Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice

APT Launches Restaurant Index; Comps Fall 0.6% in February

March 20th, 2014 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on APT Launches Restaurant Index; Comps Fall 0.6% in February)

Applied Predictive Technologies (APT) today announced that U.S. restaurant sales for the month of February fell [-0.6%] nationwide. But despite the overall February decline, the APT Index, which compares this year’s sales to the same period last year, indicated a “polar thaw” as increasing temperatures were followed by an increase in sales comps.

In the first half of February (2/1 to 2/14), the average temperature was 35°F and sales comps were [-2.2%]. However, in the second half of the month (2/15 to 2/28), average temperature climbed to 43°F and sales comps grew to [+0.9%].

The APT Restaurant Index enables restaurant executives to understand their “true comps.” Instead of simply looking at year-over-year changes, restaurant organizations can now compare each of their location’s sales to restaurant performance in the area surrounding their locations. These insights enable executives to understand if their restaurants are actually under- or over-performing, adjusting for local market factors outside of the control of decision-makers.

Click here to read the full story.

The Secret of Selling the $5 Footlong

March 12th, 2014 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on The Secret of Selling the $5 Footlong)

A recent Wall Street Journal article, The Secret of Selling the $5 Footlong,” discusses how marketing innovation is fueled by a consistent process of experimentation. In the article the CMO of Subway, Tony Pace, says that staying ahead is “all about testing and learning.” He adds, “there is plenty of data, but big data doesn’t mean you get big insights. Companies have to sift through the data and come up with hypotheses and test them.”

Subway is a long-time, valued APT client.  They, like dozens of other restaurants, leading retailers, banks, hotels, telecom companies, and manufacturers, leverage Test & Learn to make faster, more accurate decisions.

Pizza Hut Tests Tablets

March 4th, 2014 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Pizza Hut Tests Tablets)

Pizza Hut is joining other large restaurant chains in testing interactive tablets for ordering and payments. As we’ve written about in the past, there are numerous potential implications of rolling out new guest-facing technologies, and Pizza Hut is smart to test before risking investments in tablets network-wide.

Skylark Group Licenses APT’s Test & Learn Platform

February 27th, 2014 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Skylark Group Licenses APT’s Test & Learn Platform)

APT announced today that Skylark Group, Japan’s largest operator of family-style restaurants, has licensed APT’s Test & Learn software to test a variety of critical business issues, including promotions, pricing, newspaper inserts, and remodels. This announcement highlights the growing internationalization of scientific business experimentation: Skylark joins such global restaurant leaders as McDonald’s APMEA, Costa, and Subway who also license APT’s software.

To read more details about Skylark’s partnership with APT, please click here.

Big Data Zeroes in on Ad Inefficiency

February 19th, 2014 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Big Data Zeroes in on Ad Inefficiency)

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half,” John Wanamaker famously said. In a recent blog, Alan Mutter discusses how consumer-facing organizations are using APT to isolate the incremental impact of each media investment. An excerpt from his post is below.

“Nowadays, Wanamaker could find out, with considerable precision, by hiring Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), a Virginia-based company that mines all manner of data to determine not only the optimum ways to buy advertising but also where to locate bank branches and which under-performing entrees to nix from restaurant menus…

…With customers like Walmart, Lowe’s, Office Depot, PetSmart, CVS, Target, Walgreen’s and many other global merchants, APT asserts that it captures and crunches 20% of data generated in the “U.S. retail economy.” It bounces this rich transactional data against everything from weather records to Twitter streams to help companies “measure the profit impact of pricing, marketing, merchandising, operations and capital initiatives.”

Click here to read the full blog.

5 Overlooked Facts of Restaurant Pricing

January 30th, 2014 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on 5 Overlooked Facts of Restaurant Pricing)

Nation’s Restaurant News recently published an article by APT SVP Jonathan Marek about the five often overlooked facts about restaurant pricing. Jonathan discusses the following about pricing strategies:

  • “You can’t understand the impact of changing prices without a test versus control analysis.”
  • “Cross-elasticity rules restaurant economics.”
  • “Price elasticity varies by store — a lot.”
  • “If you have a franchised concept, your franchisees are likely testing prices for you.”
  • “Pricing analysis should not be outsourced.”

Here is the link to the full article:


Taking a Bite out of Restaurant Industry Sales

January 28th, 2014 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Taking a Bite out of Restaurant Industry Sales)

Convenience stores, pharmacy chains, and grocery retailers are all trying to take a bite out of restaurant sales by ramping up their fresh food offerings. According to Convenience Store News, prepared food offerings in c-stores exceeded $27 billion in sales in the US in 2012, a 7.6% increase over the previous year – in fact, convenience chain Casey’s General Stores is even offering pizza delivery in a select number of locations. (more…)

What’s Cooking for 2014?

December 30th, 2013 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on What’s Cooking for 2014?)

APT SVP Jonathan Marek recently wrote an article for QSR Magazine about five trends restaurants can expect in 2014. These trends include taking advantage of mobile ordering, profiting from variable pricing, growing slower dayparts, managing labor costs, and better understanding the effectiveness of daily deals. Click here to read the article.

Costa Coffee Licenses Test & Learn Software

November 22nd, 2013 | Posted by CCorman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Costa Coffee Licenses Test & Learn Software)

Computing Magazine recently featured an article about how Costa, one of the world’s largest coffee chains, is using APT’s Test & Lean software to make more profitable decisions. Here’s the link to the article:

A short preview of the article is below:

Matthew Price, finance director at Costa, said that it was “critical” for the coffee chain to have the best tools in place to quickly generate insights that create value for the business.

“APT is instrumental in improving the analytic rigor and speed with which we make decisions on store investment and the right range of products,” he said.

“The ability to automate complex analytic processes has not only provided more accurate decisions, but it has significantly decreased the time required to understand the impact of each new idea,” he added.


Tablets at your Tables

November 12th, 2013 | Posted by retailblogadmin in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Tablets at your Tables)

Recently, restaurants like ThinkFoodGroup’s Jaleo added tablets to their tables, discarding traditional paper menus in hopes of leveraging flexibility offered by digital devices to improve guest experience and sales.

ThinkFoodGroup, which is testing iPad-based menus in two of its restaurants, including DC’s Jaleo, is smart to try this idea before investing significant capital. Cost is not limited to the $500 up-front investment per tablet; it also includes employee training, breakage, and theft (Jaleo has already reported four stolen tablets). Additionally, restaurants must ensure that guests are comfortable with the new experience and are not turned off by technology at the table. (more…)