Unless you have been living under a rock these past few years, a restaurant evolution is well under way. Those everlasting casual dine-in concepts continue to experience low traffic even as we begin to emerge from the COVID 19 pandemic. Consumers have spoken and they have chosen to vote with their phone app and order from home or wherever. The convenience of ordering from your couch and contactless delivery is here to stay and food and beverage concepts are proving that even against all odds, they can adapt and have spectacular growth and franchising opportunities.
Many food and beverage chains that originated as hip local dine-in formats, have begun to move to a fast-casual format by extending their brands (Sweet Chick in LA launching Lil’ Sweet Chick) or by launching and even, contracting with a virtual or ghost kitchen with multiple extension brands (e.g. JustCook (Edmonton) and Kitchen Hub (Toronto)). Even fine dining establishments are getting into the act like Noma in Los Angeles, trading a $400 wine tasting menu for a Burger and wine bar concept with an outdoor dining experience.
These moves meet the consumer demand for convenience, great food ideas, and contactless delivery, but how does it change network planning?
The answer is a lot.
Restaurateurs moving quickly to the franchising and fast-casual space need now, more than ever, to understand which markets to grow into and gain first-mover advantages. In addition, those driving a virtual brand need to understand and optimize their trade areas for delivery or pickup, which now could be wider than traditional brick and mortar trade areas. Knowing where the pockets of demand reside and how to best locate their kitchen, you can drive the best results.
Traditionally, brands often rely on the local know-how of a franchisee or a broker network. However, what was missing was a calculated method of approving future location decisions in-house, which would ensure markets are not oversaturated, opportunities are miscalculated, or territories were made too big, which leads to underperforming locations and missed opportunities.
The good news is that Restaurateurs are gathering more data than ever before; sometimes without knowing how to leverage it. Location Intelligence can be applied to optimize for growth and success, and de-risk the bias that many businesses are tempted to follow when making location-based decisions. A growing concern with the use of big data and analytics is the trustworthiness and visibility into the methodologies applied in analytical projects.
Successful analytics requires impartiality, careful scrutiny, as well as a solution that builds transparency and trust for the end user. You don’t need a big analytics team in-house to get all the advantages that data can provide.
Check out PiinPoint Marketmatch and our Keto Cafe case study and find out how we have helped other Restaurant brands improve their real estate planning by providing data-driven tools that de-risk the location choice!