Patricia Aleckzandra | FoodFindsAsia
In this fast-paced world we are living right now, our busy and full-packed schedules have taken away the time we spend for eating. Because we cannot live without food, we settle for something fast and affordable. We see the solution on fast food chains. We depend on them to help us get our breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes, even our everyday snacks and cravings. Originally, fast food chains are called “fast food” because these establishments are expected to deliver your food in the fastest possible way. We pay for speed and not quality.
Yet, the idea of fast food restaurants being fast had changed. Nowadays, people are more willing to wait for their order in hopes of being served with good tasting food. The used-to-be two to five-minute average waiting time given to consumers is now raised to five to fifteen minutes. Customers are now paying for quality and experience. If they do not get these two from a certain fast food chain, they tend to look for another.
During a talk by Meredith Ngo at the first Philippine Restaurant Investment Conference, she mentioned that more and more fast food chains are opened up in the Philippine making the fast food industry a cut-throat one. She introduced the F.E.D technique. She identified three trends in the F.E.D. technique that fast food chains should follow to be able to stay on track and keep on going.
- Funky Food.
Ngo’s advice is simple: “Play with your food.” To keep your customers from wanting more in your menu, learn how to experiment. For example, McDonald’s summer treat is their Matcha Oreo McFlurry, or Burger King’s Black Bun burger. Something different will maintain customer’s interest and will entice them to try something new in your menu. Offer customers out of the box ideas and recipes.
- Elevated Environments.
Because people are willing to wait for their food, they want something in return and it is not only good tasting food. People now also crave for quality experience, or something they can look after aside from the dishes establishments offer. Several fast food chains in the Philippines have changed their interiors to provide the ambience their regular customers crave. Jollibee, for instance, has changed its design to something more edgy but still fun to meet the demands of their target market.
Adobo Connection, one of the casual fast food chain owned by Ngo, sees to it that their store is designed to be photo-friendly. Everything small detail should be considered including the lights, color of the walls, tables and chairs, and their food. The ambience of the place surprisingly adds to the customer’s willingness to wait.
- Digital Dining.
One simple rule for this: “Everything should be Instagramable”. Social media plays a vital role in our lives. With just a click of a button, we would be able to tell our stories through word posts. As time passed by, word posts became too cliché so we try telling our own stories through photos. The “Everything should be Instagrambale” rule is now a basic rule. Your food should look flavorful in every picture. Start instructing your cooks to prepare it artistically. Not only should you apply this rule to your food but also to the place. Everything should look pleasant in pictures to invite people to come.
Also, this is free marketing. Customers will post their photos for everyone to see. If it looks enticing enough on photos, it can generate more consumers.
If you have plans on venturing in the fast food industry, then take it from the expert. Keep your customers F.E.D.
Meredith Ngo is the President/Owner of Adobo Connection, Chopshop and Sisig Society. She started Adobo Connection from a small 40sqm to 60 retail outlets, including two international stores in the US and the Middle East. Her group is set to expand exponentially all over the fast casual restaurant chain that focuses on the Philippines’ national dish Adobo. Chopstop offers affordable comfort American food in a hip and modern setting. Sisig Society, their newest baby, elevates the sisig experience through their theater Create Your Own Sisig set up. A former Citibanker with an MBA from Harvard Business School, Meredith is excited to continue to grow the business through franchising, particularly from many returning balikbayans entrepreneurs set to help in the Philippines’ economic growth, as they continuously create brands and new system to address the growing office market and middle class market in the Philippines.
– Reference: Philippine Restaurant Investment Conference