Make Your Restaurant Concept ABSURᗡ in 2021
by David Klemt
Those seeking new restaurant opportunities in 2021 should give serious consideration to Absurd! Kitchen Co., KRG Hospitality’s unique turnkey QSR.
Development of the concept was motivated by the realization that operators need to continue to pivot to survive the pandemic and thrive in a post-pandemic world.
“At KRG Hospitality, we immediately pivoted in March 2020 into ‘rescue mode,’ understanding the immediate needs of so many independent operators,” says Doug Radkey, president of KRG Hospitality.
Moving forward into 2021, guests will be more concerned health, safety and their comfort than ever before. Absurd! was developed as a response to heightened guest expectations and to create a path forward for operators in the post-Covid-19 era. Not only is the concept forward-looking, it’s designed for turnkey operation.
Restaurant guests were growing accustomed to the convenience of frictionless ordering, pick-up and delivery. Lock downs, restrictions, and health and safety concerns have pushed delivery and pickup closer to the forefront of guest expectation. Absurd! leverages the latest in technology and utilizes a subscription element to reward loyalty while offering a convenient and safe QSR experience.
In the new era of restaurant operation we can expect guests to be less tolerant of waiting in lines. Multiple publications have published articles hypothesizing that the Covid-19 pandemic we lead to the end of waiting. Considering the importance of social distancing and how commonplace curbside pickup has become, it’s understandable that many guests have developed a preference for speedy, safe service.
Equally understandable is a guest wishing to keep interactions with other people to a minimum. The ability to peruse a menu via QR code or pay their bill using their own device has offered a level of comfort to guests during the pandemic. It’s logical to believe these guest habits are here to stay.
At Absurd! locations there are no traditional lines. By design, there’s no contact between guests and staff. Guests interact with a location via designated pick-up or drive-through areas. In the pick-up area, guests access food-safe storage units through their mobile devices to grab their orders. The drive-throughs only serve delivery drivers or those who have placed pre-orders. Convenient, safe, time-saving restaurant features for a post-pandemic world.
Absurd! cuisine is inspired by Southern flavors and dishes such as loaded chicken strips, fried waffle sticks, breakfast bowls, and sandwiches. There are options for the full range of dietary needs and preferences, such as dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan meat alternatives. Along with a competitive, high-quality menu, KRG Hospitality has developed a retail offerings that include branded dry spices and meal kits, leveraging another trend that has seen significant growth during the pandemic. The concept’s packaging is sustainable, and adding a food truck can expand an Absurd! operation’s reach.
“Approximately 85 percent of the food menu will be prepared on-site, including the seasoning mix and ‘dredge’ for the fried chicken, which is intended to also be gluten-free and dairy-free,” says Radkey. “The brand is able to accomplish this by maintaining a small but robust and strategic menu mix over the breakfast, lunch, and dinner day-parts. Other food items such as the chile cornbread, breakfast biscuits, and sandwich buns will be sourced through regional partnerships.”
While developing Absurd!, KRG has created a loyalty program to go along with it that’s relevant to today’s guest preferences and consumer habits. Loyalty programs have made the news lately, with attention being paid to how they’ve been changing for the past couple of years. Tech has emerged as a driver for such programs, combining guest data and personalized digital interactions to increase loyalty. However, creativity is a crucial element as well. Recognizing the value of a unique but easily understood loyalty program that offers an attractive value proposition, KRG’s approach for Absurd! is a beverage-based subscription service.
“With a low monthly cost of approximately $8.99 USD per month, the Absurd! beverage subscription program, which is optional, gives the brand an easy way to attract customers and convince them to change their traditional F&B ordering habits while building a strong base of loyalty (and data),” says Radkey. “Consumers today are accustomed to low-cost monthly subscriptions. Therefore, we think it is time for restaurants to tap into that opportunity. The ‘unlimited drinks’ within this program include coffee, iced tea, lemonade, and an assortment of flavored soda waters.”
Absurd! Kitchen Co. isn’t unique for the sake of being different. First and foremost, the concept was designed for experienced and new operators alike so they can thrive in the new era of hospitality. The dedication of KRG Hospitality to helping operators flourish with concepts that are scalable, sustainable, profitable, memorable and consistent is ingrained in Absurd’s DNA.
The concept is a recession- and pandemic-proof QSR that doesn’t rely heavy upon day-to-day involvement by the owners, making it ideal for operators of any level, from the neophyte to the experienced hospitality group.
Image: KRG Hospitality