•Local chamber of commerce - http://greaterlowellcc.org/
•Local convention and visitors bureau - https://merrimackvalley.org/
•State chamber of commerce - http://massachusettschamberofcommerce.com/ma-chamber-of-commerce-directory-listings/
•Massachusetts Association of Restaurants http://web.themassrest.org/search
•National Restaurant Association http://www.restaurant.org
A. How is this problem currently being addressed? What products/services are currently in the market that address this problem?
Downtown Lowell has over 20 restaurants, many of them focus on ethnic foods. Most are small businesses owned by local families. Only 4 focus on local &/or healthy options as a main part of their menu.
B. Who currently provides solutions to this problem?
4 focus on local & healthy options: Life Alive, Warp & Weft, Fuse, and Lowell Burger Company. Life Alive, a fast-casual organic food option, has been in business for over 10 years and has grown to other cities, including Salem, Cambridge, and Somerville. The other restaurants are sit down / service.
C. Describe how the solution is currently being implemented/delivered?
When entering Life Alive, it is clear you are a health conscious space. Info about organic ingredients is available, there is a community bulletin board with lots of educational materials and other kinds of health related posts, many focusing on homeopathic and natural remedies. The setting has a nice serene atmosphere, you order at the counter, then wait at a table with a number for delivery of the freshly prepared food. Warp & Weft, Fuse, and Lowell Burger Company are all sit down service restaurants. Each offers a unique, vibrant location (Warp & Weft also offer local entertainment). It is clear the food is local as it is on the menu and it’s branding throughout each restaurant. Imagery is related to Lowell as well.
D. How effective are the current solution(s)?
Life Alive: reviews from directories are exemplary.
Other 3: reviews from the directories are mostly good for each. Some reviews suggested better customerservice, while others commented on food only.
After speaking with 25 people from Lowell that have gone to each these restaurants, many feel that for the most part they are great restaurants. Several people suggested more vegetarian options.