We all are aware of the great growth being experienced by the “fast casual”
restaurant segment. According to industry resource firm Technomic
, the fast casual category grew to $23 Billion
in the U.S. last year and is the fastest growing segment of the American restaurant industry. With that growth comes a great deal of competition. As is usually the case, those that differentiate their experience best will reap the most rewards.
One fast-casual concept that impresses through differentiation
is 100 Montaditos.
The montadito is a typical element of the Spanish culture and gastronomy and is a unique tapa-sized bread roll produced with an exclusive bread formula and filled with the best high quality ingredients. A visit to the Orlando location of this Madrid-based chain showed why they have such ambitious global growth plans. Inspired in the atmosphere of a typical Spanish tavern, you will encounter a variety of traditional montaditos served on crunchy, freshly-baked Spanish rolls; filled with such typical Mediterranean ingredients as Serrano ham, Spanish tortilla, chorizo sausage and Manchego cheese; and seasoned with such traditional Mediterranean ingredients as olive oil, garlic, onions, lemon, tomato sauce and ali oli. As their name implies, 100 varieties of fillings are available on a choice of white, whole wheat or ciabatta rolls.Great menu choices ….all at great affordable prices. And…a fast casual restaurant with $4 wine by glass – 100 Montaditos has it!
In addition to the tasty menu items and great prices, what impressed us about how this fast-casual concept differentiates their dining experience was their use of permanent tabletop
versus disposable – glassware for beverages, including soft drinks…..ceramic cups and saucer for espresso…..and round, poly carbonate platters for montaditos, with metal containers for french fries. Clearly, a cut above other fast-casual concepts such as Five Guys, Chipotle, and others.100 Montaditos
is not only a place where you can enjoy of the best Spanish flavors, but also, hang-out and have some drinks with friends and family in an exciting environment tasting Spain’s famed Mahou
beer or other typical thirst-quenchers, including red and white wines, claras (beer blended with lemon-lime soda) sangría and tintos de verano. Wines on the menu include Cava, a traditional sparking white wine from Spain’s Catalonia region. And, as we said earlier….$4 wine by the glass
– served in a real wine glass. Ditto for the Spanish Mahou
beer and the house drink Tinto de Verano whihc also was exceptional.
photo by Rob Bartlett - Orlando Weekly
After visiting the Orlando location, its easy to see why 100 Montaditos
feels it can grow to 500 North American units by 2015. Good food and good prices…a family friendly fast casual dining experience – all enhanced with permanent tabletop
- elevates this the level that many of today’s restaurant guests are seeking. ¡muy bien hecho!
To learn more about 100 Montaditos
, go here: http://us.100montaditos.com/
¿Tiene clientes que hablan español? Tuxton
sigue yendo más allá de complacer con su nuevo folleto.
Do you have customers who speak Spanish? Tuxton
continues to go the extra mile to please with it's new brochure. This is a company that continues to execute the basics of brand building very, very well.
Bien hecho, Tuxton
Restaurant guests don't want cheaper prices......
....they're really looking for a better experience.
(hey there, dealers and wholesalers......your customers feel the same; oh....and tabletop manufacturers - ditto)
Too much sameness. Too many OPERATORS who are really just imitators. Too many DEALERS all doing the same thing and hoping they are different than the next guy. And, finally, too many TABLETOP MANUFACTURERS producing the same thing as the next guy and claiming that their product is superior.
If you aren't different....if you are trying to be the same....if you are trying to play by same rules as everyone else......then, it will always come down to price and convenience.
So, unless you offer something different and unique.....
....if the customer does come to your restaurant, you won't make the profit you need and they likely won't come back.
....if you're the dealer and the restaurant does buy from you, you'll have to give another discount and there goes the profit margin.
....if you're the manufacturer and you are able to sell your plate because you are 10% cheaper....don't worry, somebody else will be cheaper next time, so they'll be no re-orders. (and, your customer will always know there's another 10% they can get)
Be different. Truly offer something different.
Then, show people why you are different. And, show them....show them again...and again. Don't worry about your competitors - worry more about how you are unique and special.
Be Different. Be remarkable. And, most of all ....be valuable.....in your customer's eyes.
For over 25 years, Orion Trading has been a reliable source of supply to the hospitality industry for fantastic, creative - often rustic - tabletop serving pieces and accessories.
So often, when TabletopJournal
describes that "hammered metal"
look....we're talking about hammered stainless steel. What if you're looking for hard to find hammered copper?
has an incredible array of hammered copper items including bread baskets, wine buckets, 13" charger plates....even a large beverage cauldron.
For over 25 years, Orion Trading
has been supplying the hospitality industry with great tabletop serving pieces and accessories...often with a rustic Latin flair and ambience. With the growth in true Mexican, Peruvian, and other latin cuisines....having the proper tabletop to reinforce the guest dining experience is a must.
So, whether you're looking for hammered copper, hammered stainless steel, Mexican hand blown glassware, wrought iron tabletop accessories...or even rustic stoneware. Orion Trading
even has a full range of colorful, fused glass serving pieces!Orion Trading’s goal has always been to design and source unique, quality handmade tabletop products that complement a chef's culinary creations and enhance your special dining environments and elevate the guest dining experience.
You can see the entire range of Orion Trading tabletop serving pieces and accessories by going here:
Orion Trading has a wide range of mouth blown, hand shaped glassware in various colors and sizes. All made from recycled glass.
Whenever operators are looking for new and interesting ways to "freshen"
up and differentiate their tabletops, the search often comes to Front of The House
has been supplying creative serving pieces to hospitality operators since the late '90s. And, their display at this year's Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show
was no different.
