Our food-to-go workshop launches in London on March 21. Gavin and Matt discuss some of the opportunities they're looking to help businesses explore and some of the knowledge gaps they want to help businesses fill.
Why is there a need for food-to-go training?
Gavin: In any business, you'll always make better decisions if you see the full picture. Because of the way that food-to-go has grown, it's actually quite hard to see that complete market, even within businesses there can be challenges around that. We set up our safaris to help businesses with that, and our workshop, in collaboration with Matt, is a natural extension of this.
Matt: I've been lucky enough to experience and be involved in the operations of many leading food-to-go concepts. And there's a lot of difference in models and operations between them that most on the outside won't realise. But those key initial decisions around set up have a massive impact on the route of the food-to-go journey for any business, so they need careful consideration and assessment. Of course, you can change that operational structure, but it's important to be aware of the potential impact of this before you do so.
What does your day session look and feel like?
Gavin: The landscape piece is always really important, so that's what we'll start the day with. Understanding that gives a strong platform upon which to make decisions, and provides justification behind them, as well as something to test new initiatives and opportunities against.
Matt: And after that we take a look through the broader operational piece, typically relating that back to the ultimate KPIs of the profit & loss account. At the same time, we'll continue to think customer first throughout the day, and consider new ways of driving the top line and attracting new customers and missions as we progress.
So what are the five ways to do food-to-go better?
Gavin: I'd say there are more than five, but take these ones below as a good starting point:
Customer focus - fully understand who your customer is and consider how and whether that differs from your target customer.
Food & beverage proposition - consider how effectively this currently meets your customers' needs and whether your operations are set up in a way that's right for your food & beverage proposition?
Environment - it's a rare thing for Matt and I to visit a food-to-go operator or retailer and not see opportunities to improve the overall experience. Of course, getting the right balance of inspiration and implementation is one that is unique to an individual business, but, writing this after leaving a particular cold coffee shop on this early February morning, knowing what you're targeting and how to deliver it really matters.
Customer relationship development - in the broadest sense, how would you assess your customer interaction, and are there upgrades you can make to pre- and post- visit as well as during the mission itself?
Location - and how that influences customer priorities overall and at specific times of day - are you flexing the softer elements of your proposition enough around the location(s) you trade from and your core customers? And could there be a need to shift operations for different types of stores?
Matt: Some of this might seem pretty straightforward, but you'd be amazed how often, for various reasons, businesses end up, largely through legacy reasons, adopting sub-optimal strategies to reach a specific goal. If you're looking to be in food-to-go for the long term, we'll provide you with a set of tools from this workshop that will stand you in good stead as you grow and evolve.
What are the next steps that I should take if I want to find out more?