Running Head: WHITE CASTLE CASE STUDY
White Castle Case Study
MKT 551/Marketing Management
University of Phoenix (Online)
December 04, 2006
White Castle Case Study
"More than 80 years. More than 380 restaurants. More than 500,000,000 burgers sold last year alone" (White Castle, About Us). This is White Castle's mantra. Does this mantra mean that White Castle needs no marketing strategies? Of course not. Every company needs marketing strategies, no matter how well that company is doing in its industry. To maintain its market share or to increase that share, a strategic marketing plan is vital. "The restaurant industry and the fast food sector are highly competitive, and are affected by changes in customer tastes and preferences, location, demographic trends, pedestrian and motor traffic, consumer income, family structure, quality of food service and value of food service" (Nwogugu, 2004, 30). White Castle, thus, has to consider many issues when planning marketing strategy. To capture the market share it requires to do well in this industry, White Castle must look to the competition to ensure that White Castle is able to compete. Strategic Planning
While doing well in its chosen niche, White Castle can do some things to improve the company's bottom line. Looking to the successes of other fast food establishments, Jack in the Box, which can be considered a direct competitor to White Castle, revamped its drive-thru service by installing new menu boards and an electronic confirmation system (Nwogugu, 2004). Making even small improvements such as this can increase a company's profits. White Castle must further increase its brand name recognition. Currently, White Castle operates in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin (White Castle (restaurant), Wikipedia). A similar fast-food chain, Krystal's, dominates the southern states. White Castle does not franchise, preferring to keep a home office to guide operations in all its locations (White Castle, About). Thus, one idea for increasing White Castle's sales is through franchising and opening restaurants in areas of the country in which it is not currently represented. Answer to the Issue
White Castle does something that none of the other fast food restaurants offer, frozen food. The company needs to capitalize on this difference by creating a marketing plan specifically to market this product. As opposed to the small representation made by White Castle with its restaurants, the company's frozen food is available in 30 states across the United States (White Castle, Food). The company needs to, therefore, step up its marketing of its frozen products, which could bring new customers and sales to the company. Further, White Castle should review the technology it has in place to ensure maximum efficiency of service and quality of its foods. Finally, White Castle must market its brand to previously unserved markets, which will ultimately increase the company's bottom line. Proof to Substantiate Response
For Jack in the Box, revamping its drive-thru service resulted in greater sales, as the drive-thru business represents 68% of its overall business (Nwogugu, 2004). Statistics also reveal that location is everything for a fast food restaurant. To the extent White Castle seeks to open new restaurants, the company should look for corner lots, which tend to attracts customers (Nwogugu, 2004). Franchising is also a lucrative arm of the fast-food business, and White Castle may benefit from considering franchising its restaurants. Franchising would allow White Castle to make an appearance in previously unserved markets, which will help to improve the company's profit margin. "There are two key areas of development for a brand, sustaining current products and markets (renovation), and developing new products and markets (innovation)" (Cocks, 2000, p. 42). Situational Analysis...
References: Cocks, M. (2000, September). Out-of-home sales for FMCG companies: An opportunity or a problem? Journal of Brand Management, 8(1), 41. Retrieved December 3, 2006, from ProQuest database.
Nwogugu, M. (2004). Corporate governance, strategy and corporations law: The case of Jack in the Box. Managerial Auditing Journal, 19(1), 29. Retrieved December 3, 2006, from ProQuest database.
Preble, J. & Hoffman, R. (2006). Strategies for business format franchisors to expand into global markets. Journal of Marketing, 13(3). Retrieved December 3, 2006, from ProQuest database.
Sykes, C. (2006, September/October). Smart marketing: how to hit the bull 's eye when selling your brand. Smart Marketing, 127(5). Retrieved December 3, 2006, from ProQuest database.
White Castle (restaurant). Retrieved December 3, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ White_Castle_(restaurant)#Marketing
White Castle, About & Food. Retrieved December 3, 2006, from www.whitecastle.com
White Castle System, Inc. (2006, June). Retrieved December 1, 2006, from Marketline Business Information Center database.
White Castle System Inc. (2006). Retrieved December 1, 2006, from www.datamonitor.com
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