Advanced analytics platforms and machine learning are coming to a fast food outlet near you. Fast-food chains are looking to augment human-based operations using the latest technology. Digital interactions and transactions have opened the floodgates for customer and restaurant data to macro and granular data analysis with insights used across different applications to serve customers, improve outlet operations and gain a better understanding of the market.
Fast-food has become a popular industry and a major global economic force. According to a report, the global fast-food market is expected to reach $931.7 billion by 2027, rising at a CAGR of 4.6% from 2020 to 2027. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for the food industry to dive into the use of sophisticated analytics tools and methods to better understand consumers and uncover emerging market trends.
Advanced analytics platforms not only support fast-food businesses in critical decision-making but also enhance business capabilities in pricing, product promotion, product development and demand forecasting.
Let us explore how advanced analytics platforms can supercharge the fast-food industry.
In the food industry, timing is everything. Getting the fast-food order delivered on time is the first and foremost responsibility of any fast-food outlet. To improve the rate of delivery, advanced analytics platforms can monitor and analyse different elements like traffic, construction, weather, route changes, present climate and distance. With this information, a complex and elaborate analytics system like artificial intelligence is then used to calculate the time needed to complete a particular delivery.
In the food industry, quality is paramount.
Sensitive produce like vegetables, ice-cream and milk require a suitable and well-controlled environment during transportation. This means that the cold supply chain needs to be meticulously controlled to ensure produce does not tarnish.
Sensors are driven by IoT to assist in processing, analysing and transferring the data to all parties in real-time to assess the supply chain cycle. By employing advanced analytics platforms, it becomes easier to take preventative measures or replace any damaged products.
Furthermore, the insights gained from the analysis will be utilised for detecting areas of difficulties and suggesting areas for improvement.
The ultimate aim of many big data projects is the same – provide a personalised, customer-centric experience to every buyer. This involves a complete analysis of customer views including what they like, how much they are willing to pay, the content shared on social media, the reviews written, and the stories they connect with. Today, advanced analytics platforms have made tracking, collecting and analysing all this data possible.
Customer service is one such part which is hardest to optimise. Nowadays, there are multiple customer touchpoints like outlets, mobile apps, websites, social media and review sites. All of these collectively impact the customer experience and satisfaction levels. Big data in the fast-food industry can help analyse inputs from all these factors to give meaningful insights and ensure the customer is given the highest priority.
As is the case with most industries, fast-food is dealing with fluctuating trends that affect their fortunes. The trends driven by the millennial’s push toward a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle has resulted in less traffic in physical stores, a fragmented market that is increasingly catering towards a more health-conscious audience, along with a rise in food and labour costs. Food costs may increase by as much as 5.4 per cent, putting pressure on the already thin margins on the industry.
To survive in this competitive landscape, fast-food restaurant chains need to get creative by leveraging innovative technology to respond to changing market trends. To increase top-line growth, menus are offering more variety with plant-based options, and new product innovations are on the rise. Fast-food restaurants must now figure out how to extract the most value from their customers, increase loyalty to the brand and understand which products are most profitable. At the same time, costs are controlled by consolidating stores and streamlining operations.
From personalised marketing to demographic deep dives, analysing and implementing strategies based on advanced analytics platforms is now the standard of the fast-food industry. New independent and emerging chains are using their technological capacity and agile size to become competitive, while familiar legacy brands are going all-in on data-driven analytics to maintain market share and expand customer share.
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