The Village Inn

Part
01
of three
Part
01

The Village Inn Overview

American Blue Ribbon Holdings is a leading multi-concept restaurant operator that currently operates more than 690 company and franchise restaurants in more than 40 states. The holding company manages four distinct regional restaurant brands as well as an award-winning bakery operation. Below is a company analysis of American Blue Ribbon Holdings with insights specific to the Village Inn.

Overview

  • American Blue Ribbon Holdings generated $1,129M in revenue for the 2017 financial year
  • The revenue figures for the third quarter of 2017 and 2018 were $830.4M and $819.3M respectively.
  • American Blue Ribbon Holdings manages four restaurants: O’Charley’s, Ninety Nine, Village Inn and Bakers Square, and a bakery operation: Legendary Baking.
  • 26,750 people are employed across the four restaurant brands and bakery.
  • Fidelity National Financial owns about 55% of the company,

Village Inn

  • There are 210 Village Inn locations throughout the United States; 123 are corporate-owned.
  • Village Inn is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
  • Village Inn was established in 1958 and its first franchise started operating in 1961.
  • The franchise was co-founded by Merton Anderson and Jim Mola.
  • The restaurants are located primarily in "the Rocky Mountain region, the Midwest, Arizona and Florida".
  • The estimated revenue of the Village Inn for 2017 was $472M.
  • The core values of the company include accountability for results, relentless improvement, integrity in all actions and respect for each individual.
  • The company uses three social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



Part
02
of three
Part
02

The Village Inn Marketing Overview

In 2018, WorkInProgress became the AOR for Village Inn. The current marketing campaign, launched in January, is titled "Anti-Brunch." In 2018, Village Inn partnered with Digital Fusion and JLong Design to create a digital and email campaign to promote gift cards for Mother's Day. Below is an overview of each campaign.

WIP/Anti-Brunch Campaign

  • WorkInProgress became the agency of record for Village Inn in November 2018.
  • The first campaign by WIP for Village Inn, called "Anti-Brunch," was launched in January 2019. The campaign "pokes fun" at trendy brunch restaurants with hard to pronounce ingredients, unusual menu items, and long lines.
  • According to David Craven, the VP of Marketing and Culinary for Village Inn, "We’re dedicating our latest marketing effort to save local brunch patrons from the agony of long lines, welcoming them back to our restaurants and reminding them that, while brunch is trendy, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune and a just-as-delicious breakfast is ready at Village Inn right now.
  • The campaign features Roy, a self-proclaimed breakfast enthusiast, arriving at local, trendy brunch spots in Denver in a Village Inn shuttle bus and rescuing the patrons by taking them back to Village Inn for a "real meal." The patrons are actual customers waiting in the long lines at the trendy spots.
  • WIP launched the campaign with a teasers video on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram introducing the mission and Roy. The paid media campaign is supported by television and radio ads in key markets. Television ads were titled "Get Three," and "Trendy Breakfast."

Mother's Day Promo Digital Campaign

  • In 2018, Village Inn partnered with Digital Fusion and JLong Design to create a digital and email campaign for a Mother's Day promotion.
  • For Mother's Day 2018, Village Inn was offering two $5 bonus gift cards with the purchase of a $25 gift card. The company partnered with Digital Fusion to handle the digital promotion. They partnered with JL Design to create the visual design for the ads and emails.
  • Digital Fusion utilized Google Ad Network, re-targeted display ads, and Facebook ads to target ideal customers.
  • In order to reach their target audience, Digital Fusion sent targeted ads to people interested in Uber, Instagram, Lyft, Amazon, and other apps with a heavy 18-35 year old age base. Emails were sent to customers in the Village Inn target locations based on zip code.
  • The digital campaign resulted in a four-figure percent increase in gift cards sales from the previous year and a 27% conversion rate.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

The Village Inn Press Search

Many of the press articles related to Village Inn and American Blue Ribbon Holdings in the past year are about local Village Inn locations closing. Other topics include new menu items, a fundraising initiative in conjunction with Veteran's Day, efforts being made to turn the company around and new executives within the company.

