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经济学人:整改指向快餐业

2014-02-17    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Business;商业;

The changes facing fast food;整改指向快餐业;

Good and hungry; 美味与饥饿并存

More than menus need to be revamped if fast-food firms want to keep growing;如果快餐业想要持续的增长所要做的远不止改变一下菜单这么简单。

Fast-food firms have to be a thick-skinned bunch. Health experts regularly lambast them for peddling food that makes people fat. Critics even complain that McDonald's, whose golden arches symbolize calorie excess, should not have been allowed to sponsor the World Cup. These are things fast-food firms have learnt to cope with and to deflect. But not perhaps for much longer. The burger business faces more pressure from regulators at a time when it is already adapting strategies in response to shifts in the global economy.
健康专家因其向人们兜售令人肥胖的食品而不断猛烈抨击快餐业。因而快餐业不得不成为一个厚着脸皮生存的群体。评论家门甚至抱怨到有着代表超高热量金色拱形标志的麦当劳不应该被允许赞助世界杯。虽然有些事情快餐业已经学会去处理和转移。但是他们的手去无法伸得更长。当汉堡经济在全球经济条件下正在做出适应性的战略部署作为回应来扭转局势的时候,却要面临着来自监管者方面更多的压力。

Fast food was once thought to be recession-proof. When consumers need to cut spending, the logic goes, cheap meals like Big Macs and Whoppers become even more attractive. Such “trading down” proved true for much of the latest recession, when fast-food companies picked up customers who could no longer afford to eat at casual restaurants. Traffic was boosted in America, the home of fast food, with discounts and promotions, such as $1 menus and cheap combination meals.
快餐一度被认为是经济衰退的证据。逻辑上,当消费者要削减开支时,巨无霸和特大型汉堡等便宜的食物会变得更有吸引力。当快餐商家攥住了那些在便利餐厅也付不起钱的消费者时,这样的低消费观在最近的经济衰退中被和好的证明了。在美国,这个快餐的发源地,伴随着快餐业的打折活动以及促销活动,例如推出1美元菜单和便宜的什锦饭,快餐店客流也变得兴旺起来。

As a result, fast-food chains have weathered the recession better than their pricier competitors. In 2009 sales at full-service restaurants in America fell by more than 6%, but total sales remained about the same at fast-food chains. In some markets, such as Japan, France and Britain, total spending on fast food increased. Same-store sales in America at McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food company, did not decline throughout the downturn. Panera Bread, an American fast-food chain known for its fresh ingredients, performed well, too: its boss, Ron Shaich, claims this is because it offers higher-quality food at lower prices than restaurants.
结果,快餐业比那些贵一点的同行们要更好的度过了这次经济危机。在2009年美国本土那些全服务餐馆业的营业额与以前同期相比有超过了6%的降幅,但是快餐连锁企业的营业额却依然保持不变。在其他国家的市场上,如日本,法国和英国,在快餐上的消费整体上是增长的。在美国同行业的营业额中,世界上最大的快餐企业麦当劳在没有下滑的情况下度过了经济衰退期。以其新鲜的原料以及良好的服务闻名的美国快餐连锁运营商Penera Bread的首席执行官罗恩 夏奇声称这些现象的出现是因为他们一更低廉的价格提供了更高质量的食物。

But not all fast-food companies have been as fortunate. Many, such as Burger King, have seen sales fall. In a severe recession, while some people trade down to fast food, many others eat at home more frequently to save money. David Palmer, an analyst at UBS, a bank, says smaller fast-food chains in America, such as Jack in the Box and Carl's Jr., have been hit particularly hard in this downturn because at the same time they are “slugging it out with a global powerhouse” in the form of McDonald's, which ramped up spending on advertising by more than 7% last year as others cut back.
但并非所有的快餐企业有如此好的运气。例如汉堡王等许多企业的营业额就有所下滑。相对有一些人低消费投向快餐,许多人更多的时候为了省钱在家里吃饭。瑞士联合银行的分析师大卫帕尔曼表示,在美国,一些小型的快餐连锁店,如玩偶匣和卡乐星,在这次经济衰退中受到了特别严重的冲击。因为与此同时它们还要与像麦当劳,去年在其他企业都在下滑时,它却向广告宣传投入了超过了7%的财力,这样的的全球性的大集团进行竞争。

