Use Data to Boost Food Sales

FoodServiceinHumanLibraryIABoosting food sales isn’t just about having the right options, it is about knowing when to put them out and how to present them. To do that, operators can drill down into their data to create menu offerings based on the science behind customer’s time-of-day purchases.

Ed Brown of Orion Foods said that analyzing each customer type and when they shop can help operators tailor their offerings to each particular day part.

“Males are heavy in the morning but women are heavy at the lunch hour. As we offer our lunch menu, we need to be aware of the female consumer,” Brown said, adding that operators should also look at their snack sales and take advantage of growing opportunities on that front. “Americans are eating less big meals and snacking five times a day.”

During the Human Library at The NATSO Show, Brown will sit down with operators to help them determine where they could add to their food offerings. “They can bring their current store traffic count and their current revenue for their food offerings along with photographs of their facilities,” he said. “We can do a very unemotional audit of what they’re doing for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Grab-and-go at dinnertime is one area that operators often overlook. “The majority of people in America don’t know what they’re going to have for dinner at 4:45 in the afternoon,” Brown said, adding that having large pizzas available can create value for the evening day part and encourage bundling. “If somebody buys a 14-inch pizza, it is going to feed a couple of hungry people. They’re probably going to need some breadsticks and chicken wings and soda.”

Consumers also like feeling like they’ve gotten a bargain, so bundling items throughout the day can improve sales. “There is an increase in the grouping of items. That is how we’ve been trained to shop,” Brown said, adding that bundling a slice of pizza, a cookie and a beverage for a promotional price can boost sales.

Operators should also monitor when food is wasted, Brown said. “With data management, you don’t need to make it harder than it is, but tracking your traffic count and then measuring it against what you waste and what you sell is critical to your food service plan,” he explained.

Orion Foods offers a variety of food products for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a wide range of snack and grab-and-go items, including pizza, Asian rolls and baked goods, Brown said. Orion also has some healthier-for-you options, such as a flatbread pizza that is lower in fat and calories, that appeal to women.

“We’re all about helping that operator do the right thing for his business and make the most for his customers morning, noon and night,” Brown said.

Operators who would like to schedule a meeting in the Human Library with Brown can contact Kimberly Roberts at kroberts@natso.com or (703) 739-8573.

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2 Responses to Use Data to Boost Food Sales

  1. TruckerDesiree November 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    How about mentioning that truck drivers are losing their jobs because of health issues and the only place they can buy food is at truck stops so perhaps “operators” of truck stops should consider “bundling” healthy food items for truckers who have no time to sit and eat and are being killed from Pizza and Fried Chicken that is the primary meals available to grab and go from truck stops.

    Consider having to feed your family only within the confines of jumping from 7-11 to 7-11 and what that would do to their nutritional health overtime. Now think about providing a “Whole Foods” quick meals approach. Still making a profit and not killing your customers while you are doing it.

    @TruckerDesiree from Twitter

  2. Amy Toner November 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Thank you for commenting. All great comments that we’ll be sure to pass on to the Human Library expert.

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