The National Restaurant Association’s annual trade show has come and gone to much fanfare. From what I saw and read, the participation was phenomenal. We were able to bring our full consulting team from all of our offices and even made time to break some bread together. This year, I also participated in a panel discussion that explored unit economics and was moderated by Steve Romaniello, managing director of Roark Capital.Read more...
Restaurant sales showed solid growth in May. New study shows all consumer income groups devote about the same percentage of their day-to-day spending at restaurants. Prices consumers pay for food away from home continues to rise faster than food at home prices. Johnny Rocket’s opened their first drive thru location. The Ricker’s C-store chain has expanded their foodservice menu extensively. These stories and a whole lot more This Week in Foodservice.Read more...
A dual focus on product innovation and delivering a customer service experience that leaves guests smiling is fast putting Menchie's on the map — the entire map. From just three units in 2008, the company expects to pass the 200-store mark this year. By early 2012 the self-serve, pay-by-weight fro-yo concept will have a presence in every U.S. state, as well as in five international markets.
Amit Kleinberger, CEO, says that Menchie's positions itself as an "all-American" business model with no strong regional identity. The model centers on offering a variety of innovative frozen yogurt flavors, all developed in-house through Menchie's R&D department. Signature flavors like chai tea, watermelon tart, Georgia peach, root beer float and white chocolate macadamia nut, as well as more traditional flavors, rotate in and out of the stores, which offer a selection of 12 to 14 varieties and a wide assortment of toppings daily. "We're launching our own private label," Kleinberger says. "We're reinventing the flavors and coming up with innovative new trademarked variations. Every month, we're rolling out something new."
Menchie's also hired an expert and consultant on retail customer service to develop customized training materials for its franchisees, managers and crew members. It's part of a new drive to develop a world-class "we make you smile" customer service initiative.
This summer Menchie's kicks off a premium program showcasing a series of collectible toys, which are given to guests at every visit. While at press-time Kleinberger declined to offer details, he says it, like the chain's intense focus on customer service and product innovation, will help to create yet another big point of distinction for the chain.