 4 decades hamburgers drove sales and propelled the overall restaurant industry.  Without a doubt the hamburger is now globally recognized as a penultimate American food.  It is ready-2-eat, hand held and prepared to eat on the run; convenient, simple and affordable.  Contrary to popular belief Americans do not eat hamburgers daily.  There simply is not room in the minds-eye of the consumer for all of the hamburger chains in America today.  The growth to dethrone the burger segment could come from the coffee sector.
McDonalds with innovative new products, continually reimaging stores and a focus on the consumer is the global leader in restaurant sales and the hamburger niche.  In the United States the undercurrents of a sector in upheaval and transition is emerging for every position except number one.  McDonalds is and will remain number one for many years to come.
However legacy second tier hamburger chains Wendy’s, Burger King, Sonic are circling in a quagmire of their own making.  Each is trying to re-energize the halo of success they have not seen in years.  Success to date has proven allusive for each in their effort to re-energizing.  It is very likely that one or two of the three might very well be much smaller in five years than it is today.
One of the reasons is that there are hamburger companies on the move including Steak & Shake which is profitable once again and refocusing on growth.  Then upstarts Five Guy’s, Smashburger, Fatburger are garnering market share from those legacy second tier players.   The next company in the QSR niche to watch will be In-N-Out Burgers.  If In-N-Out Burgers does half as well in Texas as they do in California and Nevada they will accelerate growth and watch out.  One of these three; Wendy’s, Burger King or Sonic might just fade away faster than we think. 
The metrics for the burger industries customer mix are in flux.  Clearly some of the legacy players that focus on the franchisee more than the consumer are going to continue to lose market share too both new up-start chains and regional players that are positioned to win. I believe a shake-out in the hamburger niche is underway and a road map to the future will evolve this year.  Could it be found in Coffee and doughnuts? Are you ready to bring your brand to North America?  If so call us.
This blog is supported in part by ads.  Please view them.

 Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Subway, Domino’s Pizza and Apple are all “better for you” and food sales.



Subway with 25,000 U.S. locations and growing is perceived as America’s “better for you” restaurant chain.  This interactive consumer participatory restaurant chain does not take its eye off the customer or its focus on “better for you” fresh fast food.

Subway will begin offering zero-calorie Vitaminwater in August as customers increasingly reach for less sugary drinks to accompany its ready-2-eat sandwiches.

The decision by the ubiquitous “better for you” sub shop could prove a big boost for Coca-Cola which owns the Vitaminwater brand.  Watch for this new beverage sector to take off in Q4 2012. Subway will offer the drink in two flavors lemonade and acai-blueberry-pomegranate. In other better for you news.

Domino’s Pizza’s bold move changing its core pizza product proved better for consumers and much better for Domino’s. Now Domino’s Pizza has partnered with Greentech Automotive to use Greentech’s electronic MyCars for the pizza chains delivery services.  Yes, green is “better for you” better for the environment and will be better for Domino’s Pizza. Domino’s will first test the cars on the University of Mississippi campus.  The MyCar is a two-seat, all-electric vehicle that can travel up to 115 miles and produces zero emissions. When your ready-2-eat Domino’s is electric!

Mobile ordering food is growing and growing fast and if you are not on an Apple devise or two you may be missing top line growth. Apples iPad tablet was the world’s No. 1 mobile commerce sales device according to research by Affiliated Window, Internet Retailer.  Here are the percentage of sales by mobile device for 2012: iPad 56%, iPhone 28%, Android 11%, Blackberrry 3%, other 2%.

Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Are you ready to eat?



If you are ready-2-eat there is a very good chance you are looking for Grocerant meal components.  Heat-N-eat and ready-2eat fresh prepared food with portability is driving retail food success in 2012.
As long as multi-generational family’s gather for meals together, the demand for a more divergent flavors continues to permeate.  Grocerant mix and match bundled meal component offerings allow for increased family integration, understanding and acceptance in less time without a required cook from scratch skill set.
In the 1940’s cooking from scratch was the normal.  The average home cooked meal took 150 minutes to prepare. Everyone sat down at the table and enjoyed it or not but they all ate the same thing.  Today’s “home cooked meal” takes on average less than 30 minutes to prepared. In most cases at least two different entrées are served.
The average time spent inside a McDonalds in the 2,000 was 11 minutes. Today 65+ percent of all McDonald’s food is sold via the drive-thru. U.S. fast-food chains are increasingly remodeling restaurants in an effort to garner additional drive-thru customers inside and increase sales, simple because the drive-thru can’t hold all the cars.

