Lillet Concept Overview
Our new concept, Lillet, is inspired by the simplicity and warmth of France. Our concept is centered around the French ritual of aperitif, casual by nature but elegant in presentation and taste. At Lillet, you can stop for a glass of wine and some light bites with friends but leave with all of the ingredients needed to fuel your own dinner party.
Lillet is a French Aromatized Wine, commonly used for french aperitif. Lillet has bright honey and orange qualities. We choose this name as it encompasses the classic and fresh atmosphere we are looking for our concept to embody while still being fun and lively.
Provisions Shop (on display for pick-up/to-go):
– Partner with local farmers to sell fresh vegetables perfect for crudite and ratatouille
– Canned Seafood Rillettes
– Duck Foie Gras
– Array of Cheeses
– Fresh Baguettes and Breads
– Wooden Boards for Charcuterie display
Weekly Wine: Each week we will partner with a different, lesser known French producer and feature one of their wines at a discounted rate in the shop, adding an educational component as well as support for small producers. We will include a weekly recipe of the week card with each purchase of our Wine of the Week. The dish will be something that pairs with the wine, expertly advised by a pairing professional.
Sample Weekly Wines or regular wines ?:
Curated Wine Club: Once a month Lillet will have a wine club where they will have the opportunity to share their curated wine list with Francophiles. Each month can be a specific theme (region, style, grape). This will attract many people into the shop and will drive revenue up. We could have a sommelier from one of the other restaurants share the knowledge of the wine and lead the tasting. In order for our concept to be suitable for expansion we will focus on offering local items. This also plays on both the localism trend and sustainability trend that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Each individual location will rely on its own local sourcing for fresh produce while the packaged and nonperishable items will all be sourced from the same distributors. A commissary kitchen (same as Epicerie) will prepare the little bites and be brought in fresh daily. We will partner with French Artisans to sell items such as tea towels, dishware, wooden charcuterie display boards and more.
Wine Bar & Small Bites
Extensive French Wine Menu & French Aperitif cocktails (all $20-$22)
– Suze & Tonic
– Vesper Martini
– French 75
– Kir Royale
– Espresso Martinis
Light Bites Menu: Buckwheat crepes with mushrooms and gruyere (ranging from $12-$25)
There will be no table side service, however we encourage our customers to grab a glass of wine and stand at our standing bar or sit at our window banquette/outdoor seating. Additionally, they can enjoy their glass while they shop around the store, served and hopefully upsold by one of our friendly wine experts. Customers will have many options to order small bites that have been prepared daily in the commissary kitchen where the baked goods of Epicerie are made. If they are building their own charcuterie board to bring home, they are able to mix and match and select what they would enjoy. The idea is that Lillet is a curated market based on quick service. There is not a lot of space inside, purposefully preventing a lot of lingering inside and encouraging guests to take their provisions home or to an outdoor table. All of this planned customer experience works together to create a relaxed atmosphere of curated food and beverage shopping that reflects the best of Paris and Daniel Boulud.
Daniel Boulud has a high and somewhat exclusive level of clientele and we want that to be portrayed through our partnerships, customer service, quality of products and pricing. Potential partnerships throughout the city would include our own restaurants, local boutiques, local and artisanal/mmusi venues, as well local venues for hosting wine clubs and FIAF French Institute Alliance Française. We want to target those from mid-twenties to mid-fifties with medium-high income. Mainly people who just enjoy food, wine, cheese, and travel. We want to reach those in their mid 30s, our youngest clients would be 21 due to the nature of the product and US drinking age, but those who have a refined palate and thirst for knowledge. Ideal locations include the Upper West side of Manhattan or West Village- areas with a high amount of wealth and a close look/feel to Europe. According to the Department of City Planning’s GIS mapping tool, the Upper East Side is the most expensive highest income area in Manhattan.
At Lillet, we have four main focus areas for our goal as a new business under the DINEX name.
Improving the number of products or services we sell to customers will lead to increasing overall market share, which in turn will shrink our competitors. Create and use our list of clients and contacts to find even more prospective customers and retain business. The more customers using our products, the higher our market share will be. Leveraging Dinex current success will be key to attracting new customers.
Employees are typically more likely to contribute valuable projects and ideas if they enjoy working at a company. So, to reduce employee turnover, our business objective should focus on improving employee satisfaction here at Lillet and hopefully across the board at DINEX. We are considering offering our team members competitive salaries, growth opportunities, education reimbursement programs, flexible work schedules, and free family meals per shift. Additionally, the concept of Lillet itself truly incorporates the community in which it targets creating a unique work environment.
