Your fast food menu might no longer be relevant because you don’t offer customisation of meals, you stop serving breakfast at 10 or 11am, and don’t have healthy alternatives to your normal fast and cheap fare.
Your food may be popular with your loyal customers, but given a little more variety, they might visit more often – bringing with them customers like friends and family who wouldn’t ordinarily buy into your regular offerings.
Here are three methods to get even the choosiest of patrons queuing at your counter:
- Let them build their own meals
Put the power back in your customers’ hands by letting them customise their order. Paying for the tomato and gherkins they asked to be removed from their burger isn’t very satisfying. But, if you give them a plain burger and let them add their toppings – from garnish, to sauces – they only pay for what they’re eating.
Customisation is a recognition that each customer requires a different experience at different times under different circumstances, says Mike Palmer of Lost In Catering.
“We’re not talking about individualising products, because that would mean enormous menus with long waits on food, difficult service cycles and kitchens barely able to cope,” Palmer says.
“Throwing the kitchen sink in because you want to give more choice doesn’t work because customers don’t want to be overwhelmed. Yet it remains the most frequent mistake operators make because of the difficulty in interpreting customers’ demands.”
Limit the amount of mixing and matching that can be done to only a few items on the menu so you’re giving enough room for variety without compromising your bottom line.
Related: The Latest Buzz in Franchising
- Offer breakfast all day
“Breakfast hasn’t traditionally been the most common dining-out daypart, but with the increasingly busy lifestyles we lead today, consumer interest is definitely stemming from the blurring of normal meal periods,” says Annika Stensson, the NRA’s director of research communications. “Who doesn’t like some good pancakes, no matter what time of day it is?”
It’s time to catch up with the likes of Wimpy and Mugg & Bean. You’ll be among the first in the fast food industry to give customers eggs way after breakfast or bedtime.
- Put healthier options centre stage
RocoMamas offers six burgers on the menu, and the option to build your own. That’s its trademark, but what impressed one customer is the alternative to their famous beef ‘smashburger’. “All of the burgers are available in vegetarian,” he says. “We bumped into the owner one day, who told us that his mother was a vegetarian, which is why he offers vegetarian options.”
You don’t have to stock up on soy patties to increase your reach, but take it from the likes of Kauai – health sells. Even those who eat meat want it grilled or in a salad sometimes. Globally the sector showing the most growth in the fast food industry is healthy food.
According to Kauai CEO Hendrik Coetsee, the consumer wants more healthy options, prompting the emergence of more healthy food brands. “The consumer is shifting and there are more opportunities for players to be part of the movement,” he says – adding that offering healthy, fresh meals can be more difficult than the normal burger patty and bun.
Invest in customer research to ensure a specific interpretation of ‘fresh’ is understood to curb unnecessary wastage and costs. Consider customisation, flexibility with meal times, and catering to the consumer health trend. These are great ways to attract new fans while giving your loyal clientele more options.
Clean Out, Clean Up – And Win Big With Cash Converters!
Spring is on the way and Cash Converters is celebrating the season of renewal with a bigger than ever Spring Clean Sale – and this year it gives you two very different opportunities to cash in.
From 24 August to 2 September, you can help Cash Converters spring clean all its stores nationally by snapping up discounted items across all their different product categories. Then in the second phase starting on 3 September, Cash Converters returns the favour by giving away R200 000 over 20 days! A total of 100 customers will win cash prizes in this Spring Clean Special Draw of R10 000 per day from 6 to 25 September. To enter, all you need to do is sell Cash Converters an unwanted item that you have decided to spring clean.
Sorting through your cupboards for items that are in good condition but rarely used and that you are ready to sell could put you in line to be one of the lucky winners of a fistful of cash that will make your budget stretch further or give you a head start for early Christmas gift buys. If you have not yet managed to act on this year’s resolution to declutter your space, here is an excellent incentive to make good on that goal.
Many of us have items crowding our homes that turned out to be bad buys, were unwanted presents or are outdated for our needs. Trading in these items can help you trade up to something that suits you better – as well as giving you the chance to be one of the lucky cash winners!
Get ready to cash in on:
- Spare phones, computers or cameras
- Unused power tools or exercise equipment
- Unwanted jewellery and watches
- Unnecessary kitchen appliances and electronic goods
- Surplus gifts or inherited items
“Essentially, we are paying you to spring clean!” says Richard Mukheibir, CEO of Cash Converters. “Even if you are not fortunate enough to be one of our daily cash-prize winners, you will be cashing in on items you do not need. That is a welcome boost to anybody’s wallet with petrol prices and the VAT increase still eating away at our income.”
Apart from all the excitement around the opportunity to win big, the outcome is win-win for everybody, says Mukheibir. Whatever you choose to trade in for cash in hand could well become the treasure that somebody else has been looking for. He believes the Spring Clean process also has an important message for South Africans.
“We are specifically running this promotion during Heritage Month because it helps enable a key change in mind-set that we need to entrench if we are to live sustainably on our beautiful planet,” he says.
“It has been estimated that the City of Johannesburg’s landfills will be full in just six years’ time, for instance. But enabling items you do not need to have a second, useful life, or astutely buying quality second-hand items you do need, is taking action on the reuse, recycle, repurpose message of our times. That makes you one of the savvy consumers who are doing what they can to save our planet for future generations.”
