1. Describe how the value proposition that Middleby offers to a casual dining chain, like Outback steakhouse, might differ from one that is offered to a fast-food customer, like Papa John’s International. In order to answer the first question we must understand the following “value equation”.
The value proposition of Middleby Corporation will have a significant difference in term of products offered to fast-food companies oppose to ones offered to casual dining chains where Middleby has made a strong name and market for itself supplying clients like Papa John’s International. That is related to Middleby’s lengthy and solid experience in supplying fast-food companies compared to its test-run of supplying three undisclosed casual dining chains. In addition to that, Middleby’s Energy Star-approved products give its value propositioning offers a strong weight for both fast-food and casual dining chains. Unlike fast-food chains where price is the most important factor in selecting kitchen products as fast-food chains charge low costs for their food and cannot charge customers more for a low quality product;
Casual dining restaurants emphasize on quality rather than price therefore quality is a priority in their case. What Middleby must offer in this case in order to attract casual dining restaurant and provide them with a positive perceived value is a variety of high quality range of product and high efficiency products that consume less energy, all of which must be provided at a lower cost with the option to customize. This way the perceived value and benefits outweigh the price paid thus creating a strong value proposition. Middleby’s proposition is to provide them with a complete suite of products that will cut labor and energy costs, increase productivity and efficiency and finally represent them with cost saving and extra revenue possibilities each of their restaurants.
2. In planning marketing strategy. What adjustments might be needed in serving potential casual dining vs fast-food organizations? Middleby has been able to build a very strong relationship with fast-food chains like Papa John’s and has kept them constantly satisfied and this is what we are aiming for once again with casual dining restaurants and create a long-term relationship with them.
We will keep the same strategy with offering high quality items at lower costs however the key adjustments here are customization, differentiation and diversification, casual dining restaurants specialize in different things hence need different kitchen products, we cannot sell the same fryer, ovens that we sell to fast-food chains. We must recognize what their needs are and customize products based on those needs to keep them satisfied and build a long-term relationship with them and create a positive reputation for Middleby in this new market. The below marketing mix could be used for casual dining chains.
Even though customization would remain a choice for casual dining chains however we must also look into revamping existing products and modifying them to fit the requirements of a bespoke casual dining restaurant thus saving Middleby significant costs of creating new product lines and enabling them to charge less for their products.
Middleby should offer high quality products at a reasonable price, despite the fact that quality plays the major part in influencing the decision makers at casual dining restaurants, price is still an important factor, price will be reasonable to enable us also to cover all incurring costs and make revenue. Middleby can also provide flexible payment options.
Middleby should place showrooms and offices in targeted locations that will be accessible and convenient for casual dining chains.
To promote its products, Middleby should organize PR events and exhibitions and invite the decision makers in the bespoke casual dining chains, Middleby should also offer several promotion packages like bundles or whole kitchen suites, it should offer a free during sales, after sales services, free maintenance up to certain number of years or usage and extended warranties on its products.