Lillet’s brand is what customers associate with its product or service and differentiates one company from its competitors. To create our brand and strengthen DINEX’s existing one, we are considering collaborating with other local institutions such as the French Alliance of NYC, and local vendors to work in partnership. Our goal is to keep our brand voice and messaging consistent in all of our sales and marketing materials while we uplift Daniel Boulud’s name and brand to target a new authentic segment.
Our final objective for our leadership teams, kitchens, and brand is to increase product reliability and offer the best products on the market- from our food to wine selections. We will start with our product development team and work it from the inside out providing freshness across the board. With this information, we’ll be able to become the go-to provisions shop for New Yorkers looking for inspiration. With these business goals in mind, we are sure that Lillet will become a positive environment for all wine snobs and francophiles to shop at.
Lillet is the ideal combination of an intimate wine bar and a provisions shop. We will be highlighting french aperitif in a relaxed and casual environment, promoting the best of Paris and Daniel Boulud. The shop will serve traditional french light bites and wine and aperitif cocktails. Our provisions shop will carry all the ingredients necessary to recreate this experience at home, selling things such as cheese, and fresh vegetables for crudite and french meats. Therefore, the industry that Lillet sells can be classified under both the wine bar industry and specialty food stores industry as it is a cross between both.
According to the IBISWorld Industry report, the definition of specialty food stores is “stores are specialized retailers of premium food products including baked goods, candy and chocolate, snacks, dairy products, coffee, tea, soft drinks and gourmet foods. The industry only retails packaged products not sold for immediate consumption. This industry does not include butcher shops, seafood markets or produce markets. Producers of chocolate, bread and bakery goods are also excluded from this industry” (Thomas, 2022, p.5). The definition of the wine bars industry based on another IBISWorld report is “comprises lounges and bars that primarily focus on selling wine for immediate on-premise consumption. These industry operators may also provide limited food services” (Hiner, 2021, p.5).
Specialty Food Stores:
Although recovering economic conditions and shifts in consumer preferences create a positive environment for specialty food stores’ revenue, intense competition from specialty food aisles of traditional supermarkets and grocery stores still create pressure for the industry.
Due to the COVID-19, people have more health awareness and consumers are shifting their preference toward premium, all-natural foods. Specialty foods, especially organic, local and gourmet products rising significantly over the past five years. According to the IBISWorld report, “Over the five years to 2026, the industry is expected to benefit from improvements in the overall economy. Accordingly, industry revenue is expected to grow an annualized 3.6%. Similarly, industry profitability is forecast to continue improving during the outlook period as consumer spending increases. A strengthening industry and low barriers to entry will likely encourage new entrants, with the number of operators expected to rise at an annualized rate of 1.3% to 48,207 companies over the five years to 2026” (Thomas, 2022, p.9).
In recent years, the industry has experienced a stable growth. More and more younger consumers are increasingly taking to premium beverages (wine and craft beer) and opting for smaller and quieter venues that offer a relaxed dining experience. As disposable income levels increased and consumers spent more on higher-priced discretionary products, the future of the wine bars industry is bright. “Industry revenue is expected to increase an annualized 3.4% over the years to 2026, driven by economic recovery” (Hiner, 2021, p.9).\
Specialty food store market’s profit is vary widely across stores of different sizes and type of store in operation. In spite of that, profit from specialty food store goods has traditionally been high relative to supermarkets because higher markup placed on gourmet. According to the report, “across all industry operators, profit, measured as earnings before interest and taxes, is expected to account for 7.4% of industry revenue in 2021” (Thomas, 2022, p.23).
As for wine bars, profit varies across the industry depending on the size, location and style of the establishment. Wine is a perfect profit item for operators, as it does not require as much labor and operating costs as food. During periods of poor growing conditions, the price of wines generally increases, as stock is relatively low.
Key Success Factors:
Murray’s cheese: An artisanal cheese and specialty foods retailer and wholesaler which also offers cheese tasting class.
Kalustyan’s: Specialty market known for Indian & Mideastern spices, teas & other global food items, plus a cafe.
Marlow & Daughters: Old-school market with locally sourced meat, cheese & produce, plus housemade charcuterie & sides.
Mekelburg’s: Craft beer bar/specialty food shop.
Depanneur: Rustic shop featuring choice artisanal food & house products, plus coffee & to-go sandwiches.