According to an article in the New York Times magazine, McDonald’s Corp. saw a 50% increase in sales during the first quarter after opening a remodeled restaurant in Riverside, California, that features a new décor, solar panels on the carport, and ceiling panels that contain L.E.D. lights. During the first 12 months, sales at this restaurant increased 20% overall. All that said:

Walgreens is creating and bundling distinctive differentiated food consumable’s as an entity with identity by day part in a mix and match meal component format in select urban setting targeted at both the office worker for lunch and meal components for them to take home for the family dinner. It is a successful program.
The grocerant niche continues to grow with companies like Central Market, Whole Foods, Wegmans and 7 Eleven entering the fresh prepared better for you space.   Meal time is now becoming a time of convenient meal participation, with differentiation and individualization for the entire family.
More often than not the multi-generational family today is multi-ethnic as well.  Creating a demand for more varied flavors and additional cooking skill set that is simply not there.  Grocery stores, Convenience Stores, Restaurants and Chain Drug Stores are all selling ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food. Is your focus family dinning?  Are you selling meals or meal components for Take-Out, delivery or Take-Away?

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quiznos units have to make money now.



Competition be dammed Quiznos needs to make money at the store level or else.  Quiznos could be the restaurant chain that is shrinking the fastest.  That does not happen when the store level metrics provide a healthy profit. In 2006 Quiznos had 5,125 units open last year they had 2,800.

Searching for answers Quiznos repositioned its menu at the low end with items the ilk of the $3 Sammies and $4 Torpedoes and clearly that did not work for those items are gone now with a menu that has been reengineered with a focus on “high-quality” and high price this tactic may not work any better.

In 2007 Quiznos implemented the lower price menu options to deal with a prevalent price, value, service disconnect with consumers.  While the price, value, service equilibrium continues to reset industry wide most companies utilize LTO’s to gravitate toward a new pricing point or shift positions. Quiznos AUV’s are still falling at this point this looks like simply more window dressing.

What is the heritage of Quiznos? What do consumers think the heritage is?  Rebuilding a brands heritage with either a low price menu or a high price menu is not strategy with any proven success. Chain restaurant menus and brands must be integrated together. A plethora of companies utilize Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price with consumer trends and brand attributes added and find  consumer relevance and success.

Quiznos franchisees simply need to make money or this Denver-based sub-sandwich company will continue to see a reduction in franchisees.  Restaurant chains either grow or they shrink.  If the trend is your friend this signals that Quiznos will continue to shrink. 


Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant Email: grocerant@q.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is Safeway for sale? 5 reasons it’s a good buy.



While the economy is slowly turning the corner the grocery sector is stifled in place. Even with the enormous expansion of the SNAP program during this period economic discontinuity Convenience stores and Dollar stores garnered more market share than did grocery retailers.  The reasons run simply from price and speed of service too high quality ready-2-eat fresh prepared food.

Safeway withdrew from key east coast locations leaving speculation that it might be for sale.  With Walgreens entering the fresh prepared food space traditional grocery stores the ilk of Safeway are sure to come under more competitive pressure.  Each step forward with the economy will reduce the size of the SNAP program and thus again shrink the grocery once again.  Ah but Safeway just might be different here are 5 reasons we think Safeway would be a good company to buy:

1.       Outstanding ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food options
2.       Integrated marketing messaging of ready-2-eat fresh prepared food
3.       Digital Just For You app (pricing-product personalization)
4.       Ability to build 20,000sf stores for aging units that were 60,000sf
5.       Focus on fresh “local” foods with legacy “since we are neighbors lets be friends” campaign

Many legacy grocery retailers have tried to be all things to everyone.  Safeway may have been one of those as well.  However when it comes to understanding the future of retail foodservice Safeway gets the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food niche better than most.

Outside eyes can deliver top sales and bottom line profits.  Invite Foodservice Solutions to provide brand and product positioning assistance or a grocerant program assessment. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson

Monday, July 9, 2012

The food price, value, service equilibrium is ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food.



The price, value, service equilibrium is resetting in Grocery stores, Restaurants and Convenience stores.  Enter the grocerant niche with ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat fresh and prepared food. Consumers are looking for new products, new packaging and time saving options. They have found them in ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food.  They are attracted by the fresh prepared focus, new portion size, and price points.  Which provide a strong margin for increased profitability for the retailer?

All food sectors have noticed a discontinuity in consumer food shopping behavior and all are fighting for share of stomach.   Contributing to this displacement is a focus on short term market metrics particularly price and away from the consumer.   Which in turn has caused a loss is consumer traffic in some sectors.  

