As a Southern California native, I can confidently say that In-N-Out does actually make the world’s best burger and can corroborate a number of the points that you made in your post. In-N-Out is known for the freshness of their burgers and fries and indeed, the quality consistency of the customer experience is remarkable. I have never visited an In-N-Out that was dirty, where the employees were not friendly and helpful, and where the food was not delicious. In-N-Out’s true value proposition to customers is the consistency of its delicious and reasonably priced experience. While you briefly mentioned the brand equity, however the only point that I would add to your post is the strong perception among customers that In-N-Out is different from the more “corporate” and “chain-focused” fast food restaurants with which it competes. I think a large part of this perception is due to the fact that In-N-Out is a private company, and as a result, customers truly believe that it is focused on providing a quality burger and experience, as opposed to driving profits and growth. Looking forward to heading to In-N-Out multiple times when I am back in Orange County during winter break.
As someone who has also ordered in a number of delivery meals at the office, Maple’s value proposition is incredibly salient to me. In my mind, the $12-15 all-in price is the most important aspect of the operating model, as it simplifies the customer experience and rids the process of hidden costs. Also interesting, and I think unique compared to other food delivery services, is the fact that Maple leverages technology to identify the quick delivery routes. Based on my experiences with other services and the frequent delivery delays I don’t think there is any way that competitors try to optimize routes. After exploring the website, my only question is how Maple will respond to challenges as it expands its service. Currently, it only delivers to locations in Manhattan south of 14th Street. This is not that large of a delivery range, and it seems like there could be a number of potential issues, particularly related to delivery route optimization and the 30 minute delivery guarantee, as Maple expands in size.
Really enjoyed your choice of company and your post. In response to your comments on the business model, I do think there is significant value add to users in the simplicity of the overall app interface. However, I think that Tinder could potentially be sacrificing other benefits/additional value add to customers in order to provide this simplicity. For example, I wonder if Tinder could incorporate (perhaps to a lesser extent than traditional dating websites) matching algorithms and short questionnaires in order to provide users a more targeted menu of potential “matches”. Without complicating the overall interface of the app, small changes could potentially increase the overall effectiveness of the matching process and increase user satisfaction. In addition, other than the simple interface, Tinder does not appear to provide any additional benefits that result in meaningful competitive advantages compared to other dating apps/websites. If Tinder could somehow combine the simplicity of the user experience with a more robust matching process, it would be very well positioned to further increase customer adoption and retention.