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How Trade Areas Impact Restaurant Analytics, Site Selection and Local Store Marketing

is growing, Buffalo Wild Wings is expanding and one of Shake Shack’s biggest challenges right now is meeting demand.

So what is it that separates these successful franchises from ones that are struggling? Quick service brands that experience sustainable success are the ones that understand—really, fully understand—their trade areas.

Know, Really, Who’s Coming to Your (Trade) Area

Before your franchisees settle into a new site or start local marketing, they need to have a complete picture of the trade area. Accurate trade areas set the stage for profitable locations. When you skip this critical step, you risk wasting money on marketing that won’t work or, even worse, selecting the wrong location altogether.

For Effective Restaurant Analytics, Start with These Eight Questions

To help your franchisees gain a full understanding of their markets, here are eight questions to ask when building your trade areas:

  1. At what times of day are people coming to the area?
  2. Where are they coming from?
  3. After they leave your location, where do they go next?
  4. What are the demographics behind that traffic?
  5. Are they the right demographics for your brand?
  6. What’s the proximity of your biggest competitors?
  7. Are your sales transfer estimates and cannibalization calculations accurate?
  8. If you’re assessing an existing location, what does the data say about current restaurant performance?

As you work through this list of questions, keep in mind that changing existing customer habits is much harder (and more expensive) than capitalizing on where people are already going. When your franchisees have all the data they need, it’s much easier to accurately select sites, plan advertising and even plan ahead for high-traffic times, giving your locations the best possible opportunity to thrive.

Photo credit: Shawn Hoke

eSite AnalyticsHow Trade Areas Impact Restaurant Analytics, Site Selection and Local Store Marketing

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