Donatos

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Suraani80
Words 1392
Pages 6
Donatos: Finding the New Pizza
Abstract:

The pizza segment of the fast-food industry is very aggressive. As people’s tastes change and new diets become the rage, restaurant chains must decide if and how to respond. This case focuses on the research behind the introduction of Donato’s low-carbohydrate pizza, and how the company collapsed its normal product development research process to take advantage of a current trend.
The Scenario:

Some strategic windows remain open for an extended period of time; other, don’t. One of those slim windows faced Tom Krouse, chief concept officer with Donato’s, an independent premium pizza restaurant chain, headquartered in Columbus (Ohio). Krouse, who is reponsible for new product development, had to answer a question facing many restaurants: Is the low-carb diet a flash fad or a trend—and should we respond?

“Restaurants are influenced my many factors: product, message, weather, reputation, and competition, to name a few. But mostly we are influenced by changing eating habits. As a result, we monitor a variety of sources. One of these is syndicated research obtained from The Yankelovich Monitor and NPD Eating Trends. Another is e-mail comments from customers received via our web site. We also hold monthly WASSUP Meetings,” shared Krouse, “where each employee brings knowledge of an element from popular culture and explains its affect on Donatos.”1 Donatos, recently divested by fast -ood giant McDonald’s, had, for four years, access to tremendous amounts of research on the eating habits of Americans. In late July, according to the 2003 HealthFocus Trend Report, 26% of eaters were “carb aware.” “This meant that they were incorporating low-carb habits into their diets. We had a multitude of evidence, over several months, that the interest in low-carb eating plans was increasing,” concluded Krouse.

The time was July…...

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