Many brands are coming up with some great new menu items in an attempt to get customers excited and steer them away from the competition. But has anyone noticed that now they are all offering the exact same "New" thing?
It is vitally important to track and evolve your offerings in order to carve out a sustainable piece of a market share. You look at what you offer today, then you also look at consumer trends. But you must be able to adapt your business to meet the new demands created by those trends.
The obstacle to this sound business practice is what takes place in the "Similarity Wars". This is what happens when a restaurant group boxes themselves in creatively by only looking at trends in the restaurant industry. All they end up doing is trying to keep up with the Joneses. Now everyone is offering the same "new" menu items but a price war starts up. And of course the result is that profit margins go down.
I would argue that if you are trying to tap into the billions of restaurant dollars that are spent by consumers annually by trend watching you must look at ALL of the consumer trends. Look at the trends of social networking sites like Facebook and adapt your marketing. Look at the trends of health and wellness and adapt your menu. Look at the trends in technology and adapt your sales strategy to offer free WiFi.
Apple, Motorola, Palm, Microsoft, IBM, Toshiba and many others are standardizing built in WiFi in their mobile phones, laptops, and handheld entertainment devices. The iPod Touch -built in WiFi, The iPhone -built in WiFi, nearly any new laptop -built in WiFi. You would think that these Fortune 500 companies may have spent some money on research to see if WiFi enabled devices were a good idea. From watching the consumer trends of the past 12 months alone it is obvious that consumers are hungry for WiFi. Are restaurants going to adapt to feed it to them? The smart ones will.