Conducting Market Research for D'Ellies Sandwich Shop Inc.
D'Ellies Sandwich Shop Inc., a restaurant located in Carrabassett Valley, Maine on Sugarloaf Ski Resort, has been in operation for nearly 22 years. During this time it has built an excellent reputation and continues to add to its faithful customer base, even during tough economic times. Now the business faces the issues of expansion. D'Ellies has recently completed a second summer season in its second location in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. After discovering many inefficiency problems, the owner must decide if they can be solved while keeping the restaurant in Boothbay Harbor, or if it is the location itself that is causing the problems. This summer I helped to identify the major issues within the business that are keeping the restaurant from reaching its full potential; these issues are 1) lack of space which has not allowed the right flow for food preparation stations and thus making production slower than necessary, 2) also due to lack of space, not being able to have a bakery within the restaurant which adds delivery costs and payroll costs for extra employees, and 3) not enough of the "D'Ellies customer" in the restaurant's current market. I then used this information to come up with two possible options for the restaurant: first, stay in Boothbay Harbor and move to a larger, more appropriate space, or second, move the restaurant to a completely new location altogether. After researching several New England cities, I determined the seacoast town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire to be the best option for D'Ellies. My research showed that major problem number three, lack of potential customers, was too large to be ignored and could not be solved with the first option. Market research about Portsmouth, New Hampshire suggested much higher sales potential and more opportunities for even further growth in the future. Unlike Boothbay Harbor, Portsmouth would not only provide a large tourist market, but a huge permanent/resident market as well, possibly allowing for a year-round business as opposed to its current seasonal status.