Business Research Methods
For this project you're going to read the Donatos: Finding the
New Pizza (Attached) case and answer the discussion questions.
1. Map the research design used by Donato’s for new product development.
2. Evaluate the Wassup meetings as an exploratory methodology to help define the research question.
3. Evaluate the test marked Donatos used. What were its advantages and disadvantages?
4. What measurement scales would you have used on the survey that was part of the in-restaurant product tests?
• Read the assignment carefully and answer each question.
• ...view middle of the document...
> The Scenario
Used with permission of
Pamela S. Schindler
Some strategic windows remain open for an extended period oftime; other, don't. One of those
slim windows faced Tom Krouse, chief concept officer with Donato's, an independent premium
pizza restaurant chain, headquartered in Columbus (Ohio). Krouse, who is reponsible for new
product development, had to answer a question facing many restaurants: Is the low-carb diet
a flash fad or a trend-and should we respond?
"Restaurants are influenced my many factors: product, message, weather, reputation,
and competition, to name a few. But mostly we are influenced by changing eating habits. As a
result, we monitor a variety of sources. One of these is syndicated research obtained from The
Yankelovich Monitor and NPD Eating Trends. Another is e-rn ail comments from customers
received via our web site. We also hold monthly WASSUP Meetings," shared Krouse, "where
each employee brings knowledge of an element from popular culture and explains its affect on
Donates."! Donatos, recently divested by fast -ood giant McDonald's, had, for four years,
access to tremendous amounts of research on the eating habits of Americans. In late July,
according to the 2003 HealthFocus Trend Report, 26% of eaters were "carb aware." "This
meant that they were incorporating low-carb habits into their diets. We had a multitude of
evidence, over several months, that the interest in low-carb eating plans was increasing,"
The time was July 2003. Krouse, who himself was following the Atkins diet,' was
noticing that at company meetings, where pizza is a staple refreshment, "little piles of crust"
were being left behind. "At first, we worried that something might be wrong with the crust,"
shared Krouse. While to some degree food quality is important to any restaurant, Donatos
stakes its reputation and its position in the pizza segment on two factors: premium quality and
an abundance of toppings-Edge to Edge® as its slogan goes. Donatos discovered that
nothing was wrong with the crust; its employees were avoiding the carbohydrates inherent in
the grain-based foundation of every pizza on the market at that time.
Convinced the low-carb craze permeating the media was no fad, Donatos started its
research-based product development process. The process typically starts with developing
the product prototype, followed by employee taste testing, concept screens (where participants,
usually in a central location, are shown photographs of food products, and then queried about
the item's uniqueness, brand fit, price attractiveness, and the likelihood of purchase if the
product were available), and ultimately in-restaurant tests in two or more restaurants within the
chain.' In-restaurant tests also include participants completing a self-administered intercept
surveyor, for delivery customers, a callback phone survey.
In the product prototype...