Your customer profile is changing… are you?
The customer is always right and always will be… at least when it comes to where they spend their hard-earned cash. As a business owner, whether it’s in foodservice or any other industry, it’s your responsibility to respond and mimic the changing tides of consumer wants, needs and tastes.
Nothing can make this more apparent than the paradigm shifting choices of the nation’s largest age cohort – the Millennials. They are driving a shift in food sales, rapidly boosting the revenue of those stores that are in tune with this change and forcing the old-fashioned “We do and always have done things this way” out of business or scrambling to stay afloat. Obviously, you know which group you’re in or maybe you’re stranded somewhere in purgatory. Are you working overtime to just maintain a sliver of your previous revenue with no foreseeable salvation in sight? Change, conform, expand, improve…etc. it’s time. The customer is always right and here’s why it affects your bottom-line.
The Millennial Tastes
Love them, think they are entitled brats (easy there, the writer of this article is one) or are indifferent to them, there is no denying the financial power of the nation’s largest age group. For instance, Forbes recently reported that Millennials hold $200 billion in annual buying power… Partly because Millennials came of age during the nation’s worst financial recession, they are probably the most frugal cohort. They take their time and perform thorough research before making just about any purchase, thank you smartphones! They strive to make their money go farther and that carries over to the foodservice industry.
Do you want a piece of that buying power? Well then, you’re going to have to earn it! The norm just doesn’t cut it anymore, and why should it?
Packaged Facts’ recently released a report that tracked this large cohort and found that their high sense of individualism carries over into the food choices they make. They want their food customizable, they want the service effortless, and they want it seamlessly delivered. Why should it be any different? We all want more choices and we all want things hassle free, the Millennials demand it and are improving the foodservice industry for everyone. That’s where your business needs to get onboard.
Packaged Facts’ reported, “More than a third of millennials order something different every time they visit a restaurant. What better way to entice them to a restaurant than to offer a mix-and-match dining experience where they can build something different every time?” Can your menu keep up? Does it allow mixing and matching - drastically improving the number of possibilities?
Not only does today’s customer want more choices along with seamless/hassle free service, they also want bold food choices according to a report out of Food Technology. Arushi Thakur, food research expert at Technavio explained, “Customers nowadays are looking for a combination of food infused with new and bold flavors. The demand for innovative and exotic flavored food is more prominent among millennials.”
This means that in the foodservice industry we need to continually be providing zesty choices to keep the interest of customers piqued. What’s better for the bottom-line: a customer that spends $10 once and never comes back, or a loyal customer who stops by each week at $5? Obviously… you want these customers curious, hooked and coming back for more!
But How To Customize?
In a dilemma? Know you have to update your menu to conform to the growing power of the choosy customer? One option is to get the consumer involved. Statistics published on Forbes explained that 42% of all Millennials would like to help brands create/determine their next product. What better way to “hit a homer” than by asking this powerful spending cohort?
Another piece of advice to keep in mind when making these business changing decisions is to create a menu that is mix-and-match. This ensures that while you may have 10 total products on the menu, if you create a way in which they can be paired, you can create dozens of variations that can keep your loyal customers interested, returning and spreading the word about your location.
For this customizable, mix-and-match approach full of bold flavors, look no further than our company PFSbrands. Whether it’s Champs Chicken or Cooper’s Express, the introduction of our warm-saucing has opened some big revenue generating doors. With the ability to have your proteins sauced with bold flavors (from zesty orange to delightfully spicy BBQ) exactly as you wish (customizable) during our mix-and-match promotions, we are taking this approach to the max. Our customers have dozens of choices right in front of them to keep them happy and interested.
Trust me, our warm-sauced teriyaki tenders might just change your life or at least have your taste buds wanting more! (Check out our product line-up that you can use to turn up the flavor at your location!)
Additional flavor options, customizable meals, seamless and effortless service… Maybe we need to give a slight “Thank you” to Millennials for causing a paradigm shift in the foodservice industry that benefits everyone. How are you keeping up with this changing foodscape? Are you ready and capable to change as well?
Because, it all comes down to the simple fact that the customer is always right… and always will be.