The restaurant industry has always been a very crowded and competitive one, and with the advent of delivery apps, there are now even more channels on which to compete. The end goal is always the same, try to reach more customers, build a loyal base, and increase sales. In the past few years technology has offered restaurants new ways to reach more potential clients than ever before. We spoke with Tom, Regional Manager at fast-food chain Players, about their experience using virtual brands and how it has helped them achieve their goals.
A hat-trick of flavours
If you live in the Manchester area then you have probably heard of Players. The brand is all about creating a vibrant and fun place to hang out, socialise and grab some good food, all themed around sports. The founders went around the world, sampling food from all sport-loving nations to bring the best tastes back to the home crowd. After all, what’s better than watching a game with a nice burger or a delicious Peri Peri chicken?
When you enter a Players restaurant, you instantly feel the founders’ passion for sports and food, that truly is what sets them apart from all the other restaurants in the area. “Players is a sport-themed restaurant, all of the items on our menu are named after sports-related things like hattrick (football) and sixer (cricket). Our staff all wear Players’ football shirts, and we have the store decorated with football shirts. There’s nothing like that around here, so it sets us apart from the rest.”
Virtual brands, what are those?
Now we know what you might be thinking, a virtual brand does sound like something that would belong in the Metaverse but it’s actually really simple. Virtual brands are digital storefronts on delivery platforms like Uber Eats, Just Eat, and Deliveroo. That’s where the name comes from: they are called “virtual” because the customer can only see and order from these restaurants online.
A single restaurant can have multiple brands in the same space, making many restaurants more profitable. For example, if your restaurant is well known for its tacos but also makes burgers, you can start a separate burger virtual brand.
At Future Foods we develop and market virtual brands to help boost our restaurant partners’ sales. One of our leading virtual brands is Peri-fection, a brand that is built for restaurants that offer delicious chicken. Peri-fection uses the same marinade for each chicken dish, which makes it easy for our partners to create our dishes. We offer kitchen manuals and live training to streamline kitchen workflow, while also maintaining food quality excellence. Future Foods markets the brand from A to Z and brings in the orders, all the restaurants have to do is cook and collect their weekly earnings. Sounds simple, right?
Taking delivery to the next level with virtual brands
Players understood the value of delivery from the very beginning, they started with Uber Eats and are now operating on all major delivery platforms. Food delivery and televised sporting events are a match made in heaven and it has certainly been working for Players. In order to capitalise on their kitchens and existing stock in their 8 locations across Manchester, Players wanted to venture into virtual brands. “We always thought of launching our own virtual brand, we planned to do burgers and chicken brands. Then, Future Foods got in contact with us, and it seemed like the right time, and more efficient to do it through someone else, who has experience doing it.”
The Future Foods team analysed Players’ menu and stock and found the perfect virtual brand for them, Peri-fection. “Future Foods has been really easy to set up, and it’s not made any operational difference to our day-to-day, which has been great for us. Our day-to-day operations are now more efficient in terms of stock use. The virtual brand menus are based on our menus, which is helpful for our operations.” Virtual brands like Peri-fection can help restaurants not only increase orders but also maximise their kitchen space, reduce food waste, optimise their stock use, and multiply their ROI. All by using resources that they already have at their disposal. “Future Foods has helped with food waste as we are no longer wasting as much food as before, and it’s helped us improve our allocative efficiency.”
If you are a restaurant owner and are still on the fence about whether to start working with virtual brands, the Players team has some advice for you. “We have a few friends that we will refer to Future Foods, as we’ve tried and tested it and have seen the number of orders that can be generated from virtual brands. The overall experience has been really efficient and smooth!”
Are you a restaurant owner interested in running virtual brands with Future Foods? Fill out the form below to get started.