Tavola Italian Market: Specialized Italian Market, featuring a fine selection of Italian products, homemade paninis and treats for cooking.
Despaña Fine Foods & Tapas Cafe: Chic shop for imported Spanish eats like Serrano ham & chorizo plus a tapas & sandwich counter.
Acker Merrall & Condit Company: The oldest wine merchant in America specializing in fine & rare wine auctions, wine consignments and retail sales
Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar: French-Med bar & restaurant offering nearly 100 wines & champagnes, chocolates, cheeses & more.
Wine:30: Stylish wine bar with a patio & a menu of cheese, charcuterie, bruschetta & New American entrees.
Vin Sur Vingt Wine Bar: Intimate wine bar showcasing a rotating selection of reds & whites to pair with French bistro fare.
Aldo Sohm Wine Bar: Casually chic wine bar from Le Bernardin’s master sommelier with charcuterie, French fare & lunch.
Aligned with the casual nature but the elegant concept, Lillet is a curated market that mainly offers wine and some light bites.
The wine section has two parts. The first part is “Wine of the Week,” focusing on selling the niche wine at a discount to support small producers. Accompanying the wine, we also offer week cards about food pairs based on the recommendations from professionals. Some sample wine include Chateau Peyfaures Premium Bordeaux, Château d’Yquem Sauternes. The next part of wine is the extensive Menu of French Wine and aperitif cocktails, including Suze & Tonic, French 75, and more. Wines by the glass will also be available in the small wine bar area or to bring around while you shop.
Light bites section
Customers will have various choices on small bites produced daily in the commissary kitchen (same as Epicerie) and delivered daily then packaged to go for sale in the marketplace. Small bites include Crudite, Sweet & savory tartines, etc. Some of Epecerie’s best-selling items inspired the small bites section but with a twist – for example, the best-selling item (3756 units YTD) is the Jambon Buerre (from data). In contrast, the Duck Rillets have been a less profitable product. Wine has grossed 38,381. Thus a profitable QSR product to further pursue in addition to cheese and charcuterie, which has grossed 12,516 YTD at the 64th location (all from 64th location data). The little bites will also be available at the mini bar.
It is worth mentioning that, except for F&B products, Lillet has an exceptional “service” called Curated Wine Club, aiming to share their curated wine list of different themes to add the educational component and attract more customers and partner with a local and intimate venue to host the event and partner with.
Based on the product life cycle, When Lillet first shows up, which means during the introduction stage, they will focus on building product awareness and reaching the target market. Typically, all content and inbound marketing are based on promoting the product, explained in the “Promotion” part. When Demand and profits grow, Lillet begins to establish the brand presence by emphasizing the concept and adding distribution channels. After Lillet enters the maturity stage, it’s advisable to reduce prices to stay competitive and focus on differentiation, for example, branding the Curated Wine Club. In the final stage, when Lillet faces the decline, they should begin to extend the menu, redesign weak cards, and try new pricing strategies to move back to the beginning of the product life cycle. Furthermore, one of Lillets main distribution of information channels is their website. All the information about the products and services will be presented on Lillet’s website.
The pricing strategy that will be used to execute the concept will be brand aligning and a true reflection of the quality of ingredients. The prices will lay between Épicerie ($$) and Bar Boulud ($$$) but closer to Bar Boulud which is described as ” Relaxed Parisian-style dining via chef Daniel Boulud with standout charcuterie & wines”, compared to Épicerie described as “Baked goods, a raw bar & wine for for take-out or eating in at stand-up tables or picnic tables”. At Bar Boulud, cocktails are $18-$19 and wines by the glass range from $15-$30 and small bites range from $15-$32. The concept resembles more of a QSR like épicerie; it is more than just a café but not a sit-down dining outlet. Prices at Épicerie range from breakfast options between $3.50-15, charcuterie boards for $15, wine by the glass ranging from 12-17, and any two sandwich/soup/salad options for $13. The product offerings are better matched to prices similarly to Bar Boulud however without the element of service and a formal sit down, thus pricing will reflect the nature of the market and the quality of the products and be slightly higher than Épicerie prices and slightly lower than Bar Boulud, laying in the middle of the two. As the goal is to feature authentic local produce and products – the prices must be fair and accessible while also ensuring quality is not compromised.
Lillet is located on the upper east side, the most expensive area in all of Manhattan, where gathered the target customers (people from mid-twenties to mid-fifties with medium-high income). In Lillet’s onsite bar, customers can stand at the standing bar or sit at the window banquette/outdoor seating to enjoy the good drinks and food with friends.
