As consolidation continues in the chain restaurant and retail market place, having a solid process and analysis to understand acquisition candidates is increasingly important.
The Bellwether process includes evaluating five areas:
- Strategy Evaluation – strategic goals and objectives, growth plans by market, SWOT – the goal is to identify any issues with future execution
- Concept and Brand Evaluation – competitive set, competitive position, brand relevance to core consumers, menu price and food execution compared to competition, operations evaluation layout – BOH staffing levels – how does the chain compete?
- Consumer Research – Qualitative and quantitative research with the brand’s consumers to understand the brand’s performance against consumer expectations and competitive set performance. Also defines consumers’ functional and emotional connections to the brand.
- Top-line financial evaluation – sales growth, SSS, AUV, traffic, and other metrics to identify both opportunities and issues
- Restaurant Level Evaluation – updated decor versus older designs, restaurant geography and consumer demographics – and what level of investment is required?
The end result is a clear view of how the brand is positioned relative to the market place and competition.