Restaurant Chains Embrace New Geospatial Business Intelligence Tools

Published on May 29, 2014

Restaurant chains are always seeking innovative ways for expanding into new markets.  However, expansion is more complex than just picking out spots on a map and building out a new location.  From demographic data to concerns about cannibalizing business from existing locations, restaurant chains need the right business intelligence and insights to ensure site selection success.

Today’s geospatial solutions can serve as the foundation for using data for improved decision-making when it comes to implementing effective expansion plans.

For example, one major restaurant chain was looking for a unique business intelligence tool to help with its strategic expansion, marketing, and operations.  The organization had already utilized Google Maps as a store locator, and it hoped to repeat its success with using Google Maps for Business as the backbone of this business intelligence tool.

As a solution, Thermopylae developed a system using iSpatial and Google Maps to fully integrate all of the restaurant chain’s data in a web-based platform, providing vital information about store and customer locations, demographic data, competitors, and more.

Like most of Thermopylae’s customers, the organization’s core challenge was aggregating big data into one common tool, so business decisions could be made using all available information. For instance, management can now visually plot potential site locations on a map and quickly estimate new customers captured, overlap with competitors, the potential cannibalization of existing business, and how well markets align with the company’s target demographics.

With just a small team of business professionals, conducting complex spatial analysis seemed impractical since many GIS systems require significant investments in training and integration; many companies have trouble justifying the investment. Nevertheless, this restaurant chain identified an innovative solution that would enable it to intuitively increase customer satisfaction and sales through the intelligent expansion of delivery zones, and reduce development risk.  All of this was completed using familiar tools through a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

This customer is a prime example of how geospatial systems can be used to leverage traditional business data and to manage and visualize a wide variety of public and proprietary data to facilitate efficiency and overall corporate strategy.

This easy to use decision-making tool will undoubtedly prove invaluable as management utilizes it to make smarter business decisions in a fraction of the time taken before.  It also serves as the ideal case study for any chain-based organization that is looking to develop expansion strategies that are smarter and more effective.

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