Q: How often should I introduce new products to the restaurant?
A: One only has to look at the two industry leaders, Tim Hortons and McDonald’s, to get an understanding of the importance of providing new products to the market on an ongoing basis.
Tim Hortons has had an impressive growth in a number of units over the past 15 years while McDonald’s has added about 600 units in Canada in the past 10 years. Much of the growth has been due in part to the company’s response to consumer demand for new and healthier products, but those products have been enhanced by the introduction of variations of the same item.
McDonald’s recently released a new Angus Burger, while Tim Hortons introduced a new bagel. The new products allow for higher pricing for a similar cost item but more importantly it provides the restaurant with something to talk to its customers about.
The introduction of new products on an ongoing basis is an excellent way to show your customers you are looking for new and creative ways to serve them, even when those products are simply a new icing or simply a slightly larger burger pattie. The objective is to try and create excitement among your guests and to introduce new higher margin products to see if they take hold. It is a win-win for everyone.
About Doug Fisher:
Doug Fisher is foodservice consultant specializing in franchise development, strategic planning, mergers and corporate sales, business planning and litigation support. He is currently President at FHG International – Foodservice & Franchise Consultant.
More in Ask the Expert: