You’re wondering as you read the headline, “What does this have to do with my business?”
We’ll get to that in a moment.
If you follow food industry and foodservice-related news in trade magazines, mass media or web-based news sources, you will come across a lot of “best” lists. For example: (a) sandwiches or maybe sandwich shops; (b) bakeries; (c) burgers; (d) diners; (e) ice cream shops; (f) coffee shops; and many, many more. “Best” news stories appear frequently. You’ll find a wide range of those lists in my files.
There are two different things going here.
First, people are trying to upgrade their daily diets and what they eat (or drink). Sometimes that means eating healthier – less fat, less sugar, less processed. At other times it means pursuing indulgent foods and beverages – likely leading to higher calories, maybe more fat and sugar – moving away from BFY (better-for-you). They always want good-tasting foods, beverages and snacks at a fair value.
Second is the “power of new.” Our industry has capitalized the sales surge of new products in every category. We know that new items all but jump off our shelves in micro-markets and out of our vending machines. A recent article in Fast Company, Study: People May Like Things More Just Because They’re New, explores the reasons we generally react positively to new things (products in our case). If you’re thinking that isn’t important, remember how you feel when sharing news about a great new restaurant you’ve discovered.
Now let’s get back to the best donuts list. It was posted at Thrillist/Food & Drink. After you taste test some donuts, you need to get busy.
Use “new” to earn the name “best”
Begin by finding the “best” in your area. Do you know where to buy the best _______ in your area? You can fill-in the blank with donuts, sandwiches, coffee or anything else. If you don’t know “where” – then find out – and do it fast. If you do know “where” – have you been there to taste what they offer and see what the fuss is all about? My favorite best list is classic American diners.
Next think about what you’re going to do take advantage of the “power of new.” Increase your focus on new products. Introduce many more new BFY products. Introduce lots more new indulgent products too. How and where will you merchandise and promote these new items? This applies to every product category you sell.
Last, and not least, never be satisfied with what you’re doing at the locations you serve. Upgrade and improve everything you do. That includes: (a) your menu of food, snacks and beverages; (b) the vending machines; (c) micro-market displays, shelving and merchandising; (d) the payment options you provide; (e) promotional offers (and I am NOT a big fan of cents-off price deals – there are much better ways to drive profitable incremental sales).
Wouldn’t it be nice to have the best vending bank or OCS offering or micro market in America?