from APT's Restaurant Practice
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In a recent All Analytics article titled “Red Robin Plates Up Big-Data Insight,” Chris Laping, CIO at Red Robin, discusses how the gourmet burger chain is using APT’s Test & Learn software to understand the incremental impact of large dollar investments across their business. Click here to read the article.

“Rather than go it alone on big-data analytics, Red Robin has partnered with a ‘really smart company to help do that test-and-learn stuff,’ Red Robin CIO Chris Laping said… The ‘really smart’ partner helping with the test-and-learn is Applied Predictive Technologies, or APT, a cloud-based predictive analytics company that’s built up a discipline and set of analytics tools for Red Robin.”

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.

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 Casey Corman in Restaurant Trends - (Comments Off)

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 Casey Corman in Restaurant Trends - (Comments Off)

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 Casey Corman in Restaurant Analytics - (Comments Off)

“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.

APT Hires Jeff Babka as CFO

February 11th, 2014 | Posted by Casey Corman in Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

APT is featured in a recent Washington Post article, which highlights our hiring of Jeff Babka as CFO. Click here to read the article.

5 Overlooked Facts of Restaurant Pricing

January 30th, 2014 | Posted by Casey Corman in Pricing | Restaurant Analytics - (Comments Off)

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: http://nrn.com/opinions/5-overlooked-facets-restaurant-menu-pricing

 

Taking a Bite out of Restaurant Industry Sales

January 28th, 2014 | Posted by Casey Corman in Restaurant Trends - (Comments Off)

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 Casey Corman in Restaurant Trends - (Comments Off)

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.