According to The Australian Financial Review, KFC Australia, a pioneer of drive-thru fast-food, is to serve up bite-size stores in metropolitan locations in a bid to protect its 10 per cent share of the $14 billion quick-service restaurant trade as new players enter the market.
The fast-food giant has opened a KFC Urban store in Parramatta in Sydney's west, and is testing the success of the new casual dining format before deciding whether to roll out it out across Australia.
At 110 square metres and with 30 seats, the KFC Urban store is one-third the size of a traditional KFC outlet. With no carparking or drive-thru, the stores are designed for urban rather than suburban locations, and have a more upmarket look and feel to KFC's traditional family-friendly red and white decor.
KFC Australia managing director Tony Lowings said the new format reflects changing consumer trends, the arrival of new competitors and the rising cost of building full-service outlets.
"We have seen the advent of new players in the quick service or fast casual space opening in more urban and inner city locations … generally we have been underpenetrated in those areas," he said.
"We are looking to see if there's an opportunity to set up a contemporary version of KFC, which might compete more effectively for consumers looking for a more upmarket experience. It's something we are playing around with but it's not the key component of our growth agenda," he said.
According to news.com.au, MCDONALD’S wants to simplify, simplify, simplify — but also add a bunch of choices for customers to avoid growing stale.
“The reality is our recent performance has been poor. The numbers don’t lie,” said CEO Steve Easterbrook, who took charge of the world’s biggest hamburger chain on March 1.
Already, McDonald’s has acknowledged the need to simplify food preparation as well. The company has already trimmed its menu to reduce complexity for workers and make it easier for customers to decide what they want.
The company is testing an all-day breakfast menu in San Diego and a “Create Your Taste” option that lets people build their own burgers. Janney analyst Mark Kalinowski has also noted the company is testing a scaled-down version of that program called “Taste Crafted” that is available at drive-thrus.
And on 4 May 2015, McDonald’s launched delivery in New York City in partnership with delivery service Postmates. It plans to offer a mobile app in the U.S. later this year as well.