Related: Cash Converters Franchise Listing
5 Ways To Teach An Old Business New Tricks
Cash Converters took a hard look at their product offering and realised that dealing in second-hand jewellery should become a major part of their product offering given the fact that the vintage trend really took root in the SA market.
Do you have hidden gems concealed in your longstanding product offerings? Taking a new perspective on buying and selling patterns established over nearly quarter of a century at Cash Converters Southern Africa made CEO Richard Mukheibir realise a business lesson he needed to put into practice – and one he felt worth sharing with any other SA businesses looking for a wakeup call that can help them grow in today’s slow economy.
Reinventing your brand to keep it fresh and successful means everything from refreshing your logo to sharpening your strategic vision, he believes. That led him to relook the company’s product offerings and spot the gap where they could supply better.
“Dealing in second-hand jewellery has always been a side-line for us, another minor part of the product mix we offer,” he says. “But as the vintage trend took root in South Africa, we realised that instead of just ticking over and maybe not even earning its floor space, this could potentially be a good earner for us.”
In just six months, the 13 pilot stores have already significantly outstripped their annual target and other franchisees in the group are clamouring to join the initiative.
Mukheibir has broken the experience down into five key learnings:
1. Extend the brand
The typical Cash Converters customer tends to be about 40 years old and male. But improving the jewellery offering, the company realised, could attract more female customers. It chose to start by focusing the extended product range on fashionable silver items to cater for women in their 20s.
Related: Cash Converters Franchise Listing
2. Establish a support team
Mukheibir did not hesitate to bring in expertise in this area, recruiting Scott Townsley to project manage the initiative. This enabled the company to leverage Townsley’s 21 years of experience in the jewellery industry with the likes of American Swiss and Arthur Kaplan. One of Townsley’s first moves was to establish alliances with jewellery workshops to machine polish second-hand jewellery and give the customer the reassurance of a third-party valuation certificate that can also be used for insurance purposes.
3. Price smart
Pricing reselling of second-hand jewellery at about half of retail prices for new products created bargains at the company’s jewellery counters. This made them all the more tempting to customers already attracted by their sparkling, nearly-new state and vastly improved display.
4. Display, display, display
Jewellery was previously mixed into the company’s display of other small, high-value items. Townsley pulled it out of there into a standalone display and devised a common merchandising formula, including layout and props such as charcoal-coloured display fabric to show off the jewellery to its best.
5. Success breeds success
“Jewellery is a luxury item, part of a consumer’s discretionary spend after the basics of food and clothing,” Townsley says. This means that sales staff need some creative flair as well as understanding the advantages of merchandising together a chain and bracelet that are part of a set. Staff also need to have the personality to interact positively with customers, as well as having confidence instilled in them thanks to being well briefed and trained to deal with questions during the selling process. Product-knowledge training introduced includes understanding hallmarks, basic familiarity with semi-precious stones and understanding the most popular types of purchases, from trending silver pieces to solitaire engagement rings.
The outcome of this initiative has been a win-win, says Mukheibir – enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff and a jump in the company’s jewellery business, with the new-look displays being rolled out as quickly as possible across the group.
“The initiative only needs minor realignments on the shop floor and implementation can be slotted into the company’s workflow without major disruption,” he says. “This brand extension required minimal investment for useful rewards. It shows how it pays businesses to re-examine opportunities that could be sitting under their noses.”
Key Phases Of The Franchising Relationship
Riaan Fouche, the Chief Operations Officer of Franchising at FNB Business, shares four phases of the franchising relationship dynamic as per the renowned Franchise Relationship Expert, Greg Nathan.
The relationship between the franchisor and franchisee is often overlooked by people who are starting out in franchising. This is one of the biggest mistakes that one can do; it creates a lack of mutual understating, it also has a direct correlation to the 10% failure rate in franchising.
Riaan Fouche, the Chief Operations Officer of Franchising at FNB Business says:
“One of the things that franchisors should manage is a healthy relationship with franchisees and that requires a multitude of human relations skills paired with technical support structures that enable a win-win approach between the two parties.”
Fouche shares four phases of the franchising relationship dynamic as per the renowned Franchise Relationship Expert, Greg Nathan:
1. The courting phase
This is the creation phase of a relationship; both parties are communicating and making an effort to enter into a business relationship. Franchisees and franchisors must have clarity on the relationship and business goals.
2. The “we” phase
This is the ideal phase to be at for franchisors and franchisees, working side by side to understand each other’s needs and fulfil them. However, a number of people neglect it which leads to misunderstandings and franchisees opting out of business.
3. The “me” phase
This is where franchisees start asking questions about whether they could do better on their own. This phase is a result of neglecting previous phases and not maintaining them.
4. The “rebel” phase
In this phase franchisees don’t want to hear anything they just want out.
“It is expected that many franchisors will be thin on time. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse for franchisors to neglect communicating and giving constructive feedback to franchisees. Creating two way and open communication enables franchises to grow their profit margins and higher more employees, which in the end is beneficial to all parties,” concludes Fouche.
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