Restaurant Industry News Roundup: August 2019
August’s roundup includes pieces of news from around the world. Browse the menu and let’s run through the month’s specials. From international flavor to Marketing tips and a chicken war. August has proven to provide an exciting palette of restaurant industry news.
Greene King sold to Hong Kong Property Giant for £2.7bn
The owner of the Suffolk-based company sold its company of about 2,700 pubs across the UK on August 19. A subsidiary of CK Asset Holdings (CKA), which is owned by Hong Kong’s wealthiest family, has purchased Greene King. With this purchase, CKA hopes to improve Greene King when it comes to “sustainability, profitability, and competitiveness.” The company also expects that pubs will remain a large part of British culture, which will continue to make Greene King successful.
The purchase is the second time in 2019 that a British brewer has sold to an Asian buyer. It also follows an increase in the popularity of Greene King’s India pale ale in China. According to Philip Yea, Greene King’s chairman, this will be a unanimous recommendation to be made to shareholders.
Restaurants Rethink Marketing, but Facebook Remains King
The role of a marketer has evolved and become more complex. Almost 70% of restaurants are planning to pay for social media ads sometime in 2019, according to Toast’s 2019 Restaurant Success Report. However, 12% of restauranteurs don’t use marketing methods at all. Social media is becoming a more prevalent part of marketing, and some restaurants are embracing newer social platforms. Although 91% of restaurants in the industry use Facebook. Instagram has increased in usage from 24% to 78% from 2018. When it comes to usage, Twitter came in third in the restaurant space at 39%.
Restaurant operators are encouraged to keep up with the various changes in Marketing, including both social media and artificial intelligence. An exciting example of this is TGI Fridays’ communication strategy that incorporates artificial intelligence and email marketing.
Grubhub’s New Partnership With Dine Brands Intensifies Its Rivalry With DoorDash
Earlier this week, Grubhub announced its partnership with Dine Brands to over 3,000 locations in the United States across IHOP and Applebee’s locations. Delivery through Grubhub will now be available at over 1,700 Applebee’s locations and 1,300 IHOP locations. Franchisees will also get access to increased marketing opportunities and improved analytics if they use Grubhub as their primary delivery provider. Additionally, Dine Brands and Grubhub are pursuing the option of a direct-to-POS integration for the restaurants involved. Dine Brands has established partnerships with both Grubhub and DoorDash to offer multiple third-party delivery services.
Popeyes’ Chicken Sandwich Spiked Traffic Triple Digits
Popeyes promised their new sandwich was “worth the visit” ahead of their August 12 launch, according to their head of marketing, Bruno Cardinali. Then, Popeyes engaged with a social battle with Chick-fil-A and other brands. This social war resulted in long lines, and locations everywhere ran out of sandwiches. Two weeks after the launch of the chicken sandwich, Popeyes posted on Twitter that they’d sold out of chicken sandwiches. There’s no timeline for the sandwich’s return, but Business Insider reports that Popeyes sold as many sandwiches in two weeks as it expected to sell through the end of September.
From International Business Times and their “various sources,” Popeyes earned between $20 – 23 million from its new chicken sandwich and the social media buzz it created.
KFC is first national US QSR to Test Plant-Based Chicken
KFC has partnered with Beyond Meat to trial plant-based chicken in US stores. This trial will last one day in the Smyrna store located in Atlanta and will consist of ‘Beyond Fried Chicken’ nuggets for customers to try. The goal is for the trial is to expand the test to other locations or potentially to offer the alternative on the US menu. This partnership is the first deal of its kind in the Quick Service Restaurant sector.
“It tastes like chicken,” says Kevin Hochman, KFC US president, and chief concept officer, stating that customers won’t be able to tell that it’s plant-based. Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat founder and chief executive, says that the goal was to “meet the consumer where they are” through KFC which is “an iconic part of American culture” and a brand with which people have grown up.
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About the Author
Devyn Nance is the Marketing Coordinator at QSR Automations. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and from Loyola University Chicago with a master’s degree in Global Strategic Communication. She considers herself an (amateur) profiler – trained solely from watching every episode of Criminal Minds. Outside of work, Devyn loves to shop, travel, hang out with friends and family, read, and watch shows on various streaming platforms.