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Where To Find Customers For Quickserve Restaurant [Retail Consultant Results: Case Study]

The Los Angeles Times called on me for several business makeovers as a retail consultant. This blog highlights one aspect from one of those business makeovers on targeted marketing for your location. This is part of a series including topics like attracting customers to your store and intense retail sales training.

The challenge

A husband and wife were looking to grow their all natural sausage sandwich sales in an upscale strip center. The owners were frustrated by the long lines at fast-food joints on either side of theirs.

The windows, walls and menu at their stylish eatery were plastered with nutritional analyses that proved the private-label links made with ground turkey, chicken, spices and cheese had less fat, than most burgers, burritos or subs.

They advertised discounts in the local free shopper paper and distributed coupons regularly. But sales, which were below expectations the previous year, were still flat.

“Nothing has worked as well as we thought it would,” the owner told me.

The goal

Get more customers into their store.

The diagnosis

The primary marketing vehicle for this quickserve restaurant was the Penny Saver. Surveying the parking lot full of BMWs and Jaguars, I asked the owner if he thought their drivers read that publication. He quickly realized that his marketing was ineffective. In addition, when asked who he thought his customers were, he said both men and women equally. A week later after keeping track of customers by sex he found 80% were men.

The prescription

The owner wasted his marketing dollars on people who will never try his product no matter how low-fat or high-quality it is. He had forgotten that sausage sandwiches are a want, not a need. And he’d lost sight of their most important selling point: taste.

All the education in the world doesn’t mean anything if food doesn’t taste good.

I had him stop his ads in the discount weeklies and set their sights on getting their delicious product into the hands of the guys working in the community. I suggested that he cater events for the larger employers within a couple miles of the restaurant.

The implementation

Marketing materials were altered to speak to guys and simply say that their sausage was “probably healthier than you.” We came up with new brochures, menus and direct-mail marketing materials. By taking the sandwiches to the people most likely to frequent their business, we were able to get his product into the hands of many without discounting the product.

The results

Sales increased 60% year over year.

Lessons for your business

  • Know who your market really is.
  • Widely spread discounts rarely bring in the profitable customers you want.
  • Target who your customer really is by getting in front of them.

 

What have you used to target your customers?

About Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor

Companies from some of the very largest, to some of the smallest, from luxury brands to startups, from franchises to regional chains contact me as a retail consultant because they are looking for results.

While every client and project is different, the ability to enlist me as a retail consultant who has a fresh set of eyes to look at the challenges you are facing can result in a focused, effective and creative path to profitable sales.  No matter what your size, let’s see how I can help you as a retail consultant that gets results.

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Posted by Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor on January 25, 2012.

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