by Brandon Pemberton

The Challenge 

In the highly competitive restaurant industry, restaurants differentiate themselves through a constant flow of new menu items, concepts and experiences. Our client, a global chain of fast-casual restaurants, had not kept pace with the competition. Financial performance was lagging, and employees did not know how to navigate the challenging business environment. For the first time in its history, the company was struggling to show growth. Same-store sales were falling, franchisees were concerned about declining operating margins, and vocal shareholders began to lose confidence in leadership. Our client developed a portfolio of ideas to address these issues. Point B was engaged to help translate those ideas into operable concepts and develop them into pilot projects, leading company personnel through an innovation execution process rooted in rapid iteration.

Executing on innovation 

Our client faced a common challenge: coming up with new ideas is easy. The tough part is making them work for the business. Companies that don’t have a repeatable process for turning ideas into reality—and gaining business value from it—sometimes rush new ideas to development. They get tactical instead of staying strategic. They make compromises instead of adjustments. As a result, they don’t achieve the business goals they sought in the beginning.

Meeting the challenge 

Point B helped our client meet the challenges by filling organizational and operating gaps—making small changes in how execution teams think, which tools they use, and what activities they prioritize. Staying focused on the original business goals helped the business support rapid development, testing and iteration.

During our engagement, we helped our client shift thinking to incorporate parameters for design and development that led to executable ideas based on tangible business needs. We also helped our client develop a capability to prioritize activities, build a case for success, and test with rapid iteration to improve the probability of a successful launch.

Seeing results 

Because of Point B’s efforts, our client developed a repeatable process to execute innovation using the consistent standards and flexible frameworks— including Point B’s Test, Learn and Launch methodology. The company has used this process to pilot a complex new menu offering and regain lost ground in the competitive restaurant market.