Fast food in fresh pitch to café culture

THE fight for the fast food dollar has never been more competitive or complicated, as the traditional players are forced to look to new markets to compete with the burgeoning ready-to-eat sections in supermarkets.

Local fast food business Chicken Treat is fighting back with a new concept store specifically designed to net a share of the café dining market.

The new sub brand, Fresh Express, includes al fresco dining areas, lounge chairs and music to entice patrons to sit in store and enjoy a coffee and something light to eat.

Chicken Treat advertising manager Todd Triebler said that, with 76 Chicken Treat stores in WA, including outlets in Karratha and Kununurra, the traditional market was almost at saturation point.

“We are merging Chicken Treat’s traditional fast food with a café,” Mr Triebler said.

“While you can still buy chicken and chips, we’ve expanded our range to baguettes, a range of toasted sandwiches, cold chicken salad caesar salad packs, proper Segafredo coffee from a proper cappuccino machine.”

“We’ve modified the Chicken Treat brand and created a sub brand – Fresh Express.”

While the supermarkets push for a share of the fast food market, fast food outlets includ-ing McDonald’s are scrambling to grab a

share of the fashionable café dining scene.

The fast food retail market has developed advertising increasingly focused on the low fat and fresh produce aspect of their meal combinations.

The business is part owned by Peth Glory chairman and owner Nick Tana and, while the traditional chicken and chips product remains an integral part of Chicken Treat’s core business, the market is fairly saturated.

By developing a new look café with a range of casual dining options, Chicken Treat claims it will develop an entirely new client group.

The new Fresh Express stores allow Chicken Treat to consider a range of new locations that wouldn’t necessarily provide the infrastructure like drive-through access facilities important for the traditional Chicken Treat store.

Fresh Express outlets will be strategically placed in the busy strip retail areas like Subiaco and Fremantle and shopping centres with a strong established café culture.

“The location demographic is small sites with high foot traffic,” Mr Triebler said.

The target demographic for the new Fresh Express store is professional and semi-professional people aged between 18 and 30 with a slight female skew.

There are currently two trial stores operating in Forest Place and Carousel Shopping centre.

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