Imagine a futuristic food court where you are able to order before you arrive and the food is delivered to your table as you are seated. The order is exactly as you want it, no mistakes. The powers of suggestion are strong when it comes to food, but the use of one’s cell phone is more accurate. The future of customization of ordering, tracking and restaurant social media engagement will come directly from us. And if you think you have to wait until 2020, you don’t. You can participate today at Food Parc in New York City.
Let’s focus on three things – the food, the drink and the message.
Remember this from back in 1974 – “Hold The Pickle, Hold The Lettuce, Special Orders Don’t Upset Us, All We Ask Is That You Let Us Serve It Your Way!” The idea of customization and personalizing your burger was revolutionary when Burger King developed its famous tagline – “Have It Your Way.” Today customization is no longer a differentiating proposition – it is the standard for consumers. If you don’t build your product around your customer the way they want it, when they want it, and tell them about it the way they want to hear it, someone else will.
Zimmerman has witnessed our client, Firehouse Subs, give customers customization to the first degree. Firehouse offers the highest quality meats and cheeses, freshly prepared and steamed to perfection. Every order is a special order, just the way you like it. No onions? No problem. Wheat instead of white? Our pleasure. Firehouse is so sure you’ll love their food, they guarantee it’s the best sub you’ll ever have – or they will give you back your money. A money back guarantee lets the customer know that Firehouse stands behind its product.
Since customizing your food is now a standard, what about your drinks? Coca-Cola Freestyle®, the “Fountain of the Future,” lets customers mix their own drinks on a high-tech computer touch screen that has 122 brands with over 400 drink combinations! Firehouse Subs is the first national restaurant chain to roll these fountains out in all restaurants.
Next, you must deliver a message that speaks to the perfection of customization. The good news is that by responding, changing, and adapting your products, services, or menus to meet today’s expectations, customers will reward brands with loyalty. Increasingly the focus is on how a message is delivered and its accessibility. Boston Market dinner ordered by smart phone to go? Papa John’s delivery scheduled online? Facebook fans questionnaire – what topping is best on french fries? If your business does not have mobile apps and online capabilities, then your customer will go someplace that does. The Millennial consumers will not consider anything less – the technology age wants instant gratification and retailers must adapt.
My way, how I want it, when I want it is what consumers are telling us with their dollars. Retailers who recognize this will win – and build their brands for the future.
So let Zimmerman help you let your customers “Have it Their Way”- and they will spend!