Fast casual restaurants such as Chipotle and Panera provide less table service than what is offered by casual dining restaurants (e.g. Applebees, Olive Garden). This reduces the restaurant's cost and the amount of time the diner has to wait to receive their food so both the restaurant and the customer are happy. These restaurants make the meals only when they are ordered so the food tastes fresh, and they often also serve beer and wine which differentiates them from the fast food restaurants (e.g. McDonald’s). A recent report on restaurant openings in 2013 showed a decline in casual dining restaurants and an increase in fast casual restaurants.
The consumer’s requirement for faster and cheaper service is also seen in the rise of medical services offered by major US drugstore chains (e.g. Walgreens and CVS). These walk-in clinics provide convenience because patients don’t need an appointment to see a health care provider about minor illnesses (e.g. coughs, colds, sore throats), to get blood pressure and diabetes screenings, or get vaccinations. Drugstore chains that have always offered a wide range of over-the-counter medical products and prescription drugs at almost any time of the day are now adding one more benefit to the consumer by selling a limited range of medical services.
Drugstore chains already analyze the big data set of their customers’ purchases and can apply that analytical model to their new medical services business to get a further advantage over traditional doctors’ offices.
1. American customers want AND, not OR. They want their products to be cheaper and arrive sooner. Australian suppliers cannot afford to ship consumer products to America after the consumer has placed an order. Australian exporters that are targeting America should initiate a relationship with an American fulfillment house to provide 24-48 hour delivery.
2. Old models are falling by the wayside. Make sure that the advice you have on the American market is up to date. Be wary of using information sources that are more than three years old. For example, having wine delivered to your home is one area that has undergone radical change in the past five years in America.
3. Market trends can be the result of a variety of forces. The rise of walk-in clinics is due to customers wanting to bypass the traditional model of doctors visits, mega-chains using their infrastructure to gain economies of scale, and new health care regulations (also known as Obamacare) increasing the supply of insured health care consumers in America.
4. As millennials (or Generation Y) become a greater percentage of American consumers their desire to change the world through technology will have an even greater influence on how services are delivered to consumers.