from APT's Restaurant Practice
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APT today announced that the APT Index of in-store restaurant sales for March 2015 increased [+3.5%] compared with March of last year, as Americans’ view of the economy reached an 8-year high. APT Index quick-service restaurant sales increased [+6.2%], and APT Index full-service restaurant sales increased [+1.6%]. Click here to read the full report.

APT today announced that the APT Index of in-store restaurant sales for February 2015 increased [+3.5%] compared with February of last year. The increase was driven by an increase in check size [+4.4%]. The APT Index of Quick-Service Restaurant sales increased [+5.5%] and the APT Index of Full-Service Restaurant sales increased [+2.2%]. Click here to read the full report.

8 Tips for Improving Your Testing Process

February 3rd, 2015 | Posted by Admin in Restaurant Analytics - (Comments Off)

Most restaurant chains use in-market tests to help inform decisions. But just running tests isn’t enough. Based on our work with dozens of restaurant brands, here are eight tips for improving your testing process. (more…)

What’s on tap for restaurants in 2015?

January 15th, 2015 | Posted by Admin in Restaurant Trends - (Comments Off)

In 2014, more restaurants introduced digital ordering, new labor laws caused executives to re-evaluate their staffing models, and restaurants continued to focus on growing sales in slower dayparts. In 2015, we expect the importance of digital to grow, enabling restaurants to focus more on offering customizable options and sending targeted offers to their guests. Meanwhile, as restaurants continue to streamline their menus, new calorie laws will likely lead to healthier options and new menu layouts. From 15 years of experience working with top restaurant organizations, here are key trends for restaurants this year. (more…)

APT Co-Founder and Chairman, Jim Manzi, recently co-authored a Harvard Business Review article with HBS Professor Stefan Thomke about how experimentation can help companies de-risk new ideas and drive innovation. The article details a “checklist” for running business experiments and identifies how Big Data can dramatically improve the experimentation process.

Click here to download a full copy of the article.

Restaurant same-store sales increased 3.4% in October 2014 compared to October 2013, according to data from the APT Index. Performance was better in areas where unemployment decreased, where temperature increased, and where median income was less than $75K. Click here to view the top and bottom performing cities.

Variable Pricing: How will guests respond?

November 11th, 2014 | Posted by Mckenzie Harper in Pricing - (Comments Off)

APT SVP Jonathan Marek discusses the trend of variable menu pricing, and its implications for restaurants.

APT Index Reports September Restaurant Sales Up 2.1%

October 14th, 2014 | Posted by Mckenzie Harper in APT Index - (Comments Off)

Restaurant same-store sales increased 2.1% in September 2014 compared to September 2013, according to data from the APT Index. Areas that performed better included those with less rainfall, those where median income was less than $50K, and those where median age was less than 35. Click here to view the top and bottom performing cities.

Key Analytic Challenges for Restaurants

October 10th, 2014 | Posted by Mckenzie Harper in Restaurant Analytics - (Comments Off)

APT SVP Jonathan Marek discusses a key challenge for restaurants: isolating the incremental impact of each action from the noise inherent in day-to-day operations.

5 Things to Consider Before Removing Menu Items

September 30th, 2014 | Posted by Mckenzie Harper in Menu Strategy - (Comments Off)

Many restaurant organizations make menu rationalization decisions based on basic financial metrics like item sales and number of checks. However, incorporating more robust check- and guest-level metrics into the analysis can help restaurants make more profitable decisions. Five important metrics for executives to consider when identifying which items to rationalize are:

  1. Item Profitability: Start by identifying items that have low sales and margin. With this list, executives can begin digging deeper into the analysis.
  2. Attached Sales / Margin: Consider the sales and margin associated with checks containing each item. If an item has low sales and margin on its own, but high sales and margin in the rest of its check, restaurants could be losing much more than they initially realized if they delete that item.
  3. Item Loyalty: Focus on items with lower item loyalty to increase chances that demand will transfer to other, similar items (e.g., guests who used to order a Grilled Salmon sandwich might switch to a Grilled Chicken sandwich).
  4. Guest Lifetime Value: Make sure to recognize your best guests. Take into account not only item loyalty on its own, but also which items are ordered by your most loyal guests to reduce the risk of losing those guests.
  5. Guest Satisfaction: Encourage guests to shift to higher satisfaction items by removing those items with lower satisfaction.

Click here to read about how one restaurant evaluated these metrics to create a new menu to build guest loyalty.