By Mr. Eric Pilgrim (Fort Knox news)January 5, 2018
Patrons of the main Exchange food court at Fort Knox will soon gain two new menus to choose from and lose one from the installation.
"QDOBA replaces Baskin Robbins in the food court and Popeyes replaces Burger King Express," said Ellen Henderson, general manager of the Fort Knox Exchange.
There are two Burger King restaurants on post to visit. Henderson said various factors, including no drive-thru and patrons' changing tastes, have led to declined sales at the Burger King Express.
"When sales reach a certain point, we look to identify what can go in its spot," Henderson said. "We identified that this [installation] did not have a name brand chicken and that was where Popeyes came in."
Although Burger King Express will go, the main Burger King on Eisenhower Avenue will remain and its operating hours will not change.
Unlike Burger King, Baskin Robbins will no longer have a place on post.
Changes like these are common across military installations, according to Henderson.
"Food facilities, food brands; they change over time because people's tastes change," said Henderson. "We're here to provide those foods and services our customers are looking for."
AAFES employs teams that analyze the food industry to determine what customers' tastes are in different regions. The analysis, based on algorithms and trends, reveals the restaurants that do well in certain regions and those that don't.
"[They] determine customer base, customer traffic, what the food industry does as a whole, what customer traffic typically does on post, off post, and determines what food brands are driving forces and what brands would be a viable suit in a location," Henderson explained.
The most recent numbers have revealed a continued growing interest in what the food industry calls fast casual restaurants. Among the top five, according to fastcasual.com, is QDOBA.
As we transform our facilities into what our customers are looking for, those facilities transform too," said Henderson. "QDOBA is one of those newer brands that we are bringing onto [installations] because that is what our customers are looking for."
Construction is expected to begin this month, with the new restaurants projected to open for business sometime in April.