How Does a Restaurant Brand Successfully Redesign a Unit Concept?

1. Appealing to New Demographics
Finding new customers is one of the top reasons a brand may alter or redesign its units. Smoothie King began working with a design firm back in 2013 to discover ways to improve its allure to different target audiences. For instance, researched showed that its logo, described by some in the article as looking like a “lube express” did not appeal to the female demographic. The system revamped its marks, added more comfortable seating and started better showcasing its products to emphasize drink customization as ways to increase female customer satisfaction.
In addition, last fall Taco Bell launched a city version of its Mexican quick service franchise concept called “Cantina.” Cantina is intended to appear to a younger urban market and the restaurant hits all the millennial must-haves including:
• digitalization with the offering of mobile ordering;
• energy efficiency; and
• transparency with the look of open kitchens.
If that is not enough, the Cantinas also serve alcohol. Taco Bell is hoping to eventually build hundreds of these urban styled locations in cities.
2.Increasing Franchisee Profits
Another important reason why a franchisor may change a unit concept or design is to help franchisees make more money! Franchise system “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit” recently remodeled its restaurants in a way that increased profit margins for its franchisees by using data to streamline its menu. The Franchisor eliminated low selling items like certain side items. The changes to the menu system allowed the franchise system to offer franchisees a much more efficient and cost effective kitchen design. The new Dickey’s layout uses a single b-b-q pit without fryers and ice cream machines helping franchisees improve their bottom lines.
3. Recognizing not all Markets are One Size Fit All
The heart of a franchise system is its ability to be consistent and recognizable to customers no matter what location the customer visits. This does not mean, however, that a franchise has to be one size fit all. Franchise giant Dunkin Donuts understands this and is now offering its franchisees four different design options when it comes to remodeling its units.
It is always interesting to hear how successful brands re-invent themselves to increase the value of the system and its franchisees. For more examples you can read the full articles here and here.

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