| Sep. 2nd, 2014

How Steve Jobs Would Transform Fast Food

This article was originally published on Casual Munch, a sister publication of the Exception.

iBurger anyone?

In the tech world, it's common to ask what Steve Jobs would do.  From iPods to iPads, Jobs always seemed to be one step ahead of the competition and in the process, he sold millions of gadgets and made Apple one of the world's most valuable companies.

Yet the similarities between the quick service food world and the tech industry are actually greater than you might think.  Both have lots of competition and products that tend to become "commoditized."

Imagine how Jobs would run a fast food company:

1. Charge a premium

Jobs would have no problem using the very best beef or chicken and charging a premium for it. Customers are always willing to spend a bit more if they truly believe in the product.

2. Simple menu

In-N-Out Burger has maintained profitably and a cult following by sticking to its simple cheeseburger and fries menu. In a marketplace saturated with second rate MP3 players and mobile phones, Jobs removed the complexity and kept iterations at a minimum. A Jobs menu would possibly have an iBurger 4, iBurger 4s and iBurger 5, all priced with a tiered system based on the number of patties.

3. iBurger ads

Screen Shot 2013-02-06 at 2.50.29 PM

Jobs cared about details like tagline and even fonts and would make sure his message got through the clutter. No gimmicks like Burger King's King mascot, just simple ads that convey the value of the food product and the values of the chain.

4. CEO is the brand

Most fast casual executives seem to hide away in their C-Suite. For example, how many people know who Steve Ells, Greg CreedDon Thompson or Bernardo Hees are? It wasn't always this way however. Think Dave Thomas or Colonel Sanders, who embodied their brands. Other than Papa John's CEO John Schattner, who is willing to step up and vouch for their chains?

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