Is there room for further brand innovation within the QSR industry that is already crowded with “me too” concepts? The answer is apparently, Yes! – Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill.
I am writing this blog seated in a local Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill located in Highlands Ranch, Colo., which represents a 95 percent Anglo demographic. The chain currently has eight restaurants across the Denver metro area with national expansion aspirations. The company is currently owned and operated by Dougherty Enterprises – a mega multiple brand QSR franchise operator.
But what makes the brand so innovative, when other QSR chains struggle for a differentiating identity? The first thing that hits me is the uniqueness of developing a brand concept around the garbanzo bean – then building an entire menu around it. I can’t think of another brand that has done that since Boston Market built a concept around rotisserie chicken, but even then the menu highlights were the sides. At Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, just about every menu item contains some form of the garbanzo bean. Examples include: Humus, Garbanzo Greens salads, fried Falafel, Laffa wraps, and Pita sandwiches.
For most customers, their first eating experience represents a culinary sensory voyage into uncharted waters. But the sensory gap is soon narrowed with a free offer of Falafel given to every customer before they order. It has been an interesting experience sitting in the restaurant and watching customer reactions as they try these new food items for the first time. Many other customers like myself ask for assistance from the serving crew, who custom build the products in front of your eyes. And still other customers minimize their sensory risk by asked fellow customers what they have tried and liked.
The second obvious differentiator is the cornucopia of flavors represented in each sandwich product. I have tried both the Pita (whole wheat) and Laffa sandwiches and found a multitude of flavors within each bite. The innovative flavor varieties are true differentiators from tried and tested Mexican burrito sandwiches. The flavor contributors range from uniquely flavored meats, humus, salad ingredients, sauces, soups and rice.
A third differentiator represents the trendy menu offering of products served with the flat bread products – Pita and Laffa. The flat bread category is one of the fastest growing bread categories. And what differentiates Garbonzo Mediterranean Grill further is that all breads are baked fresh on location.
And the fourth differentiator is their spin on organic, healthy and nutritious menu benefits. An unsupported window banner reads, A study shows that a strict Mediterranean diet may lower your risk of a heart attack by as much as 70%.
In summary, Garbonzo Mediterranean Grill offers a new innovative menu built around Mediterranean flavors and the single garbanzo bean. And their answer to the question, Is there room for additional innovative branding in the highly competitive QSR industry? Yes!Share