How a Hamburger Fast-Food Restaurant Chain Improved Marketing Strategies With Data Science

 

Insights pulled from data help executives discover the best direction to take their organizations. For this particular fast-food company, data allows its leadership to decide on new menu items, promotions, and improvements to service. Every customer who purchases a burger, fries, or anything else from the popular chain helps add to the information it can analyze. 

But working with the data became a challenge for this company when it needed to scale up from single stores to a company-wide scale. “We had difficulty processing a complete scenario,” said the chain’s BI and Analytics Director. “Our analysis was for data of up to one year and limited to a few restaurants. The biggest challenge was understanding our sales and analyzing specific product combinations per order. We had an idea in mind of how to do it, but putting it in practice became a challenge. We didn’t know how to arrive at a solution.”

The fast-food chain then partnered with Programmers for help. The collaboration would use data science to help the brand evolve and adapt to customer needs.

A Combo with Big Data, Please!

Everybody loves a promotion, so discount coupons are an excellent means to attract and keep business. In this case, the fast-food chain used coupons to encourage sales of a fourth item alongside a three-item combo meal. If a customer used the coupon to buy a discounted fourth item, they would spend more money on each sale. But according to the company’s Coordinator of Marketing Analytics, arriving at an ideal coupon combination was not a simple task.

“Coupons are strong in our sales today. But to create appealing offers that motivate the sale of a 4th item on a tray, we could only analyze a small sample of the data. We looked at a short period, some test stores, and grouped data by product. But we could not get an accurate view from the customer,” he said. The chain needed to analyze data from 600 stores nationwide to figure out a more effective coupon option for consumers.

The chain’s Marketing Coordinator had this to say about the process: “We wanted to see how specific products combined for each ticket. We did not want to look at products as individuals, but as they work together. This would give us a better direction to offer effective promotional options for consumers.” The starting point of the solution for the fast-food chain was Programmers’ INSIGHTS solution – a combination of business expertise, algorithms, and cloud services built for different business scenarios, applied as an MVP (minimum viable product).

The solution proposed by Programmers used advanced analytics and Big Data technologies to model approximately 111 million orders and 700 million items, all in 18 months. We first identified the best-selling combo meals and bonus coupon items. We then compared these two data points, and through a descriptive analysis, determined which item sold best with the sale of a three-item combo meal.

We leveraged our expertise on building Next Best Action algorithms in combination with customer behavior analytics. This gave the fast-food chain a clear roadmap to follow for pursuing specific business achievements and reducing the risk of future investments.

Fernando Zambroti

Business Transformation, Programmers

We found a wide range of promotional opportunities with this analytical view. With this in hand, we carried out a behavioral analysis of how the company sells combos and individual items, allowing the burger chain to better profit from consumer behaviors.

For the BI and Analytics Director, this type of analysis brings a new world of possibilities. “We had all this information in hand, but we never worked with it this way. We didn’t have this view of the ticket itself, to be analyzing ticket by ticket, to see which products sold more. So now it will be a new world to have this kind of vision.”

Agility and New Perspectives

Programmers was responsible for helping this hamburger chain achieve its expected sales goals. We also presented new opportunities to extract the full value and potential from the data they already had. Programmers’ Business Transformation Director, Fernando Zambroti, said, “As a technology solution provider, our goal is to help our customers grow their businesses faster than they did before. We deliver solutions that have value right out of the gate.”

We leverage our expertise on building Next Best Action algorithms in combination with customer behavior analytics. This gave the fast-food chain a clear roadmap to follow for pursuing specific business achievements and reducing the risk of future investments.

Fernando Zambroti

Business Transformation, Programmers

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