“The US-style diner experience was a great idea that had never reached its full potential,” Guy suggests. “But now we’re the fastest-growing restaurant chain in the UK. And we’re opening ten sites this year alone.”
It seems that the secret formula is having an unchanging brand.
“We did some customer research in 2012 and found that our number one selling hamburger was the bacon cheeseburger,” said Guy. “Our Soho general manager, who has been with the company for 18 years, said, ‘That’s funny, that was the number one when I joined the company’.
“We added a barbecue pulled pork burger last year because everyone wanted pulled pork, but that was the only thing we ever changed in the menu.
“Other brands have destroyed themselves by having radical menu changes that were supposed to revitalise the business but actually did the reverse. We may introduce specials for short periods but how can you make a fad out of something when you’re a restaurant that’s pretending to be 50 years old? We’re not evolving.”
“We don’t even send out that many offers. But people can answer questions about Fifties’ music and win a meal.”
Don’t believe that this trick could work? In 2013, Ed’s doubled doubled their turnover to £17.6m and are set to hit £26m this year.
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