Franchise Update Magazine Issue I, 2017 - Page 38




70-year-old brand resets for the future

When I acquired Shoney ’ s Restaurants a decade ago , I was presented with an opportunity and a challenge to bring this 70-year-old iconic American brand back to its glory days . Since 1947 , Shoney ’ s has been one of the most popular family dining brands , dedicated to serving fresh quality food at a terrific value with honest and friendly service . While Shoney ’ s has always been championed for these qualities , the early 2000s were a redefining moment for the restaurant industry . With more emerging concepts entering the market than ever before , consumers were presented with new dining options , and legacy restaurant brands like Shoney ’ s couldn ’ t rely on the past to help them succeed in the future . This philosophy has guided me to reimage Shoney ’ s to become more contemporary and in step with guests ’ expectations today .

Shoney ’ s kitchen + bar One of the first sweeping changes we made was to our menu . It is imperative to make sure our food quality is exceptional . We overhauled the menu to serve exclusively fresh food , never-frozen meat , and added more creative dishes to attract a wider range of guests . Once the new menu standards were established , we decided that an even more drastic change was needed . In an unprecedented move for a family restaurant chain , we added a full beverage bar to some of our corporate and franchised restaurants . While we will always uphold our family-friendly dining experience , the addition of a bar has helped us overcome the “ restaurant veto ”— the decision to not visit a restaurant because it is lacking something . Now , adult guests with families have the option to enjoy an alcoholic beverage with their meal , or stop in with friends to eat dinner , have some drinks , and watch a big game . The move has allowed us to expand our customer base and provide an all-encompassing restaurant experience .
The design process The largest project in the brand rejuvenation process was updating the appearance of our restaurants . For nearly 70 years , Shoney ’ s had virtually the same look : a beige palette with pops of Shoney ’ s classic reds made the restaurant identifiable from miles away . Although the look was iconic , it also felt dated and tired . We knew it was time to introduce a more modern design .
One of the most challenging aspects of a full system-wide remodel of a legacy franchise like Shoney ’ s is that you must prove to franchisees that investing in a remodel is a viable business decision . While it ’ s possible to update every corporate location , franchi-
36 Franchiseupdate ISSUE I , 2017