How do you stay on the pulse of what customers want? By paying close attention.
Mijo Alanis has found success in his career by staying ahead of the curve—opening a juice and smoothie shop long before they were as ubiquitous as they are now. Mijo tells the story of Beyond Juicery from the way beginning of his career, how they've grown through franchising, and the “bus tub” moments that have helped him give the people what they want.
In this episode, we cover:
- The moment that Mijo Alanis and his wife, Pam Vivio, decided to start a juice bar
- Beyond Juciery + Eatery's early days
- Expansion through franchising
- How to step away from the day to day as you grow
- The “bus tub” moments that give you customer insights
Meet Mijo Alanis
Mijo Alanis opened the first Beyond Juicery + Eatery in 2005 alongside his wife, Pam Vivio, after working in the restaurant industry for many years.
The best ideas come from paying close attention to consumer behavior
“Back around 2000, I started noticing people throwing away hamburger buns and French fries. I saw it in the bus tub, and I would ask the servers, “why are they not eating their hamburger buns and French fries?” said Alanis.
Mijo saw trends changing too when he visited Camelback Mountain with his wife, Pam Vivio. The two saw the popularity of a small juice bar near the mountain and the seed of idea was planted.
“I'm driving home and all of a sudden he hit me. There's no place to buy a banana in the fast food industry. You can't even get a banana. I drove past Arby's, Wendy's, McDonald's, Jack in the Box...and I'm like, oh my God, there's not a place to buy a banana. And then that little juice bar popped into my head. And that's the moment that the idea for Beyond Juicery & Eatery was born,” said Alanis.
Recommended Podcast: The state of the QSR and FSR industries with Danny Klein, Editor at Food News Media
The guest experience is more important than ever
“[The guest experience] just seems more important right now. But because I think that in today's world, I think it's acceptable on most brands that they don't care about the customer and the customer experience, the guest experience is fading right now and in everything. I got a car that's been in a service center for two days that we're supposed to be done in two hours, and they don't care how I feel because I don't have a choice. And I believe that when we can make you feel different, just like our product can, it leaves that impression on you."
You can save on labor without cutting people out.
"Back in the day, we would have 12, 14 employees working during a busy shift. Today we probably have six to eight and we're talking to the busiest ports in the company. Because our corporate team, and we recognize the first thing that we said was 'Where can we cut our labor?' and not cut people out, but, you know, create items that can be made simpler."
Listen to the episode now
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D. J. Costantino
Hi! I'm D.J., 7shifts' resident Content Writer. I come from a family of chefs and have a background in food journalism. I'm always looking for ways to help make the restaurant industry better!