December 4, 2014

Get famous! (it works…)

Amidst the flurry and fluster of owning and operating a food-to-go business, one thing is often overlooked when creating the menu and the overall in-store customer experience.

In the willingness to cover all bases and be all things to all people, a key element is often neglected or deemed too risky or niche. It is something, which the “big end of food-town” values highly as a cornerstone to them continuing to build their respective empires across cities, nations and continents. And interestingly, it’s not even that surprising or difficult …


So what is it? It’s simple, become renowned and ultimately famous for “something”!

When you think quickly about some of the mega-food retail businesses around the world and ask yourself the question of what they are renowned for, the answers come quite easily.  McDonald’s – product consistency, food safety world-wide and that unique Big Mac taste; Wholefoods – the high visual impact and sheer variety of their amazing food categories; Pret a Manger – innovative high quality grab ‘n’ go foods.

From a local perspective, some of Australia’s most successful and continually growing food-to-go businesses also follow this strategy of being renowned and famous for something; Grill’d – gourmet burgers; Gloria Jean’s – flavoured coffees; Tasty Trucks – fresh delivered on time convenience foods; Nashi – high quality convenience foods; Guzman y Gomez – authentic Mexican street food experience.

These and many others have purposefully carved out a niche in providing something unique to the market which enables them to be heard and noticed amongst the crowd, whether it be product related or an experience, or better still, a combination of both!

It’s also reality that clever forward thinking start-ups who haven’t yet opened the door to their first store are right this very minute working feverishly behind the scenes to create food-to-go concepts which will make them renowned amongst their customers from day one! One such concept is Alex&Co, so remember – you heard it here first…

So what of the “standard” café or sandwich deli? How can they stand out in this highly competitive, ever evolving, busy market that is food-to-go in Australia?

One quick fire solution is to review your menu and the overall customer experience you currently offer and identify one thing on the menu (new or existing) you can innovate, develop and significantly improve in order to have customers raving about it to their friends, family and work colleagues. It simply must have that OMG factor! That’s step one to becoming renowned and famous for your food.

The other equally important consideration is to create a unique customer experience, which again delivers something unexpected yet highly engaging and valued by the customers.  This could be as simple as hosting a free food appreciation night and inviting a handful of your regular loyal customers. Whatever it is, it must be delivered in such a way that your customers and staff talk about it for weeks after, so challenge yourself as to what it needs to be in order to deliver that level of excitement and long-term benefit.

The relentless on-going development of the Australian food-to-go industry won’t stop, so the need for new and existing businesses to continually innovate and ratchet-up their personality and point-of-difference has arrived. Game on!

So set your sights on becoming renowned and famous for something, anything, stand out from your competitors, and continue to grow through innovation. It’ll be worth it!
Graeme McCormack, Director

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