This post is the second of two parts. To read Part 1, please click here.
Healthy, Diverse Menu
Menu innovation has always been a hallmark of bd’s and it continues to offer new choices, such as recently added sauces and vegetarian options aside from tofu; it further differentiates itself from competitors by offering alcoholic beverages, a large array of appetizers, and desserts. Plus, it’s one of the few in its category that has a soup and salad bar. A revamped buffet at the Royal Oak, Mich., location will soon be rolled out to all locations.
“The key to our restaurant is how great the food looks, so we’ve refreshened the hardware so it moves away from the salad-bar look and really takes advantage of the fresh food that’s out there.”
Six new soups were announced along with the new branding initiative. They are made fresh, served hot, and comprise an eclectic selection, including Crema Andaluz made with rich root vegetables and mixed herbs, and 4-Pepper Chili made with beef, green and red bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers, and topped off with Tabasco sauce.
bd’s is also positioned to capitalize on several other trends in the restaurant industry by meeting consumer demand for food perceived to be healthier than burgers and fried chicken and by giving them the opportunity to customize their selections with its create-your-own stir-fry concept. One of the features on its newly revamped website is a Create a Bowl tab that allows users to make their own selections and have the calories calculated for them while they are given nutritional content information.
“One of our niches is whatever your nutritional needs, we can pretty much satisfy them,” Phraner said.
The company is also marketing itself as an ideal spot for large parties.
“We want to talk about how important that is to our DNA,” Phraner said. “It’s built into what we do and has so many residual benefits. If you have 20 or 30 people in there and they have a great time, they’re going to come back and bring friends.”
Opening Team Offers Training
bd’s offers an eight-week training program for new franchisees who learn by working at a company or franchise unit that has been certified as a training restaurant. When a new restaurant opens, an opening team of 14-16 people stays for up to six weeks at the newly opened location to get the business up and operating.
“People consider it an honor and privilege to be on the opening team and kind of fight to be on it,” Phraner said.
Similarly, franchise employees are invited to be a on a “street team” to help market the business in individual markets. Phraner considers it to be one of his company’s best practices. He calls the team “bright, friendly, energetic people who can represent the brand well.”
“They go out and hand out coupons, go to businesses at the holiday times and work on booking holiday parties for them. We allocate in our company restaurants 20 hours of labor per week just to the street team.” The rest of the employees’ hours are devoted to areas of management, serving, grilling, and other tasks from all areas of the restaurant.