The word Beef ‘O’ Brady’s chief executive Chris Elliott uses to describe his 150-unit chain’s revitalization is “coalesce.” Picture half a dozen initiatives meeting at the table. Not at one time, but slow building over a five-year period that actually began with a competitive lightbulb going off.
Elliott, a former El Pollo Loco franchise CEO and Cinnabon and Church’s Chicken leader, took the reins during 2010. 4 years later, Elliott says, https://www.storeholidayhours.org/beef-o-bradys-menu-prices/ scoped its competitive set, brands like Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, and asked “How can we compete with they?” Which being a regional player going toe to toe with billion-dollar brands.
“We felt like we might beat them in value,” he says.
That might seem counter intuitive at first. Casual giants steal share from independents and micro-chains by competing at scale. Typically marketing value more aggressively than small company’s budgets could ever allow. “They’ll probably spend more in a month, electronic media and stuff, than we’ll spend in a year,” Elliott says. That and weathering commodity storms with collective purchasing power.
But this is 2010, not 2019. Applebee’s strayed from the value-seeker perch and shifted in unfamiliar directions, like the wood-fired grills that launched in 2016. Inflated menus were commonplace, together with LTOs that infused complexity into operations and muddied the ROI of deep discounts. It absolutely was, in a large amount of ways, a period when casual chains drifted using their core principles trying to appeal to a new generation of consumers we didn’t quite understand yet. The “all-things-to-all-people” aftershock of trying not to get left behind when consumer preference shifts but hasn’t solidified yet.
Elliott says Beef ‘O’ Brady’s saw this unfolding and chose to carve out a niche market within an area many competitors weren’t-everyday value.
“They were kind of going in a different direction from value,” Elliott says of competitors. “And that’s once we said, ‘look, it is really an area where we can compete.’ It just happened to become these people were leaving as a result so we were diving with it.”
Elliott admits those chains came back to value, with Chili’s 3 for $10, Applebee’s all-you-can eat deals, Dollarita, along with other offers. Yet there remains a positive change, he says. “They do it on the promotional basis,” Elliott says. “It exists in our restaurants every day of each week and that we support that all through the year with additional promotions to give it some top spin. But our value is perhaps all day, every day.”
“I think the difference is if you do value you can’t do it intermittently,” he adds. “It has to be a part of your DNA.”
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s daily value has become key to its resurgence. Notably, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is taking hardly any price in recent years, unlike many chains seeking to capitalize on wage growth and cover for traffic loss. That’s just not who Beef ‘O’ Brady’s customer is, however. They’re price conscious families who want a great deal. And that’s not a brand promise Elliott is ready to compromise on.
Here’s an example of how serious beef o bradys opening hours is on the subject: Franchisees can’t set their very own prices thanks to a different POS system corporate installed.
Nevertheless the daily deals would be the foundation. They work, Elliott says, because they don’t change in purpose. Taco Tuesdays, for example, have run a $5.99 price tag for five straight years. Burger Mondays (the identical price) hasn’t change, either, and isn’t soon. Wing Wednesdays (varies by store), Fajita Thursdays ($9.99), and Surf & Turf Fridays ($12.99) round out the everyday value platform. And Elliott says they’re adding Saturday and Sunday deals in the future.
“The franchises are after me,” Elliott jokes. “They think we should take price on these items. And I’m saying, consider the results, guys. Consider the repeat visits that we’re getting on today of each week. If we eyoaqm sit tight, we still separate ourselves from individuals who still take price.”
“If you accomplish that,” he adds, “all of sudden your everyday deal is not an arrangement. It’s just like everything. We’ve had our infernal debates relating to this but we’ve been consistent to separate ourselves from your competitors, as well as provide not fake value but real value.”
As Elliott says, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s current progress is the result of several changes, not one. Value was just the springboard.