For restaurant chains, the most volatile and impactful external driver of daily fluctuations in traffic levels and sales is the weather. Planalytics’ predictive demand analytics for restaurants helps businesses precisely measure how changing weather conditions influence decisions to dine in, order delivery, hit the drive-thru, or eat at home as well as the item choices diners make.
Due solely to the weather, restaurant traffic levels can, on average, rise or fall between 3% to 5% throughout the year due, with the highest sensitivity typically seen from the late autumn through spring period. Companies can also see demand for their more weather-sensitive menu items such as hot or cold beverages, salads, warm comfort foods, sandwiches, or soups increase or decrease 10% as the conditions outside affect their customers. (Note that the above examples are industry metrics. Planalytics also provides specific weather impact models based on retailer-specific sales data, locations, store types or channels, etc.)
Restaurants can integrate predictive Weather-Driven Demand (WDD) analytics to know when, where, and how much the sales increase or decrease due to the weather and integrate these insights into existing processes and technology solutions to grow profit margins through increased sales and lower costs.
- For digital marketing, WDD analytics help businesses optimize the timing of campaigns and/or the geo-targeting of advertising spend to target those audiences that are most likely to spend and improve digital marketing performance and ROI.
- For reporting & analysis, WDD metrics enable restaurants to evaluate performance (such as regional sales, promotions, marketing campaigns, etc.) from a more useful, weather-adjusted perspective.
- For year-ahead financial or sales planning, WDD calculations account for weather biases in historical results so businesses can avoid planning a repeat of the prior year’s weather and its sales impacts. Planning from a WDD-adjusted baseline improves accuracy and enables companies to better position the business to both capture weather-driven sales opportunities and manage risks in less favorable weather situations. For nearer-term optimization of labor or inventories, WDD outlooks for the coming days or weeks based on forecasted weather changes to highlight when, where, and how much demand will be shifting.