While some stand firm on one end or the other, many of us have a love-hate relationship with cooking. I’m one that bounces around. When I have time, I love it. It’s therapeutic. But when I’m exhausted from a long day at the office, well, I’m not a huge fan.
The other night I decided to cook but with a little help from my friends at Papa Murphy’s. My husband and I were in the mood for pizza, but I wanted to put my own spin on it.
So I went into the new Papa Murphy’s location down the street and ordered a large deLITE size dough—a sign I was leaning towards the more loving end of my relationship with cooking.
After placing my order, the young guy behind the counter looked a little confused and turned to the lady next to him for guidance. She immediately stepped in to explain they don’t sell just the dough. Stunned, I jumped in to let her know that I’ve been buying the dough for years at the other location a few miles away. The nice lady proceeded to tell me that she was from corporate, and that other store was going against policy.
As I turned for the door in complete disappointment, I started to wonder about the motivation behind their corporate policy. Do they think their role as America’s pizza provider will diminish if they sell the dough?
I say au contraire. Restaurants, from quick serves to fine dining, that can satisfy a variety of needs and allow me to have flexibility depending on what’s going on in my life are the ones that are irreplaceable. I still go to Papa Murphy’s for those times when I’m having a more “hate” relationship with cooking, to truly just “Take ‘N’ Bake.” So why turn down the opportunity to play a part in my culinary adventure when I’m in the cooking mood?
Embrace how you fit into your customers’ lives, don’t try to control it. You might uncover new opportunities. Papa Murphy’s could become an even bigger hero for families who want to make their Friday night extra special by creating their pizza together. By supplying the dough and a few pointers on mastering pizza making, Papa Murphy’s still remains the true pizza artist but allows for their customers to co-create.
Any healthy relationship evolves over time. So the next time your customer wants you to play a slightly different role than normal, think twice before turning them down. Otherwise, they might replace you.
Photo credit: Jessy Rone
I am driving down an expressway, and my eye is drawn to a Chipotle billboard. It has a picture of a gigantic burrito wrapped in silver foil. I don’t remember what the message was. I can only remember the picture of that giant burrito. It is etched in my brain.
Fast forward to a visit to my local Chipotle with my almost 9-year-old son who can eat like a 19-year-old boy. He orders that very same burrito I saw on the turnpike and we sit down at a table. I watch him struggle to finish it. This very same child who can devour a double cheeseburger at McDonald’s is struggling with this regular-sized Chipotle burrito. In fact, he doesn’t finish it
As I look around the restaurant, I see that a majority of the people eating there are either taking part of their meal home or have got an empty box on their table just in case. In this “new economy” with people either worried about finding a job or losing the one they have, one order can often mean two meals.
We all know that The Cheesecake Factory is known for their generous portion size. It’s one of many reasons why they have the highest average unit volume in the restaurant industry. Their CEO, David Overton, has gone on record as saying that their customer wants to make sure that they are getting every calorie they’re paying for. My 90-year-old mother loves the Cheesecake Factory. She brags that the “leftover” salad she brings home lasts her for two more meals.
The easiest and most successful marketing is to encourage customers to do what they were going to do anyway. In that spirit, now may be the time to make your “leftover take-home package” the star of your next TV commercial. In today’s environment, what could possibly be better than eating out AND eating at home, all for the price of one meal?
Photo credit: we are dc
Even if you are not a value brand, you can’t afford to offend the consumer’s sense of value. But, you may be doing it without knowing it.
Many years ago I was consulting with a regional jewelry retailer that was known for good value on diamond and gold jewelry. It’s hard to know what a diamond is really worth because there are so many variables, including the person who graded it.
My client didn’t sell watches, but was contemplating adding a couple of brand name watch lines. I tried to convince them not to. Why? Because while diamonds are a “blind” item, a brand name watch price is easy to comparison shop. And when the customer does compare, my client was going to be higher than the competition. On the other hand, I told them that they could use the watches to cement their value brand image if they wanted to price them below their competition. They weren’t buying.
Shortly after adding the watches, their customers started buying less. They were doing more competitive shopping—looking for a better value.
In QSR, we have our lines of brand name watches. They’re called soft drinks and brand name potato chips. They tell the customer as much, if not more, about our value proposition than the custom made sandwiches we sell.
Both Coke and Pepsi want you to believe that their brand makes a statement about your brand. And it does. But what you sell those drinks for helps customers form opinions about everything you sell.
Is it any wonder that Happy Hour has been adopted by so many chains?
Photo credit: T.C.