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Why can't food chains just be themselves?



They may not be teaching this to CFE (certified franchise executive candidates, but here are the phrases peppering franchise executives' conversations these days:

White gold - What the pizza industry has renamed cheese

3-D - An A&W restaurant with drive-in, drive-thru and dine-in options

"We Donald-Trumpted her" - Fired on the spot, used by Focus Brand's chairman Steve Romaniello at the IFA's Leadership Conference.

Inside the box - The opposite of thinking outside the box.

"Let's start thinking inside the box again. It's scary outside right now."

Yellular - A bad cell phone connection that requires someone to yell into the phone in order to be heard by innocent passersby.

Once upon a time, a franchise like McDonald's was content with being known primarily as the home of the Big Mac. But as the burger wars - as well as pizza and sandwich skirmishes - reach domestic stalemates, some food chains have expanded their menus to include items atypical to their main offerings in an attempt to attract new customers.

Many chains already have available the equipment and ingredients necessary, so they can alter or expand menus with relative ease.

Thus far, sales indicate these additions are being well received by consumers. As for the competition, however, not every chain has appreciated its territory being encroached upon.

In January, a series of Domino's ads claimed an independent study found its sandwiches were preferred 2-to-1 to similar offerings from Subway. In response to what they saw as false advertising, Subway issued a cease and desist letter to the chain. Domino's CEO David Brandon proceeded to burn the letter (or a copy of it) in another commercial.

That unique type of response aside, it will be interesting to see whether other chains decide to engage their ambitious competitors in civil court, or the court of public opinion.



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