The restaurant business has been searching for Chief Innovation Officers to help push their restaurants to the top, and I’m happy to announce that I’ll be taking my talents to Decatur, Georgia, where the original Applebee’s was founded back in 1980. It’s common for restaurants to sometimes blend together to the usual customer, ultimately leading to the “I don’t care” preference when people are deciding on where to go to eat. However, through the innovation that I hope to bring to the table, Applebee’s will be able to get back to its roots, in addition to getting ahead of its customers, in order to be the top choice for those when hunger strikes.
In a highly competitive market, it’s all about market share, and how a company can maintain or increase that market share over time. The first step in my mind in achieving that is to go back to some of the values that Applebee’s had supported in the early 2000’s, and that was the idea of family and community. Bringing back slogans such as “Together is Good” and “There’s No Place Like the Neighborhood” help demonstrate to its audience how the restaurant is a happy community where consumers can feel welcome. This might not be the most innovative of ideas, but going back to the roots that Applebee’s was built on will go a long way. Secondly, to go along with improving the feeling inside of the restaurant, the ambience will need to be improved. Without even thinking about food, it’s easy to see when walking into the restaurant that it is dark, crowded, and noisy. Proper lighting, and rearrangement of both old and future locations could completely renew the feeling one gets when walking in or even thinking about an Applebee’s restaurant. This all goes back to the idea of creating a welcoming environment where each customer can feel like family. Thirdly, the food at Applebee’s hasn’t really created raving fans like other restaurants have. In order to draw its target market away from competitors, change must be initiated with the food it produces – both by supplying more unique options on the menu, as well as supplying fresher ingredients in order to make their dishes. By combining these three different aspects, Applebee’s will be able to continue innovation and become a mainstay in the restaurant business.
Dark settings and small seating arrangement are one of many flaws at Applebee’s.
Red Tomato is certainly an organization I could pair up with throughout this process. The non-profit could help supply us with healthy and fresh produce from local farmers, which would allow us to offer the best menus possible. Additionally, this process will certainly affect competitors, as Applebee’s becomes the best option in the restaurant business in any city or suburb. However, it will also affect the local community, allowing people within the community a common place to go and meet up at, whether it’s a Friday or Saturday night, or a week-day lunch. With the proposed ideas, I believe that John Rawls would most be okay with this change through his Justice as Fairness ideology. Through an egalitarian economy, Rawls would accept our search for market share – if consumers are willing to leave on restaurant and go to Applebee’s that is a fair transition that will have fair effects on all parties connected to the switch.