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R&I ? Editorial Archives ? 2003 ? September 15 ? Business

Triple Threat
Allied Domecq creates a unique multi-daypart showcase for its three quick-service brands

Seven years after first finding multibrand success, Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants (ADQSR) is back in a pioneering role, introducing a fully integrated prototype to house its three-tiered Dunkin Donuts, Baskin-Robbins and Togos concept.

The stores new umbrella brand, All Day, embodies the Randolph, Mass.-based companys strategy for collective units: Serve a variety of dayparts in a fun environment that is fast and convenient for customers any time.

For ADQSR, the prototype offers three main advantages, says CEO Jon Luther. First, operational and purchasing synergies reduce franchisee investment; second, the unified operating system is less complex than operating three unconnected concepts under one roof; and third, the combined units lower square footage allows the company more real estate opportunities.

Its a way to develop our brands, and were going to continue to evolve this until were comfortable that it satisfies all three key stakeholders: consumers interest first and foremost; franchisees; and brand growth and economic returns for ADQSR, says Tom Wyczawski, head of multibranding and new market entry.

Slated for a late September debut, the 30-seat, 2,300-square-foot prototype will open in Burbank, Ill., a Chicago suburb. The company will decide on a schedule for future units and markets in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003 for calendar 2004 launches. A retrofit package for existing stores will be available sometime next year.

United They Stand
Rather than forcing three dissimilar décors to coexist, the All Day trade dress is completely new.

The color scheme uses warmer, more muted versions of Dunkin Donuts, Baskin-Robbins and Togos signature oranges, blues and greens. Each brand name is represented on exterior awnings, while the building and signage display a circular amalgam of each logo in the design of a clock, reading All Day below.

The clock motif figures prominently inside the operation as well, interwoven into a vibrant wallpaper mural. The design, which also features stylized characters and images of the restaurants products, plays out on tabletops as well.

Instead of duplicating conventional menu listings, the All Day menu boards incorporate lively colors, chalkboards and product shapes. Floor tiles also are playful, with some depicting coffee beans and others showing ice-cream sprinkles.

Were trying to send a clear message that this is a fun, interesting, accessible, affordable place, says Wyczawski.

Synergy Breeds Efficiency
While physical differences will be most immediately obvious to customers, the prototypes transformation is more than cosmetic.

One of the big mindset changes weve had over the past three years is getting away from thinking of this as a food court in which there are three brands and dedicated resources, especially labor. We consider this an integrated restaurant, Wyczawski says, estimating total per-unit build-out cost savings as high as $300,000. The company is targeting between $1 million and $1.2 million in combined sales for the new unit, but have not released sales goals for each individual brand.

The All Day concept achieves money-saving synergies in several areas. Employees can use the same oven to bake Dunkin Donuts muffins and scones as well as bread for Togos products; the same toasters and workstations serve both breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Cashier stations are consolidated and use one POS system.

Because ADQSRs multibranded restaurants capture more-consistent volume than typical standalone Dunkin Donuts, Togos and Baskin-Robbinswhich tend to concentrate business in the mornings, afternoons and evenings, respectivelylabor also is more efficient. A dedicated drive-thru employee can be busy all day, for example; a breakfast-sandwich maker can carry through to lunch.

All Day will staff by position rather than by concept. New franchisees must learn all functions, for which they and one designated staffer per unit receive about 60 days of training in the ADQSR system. Curriculum includes hands-on and classroom work as well as extra instruction to address the challenges of managing three concepts under one roof.

Complementary Concepts
Despite ADQSRs optimism about the prototype, standalone Dunkin Donuts and combination Dunkin Donuts/ Baskin-Robbins stores will remain the companys main growth vehicle as well as the starting points for new markets.Our preference is to develop freestanding units and use the All Day concept as a flagship, Luther says.

While an addition isnt likely to happen soon, the company always is on the lookout for a concept that might further complement the All Day brand, he adds, perhaps a dessert concept or one that targets the evening dayparts.

Currently, all three brands products are available throughout the day, so morning customers can order a Baskin-Robbins Cappuccino Blast before work or purchase a Togos sandwich to take out for lunch. The companys most recent research shows that 15% to 20% of all transactions include items from at least two of the brands.

Unlike other restaurant companies multibranded projects, Luther and Wyczawski point out, the All Day concept aims not just to offer more choices but also to provide what the company calls complementary daypart branding. Customers can use us in the morning, for lunch, in the evening, Wyczawski says. Because we have business all day ... we dont need quite as big an asset to generate the same volume. Id venture to say our sales per square foot will be better than anyones in the industry.

Luther adds: The All Day concept gives us a niche. We arent quite fast-casual, but we certainly arent QSR. Its all about quick comfort and quick quality.


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