Keep on Rollin’: Learning to Roll with the Changes

It's long been said that what makes you good today won't necessarily make you successful tomorrow. No industry embraces that philosophy more than foodservice.

Take, for example, Dunkin' Donuts. For the first time in its history, the quick-serve chain is rolling out not one but four new unit prototypes. What's even more notable about Dunkin' Donuts is that the chain is taking the unprecedented step of allowing its franchisees to choose which prototype they implement and even allowing them to cherry pick specific elements from each option to create a format that best suits the markets they serve (to get a look at Dunkin' Donuts' new design click here).

Another chain proving a business is never too old to evolve is Smoothie King. This 40-year-old chain is rolling out a new prototype, updating its menu to include sandwiches, wraps and more. The chain's new prototype will focus on format flexibility, opening up greater opportunities for Smoothie King to establish itself in college and university settings, recreation centers, malls and airports.

Both Dunkin' Donuts and Smoothie King have found new ways to breathe life into their concepts while staying true to their roots. For Smoothie King, smoothies will remain its signature menu item, but by slightly adjusting the menu and prototype the chain can extend its reach into new pockets of consumers interested in the concept's better-for-you offerings.

If you are looking for an example of evolution in the dealer community, look no further than Bill Immke of TriMark SS Kemp, FE&S' 2013 Dealer Sales Rep of the Year. Fresh from a hitch in the U.S. Army, Bill started with TriMark SS Kemp as a driver back in 1979 and diligently worked his way into a sales position that's projected to haul in $10 million in revenues this year. How did Bill evolve from a delivery driver to one of the industry's elite salespeople? It's simple, really. Bill learned the business from the ground up through sheer hard work and determination. He embraced the opportunities his company provided and listened to his customers.

Bill's gracious and down to earth demeanor continues to serve him, his customers and company well. "I'm not a big gambler. I believe in honesty, fairness and as long as you do what you say you're going to do and you give people the service, you'll get what you're looking for in return," Bill says.

In some ways, though, it should come as no surprise that the foodservice industry continues to evolve. That's because the industry's ultimate customer — the consumer — continues to evolve their tastes and the way they eat. And in order to remain relevant in the consumer's eyes, the industry has little choice but to do what that great '80's rock 'n' roll band REO Speedwagon encouraged us all to do: roll with the changes.

Related Articles