Subway’s Five Dollar Footlong Promise

 

Subway, Oops!

What is all the fuss about?   Subway’s famous footlong sub is actually an 11 inch long footlong sub! Did anyone really think that each and every bun that Subway bakes will end up at exactly 12 inches long?  Ever heard of shrinkage?

Ok, Subway got caught not over delivering on their promise. The pans they use to bake their footlong subs are twelve inches long and the buns can’t get any bigger than the pan, but the occasional one will not rise to the occasion and end up shorter. Not Good Subway! If you advertise a foot, your end product should be 12 inches. (My wife reading over my shoulder mumbled something about the head baker at Subway probably being a man….not sure what she was talking about.)

What I found interesting is the person that alerted the media to this potential end to civilization as we know it…an Australian! I grew up in Australia and wonder where an Australian got a ruler with inches on it? Australia has been metric since the mid 60’s, did he raid his grandfather’s tool kit, or is he just one of those people that spend their lives looking for their 15 minutes of fame?

What should the consumer be angry about? Being misled by an inch? Or the reported ( by a Subway franchisee ) 25% percent reduction in the amount of meat that Subway puts on their shorter than advertised buns. Now that is something to get angry about!

 

Why Is QSR Marketing So Bland?

Restaurant advertising, can you tell the difference.

We have all just finished the holiday period and most of us have had time to sit in front of the TV, being bombarded by ads for a host of fast food, QSR and mid scale dining choices. While watching these ads, the thing that came to mind was “when did we, as consumers, end up being content with the crap that advertisers dish up on a daily basis.

Every ad looks the same.

Get one happy family that looks like they are on uppers and stick them in a nondescript restaurant eating the same food as everyone else sells. The food arrives and huge smiles appear, little Johnny jumps up and down with glee, little Jenny’s eyes go so wide that we think she may be having a coronary and dad gives mum that knowing wink as if to say, ” Oh wow honey,  it was worth it to sell granny to the glue factory to pay for this family meal.” Yep this family definitely has it’s own meth lab!! Honestly,  have you or any of your family ever reacted to a QSR meal the way these actors do? If the answer is yes, you watch way too much TV.

It must be tough for the agencies to differentiate brands when the food is almost the same in every food franchise and each company insists on having the same architect design and build almost identical restaurants no matter what the concept. The exterior colors for most restaurants built in the last 5 years come in a range of light beige all the way through dark beige. Wow, how hard must it be for the consumer to chose!!!

I was watching a movie over the holiday and fell asleep on the couch while a QSR ad was on. When I opened my eyes the same ad was still on and I was sure that I had just dozed for a second or two until my daughter informed me that I had been snoring for at least 10 minutes and had been awakened by her left foot forcefully impacting my right shin so she could hear the rest of the movie. I joked that it was a coincidence that I had awakened to the same TV ad and was informed of my stupidity by my ever vigilant daughter, no, it was not the same ad or even the same company and ” don’t you know they all look the same!” Well, at least my suspicions were confirmed, The food industry ads suck big time!

So what are the advertisers and ad companies thinking, are they so afraid of upsetting even one person in the target market that only the blandest of ads ever get to air. Are they so afraid of political correctness that every ad has to have at least one of every ethnic group in the world featured somewhere in the ad. I am sure I saw a Mongolian yak herder in a recent Arby’s ad! Is it the fault of the financial crisis? Are we so embedded in deep discounts that the only thing that matters is getting the current deal across 15 times in 30 seconds. So, it seems they have created only one ad in the last 3 years and they just change the voice over and tags to suit the deal and advertiser.

Is it just the US.

Is this only an American phenomena? Are other countries still making good food service ads? I recently watched a McDonald’s ad from India that featured an attractive young lady showing lots of cleavage to distract a young man from his burger. A little bit of bumping and grinding was there as well. This would not be allowed in the US!!!!! It would offend far to many people, religious and community groups would be up in arms. the head of Chick-fil-a would faint.

I will try to find some good food ads from differing countries that I think merit inclusion for whatever reason, maybe just because they are a little different. They may not be in English or you may not quite understand what the hell they are trying to get across but they will be interesting.

 

Here is the first,

Control Costs and Increase Profits In Your Restaurant

Start Planning for 2013 NOW If You Haven’t Already….

 

cutting costs in your restaurant

The end of the year approaches and what a year it has been!! The economy is still in the dumps, although there has been some rebound in some parts of the country, most restaurants and food establishments are still not back to where they were a few years ago.

With the end of the year close it is now time to start planning for next year, in fact if you have not already done so, you should start now and I do mean now!!

Forget what has been and start to visualize how you are going to grow your sales and cut your costs for the coming twelve months. It is a new start and hopefully you will get a kick over the holiday period to help you put away a bit of money for promoting your business.

What do you plan for? Let’s assume you have done a complete budget for next year. Sales, costs, maintenance, recruitment, etc, etc. Now comes the planning for how you will achieve the sales and costs budgeted.  We all know that the two ways to ensure your business is healthy financially is to…. Grow Your Sales and Control Your Costs.

Sales growth comes from service and product excellence as well as marketing your business to keep existing customers and gain new ones. Sounds pretty simple but we all know that it is not. Trying to find time to run your business, worry about staffing issues and all the 1001 things that it takes to keep the doors open all fill your day from start to a very weary finish.

I suggest you take the time away from your restaurant business, even if it is one day to spend planning your strategy on saving costs and growing your business. Get someone to cover for you. If you have never let anyone look after your business before, then it is about time you started!! Sometimes it is necessary to spend time working for your business rather than in the business.

Decide on three major projects that will help you achieve these goals for the first half of the year, one long term or ongoing, one medium term and one short term. Plan to start them all by the end of January and ensure they are monitored to gauge their effectiveness. The sales growth part should start with the next six months of LSM campaigns and the budget for each. The cost control part is dependent on your circumstances but I would strongly suggest weekly stock takes and cost percentage reviews as a priority if you are not already doing so.

Still a bit lost as to what to plan and how to go about it?

I can help! I have just completed a guide “50 Ways to Control Costs and Increase Profit” and it is currently available for Kindle. Click Here to get your  Kindle copy.

In the next 10 days the book will be available for PDF download from this website with some very interesting and helpful bonuses such as:

  • A free copy of my LSM ebook
  • A Cost Control Worksheet to help you track your savings
  • An Excel worksheet Break Even Analysis
  • 50 Ways to Control Costs workbook to help you plan which of these great ideas you are going to implement

Both of these guides and the additional tools are perfect for planning the year ahead and assisting you in making the profit you deserve.

Good planning and a Happy Holidays!

Rod Smith