Collaboration Techniques for Menu Changes, Product Improvements and Reacting to Today’s Demanding Guests

Posted by IFMA November 14, 2014

Tagged in COEX Connect Foodservice Leaders Foodservice Operators Industry Research

No activity is more mission critical for restaurant operators than menu development. Poor attempts at menu development won't always mean the demise of a concept, and successful menus won't ensure business success, but the quality of menu development definitely affects a restaurant's success. 

Menu development processes are highly brand particular, with differing approaches to customer feedback, social media, LTOs and rolling out new menu items. But constant menu innovation is an imperative for all operators.

Menu development is complicated. Menu changes might reflect diverse goals related to quality, ingredient cost, preparation complexity, marketing strategy, guest feedback and/or brand. Changes require umerous considerations related to execution and brand. Processes differ from chain to chain, as does who is driving them and participating.

Login to view Collaboration Techniques for Menu Changes, Product Improvements and Reacting to Today's Demanding Guests. Stay tuned for more COEX Executive Summaries. This summary and all others in the series are exclusively available to IFMA members. Contact  ifma@ifmaworld.com to discover more benefits of being an IFMA member.

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Chain Operators EXchange (COEX)

The IFMA Chain Operators EXchange (COEX) enables chain operators to take advantage of business building insights and create personal connections with leading manufacturers. With dozens of high-profile operators on the planning committee, the program truly is created "by operators, for operators."

Driving Consumer Demand

The $683 billion restaurant industry is mature; however, there is unprecedented opportunity for innovation.

At COEX 2014, panelists from four fast-expanding chains illustrated,  there is tremendous potential for and reward from innovation.  All four entrepreneurs have tapped niches of consumer  demand to build distinctive, well-loved brands that  attract a loyal customer following. And all have prioritized  people, fostering enduring connections in unique ways.

Operators on Driving Consumer Demand

Consumers have become more knowledgeable about the food they eat, and are increasingly interested in doing business with companies in all industries, including foodservice, who share their values and are part of their community. They also care a great deal about experiences and value. Therefore, creating demand in the future will still be about the basics of food, service, and cleanliness, but will increasingly be about experiences and choices.

Making Sense Out of the Complexities of Foodservice

Doug Brooks, former CEO of Brinker (Chili's and Maggiano's), described several key foodservice industry trends and discussed how operators can respond to these trends at Chain Operators Exchange, COEX. In this environment of marketplace mayhem, the challenge for restaurants is to adapt and improve without losing sight of their brand's core values.

 

Doug Brooks on making tough choices in foodservice

A 48-year industry veteran, who spent the last nine at the helm of Brinker International, Doug Brooks knows a thing or two about finding focus in foodservice and will share his experiences at Chain Operators EXchange (COEX) 2014.

Wally Doolin to Moderate Panel at Presidents Conference, Top Operators to Offer Reactions to Conference Insights

Occasions that drive consumer choice, retaining quality employees and capital investment are areas of focus to the benefit of the foodservice industry. These insights, and others, are the subject of a recent article penned by TDn2K Chairman and Founder Wally Doolin. He will be addressing similar issues as moderator of the Closing Keynote Panel at Presidents Conference, which features executives from top operator brands and their reactions to insights conveyed during the conference. 

FOCUS Brands CEO Drives Success through Consumer Experiences Aligned with Operator Brands

One of the foodservice industry's most dynamic executive leaders today is Steve DeSutter, who joined FOCUS Brands, Inc. as their president and CEO in March. Mr. DeSutter will be delivering the opening keynote address at Presidents Conference this November, which is the place where foodservice leaders come to address critical issues affecting our industry. His presentation will address how consumer experiences with operator brands are a key area of focus that leads to success. 

Operators on Driving Supply Chain Efficiency

The foodservice supply chain matured over the past decade, with increased use of technology, more data, and improved collaboration. We asked operators to weigh in on how this has effected them.

“It’s not personal, it’s just business.”

It's a phrase you hear often in business dealings. Yet in today's rapidly evolving world, this mindset leads to rigid, us vs. them relationships that can't withstand a market that demands constant change and adaptation. At Presidents Conference 2013, Kate Vitasek, author of the book series Vested, took the audience deep into collaborative relationships to help them understand which types are appropriate for which relationship.

Delivering more to the bottom line through Demographic Understanding

The foodservice marketplace is changing. The industry has lost 1.7 billion visits since the recession. Its heaviest users, Millennials, have cut back on visits, Boomers and older have increased visits, the multi-cultural population is changing and competition for the consumer tightening. With all of these changes afoot, the question is: should operators stay the course or shake things up?     

Strategies for Restaurants to Grow in the Hourglass Economy

The American middle class traditionally powered consumer spending. But unyielding economic pressures have continued to shift purchasing power away from the middle, creating an hourglass economy, and there is very good reason to believe that this trend isn't likely to change anytime soon.