It’s often a challenge to have ALL of your tableware from different manufacturers match. Front of the House
is once again providing the hospitality industry with a much needed serving solution for this all too common dilemma. The EURO
collection marries the color cream – the porcelain color often used in foodservice
– with their popular Front of The House
cutting-edge designs. Just by adding their new EURO
collection essentials, an operator can easily update, refresh, and streamline the look of their table and existing dinnerware.
With an increase in demand for the sleek, savvy designs of porcelain collections from FOH, offering a cream-color collection of dinnerware accessories seems only natural. But what makes the Euro accessories so unique is that it can be used to create a “link” between other existing cream-color tableware pieces that customers may already have. The versatile form and function of Euro allows customers the option to mix and match these accessories with other cream-color tabletop items.
Front of The House seems to always have the great visibility - and great traffic - at all the trade shows they do.
“Our customers love the chic, yet playful, designs of our extensive collections of porcelain dinnerware,”
says Simone Mayer, CEO
, president of FOH
. “We’ve listened to the needs of our customers and are excited to add cream to our wide array of accessories. Due to its versatility, Euro collection is a smart, cost-effective way for our customers to incorporate these hip, sexy accessories with the cream collections they may already have.”
Made from the highest quality, commercial-grade porcelain, all Front Of The House
porcelain is further strengthened with a high percentage of aluminum oxide. All corners and trims are reinforced, further making the porcelain chip-resistant and a cost-saving investment. FOH
backs its porcelain accessories with a Lifetime Plus Edge-Chip Warranty
, a full warranty on all porcelain items.
| |Churchill China
is keeping the transformational change going by bringing a soft design, retail-look prints to restaurant tabletops. If you are looking to differentiate your guests' dining experience.... Churchill's
VINTAGE PRINTS just might be the answer.Churchill
has visited the archive for the latest additions to its range. Very much in the fashion spotlight and creating an eclectic visual experience the Vintage Prints
collection adds interest to any tabletop. The collection can be used as a splash of pattern with a single piece or a complete visual experience.
The unique charm of mixing classic all over prints can add instant chic to any setting from afternoon tea to shared dining experiences. Available in a range of plate and platter sizes, pieces can be layered combining classic blue and pink colorways with the traditional calico, toile and rose chintz designs.
Churchill China's VINTAGE PRINTS offers the perfect partner to today's plethora of white china used on restaurant tabletops.
Churchill China's Super Vitrified VINTAGE PRINTS collection includes Calico, Chintz, and Toile designs.
There seems to be a quiet revolution currently underway in the tabletop supplier community. A metamorphosis that’s subtle, almost unnoticed…..like say, the rise of an incoming tide.
Tabletop suppliers are upgrading both their sales and marketing people in a revolution that quietly, but steadily, is taking place. With creativity among tabletop product categories relatively stagnant (yes, we know there are exceptions...we try to write about them, remember?), companies - both suppliers and operators know that their people..…their “brand ambassadors”, if you will……create a larger and larger portion of their brand impact and influence the marketplace's thinking about their brands. With customer touchpoints and engagement taking the place of traditional advertising, the type and quality of the people who represent a brand is more critical than ever to determining brand essence. With less and less to differentiate the products themselves, customers turn to brand qualities and values to help determine their buying decisions. Often, those brand values (in the customer’s minds…and, after all, isn’t this all that REALLY matters) are determined by the people representing the products and the brand.
A brand's people are often the true differentiators and conveyors of brand values.
Starting with the CEO, brands are symbolized by the people who work for the brand. This is not new, but what is new is the relative lack of differentiation or “commoditization” of much of the tabletop category. TabletopJournal has spent a great deal of time writing about differentiation and how important it is on both the supplier and the operator side. However, the fact is that many of the tabletop products - and restaurants - are remarkably similar and barring any apparent unique points of difference, the buyer’s main decision driver will be price. With such similar products, the overall brand image has become the area to differentiate and the people who represent the brand have become an increasingly important area of differentiation.
Fortessa adds several new Sales Vice Presidents, Dudson adds a VP, Sales for North America, Oneida continues it's upgrade and now, intergration of its new sister company Anchor Hocking, Libbey adds a new Director of Marketing, Rosenthal/Sambonet names a new National Account Manager, Tuxton does the same…..all with the idea that these new “brand ambassadors” will help build each company’s brand essence and culture in a positive direction. After all, often the employee IS the brand. TabletopJournal feels that this trend towards upgrading sales and marketing talent will continue with short term results certainly at the center of the target hiring goals. But, when looking to upgrade the organization, there is also a longer-term "brand makeup” goal that needs to be considered. When looking to add to an organization, how the new employee will contribute to the long-term brand attributes ..or, essence...has to be thought about.
It is true that brands have voices. They all speak … some more loudly than others. That brand voice is made up of all the little interactions that are made with customer, potential customers, and others who may influence the sale or perception of a particular brand. Companies whose employees engage and interact with others in a way that consistently reinforces brand values have the best chance for both personal and brand success. Then, those brand values and messages need to be amplified through content marketing, advertising, and promotion.
evangelism goes beyond simply focusing on cool products and extends to helping other talented, kindred spirits find one another and to help conpanies realize the importance of each and every hire, particularly for postions that have extensive customer interaction. Tabletop recruiter Mike Hawkins
explains it well in his recent article “Recruiting Superior Tabletop Sales and Marketing Talent”
and we are pleased to be able to bring his expertise to both hiring companies and to candidates. Brand building is a long-term journey.
And, the people you hire - your "brand ambassadors"
are often the true long-term brand differentiators.
Choose your people wisely.