from APT's Restaurant Practice
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Common Mistakes in Menu Pricing

July 8th, 2014 | Posted by Casey Corman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Common Mistakes in Menu Pricing)

Getting pricing strategy right may be the most challenging task for restaurant organizations — wrong decisions can lead to guests trading down to lower-priced items, or lost traffic. Similarly, failing to take price where it’s available can leave millions of dollars of profit on the table. In this video, Jonathan Marek – APT SVP and Restaurant Practice Head – discusses common mistakes restaurants make when setting menu prices, and the need for a robust Test & Learn process.

Joint Economist Intelligence Unit and APT Report: 42% of Executives Are Data-Driven

June 5th, 2014 | Posted by JAtre in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Joint Economist Intelligence Unit and APT Report: 42% of Executives Are Data-Driven)

Gut feeling and intuition have always been key parts of executive decision-making. But, as data collection becomes easier and data analysis becomes faster, how should executives blend intuition with data analytics?

This morning, the Economist Intelligence Unit and APT released the findings of an authoritative study that analyzes how decision-making is changing across industries and geographies. Direct findings from the report include:

• 57% executives reanalyze the data if it contradicts their gut feeling
• 42% of executives are “data-driven”
• 45% of respondents who agree that their company is growing faster than the competition also say they can predict decision outcomes by analyzing tests and trials
• 19% say decision-makers are not held accountable in their organizations

Click here to see all the actionable findings from this Economist Intelligence Unit study.

The Economist Intelligence Unit: How do Executives Make Decisions?

June 2nd, 2014 | Posted by JAtre in Restaurants - (Comments Off on The Economist Intelligence Unit: How do Executives Make Decisions?)

To “decide” can be interpreted as “picking one option and killing off all others.” In business, doing this right has large rewards and getting it wrong has severe consequences. While executives have always made decisions, increasing amounts of data, sophisticated consumers, rapidly evolving technology, and disruptive competitors, are fundamentally changing the art and science of decision-making.

APT partnered with the Economist Intelligence Unit to study how decision-making is rapidly evolving across various industries and geographies. The resulting report addresses tough and important questions, such as:

(1) How do executives blend intuition with data? Are companies allowing executives to trust intuition?

(2) How are executives using data in decision-making when the data is counter-intuitive to their beliefs?

(3) With so much data available, which data should executives consider? And, how should they best incorporate it in decision-making?

The report will be released on June 5th in London. Please email info[at]aptmail.com to be the first to get a complimentary copy of this actionable report written by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

What Digital Ordering Means for Restaurants

May 14th, 2014 | Posted by Casey Corman in Restaurants | Restaurants - (Comments Off on What Digital Ordering Means for Restaurants)

GrubHub’s recent public offering and rapidly growing user base (~4 million active users) is generating increased interest in understanding how online ordering will impact the restaurant business. APT’s recent survey of our restaurant customers shines light on the increased attention restaurants are placing on online ordering: restaurants reported that online & mobile ordering comprised 31% of all tests within operational initiatives in the last year. (more…)

Red Robin on Using Test & Learn to Make Profitable Decisions

March 26th, 2014 | Posted by Casey Corman in Restaurants - (Comments Off on Red Robin on Using Test & Learn to Make Profitable Decisions)

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.”

APT Launches Restaurant Index; Comps Fall 0.6% in February

March 20th, 2014 | Posted by Casey Corman 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 Casey Corman in Restaurants | 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 Casey Corman 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 Casey Corman 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 Casey Corman 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.