Tag Archives: QSR

Catering By Design – Scalable & Predictable

 

To succeed in catering, you have to create a scalable, predictable and reliable experience.

To succeed in catering, you have to create a scalable, predictable and reliable experience.

When I talk to prospects and clients about their off premise catering requirements, many of them tell me that they want to create a catering experience that is scalable and predictable. They want a program that will make it easy to grow as they open additional restaurants and franchises.  It just has to be easy and it has to scale.

Scalability is an important component of the restaurant industry. So is predictability. I am certain that one leads to the other. Our industry has performed wonderfully by replicating predictable and scalable restaurants across our great nations. Without it, the biggest brands in our industry would simply cease to exist. And if that happened, where would the rest of us be?  We depend on the big brands to push innovation.  They invest a lot of resources and it helps make us all smarter!

The idea of scalability and predictability is no different when it comes to layering a successful off-premise service component on top of your existing restaurant infrastructure. In fact, reliability, predictability and scalability are three objectives restaurant operators must focus on at all times when developing their off-premise sales channel.

Ahh… But here’s the million dollar question? How do we scale a “new business,” with completely different demands, on top of an infrastructure that is aging and has been designed for a totally different market and experience?

It’s time to be thoughtful. It’s time to think of the off-premise sales opportunity for our restaurant community as the fastest growing sales opportunity we have. There is no sales lift bigger that we can seek than filling the off-premise demand for our consumers.  That’s what we believe at MonkeyMedia Software.  Catering is BIG!

If you can design a reliable, predictable and scalable off-premise experience for your team and your customers, you will impact your unit-level profits like never before – the flow-thru of the dollars from these sales to the bottom line is substantial and very different from the dollars that flow to your bottom line from your in-store sales traffic.

As restaurant operators we must continue to raise the bar on the dedication and standards needed to excel in this new business channel. And the fact that these standards remain underdeveloped in our industry is both a community challenge and opportunity. I’d like to see certification. A catering institute focused exclusively on solving these issues.  Well, I’m building The Catering Institute as I write this.  I hope you will all take some time to learn more about it.

As an industry, if we invest in creating reliability, predictability and scalability in our catering and off-premise channel it will grow for many years to come. It will be AMAZING!

But, it’s going to take dedication and a commitment to innovate and change. It’s going to take time. It’s going to take money. It’s going to take effort.

Oh. And the answer to the million dollar question above?

“Catering by design.” That’s how. Just like you know how!  Let’s talk catering!  Let’s learn from each other!

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

A film for anyone that has ever eaten at, worked in or run a restaurant! – Back To Basics

I’m getting ready for a two week road trip for my real job.  As CEO of MonkeyMedia Software.

Road trips are always tough, but worth it.  I get to work with our clients which is what I enjoy most in my professional life.  Fixing and improving businesses.  In my case, I use the strategy of off premise catering as my toolbox to help our clients.

But, that’s not why I am so excited.  No.

What has really got me excited, are the wonderful developments of our Documentary Film, Back to Basics.  The project is fantastic, the people are amazing and the vision is coming together beautifully.  I am not going to explain in this blog post.  But, I am posting a “DRAFT” of the film prospectus below.

It’s close to final, but I left it as a “DRAFT”, because every day, something new and exciting is happening with this project.  But, I can’t say more, YET!  Stay tuned and drop me a line when you read the prospectus here and let me know your thoughts.

This project is close to my heart, and based on where it is today, I am pinching myself!  Anything is possible!!! You just have to put your mind to it.  Thank you to everyone who is supporting this project.  Read the film prospectus by clicking on the link below.

Back To Basis Prospectus

 

Safe Travels!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Leadership of Ray Kroc and his drive to Catering Sales!

I decided to write this blog in advance of the upcoming Restaurant Leadership Conference in Scottsdale from March 25-28, 2012.

In preparation for the conference, I have been reading everything that I can about Ray Kroc these days. As I dig deeper and deeper into his story, I become more fascinated with his meticulous attention to detail. Like all entrepreneurs, he struggled to make his venture work. He went through the growing pains, set the culture and set a clear direction for his people. He fought hard.

