chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on November 3, 2010 10:20 AM
Add P.F. Chang’s name to the growing list of major restaurant brands that are learning how to extend their relationships with consumers through grocery stores.
Sales of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro frozen retail items climbed 117%, to $14.5 million, in September, suggesting that it’s possible for China Bistro to reach robust annualized sales of $117 million. And that’s just in stores measured by SymphonyIRI, which doesn’t track sales via Wal-Mart.
P.F. Chang’s has joined other casual operators in chasing customers into the frozen food section at the grocery store.
Other restaurant brands extending their fare for home consumption via retail channels include California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, Hooters, Margaritaville, Philllip’s Seafood, Uno Chicago Grill, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, T.G.I. Friday’s and Tony Roma’s. And, of course, there are always Burger King’s Apple Fries.
China Bistro’s strength out of the gate may be surprising, but it shouldn’t come as a shock that more restaurant brands are finding success by placing their products on supermarket shelves and in their dairy and freezer cases. This recession has cut restaurant visits by Americans and kept them home more often for meals, but only after many of them had gotten hooked on eateries’ fare and brands.
What will happen to these efforts should Americans begin going out to eat in greater numbers again, as it appeared may have begun happening in October? Done right, restaurant brands could find themselves with two strong revenue streams instead of one.