As Fleetwood Mac sang on their popular song from the 70s…
And if, you don't love me now
You will never love me again
I can still hear you saying
You would never break the chain (never break the chain).
A new and curious development is impacting our nation’s restaurant industry. Certain demographic segments, primarily those pesky millennials, are voicing an anti-chain mentality when it comes to their dining dollars. Chains, to them, represent mass-produced food, pumped out by large corporations who care little about anything outside of register rings.
Sure many local non-chain restaurants do a wonderful job of creating unique menu items designed more specifically for their market and also make themselves feel more like part of the community in which they do business. But, do we really want to “break the chain”?
Chain restaurants, aside from the franchising opportunities they have provided millions of Americans, serve a valuable purpose to the eating public. Some of them include…
1. Unmatched Research & Development
When it comes to discovering the tastes that will satisfy the majority of our hungry public, it takes the resources of a chain to find that sweet (or spicy, tangy, etc.) spot.
2. Unmatched Consistency & Convenience
With a population as fluid as America – in terms of relocation or just plain travel – chains offer you your favorite hometown dining experience, even when you aren’t in your hometown. Consistency is key.
3. Unmatched Commitment to Community
Restaurant chains get the fact that it’s hard to look local when you have hundreds/thousands of locations. That’s why they hold themselves accountable to supporting causes like No Kid Hungry, or in the case of McDonald’s the life-changing Ronald McDonald House. Only chains have the scale to make significant social impact.
Hopefully, I’ve given you a new way to look at foodservice chains and will agree that, with regards to the American restaurant industry, we should “never break the chain”.