News Feature | July 31, 2017

Restaurant And Hospitality News – July 31, 2017

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Subway WiFi Loyalty

In news this week, Subway hopes Intelligencer Technology will help boost its market growth, while Bloomin’ Brands is betting on delivery services to help boost sales across its concepts.

Subway Turns To Location Intelligence Technology To Help Grow Business

Subway has announced a partnership with location intelligence leader SiteZeus to augment its development strategy though data driven location intelligence with advanced geospatial technology and visualization, according to a press release. The partnership will provide more complete and accurate insights to help boost growth in every market.

“Our focus is on a strategic development strategy to make sure Subway franchisees have the greatest opportunities to successfully grow their businesses,” explained Don Fertman, Chief Development Officer, Subway. “Our Development Agents review an incredible amount of information to determine where to locate new or relocate existing restaurants in each market. With the addition of the SiteZeus platform, we will be able to better evaluate how individual locations will perform and affect the trade area while providing analytical tools for overall market realignment.”

“SiteZeus may be a technology company, but at the end of the day we are in the business of relationships. We want to partner and grow with our clients on a long-term scale, and the Subway® brand is looking for exactly that same type of relationship,” said SiteZeus Co-CEO and Co-Founder Keenan Baldwin. “At our core we are a location intelligence platform. But our technology is limitless by nature. Optimization, acceleration, automation— it’s all there in our Synergy platform.”

Together, Subway and SiteZeus will strive to enhance the customer experience and streamline the franchise process. Subway has also recently invested in a brand refresh of its stores and added  new digital self-ordering kiosks with Apply Pay and Samsung Pay as part of its “Fresh Forward” upgrade.

Bloomin’ Brands CEO Says The Answer To Boosting Sales and Traffic Could Be Delivery

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. saw same-store sales decline 0.3 percent across its four concepts this quarter, and  CEO Liz Smith is taking the bull by the horns to drive those numbers back up again. In a company earnings call, Smith said that same-store sales actually increased 0.3 percent at Outback for the quarter ending June 25, and she said that she expects traffic to continue to improve for the brand. She stated, “We anticipate [traffic] is going to build throughout the year” for Outback.  Meanwhile, same-store sales increased 0.4 percent at Carrabba’s Italian Grill, but fell 1.3 percent at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and 2.6 percent at Bonefish Grill.

Smith says that while casual-dining sales are improving, traffic is not increasing at the same time, and she blamed the increase in new restaurant openings for this trend. She explained, “Excess capacity pressures traffic at existing restaurants.” Additionally, she explained, more individuals are opting to eat at home.  “We’re seeing a growing prevalence of dining at home, at levels not seen since 1992. The good news is that it’s not limited to cooking at home.”

That’s where she says delivery can be the answer for Bloomin’ Brands. With its major investments in delivery, the company now has delivery options at 250 locations and is continuing to expand and improve these services. “We plan to invest in systems, infrastructure and people to accommodate higher volumes … and capture a larger share of this opportunity,” Smith said.