New Menu Items

Village Inn Robbery

  • This article was published on Alaska Native News on October 24, 2019, regarding a robbery of a Village Inn location in Alaska.
  • The suspect brandished a knife and demanded money from the register.
  • The suspect was arrested the same day.

Folded Flag Foundation Initiative

  • This October 2019 article on Business Wire outlines an initiative of American Blue Ribbon Holdings to support the Folded Flag Foundation.
  • Three restaurant chains owned by the company, O’Charley’s Restaurant & Bar, Village Inn and Bakers Square, participated in the campaign, which raised money for the foundation by allowing guests to donate $5 in exchange for a $5 voucher to be used on their next visit.
  • The campaign ran from October 14 to November 11, which is Veteran's day.
  • The article also states that the company's restaurants will offer veterans free meals on Veteran's Day.

Location Closure-Albequerque

  • This article posted on Albequerque Business First covers the closure of a local Village Inn restaurant in October 2019.
  • The article notes that this is one of three Village Inn restaurants to close in the area recently.

Company Turnaround

  • This August 2019 article published in the Nashville Post outlines the efforts American Blue River Holdings is making to turn the company around after closing many locations and laying off many workers.
  • The article states that the company is starting to see some positive impacts from its efforts, but doesn't give specific details.
  • The article also states that the Cannae Holdings, which invests in American Blurr Ribbon Holdings, has a long-term goal of selling its restaurant interests in favor of its recent focus on financial services and health care technology.

New CFO

  • This article published on Restaraunt Business in July 2019 announces the appointment of Kurt Schnaubelt as CFO of American Blue Ribbon Holdings.
  • Schnaubelt has 27 years of experience in the restaurant industry.

Location Closure-Johnston, IA

  • This article in a local newspaper, The Des Moines Register, covers the closure of a Village Inn location in Johnston, IA in July 2019.
  • The location had been open for 19 years prior to the closure.
  • Employees were offered relocation or severance packages.

Location Closure-Tulsa, OK

  • This article published by Tulsa World in July 2019 covers the closure of a Village Inn location in Tulsa, OK.
  • The company invited customers to visit one of its other Tulsa locations after the closure.

Location Closure-Minot, ND

  • This article published by Fox in North Dakota in May 2019 covers the closure of a Village Inn location in Minot, ND.
  • The restaurant had been open for just 2.5 years before the closure.

Anti-Brunch Campaign

  • This article on Business Wire presents information on Village Inn's February 2019 "anti-brunch" campaign.
  • The marketing campaign made fun of the typical brunch experience, which Village Inn identifies as "high prices, snooty servers, acquired-taste menus with difficult-to-pronounce ingredients, and long waiting lines stretching outside the door and down the sidewalk."
  • The campaign presented Village Inn as the antidote to the inconveniences presented by current brunch trends.

Health Code Violations

  • This article published by Fox in Pueblo, CO in February 2019 notes that the Village Inn location on South Pueblo Blvd. had 10 health code violations.
  • The violations included storing raw meat with prepared foods, storing foods at improper temperatures and not cleaning surfaces often enough.

Location Closure-Tuscon, AZ

  • This article published by Tuscon.com in January 2019 covers the closure of a Village Inn location in Tuscon, AZ.
  • The restaurant was located in the midtown area of Tuscon.
  • The other two Village Inn locations in Tuscon remained open.

New SVP

  • This article published in the Nashville Post in January 2019 announces the appointment of Mark Spurgin as Senior Vice President for American Blue Ribbon Holdings.
  • Mark previously worked for Cheesecake Factory and took over operations of the 4 restaurant chains owned by the company when he joined American Blue Ribbon Holdings.

Location Closure-Davenport, IA

  • This article published by WQAD Channel 8 in December 2018 covers the closure of a Village Inn location in Davenport, IA.
  • The news station reached out to the company for comment, but received no reply.

Agency of Record

  • This article published on Agency Spy in November 2018 announces that Village Inn named WorkInProgress as its agency of record.
  • Village Inn initially considered 15 agencies before narrowing the list down to 5 options and eventually choosing WorkInProgress.
Sources
Sources