Some fast-food companies also cannibalised their own profits by trying to give customers better value. During the recession companies set prices low, hoping that once they had tempted customers through the door they would be persuaded to order more expensive items. But in many cases that strategy backfired. Last year Burger King franchisees sued the company over its double-cheeseburger promotion, claiming it was unfair for them to be required to sell these for $1 when they cost $1.10 to make. In May a judge ruled in favour of Burger King. Nevertheless, the company may still be cursing its decision to promote cheap choices over more expensive ones because items on its “value menu” now account for around 20% of all sales, up from 12% last October.
一些快餐企业不惜削减自己的利润试图给顾客们更好的优惠。在经济危机期间,很多商家采取一系列的促销手段,希望顾客们哪怕一次穿过大门,从而能够劝说他们购买稍贵的产品。但是在多数情况下,这些计划实施之后反而事与愿违。去年汉堡王的特约经销商就因为双层起司汉堡的促销活动而控告了公司。并声称以1美元出售这些1.10美元成本价的产品对他们是不公平的。最终五月份法官裁决表示支持汉堡王。尽管如此,这家公司依然咒骂汉堡王做出的增加可供选择的便宜产品并超过价格高的产品的数量的决定。因为这些产品在它的“有价值菜单”所占比例从去年10月的12%升到了现在的20%。

Analysts expect the fast-food industry to grow modestly this year. But the downturn is making them rethink their strategies. Many companies are now introducing higher-priced items to entice consumers away from $1 specials. KFC, a division of Yum! Brands, which also owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, has launched a chicken sandwich that costs around $5. And in May Burger King introduced barbecue pork ribs at a hefty $7 for eight.
分析人士对今年快餐业的适度增长有所期待。但是衰退的形势却不容乐观,他们重新考虑了他们的分析结果。现在许多商家推出一些稍高价格的商品试图将消费者从1美元的特价商品中吸引回来。拥有塔可钟和必胜客的百胜餐饮集团,其旗下品牌肯德基已经推出了一款售价约5美元的鸡肉三明治。五月份汉堡王适时推出了7到8美元的烤猪排。

More cheeseburgers更多的起司汉堡

Companies are also trying to get customers to buy new and more items, including drinks. McDonald's started selling better coffee as a challenge to Starbucks. Its “McCafé” line now accounts for an estimated 6% of sales in America. Others are testing a similar strategy. Starbucks has sold rights to its Seattle's Best coffee brand to Burger King, which will start selling it later this year. McDonald's is now rolling out frappé coffees and smoothies.
许多快餐企业当然也试图让消费者购买包括饮料在内的更多新的产品。麦当劳开始销售更优质的咖啡作为对星巴克的挑战。它的麦克咖啡系列在美国本土的销售量约6%。由此同时其它的商家也尝试这相似的策略。星巴克已经将它的西雅图最好咖啡的品牌版权出售给了汉堡王,并将在今年晚些时候开始销售。麦当劳现在也正式推出冰沙咖啡和果汁。

As fast-food companies shift from “super size” to “more buys” they need to keep customer traffic high throughout the day. Many see breakfast as a big opportunity, and not just for fatty food. McDonald's will start selling porridge in America next year. Breakfast has the potential to be very lucrative, says Sara Senatore of Bernstein, a research firm, because the margins can be high. Fast-food companies are also adding midday and late-night snacks, such as blended drinks and wraps. The idea is that by having a greater range of things on the menu, “we can sell to consumers products they want all day,” says Rick Carucci, the chief financial officer of Yum! Brands.
因为要从“大尺寸”到“更多买家”策略的转变,这些快餐商家需要维持一天高的客流。另外,一些商家看到了早餐市场巨大的商机,并不是因为高热量的食物那么简单。麦当劳将在明年开始销售粥类食物。伯恩斯坦的参议员莎拉表示,早餐市场具有赚钱的潜力。因为它的利润是相当高的。快餐商家也在增加中午和夜晚小吃的种类,例如混合型饮料及包装食品。正因为这个菜单包含的范围很广,那么以百胜集团财务部经理瑞克卡如茨的观点来说,“我们可以卖给消费者他们一整天都需要的食物。”

Yet growth opportunities in America are limited because the market is considered to be “saturated”, not so much in fats but outlets. China is the place where most fast-food chains, like so many industries, see big expansion. Mr Carucci, for one, thinks China will be “the biggest growth opportunity for the industry this century”. If so, then Yum!, which has the greatest presence in China of any Western fast-food company, will be celebrating. Already around 30% of the company's profits come from China, and in the next five years this is expected to grow to 40%. India also looks like a succulent opportunity. Others plan to serve up more business in Russia and elsewhere in Europe. Given that around 75% of fast-food companies' revenue in Europe comes from people eating in the restaurants (compared with half in America), older European outlets are being done up to make them more attractive places.
增长的的机会在美国国内也是有限的。因为市场被认为是趋近饱和的,并非因为如此多的脂肪而是太多的经销店。很多的快餐连锁店和其他的行业一样把目光聚焦到了中国,视其为巨大的扩张市场。卡如茨先生认为中国在本世纪对于各种行业来说将成为最大的增长机遇,在某一时期。如果真的是这样,那么与其他快餐企业相比在中国有着最大市场的百胜集团将会举杯欢庆了。它大约有30%的利润来自中国,而且在未来5年内这个数字将有望增长到40%。印度似乎也是一块多汁的肥肉。而其他的企业计划将更多的事务放在俄罗斯以及欧洲的其他地方。快餐业在欧洲有大约75%(与美国的50%相比)的财政收入来自于那些去餐馆吃饭的人们,一些欧洲的老字号餐馆则使出浑身解数让自己更有吸引力。

