We love getting the candid input of franchisors on the industry and the CEO of Firehouse Subs has written an interesting piece about the question of whether there are too many restaurants in America. The obvious answer is yes, there are a lot of restaurants our great country, probably too many. But the central point of Don Fox’s article in Fast Casual is that while there may be too many restaurants, there are not enough good ones. For an entrepreneur looking for their slice of the food business, the challenge is finding the right business to invest in.
Don cracks the demographic stats and figures that there this probably enough people in American to create the demand for more restaurants. But Fox suggests that food franchises don’t need to blanket the country with more and more units. Instead what they need to do is raise their game and sell a higher-quality product.
The challenge for our industry is that, collectively, we need to be better. We have to work harder to satisfy our guests. We have to treat them like gold. We need to serve them higher quality food than they have ever received before. We need to innovate. We need to offer flavors, recipes, and products that they cannot find in grocery stores, nor replicate at home, at a price that is viewed as a solid value for their dollar. We have to provide a great experience. If more restaurants aspired to and achieved excellence, we would increase our share of those 339 billion meals. Any restaurant that rises to a level of excellence is helping the cause of the industry. Many of my peers in the fast-casual segment are helping lead the way in this regard, and should be proud of the contribution they are making toward the betterment of our industry.
Food for thought, indeed.