There are other attributes that are much more important to the consumer, yet many don’t take time to look.
Most consumers lack the knowledge, know how or desire to cook from scratch. Meal assembly is key to a successful family meal.  Most preparation is comprised of utilizing fresh prepared components that are ready-2-eat or heat-N-eat.   Restaurants, Grocery store deli’s, Convenience stores, Drug Stores and even Dollar stores are sell meal components that are mixed and matched then bundled into a  family meal.  What kind of food are you selling and where can it be consumed?

Outside eyes can deliver top sales and bottom line profits.  Invite Foodservice Solutions to provide brand and product positioning assistance or a grocerant program assessment. Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Steven A. Johnson and Foodservice Solutions visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant or on Facebook at Steven Johnson

Sunday, July 8, 2012

KFC's reusable, recyclable and reinforcing branding.



When it comes to utilizing the 5P’s of food marketing one of the best examples in the industry is the one time global leader in the ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat grocerant niche KFC.  Yum Brands KFC was a clear leader in introducing Take-Out and Take-Away food to consumers around the world.  
Good brands stay relevant.  However from time to time they may capitulate market share but good brands like KFC do so only because they created a niche category with over whelming consumer support and excitement that drove additional competitors into the category.
KFC rolled out what is believed to be the first Quick Service Restaurant reusable food container and can be seen above. When branding and product positioning are blended into the daily life of the consumer in a positive proactive way, the brand and the consumer are all the better. The reusable container can be placed in the microwave and top rack of the dishwasher.
KFC says “Reuse, Renew, Rejoice” we think that the reusable container is an industry advantage that is recyclable while being brand reinforcing.  Foodservice Solutions® 5 P’s of food marketing: Product, Packaging, Placement, Portability and Price play a key role in retail foodservice success today and KFC understands the interconnectivity of the 5P’s.
Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities or a brand leveraging integration strategy.  Foodservice Solutions of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Publix Super Markets Inc. target’s Restaurant Catering niche for additional growth.



Is your office ready-2-eat?  Publix Super Market is unveiling a pilot online deli ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat same day ordering system in selected Florida locations.  Publix delis are filled with hot and cold ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat foods including made-2-order sandwiches, salads, rotisserie and fried chicken even deserts.  Publix goal is to garner market share from legacy restaurants chains that have well established relationships in catering local offices.

Beginning in Tampa then expanding this same day service positions Publix as a direct competitor of restaurants that offer catering packages to business and homes. The service will allow consumers to specify pick-up times will have no minimum order size and consumers can pay in the store when they pick up the food. Here is the link: www.publix.com/order, is accessible both through computers and mobile phones. Items available include: Kids deli’s platters, Fruit, Vegetable, Meat and Cheese Platters, Subs and Wraps, Sandwiches including Meal Wheel, Party Sub, The Ring Leader, Board Room Sandwich Box, Seafood and Sushi platters.  There of course is a full range of sales and side dishes including peach salsa.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant Email: grocerant@q.com

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fresh Prepared Food is Empowering Consumers Choice of Retailers.



The grocerant niche comprised of fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food continues to drive top line growth and bottom line profits in all sectors of the foodservice industry.  The ability to mix & match meal components or ingredients for a particular meal is empowering to the consumer. This niche is thriving within the Convenience store sector, Restaurant sector, Grocery/Supermarket sector, Drug store sector, and Dollar store sector.

Food Manufactures are focusing on each sector developing “restaurant quality” prepared food for the every retail sector. Consumers are finding “restaurant quality” fresh food offerings at new non-traditional points of distribution.
This is a brilliant way for retailers to extend the retail brand when current customers are migrating to fresh meal assembly and where future customers of the brand will come from. Consumer are not burdened with problems of retail food channel blurring. Channel blurring is only in the mind of the brand marketer.  Consumers want food ready-2-eat when and where they are and when they want it.
Many Co-packers of refrigerated entrees and side dishes are preparing products for quick casual restaurants and even fine dining chains.  Then they manufacture the similar product under for a different avenue of distribution i.e. grocery or convenience stores under the restaurants chain label or a private label.

Grocery store deli operators are now seeking private label fresh prepared proprietary menu items with identity for national grocery/ supermarket distribution. With sales picking up month after month in this category this will become a very successful business proposition for many a manufacturers and co-packers.

Consumers now consider Sheetz not a convenience store but a restaurant with gas.  Safeway each week positions ready-2-eat fresh prepared food in every printed ad. Walgreens in Boston,New York, Chicago, and San Francisco offers fresh prepared and Made-2-Order food or fresh prepared meal component bundling options. Success leaves clues and one clue is Grocerant Niche fresh prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat food is a customer favorite in every retail food channel.

This blog is supported in part by ads.  Please view them.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions, with extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert and public speaking. Facebook.com/Steven Johnson, Linkedin.com/in/grocerant or twitter.com/grocerant