Getting chunky变得厚实

The recession also proved the importance of size in competing for customers, which means that more consolidation is likely. Wendy's and Arby's, two American fast-food chains, merged in 2008. On June 11th their shares surged following news that a buyer was interested in the company. Smaller chains may catch the eye of private-equity firms, just as CKE Restaurants did earlier this year when Apollo Management, a buy-out firm, purchased it.
这场经济危机也证明了在消费竞争中规模的重要性,也意味着更加牢固。两大美国快餐连锁店温迪快餐和阿贝兹快餐于2008年合并。6月11日,一个买家有意收购该公司的新闻公开后它们的股票飞涨。小型的快餐连锁店还是可以受到一些私人控股公司的青睐,就像CKE今年更早的时候被一家买断企业阿波罗收购一样。

But what about those growing waistlines? So far, fast-food firms have nimbly avoided government regulation. By providing healthy options, like salads and low-calorie sandwiches, they have at least given the impression of doing something about helping to fight obesity. These offerings are not necessarily loss-leaders, as they broaden the appeal of outlets to groups of diners that include some people who don't want to eat a burger. But customers cannot be forced to order salads instead of fries.
但是谁来关注那些越长越大的腰围呢?到目前为止,快餐企业还是有些灵活的办法来躲避政府的政策。通过提供一些健康的选择项目,像沙拉和低热量的三明治,他们似乎想给人们留下为帮助对抗肥胖要做一些具体事情的印象。提供的这些东西并不是什么不必须的亏本特卖品,因为它们扩大了经销商对那些拥有大莱卡的群体,包括不喜欢吃汉堡的人们的感染力。但是消费者不可能被强制提供沙拉来代替油炸食物。

In the future, simply offering a healthy option may not be good enough. “Every packaged-food and restaurant company I know is concerned about regulation right now,” says Mr Palmer of UBS. America's health-reform bill, which Congress passed this year, requires restaurant chains with 20 or more outlets to put the calorie-content of items they serve on the menu. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which tracked the effects on Starbucks of a similar calorie-posting law in New York City in 2007, found that the average calorie-count per transaction fell 6% and revenue increased 3% at Starbucks stores where a Dunkin Donuts outlet was nearby—a sign, it is said, that menu-labelling could favour chains that have more nutritious offerings.
在未来的时间,简单提供一些健康的可供选择的食品可能是不够好的。“现在每一个我所了解的包装食品品和连锁餐馆的企业是对于法律规定的权利很是头疼,”瑞银集团的帕尔曼先生表示。今年美国国会通过的健康法案要求拥有20家甚至更多的连锁店的餐馆要把每样他们提供的菜肴的热量目录印制在菜单上。一项由美国国家经济研究局开展的对在2007年纽约推出的相似的热量法案对星巴克的影响的跟踪调查,在旁边有唐恩都乐连锁店的情况下,发现平均每次的交易中的热量值减少了6%,而财政收入增长了3%。也就是说这些新增的菜单标签有助于这些企业提供更营养的菜肴。

In order to avoid other legislation in America and elsewhere, fast-food companies will have to continue innovating. Walt Riker of McDonald's claims the makeover it has given to its menu means it offers more healthy items than it did a few years ago. “We probably sell more lettuce, more milk, more salads, more apples than any restaurant business in the world,” he says. But the recent proposal by a county in California to ban the golden arches from including toys in its high-calorie “Happy Meals”, because legislators believe it attracts children to unhealthy food, suggests there is a lot more left to do.
为了避免与美国和其他地方的法规起冲突,快餐企业将不得不继续进行改良与创新。麦当劳的沃特瑞克宣称其公司已经对菜单进行了改良,这意味真麦当劳与几年前相比会提供更多健康的食品。“与世界上的其他餐馆经营者相比,我们可能会销售更多的生菜,更多的牛奶,更多的沙拉以及更多的苹果,”他说道。但是加利福尼亚州的一个小镇则提议禁止麦当劳的金色拱形标志出现包括它的高热量的快乐套餐赠送的玩具上,因为执法者们认为它会引诱孩子们去吃不健康的食物,并建议还有很多事情等着我们去做。



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