As an entrepreneur and working on my 9th business, I can identify with his relentless desire to succeed. He was a fantastic businessman and very passionate about getting it right.

I found this really cool video, made by a few creative high school students, Zac Smith, Michael Warren, Jason Kiracofe and Daniel Alweis. I have embedded the video here for all of you to peruse. Good job on the school project boys. I think it tells a lot about who he was and what he was about.

I wonder if Ray were here today, what he might tell us about the current state of our multi-unit restaurant industry? I wonder if he would be happy with the outcome of what McDonald’s stands for today. Would he be proud? I wonder what he would say about McDonald’s building a catering revenue channel for his brand? I had a dream this week that Ray read my book. He loved it. Thanks Ray. I appreciate the support.

From what I have read, and as I have come to know him through other people’s words, his own book, Grinding it Out, and the number of videos and articles that are available on his leadership and management style, I would venture to say that Ray would have mixed emotions today based on where his brand stands. Sure, he might be proud of the stock price. Or would he? I think he would be horrified at all the negative tweets and comments. Knowing Ray, he would do something amazing to set it all on the right track. Just as great leaders like Howard Schultz or Ron Shaich have done with both Starbucks and Panera. Oh, and if Ray saw the traction that Panera is getting on their catering operations, he would want a piece of that market for sure. Because that’s what he was about. Being in front.

In the beginning, for Ray, and for all our leaders, it was all about looking after his customers. He wanted growth, but not at the expense of diluting his brand and experience. Of course, in the 1950′s and 1960′s, the world was a different place. I am certain that had Ray known that his McDonald’s would eventually become the fast food giant that it became, he only would have wanted it to do so if it was in the best interest of his customers.

He had a vision for the business, for the systems, for the experience and for his internal culture. He could not see the negative impact ahead on the dietary issues of fast food on our children and our communities. I have no doubt, that had he seen that, he might have managed it differently. I am certain, that if he were with us today, he would be working very hard to fix it.

Today, as McDonald’s continues to be the largest hamburger chain in the world, it still amazes me that even though the culture of Ray Kroc may just be a ghost in the wall, the organization continues to try to adopt to the ever changing needs our consumers. In my opinion, McDonald’s has done a superb job at trying to keep up with the trends, trying to morph their menus towards the more current fast casual type model.

Of course, to move a system this large to a new model, is not only difficult, but it requires a tremendous amount of investment and gumption. McDonald’s may not be the healthiest choice in the market place yet, but I predict that in the next 10 years, they will move into the top position of the fast casual market. They will do it, because they have the real estate, the brand and their consumers are going to only shop there if they continue to adapt to the ever changing dietary needs. Especially in North America.

So, this brings me to my next question? Will McDonald’s offer catering services that are scaleable across the brand? What will the program look like? I believe that they already have, but they have not hired the right leadership to take them the rest of the way. I found this little nugget in the United Kingdom that really convinced me.

Is McDonald’s Fast Casual?

Well, it all starts with the Deli doesn’t it? Well, at least that’s how it started for me!

Then as I dug further, I found this:

So, you tell me! What kind of leadership will it take for our multi-unit restaurant community to finally decide to take catering as a serious business? Especially in the QSR segment. If you have a powerful brand, and you tell your customers that you offer alternative services, they will buy from you. We already know that. So, the next question I have is “can they execute?”.

I believe that if any of our community leaders decide to pursue catering as a serious business, then they would in fact see a lift in their sales that our industry has not seen since the day’s of franchising and drive-thru. But, it doesn’t matter what I believe. Or does it? Because like Ray Kroc, I too am an entrepreneur. And so, I will live or die by my conviction and my leadership. And so, as I put this article to rest, I call out to all of you in a restaurant leadership position to really take a hard look at the facts. Catering is here to stay. If we don’t do it, the grocery segment will (as they already are).

Ray would want us to compete and compete hard.

I believe that catering offers our multi-unit restaurant community a true opportunity to grow. So much so, that I put it on Video, wrote a book and am betting my entire future on this transformative idea. This video is 3 years old. So, it’s now 15 years.

Tell me. What do you think? I hope you can share your thoughts with me. This is a great debate!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,696 other followers

%d bloggers like this: