If you look at the restaurant industry and what is going on you will see that the main stream casual dining segment is scrambling to refresh and reinvent themselves. Look at main stream casual dining–Applebees, Chilis, TGI Fridays, Bennigan’s, Long Horns, Outback and the list goes on–they are all realizing that they are becoming “old hat” and that the public wants more. They are all desperately trying to ensure their relevance. Couple this with the fact that there is growing pressure on the restaurant industry to provide healthier menu options. Note, I did not say vegetarian options or health food options, I said healthier options. This has given rise to the enormous surge in the quick casual segment.
Restaurants are not going to be able to put the name, picture and signature of some famous cable chef on the menu and call it a day. This is going to require real work. This is going to require finding new, different and innovative approaches to delivering the dining experience. This is not solved by creating expensive custom china which makes franchisees crazy. This means finding new, different and innovative approaches to delivering the dining experience. This will not be solved by putting more point of sale crap on the table till it begins to look like a library. This means finding new different and innovative approaches to delivering the dining experience. Before you say it, I know! We have to deliver a quality product consistently with great service. I don’t dispute that. But have you noticed the raw number of restaurants open and trying to survive? The restaurant industry has become more of a street fight for survival then anything else.
This is going to be hard work. This is going to require some real effort. We are not going to excel by the “cheesy” gimick. This will be an opportunity to really be as creative and guest focused as we say we are!