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Problem Solver - August 2018
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Problem Solver Questions & Answers

Provide a Large Menu in a Small Space


With so many different tastes, diets and food preferences now, it's important to provide a variety of menu options without investing a large amount of space or capital.

Q: Why is a branded food option preferable over a proprietary program?

A: You could do it yourself, but what happens if the menu items you choose aren't right or if there's room for improvement? Trial and error isn't a cost-effective approach. Adding a branded food option brings extensive research and development of a proven menu. It offers an option with a proven track record that customers know and trust. Consumers are more critical of their food choices now, so a concept that is recognizable, proven and provides a variety of options is the best choice for keeping guests satisfied.

Q: What are the important aspects to consider when choosing who to work with?

A: One of the most important things to consider when partnering with a branded concept is whether it is universally recognized and has a proven track record. A concept that is recognized by your guests no matter where they're from allows instant familiarity with their meal choices.

It's important to do your research and pick the brand that's right for your situation. Speak with representatives from the brands you are considering, but also with individuals that run their own locations. Are the operations easy to run or do they require special equipment? What type of support, training and communications does the brand have in place? Are local representatives in place to assist you in dealing with the brand's national office, and to help navigate local regulations? Are the stores well supported by the local, regional and national teams? Does the brand have experience developing stores in non-traditional locations, such as theme parks, casinos, athletic facilities or other recreational facilities?

Extra points should be given to a concept that can provide a menu that has multiple options that can be prepared and served fresh, from meals to snacks, from healthy and nutritious to savory and indulgent.

Q: What are the advantages to working with a branded food concept as opposed to doing it ourselves?

A: A branded concept has built-in name and product recognition, a developed customer base, a proven menu with recognizable favorites as well as new and exciting items, a developed system of operations, as well as already having local supply and advertising systems in place. Partnering with a branded food concept means you don't have to reinvent the wheel; they've already done the hard work for you.

One of the most important aspects of providing a desirable food option to your guests is giving them a menu that has recognizable favorites and exciting new options. A branded food concept is going to have both, but also has the ability to continue to provide new and exciting choices on a regular basis. Whether it's a special seasonal item or a limited time offer, a branded concept can seamlessly incorporate these items, saving the time and expense of developing and sourcing new products on your own.

Q: Wouldn't partnering with a big chain require a large investment of capital and time?

A: Some brands have reasonable startup costs and, because of their experience, are relatively easy to work with. Some brands even offer a discounted buy-in cost or reduced percentage of payment depending on the size and scale of your company. In some situations, they can even recommend a franchisee from the outside who will lease the space from you and run the operation.



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