We’ve been in San Francisco this week, visiting the Fancy Food Show. Fancy food manufacturing is a potentially lucrative activity for restaurant brand extension. We’ve seen this at the enterprise level. For instance, Wolfgang Puck, The Cheesecake Factory and the California Pizza Kitchen all make products for resale in supermarkets.
Now we're seeing the same phenomenon among mid level and small businesses.
Last post, I began to talk about catering as a potential new sales opportunity for restaurants. As today ( Jan 20) was a special day - rather than just write about food manufacturing as a possible diversification strategy, we made a homemade movie about restaurant companies that we came across in the show that are doing just that.
My experience is that a company's day-to-day involvement in a spun off factory operation can range from completely hands on to almost completely hands off, with consultants and professional services companies filling in the gaps. There are, if you like, two basic avenues: co-packing/white label production and making-it-yourself. We touch on both here:
The video was fun to do; like I said, homemade.
The take away here is that some restaurant operators are seeing that their brand is extensible to the shelf, at the grocery level. It has everything to do with packaging, and the selection of distribution channels.
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