Recipe for Smarter Meal Dayparts Using Analytics

Have you had your slunch today? Are you going out for pressert? Years ago, one of my office-mates regularly invited us to join her for “slunch,” which was her version of a late lunch that included an early snack. Who knew she was so ahead of the times? Today, slunch is a new meal combining supper and lunch — and one of the fluid new dayparts in the franchise restaurant business.

If you’re sticking to the old dining clock, you’re way behind the times. “Anytime snacking” is nudging out three squares as time-pressed consumers start to dictate when they want to eat. Industry research has shown that as much as 19 percent of quick-serve traffic is snack-oriented. It’s time for your restaurant to take advantage of this new demand; here are three things you can do to get started.

Evaluate all your locations in a market. Research how many sites are seeing traffic between the traditional breakfast-lunch-dinner hours, as well as after dinner and beyond.

Study customer profiles by daypart. This is critical and takes you way beyond customer surveys, mere demographics or gut-level estimates. Daypart profiling can tell you precisely who your customers are by workforce population, neighborhood population and traveling population. You’ll be able to distinguish differences across dayparts, morning through late-night, and pinpoint where customers come from — including office buildings, event venues, outdoor activity areas, shopping centers or home — and where they live.

Identify opportunities. Once you’ve established who your core customers are, you can examine possibilities. A strong office population can lead to increased breakfast sales and afternoon snack options. Families may point to dinner and early-evening treats; young adults to more late-night options.

When you know and understand your audience right down to their individual household level, you can better craft and target effective marketing messages to the customer segments you want, by region, city or even individual location. Get cooking with deeply insightful customer analytics and reap the rewards.

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