Recent branding efforts demonstrate that food might not make a big difference when it comes to upping a restaurant's profit. In general, brands are an identity – it's something that sets a company apart from the other 600,000 or so restaurants that the NPD Group confirmed were in business as of last year. In regards to fine-tuning a brand for a place that predominately sells food products, the strategy might seem like a no-brainer. However, several restaurants demonstrate that the best way to reach a restaurant client might not be through the stomach – here are some ways how.
The new Arby's
QSR magazine proved this point through the story of Arby's remaking its brand after 50 years of routine. The fast-food chain learned throughout the process of recreating it's image, that being America's leading beef experts wasn't really what mattered to the consumer anymore. The company decided to go in a completely new direction. Since fewer people were seeking out their meat products, Arby's made the decision to aim for the hearts.
They completely recreated some locations to make them feel warmer and more accommodating, the CEO of private equity firm Roark Capital, Paul Brown, told the magazine. This makeover included new tables, tiles and countertops and it could make a difference for them. Signs.com blog suggested that ambiance affects a restaurant's bottom line. Every detail from the lighting to the music to the interior design can be a deciding factor in whether guests return or not. In the end, Arby's altered the entire feel of the restaurant and shifted into more of an upscale vibe than before. This change could mean food might not be the forefront of customer satisfaction.
Arby's rebirth also demonstrates how the demands of guests have shifted to align with today's digitally consumed society. The fast food chain now offers WiFi – an incentive that they hope will keep guests in the establishment longer. Arby's makeover might be the start of many for the restaurant industry as the consumer has developed more of a taste for atmosphere and convenience rather than food. Other places that wish to follow suit and revamp their concepts should understand the root of the change. Many believe it has to do with today's generation.
Millennials call the shots
Millennials heavily influence the changing landscape of the restaurant industry brands, Forbes explained. Places like McDonald's, Wendy's and other fast food joints are getting less frequent visits from people aged 18 to 33, not because they're going out less but for other reasons.Technology plays a large role in this shift, according to Forbes. Nearly everyone uses iPhones and tablets for just about everything. It should come as no surprise that millennials, who essentially use their cellphones for everything, would want to be able to order food through apps. If the younger crowd can't get what they want from a restaurant, they might take their business elsewhere. Here's what some of the hotspots among millennials have to offer.
Recharge at Starbucks
For starters, Starbucks has made conscious efforts to keep up with the times, suggested JRDG Brand Design and Communication. They've been able to bend and adapt to market changes. Recently, they've restated their logo to "Think beyond coffee." That's somewhat of a bold request for one of the world's leading coffee companies. But this tactic seems to be working for them. Even after raising prices, analysts predicted Starbucks would earn 67 cents per share on $4.15 billion in revenue over the summer, reported Fortune magazine. This growth comes despite price hikes because of the company's innovation.
The company has become in tune with the importance of technology among millennials. They're the generation from which Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and the iPhone have all emerged. In accordance with this trend, Starbucks installed power mats where people can recharge their phones if they have a proper phone case. This little alteration might convince people to choose Starbucks over other vendors because they know it's a place that they can recharge their iPhones.
These changes may be just the beginning. Moving forward, the restaurant industry might seem more of a boom from convenience and atmosphere rather than what they're serving up in the kitchen.
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