Different Customers, Different Needs: Understanding Your End User
From fine dining to QSR, restaurant businesses are realizing that the foodservice landscape has become more complicated. Darden Restaurants has been working to stay true to what it has always delivered while evolving to satisfy the needs of customer segments. The evolution has been a challenge in terms of staying up with customer demand while also delivering on business expectations.
Drew Madsen, president and COO of Darden Restaurants explains there is a basic dichotomy of consumer: the economically-constrained and the premium product/service. For the former, “The primary issue is affordability. These consumers want to use casual dining more often than they do today, but often do not feel that they can afford to do so.”
For the latter who want more regardless of price, Madsen points out that, “Over the past several years, we’ve also seen a growing desire among more economically-secure guests for distinctive, higher-quality dishes that also have higher prices. And in addition, many guests, millennials in particular, want more convenience in their total restaurant experience, and menus that offer more freshness and greater flexibility to dine the way they want.”
Darden Restaurants is seeing its audience evolve, and the business finds itself at a crossroads that involves understanding its customer’s new needs and how to fulfill them.