Casual dining operators are faced with the challenge of recapturing market share that has been lost to competition not only from other casual restaurant operators, but from fast casual and quick service concepts.
To combat this loss of market share, casual restaurant operators are focusing attention and resources on unique challenges and opportunities in three key areas throughout the day:
- Lunch: The lunch daypart is a tremendous opportunity to increase sales. Casual dining chains are revamping their lunch promotions and offerings to accommodate customers’ needs for that specific daypart.
By offering a customizable menu and decreasing customer wait times, casual dining restaurants are clawing back their lost customers from fast casual and quick service establishments.
- Happy Hour: Many casual dining restaurants have been aiming to increase bar sales as a way to differentiate themselves from fast casual establishments, which only offer beer and wine.
By increasing bar sales, casual dining restaurants have an opportunity to realize a tremendous increase in profit.
- Late Night Dining: Non-traditional dayparts like happy hour and late night dining will continue to be an opportunity for casual dining chains to increase guest traffic.
More casual dining restaurants are extending their hours of operations until midnight or later, which helps chains increase sales, particularly in alcoholic beverages.
Many chains are reporting higher-margin alcohol sales as the result of capitalizing on the late night drinking crowd.
How customer analytics applies to dayparting
To get the most out of their efforts to improve market share within each of these dayparts, smart casual restaurant operators are leveraging customer analytics. Effective customer analytics-based restaurant strategies are those that focus on defining who the best customers are, where more of those customers can be found, and what the value of those potential customers should be. This customer insight then has to be made actionable for real estate, marketing, and operations teams within the casual restaurant operator’s organization so that all decision makers understand:
- How their core customer profiles change by daypart
- How their restaurant’s trade areas shift by daypart
- The ultimate value of their existing and potential customers across dayparts
- How to leverage residential and workplace segmentation to pinpoint their core customers by daypart
- How to target their marketing to the right household to promote the right offers
- How to align real estate opportunities with organizational objectives by forecasting sales by daypart per individual existing or potential location
No Customer Data? No Problem.
Customer analytics this refined requires customer records timestamped by daypart. But for many casual restaurant operators, amassing reliable customer data is an insurmountable challenge. Contact us to learn how Buxton can use customer behavioral data to enhance your customer insights and set the stage for this type of robust customer analytic solution that can help your organization address its challenges and take full advantage of its opportunities to improve the bottom line.
Want more insights? Read our recent report for more on how to uncover hidden restaurant potential with customer analytics.