I love the concept of Compleat. I think it won't be too difficult to implement, but I suspect the appeal will be limited to urban areas where there are a lot of office workers.
Actually, the idea came off as VERY generic to me (and I'm sure its been done thousands of times as one-offs or small chains already, and the main reason there's no existing national chain for it is because there's nothing all that riveting about the idea (or any one implementation of it).
When I worked in the health-conscious Bay Area, I can think of a couple concepts where you could get calorie information about your food but it wasn't the marketing focus of the brand and the food was pre-packaged, it was like getting lunch at the deli counter of a nice grocery store. I presumed Compleat would operate a little differently but if it ends up being a place where customers grab a packaged lunch out of a fridge and take it to a cashier then it won't be much.
Still, both of the places I can think of marketed themselves as generically "fresh" and "healthy". If the branding is focused on a complete and healthy meal (which, IMO, would mean educating customers about nutrition guidelines... which, yes, can be made interesting enough to be used as counter cards, etc) it can be something I haven't seen before.
My problem with the judges is that OTHER than the Chipotles guy (who, in part, is only worth so much because McDonald's invested BIG in the franchise and got behind and pushed), there's really very little experience with franchise food here
Thank you. During the hype over the Chipolte's guy I kept thinking 'Isn't Chipotle basically owned by McDonald's?' He accomplished a lot but the big expansion was due to attracting another company's attention.
The lady with the wok to order concept. That's not unique either.
Yeah, I was a bit annoyed by the judges acting like that was an impractical idea. I've been to a couple of quick service Mongolian BBQ places that made it work, even with customers customizing their orders. With stir fry, they'd even be able have multiple wok stations where the food would be cooked.