However, mainly due to the Lillet’s quick-service concept, customers are more encouraged to bring things outside the bar or bring things home to mix their own charcuterie board. In this way, Lillet can avoid indoor crowding to improve the table turnover rate and welcome more customers. Additionally, according to the report of Zagat on the future of dining study, 77% of customers would like to dine in outdoor spaces with proper ventilation, less congestion, and better capacity for social distancing (Zagat 2020).
Customers also can access and order ahead of all products via Lillet’s official website and App. With mobile/online ordering, orders come in automatically and can be scheduled for specific pick-up times. Therefore, Lillet can stay ahead of the rush and better allocate your supplies. Furthermore, mobile solutions, particularly apps, can create promotions and loyalty programs that appeal to specific customers, and we will go through this topic later. Nowadays, more and more customers are seeking contactless services because of Covid-19. According to the data from NPD Group, in the year ending March 2021, restaurant digital orders grew 124% compared to the prior year (QSR 2021). As a result, foodservice now sees more digital adoption as a must to effectively meet and interact with their targeted consumers. The convenience and ease of online/mobile ordering drive brand allegiance in the modern QSR and fast-casual industries.
Except for the App/website of Lillet, Lillet also can cooperate with food delivery platforms, including Uber Eats, DoorDash, etc., to expand the distribution channels. According to McKinsey & Company, the food delivery’s global market worth has reached $150 billion in 2021 (Ahuja 2021). In a survey of 2,000 quick-serve and fast-casual consumers, the quick-serve customer’s orders each month have increased by 32% from 2019 (KLEIN 2022). In conclusion, consumers today are more comfortable with delivery technology, so Lillet can use this to improve customer experiences, increase exposure, and drive higher profits by using delivery tech.
Ahuja, Kabir. 2021. “Ordering in: The Rapid Evolution of Food Delivery | McKinsey.” https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/technology-media-and-telecommunications/our-insights/ordering-in-the-rapid-evolution-of-food-delivery.
KLEIN, DANNY. 2022. “What’s Next for Restaurant Delivery? | QSR Magazine.” January 27, 2022. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/consumer-trends/whats-next-restaurant-delivery.
QSR. 2021. “Digital Orders Skyrocketed 124 Percent in 2020.” QSR Magazine. May 11, 2021. https://www.qsrmagazine.com/news/digital-orders-skyrocketed-124-percent-2020.
Zagat. 2020. “Zagat Future of Dining Study PRESS.Pdf.” https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RqgdWjRQIXskoQcK3TlkQwjfSIyCCPk9/view?usp=sharing&usp=embed_facebook.
Lillet will utilize several marketing strategies that leverage the Dinex brand while simultaneously standing creating their own. The first promotional effort will be very Petite Lillet pop-ups. Pop-up food concepts have shown continued success for boosting awareness and profitability. When done properly and constantly it can have a great ROI and impact on the brand. “The buzz generated from pop-up bars often has a direct impact on social media interactions, website traffic, and traditional media impressions. The Clumsies’ pop-ups routinely result in a 5 percent to 10 percent jump in social media impressions. Mix has observed a similar bump—often as much as a 20 percent increase in interactions on Instagram—after hosting pop-up events. She notes that the majority of those interactions are with new accounts” (Scholz). Pop-up shops in the US (including food and beverage).
