Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice

Mother Nature: Did the warmer weather impact my revenue, or was it my promotion?

April 10th, 2012 | Posted by CCorman in Labor & Operations

This year in particular, restaurant operators are having a difficult time understanding how much of their sales lifts can be attributed to better weather versus how much is simply due to the direct impact of a single initiative.

With such drastic seasonal changes, the only way to find the true incremental impact of any initiative is to test it in a subset of your restaurants. “Test” doesn’t mean trying something in all of your locations in Phoenix and Michigan and comparing it to balance of chain. Dust storms in Phoenix and snow storms in Michigan would derail any hopes of an accurate read. In order to find the true cause-effect relationship between any initiative and key performance metrics, it is necessary to set up representative tests and employ a scientifically-based control group strategy that has the potential to deliver highly statistically significant results.

Only through representative, scientific testing can companies really begin to understand the impact of their initiatives. Is it time to rethink what’s really causing your sales to change this year?

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