merger and acquisition restaurant industryDespite operating challenges in the current environment, the restaurant space has caught up to other industries and is experiencing an increase in merger and acquisition activity. As consumers shift toward online retail, restaurants have become a more attractive option for investors. Acquiring new concepts is a growth strategy for restaurant companies as well, particularly when it is difficult to generate growth operating single chains, especially in a saturated market. Given these factors, the trend of increasing M&A activity is likely to continue for the industry.

But what about the brands being acquired? There are numerous benefits for consolidated companies, such as the advantage of shared services across central operating functions. Access to robust data analytics is more common with larger companies as well. When restaurants operate at a larger scale, they can lower cost of capital, thus invest back into their business and people to continue delivering an experience that keeps guests coming back. Nonetheless, positioning your restaurant in a competitive industry relies on strong performance metrics and the ability to demonstrate growth potential.

Telling Your Brand Story with Research is Invaluable

A strategic exit takes time and begins from the inside out. Internal processes must be analyzed and refined, and you must figure out what you are really selling. That’s why conducting robust research with solid data is essential for brands seeking to roll up. Of course, doing it efficiently and effectively is a priority, therefore designing the research so every study conducted builds from each other is ideal.

Focus in on the most important data points that will tell the story. A combination of qualitative and quantitative research is necessary to understand the intersection between what your brand stands for and how it intersects with the competition as well as consumers.

“From a data and analytics perspective, the pendulum has swung to that side. It’s all about really analyzing the data and getting familiar with it,” shared Claudia Schaefer, former chief marketing officer of Jamba Juice, at the 2019 Global Best Practices Conference. “What is missing is the ‘why.’ And the ‘why’ really gets answered more from the other side of the spectrum, the traditional research.”

Approach your plan from a consumer perspective and let them drive strategy. The consumer perspective is critical, especially to dispel myths about what is driving business and what isn’t.

Benchmarks Position Your Data at the Top

Due diligence is expected. Benchmarked metrics enhance that data and make it even more robust. When you speak to your sales and traffic data, being able to show how it directly compares to your competitors is a game changer. Our Black Box Intelligence product gives you the ability to compare your performance to the rest of the industry. The same holds true for your human resource metrics and your brand sentiment data, which can be measured using our People Report and White Box Social Intelligence platforms. The ability to show how you stand out among other restaurants not only helps you make informed decisions about your brand, it could also be the tipping point that drives you toward a sale.

So, What Will the Data Tell You?

In a perfect world, your brand is good to go and ready to sell. If not, changes might be necessary. Do you need to make organization changes? Do you need to transform your brand? Whatever the case, your HR department needs to get involved early on.

It is crucial to get into the hearts and minds of your team members who are on the front lines. They already understand how the consumer is evolving simply based on what they are ordering every day. What they need is to be informed and given the right tools to be able to express what the brand is truly about.

Do you want to take a deep dive into consumer behavior? Do it with our new Consumer Intelligence Product, a best-in-class insights tool driven by robust credit card transaction monitoring.

With gigabytes of data scanned behind the scenes, you will receive answers to your most pressing business questions like ‘where are your guests spending money when they aren’t spending it with you’ in seconds.

There are over one million filter combinations for you to drill deep into consumer behavior. Sound like too much? Let our qualified restaurant analysts help guide you. From market share to brand affinity, there is no shortage of consumer data to give you an edge over your competitors.