Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

ALIWORLD 2019

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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12 Chetcuti notes. "And most importantly for us is that we can do so while maintaining high quality, whether we're delivering hot meatball sandwich- es or fresh, cold veggie sandwiches. It's a boon for our franchisees' delivery programs, especially now with more orders coming in through our app, because we're able to maintain temperatures and ensure that delivery product quality is the same as in-store. We're also able to use the units for staging mobile pickup orders." Introduced to franchisees in August 2018 as the corporate standard for delivery, the cabinets were also designed to promote Subway brand- ing. While Mightylite carriers are typically black with red doors, the version developed for Subway sports green doors and the chain's logo, which Chetcuti says is important for extending brand messaging outside of the restaurants. Tapping next-gen convenience trends and new operational solutions to help ensure suc- cess isn't limited to traditional restaurants, either. Global c-store brand 7-Eleven, for instance, began offering third-party delivery in some markets roughly three years ago. And the company, which operates 62,000 stores in 18 countries, is now testing a mobile app in Dallas and New York markets. Named 7NOW TM , the app offers customers on-demand ordering for delivery or in-store pickup and is part of what the retailer calls its digital transformation. "Today's digitally savvy consumer expects a wide range of options right at their fingertips, and 7-Eleven is delivering on that promise," says 7-Eleven Chief Digital Officer Gurmeet Singh in the company's announcement. "We continuously ask our consumers how we can make their lives better, and 7NOW is a proprietary solution to their on-demand needs. The app will enable our customers to get the products they want, when and where they want them, quickly and conveni- ently. This is redefining convenience." Using the app, consumers can purchase a wide selection of snacks, hot food items and beverages (including beer and wine), as well as home goods, greeting cards, cosmetics and other nonfood items in 7-Eleven's inventory. The chain plans to expand the service to more markets. "Technology has enabled an unprecedented level of convenience for foodservice consumers," notes Bob O'Brien, global senior vice president at market research firm The NPD Group, in a recent blog. "With a few scrolls, taps and clicks, they can get what they want, when and where they want it, with great speed. Digitating the market — mobile ordering, delivery, apps, order kiosks, the internet — is growing rapidly in foodservice markets across all countries [in NPD's CREST® study]. It has been the one thing that has grown consistently in this decade of good and bad news around the world." O'Brien adds that while foodservice markets in Great Britain and the U.S. have been largely flat, traffic driven by mobile ordering was up 32 percent in Great Britain and 50 percent in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2017 over the prior year. Studies show on average, restaurant orders placed via mobile app or self-service kiosk often come with a larger check average — often more than 20 percent higher than orders placed through an employee. Noting increasing consumer comfort with technology and, indeed, their growing expecta- tions for the customization, personalization, speed and convenience it enables, O'Brien notes, "It's no longer a choice for foodservice operators to offer digital ordering. Doing it well is table stakes." Design and Equip for Success Juan Martinez, president of Profitality, a Miami- based industrial engineering and foodservice consulting firm, agrees. Companies not already well down the path toward implementing convenience-driven technology and digital initiatives are behind the eight ball, he says, and at risk of being left behind. Martinez cautions, however, that adopting a holistic approach is critical. Putting self-serve and mobile technologies into customers' hands with- out first putting strategic thought into design and operations to accommodate those orders can be an even bigger risk. "Consumers having order entry available in the palms of their hands means, theoreti- cally, that an infinite number of people can order at the same time. While that's an exaggeration, it illus- trates a key challenge that operators need to think about," Martinez says. "The design of the kitchen needs to account for these virtual con- sumers in the production cycle. This can mean segregated production areas for mobile takeout and delivery orders, just as some QSR concepts went to years ago to better handle drive-thru orders. Or, in full-service restaurants, it might mean designing better integration and systems into existing kitchens as virtual orders start flowing in. If you aren't ready to produce and deliver those sales to guests in fast, seamless and consistent ways, virtual sales can nega- tively impact the rest of your business." Warren Solocheck, former president of NPD Group's foodservice practice, sees two key TRENDS

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