| Staff Reporter, Australia

Eagle Boys, Mad Mex and Souvlakihut discuss the influence of OS marketing trends on Australian QSRs

There is a mixed reaction from Australian QSRs about adopting new marketing trends from overseas.

“To a certain extent, Mad Mex is the child of the overseas trend towards Mexican food in the US,” says director Clovis Young.

“In fact, three of the top 10 fastest growing fast casual concepts in the US are Mexican food. We’ve seen the sector grow locally, and strive to be the most respected and successful Mexican fast casual in Australia,” Young added.

Steve Hansen of Chooks fresh & tasty for his part believes some of our local concepts in fast casual dining are going global. However, one interesting concept he noticed from his time in the US was a drive thru burger store (Sonic) using young girls on roller skates to deliver meals to the cars. Each car had its own drive in bay with a digital menu board and speaker etc.

For Souvlakihut, it’s the other way.

“We’ve actually been approached by overseas parties interested in investing in our model, so I think it’s more a case of our trend being adopted overseas,” founder Bill Fotiadis said.

“However, one overseas trend we’ve definitely embraced is how the souvlakis in Greece are served with chips included in the wrap – the Greek Souvlaki on our menu is served the same way,’ Fotiadis added.

Eagle Boys Pizza is looking forward to adopting new trends from overseas.

“Absolutely. Mobile and online technology has been going gangbusters in the US and UK for a few years now, but we’ve really only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of this in Australia. More and more you will see a big focus from pizza operators in Australia driving consumers to online channels from above, below and through the line marketing strategies,” says CEO Todd Clayton.

Clayton said a number of other overseas trends are starting to hit Australia’s shores like a focus on healthy options with low salt and sodium, Artisinal Revival or the return of craftsmanship in food making, getting in-store and online experiences aligned with all other aspects of brand representation and a strong swing back to good old customer service.

He also stressed the growing influence of “tastemakers” in media and online.

“Tastemakers are people who determine or strongly influence trends and opinions. Made possible by the growth in popularity of blogs and other social technologies, every day pizza lovers are imparting their opinions online and consumers, a lot of consumers, are listening,” Clayton said.

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