In addition to petite Lillet Pop-ups, when possible, Lillet will partner with local venues to host the monthly wine club addressed above. The pop-up industry has had an average profit growth of 4.1% CAGR over the last 5 years. They are in the “growth” stage of the product life cycle. Essentially, it is inferred that every dollar spent by a consumer on e-commerce sales is a dollar not spent at an industry location, weakening overall revenue performance. E-commerce sales are expected to rise in 2021, posing a potential threat to the industry. Therefore, we intend to distribute products online as well. Furthermore, this pop-up trend has only accelerated with the global outbreak of COVID-19, leading to the conclusion that weakness in retail industries will persist after being dealt a significant blow and that pop-up shops are here to stay due using flexible short-term leasing options (Pop-up Shops in the US).. Overall, revenue for the Pop-Up Shops industry is anticipated to rise an annualized 2.5% to $14 million over the five years to 2021 (Pop-up Shops in the US). Food and beverage pop-ups make up 31.45% of the 14-billion-dollar pop-up market industry in the U.S, accounting for $442,740,000 and is expected to increase (Pop-up Shops in the US) . This is an increasingly profitable space to tap into. This is a new and fresh idea to DineX and a trendy, profitable way of creating exposure and excitement. Key success factors are the ability to control stock on hand, being part of a franchised chain, proximity to key markets, and having marketing expertise. Industry profitability has been on the rise due to the growing efficiency of the pop-up shop model, as well as due to rising consumer spending and total retail sales. Low barriers to entry, medium competition (Pop-up Shops in the US)
Farmers markets and the importance of fresh local produce are becoming a more profitable industry, attracting more and loyal customers. They are defined as “Fruit and vegetable vendors sell a variety of produce, meats and other items through stands, farmers’ markets, and retail locations where products are sold directly to the public. The industry’s permanent stands and markets are small and individually owned. This unique industry generates revenue from the sale of fruits and vegetables and excludes sales of produce from supermarkets, grocery stores and mass merchandisers (Khaustovich). The industry currently has 5.4 billion Dollars in revenue and is projected to grow annually 5.4% from 2021-2026 (Khaustovich). It is in the mature stage of its life cycle with low concentration and a reliable way of building a customer base. Steady increases in the price of fruits and vegetables will likely continue to bolster growth. As revenue continues to rise and profit stabilizes, new entrants will likely be attracted to the industry (Khaustovich). Farmers markets and CSAs saw an increase of 35% in those using these outlets in 2020, according to the 2020 Local Food System Response to COVID Consumer Food Insights Survey, showing the potential for growth in new shoppers during pandemic recovery. “Meal kits, farmers markets (as well producers selling direct), supercenters, and food boxes appear most likely to gain new customers in the future (Farmers Market Talking Points 2021).
In addition to promotional pop-ups and booths at farmer’s markets, Lillet will target customers through a variety of digital channels to further exposure, awareness, and sales. Utilizing digital marketing channels connected to Dinex Group and other venues will provide Lillet with immediate credibility and brand recognition to an already curated follower base who believes in the Dinex brand. Therefore cross-promotional marketing efforts across several platforms will be necessary. For example, Chef Daniel Boulud himself has 385k Instagram followers so a single post of the new concept to his verified account will have great reach and exposure. In addition to Chef Boulud’s personal account, the brands under the Dinex umbrella have Instagram accounts with unique followers as well to aid in introducing the concept and help build a following of its own. Prior to launching the concept on existing platforms, Lillet will build its own so that when tagged, Lillet can gain followers. The promotional materials will also be distributed through other digital channels such as twitter, Facebook, TikTok and on company websites.
To continue to leverage the Dinex reputation and name recognition of Daniel Boulud, we suggest developing a rewards program that connects all brands under the Dinex Umbrella. Reward programs need to be simple. If there are too many barriers to entry—paperwork, downloading an app, etc.—guests are less likely to participate. Likewise, it’s smart to create some rewards that guests can experience quickly, like a point bonus just for signing up, to keep them interested and motivated. “According to a study by LevelUp, when a customer is close to unlocking their loyalty reward, they spend 39% more than usual. When customers redeem their reward, they spend an average of 19% more. In addition, visitation frequency increases by 75% between a customer’s first reward and their tenth reward (pos.toasttab.com).” (Richmond et al.). The rewards program we propose will work similarly to your local coffee shop punch card. Where after 9 coffees, one gets a free one. This will translate to money spent at Lillet – once a customer reaches 200$ spent in one month, they will receive a bottle of that weeks’ wine in the house. The punch card increases in 50$ intervals. The goal is to foster both loyalty and gross-portfolio awareness resulting in increased sales.
Farmers Market Talking Points 2021. Farmers Market Coalition, 2021. Zotero, https://farmersmarketcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Farmers-Market-Talking-Points-2021.pdf.
Khaustovich, Vlad. Fruit & Vegetable Markets in the US. Industry Report, 44532, IBISworld.
Pop-up Shops in the US. Industry Spotlight Report, OD6418, IBISworld, July 2021.
Richmond, Stephanie Ganz-Stephanie Ganz is a freelance writer based in, et al. Why Your Restaurant Needs a Loyalty Program. http://www.performancefoodservice.com/get-inspired/restaurant-loyalty-program. Accessed 26 Apr. 2022.
Scholz, Laura. “Calculating the ROI of Pop-up Bars.” SevenFifty Daily, 14 Dec. 2018, https://daily.sevenfifty.com/calculating-the-roi-of-pop-up-bars/.
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