Problem Solver - August 2015
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Problem Solver Questions & Answers

Find the Right Concession Partner

If you're thinking about changing the concession options you provide to visitors, branded fast food is a great alternative to your existing program. While you can manage concessions on your own, any change to your food offerings should take into consideration a branded quick-service concept, which will provide snack and meal options from recognized sources your guests know and trust. But with so many concepts out there, it's important to narrow down your choices to find the solution that best fits your situation.

Q: What should we consider when reviewing branded concepts for our concession operations?

A: First of all, you'll want to go with a trusted brand with a proven track record. This means doing your homework. Talk with representatives from the brands you're considering, but also ask for references and speak with individuals who run their locations. Are the franchisees happy being part of this particular brand? How well does the corporate office respond to their needs? How much say do franchisees have in terms of operations and products? Are systems in place for support, training and communications? Is there a local representative to help when needed?

With the growing health consciousness of today's consumers, you also should pay close attention to brands that can balance great taste with nutritious products. When you provide tasty and healthy options, guest won't have to choose between health and enjoyment.

Q: What makes branded fast food so popular with consumers?

A: Customers expect exceptional service, great quality and a good value. Brands that excel in these areas will always stand out from the pack.

Nutrition and healthy options are also becoming more important to consumers. Obesity continues to be a rampant problem, and any brand worth your consideration should have a reputation for providing healthy choices.

One of the main reasons why branded fast food is such a successful choice is because a large number of people consider it comfort food. Your target audience is likely familiar with the choices offered by such brands, and trusts them to provide service, quality and value.

Q: How can going with a branded fast food option help in terms of business and operations?

A: Branded concepts come with built-in name and product recognition, as well as an existing customer base, consumer loyalty, recognized menus and recipes, operational systems, suppliers and powerful advertising programs. This means you won't have to start from scratch.

Startup costs for many brands are very reasonable, and you can find options that require minimal space and equipment, which allows them to be incorporated easily into your existing foodservice operation. You can decide whether to use your existing staff or lease the space to a local franchisee, who will handle the business details, freeing you from the headaches of day-to-day management.

Branded fast food is a natural fit for park and recreational facilities, helping you stay ahead of the competition with a unique and convenient offering for your patrons. You'll boost traffic, and the brand's advertising campaigns and reputation can help point people to your venue, giving them a reason to come back time and again.


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