All-Day Breakfast!

How do you uncover opportunity?

McDonald's

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On October 6, 2015 the world changed forever.  McDonald’s rolled out all-day breakfast, ending years of near misses via pulling up to a McDonald’s drive-through at 10:33 AM with designs on devouring an Egg McMuffin, Hash Brown, and coffee, only to be told breakfast ended at 10:30 AM.  According to McDonald’s President Michael Andres, “This is the consumers’ idea. This is what they want us to do”.  It is also what makes money for quick serve restaurants as breakfast sales between 2007 and 2012 rose by an average of 4.8 percent per year while lunch and dinner stagnated or fell.  So why did they wait to roll out all-day breakfast, in particular with formidable competitors like Taco Bell, Burger King, Starbucks actively looking to take breakfast share? 

A few of the suggested obstacles are more complex than you might think:

  • Grill Space – It comes down to the sheer size of kitchen grills. They simply don’t have the room for all the menu options at one time.
  • Floor Space - In smaller stores, the problems are vast with people falling over each other and equipment jammed in everywhere.
  • Quality & Service - Newly chaotic kitchens are resulting in slower service and sub-par quality.
  • Lower Average Check -  Sales performance could suffer as consumers opt for cheaper breakfast items over more expensive traditional lunch and dinner items.
  • Menu Mix - Franchisees believe the menu is already too complicated, additional breakfast items further complicate the menu.

In short, all-day breakfast was a big gamble for McDonald’s which took many years for the quick restaurant chain to move forward on, and it appears the gamble paid off.  McDonald’s same-store sales in the 4th quarter of 2015 rose for the first time in two years.  This begs the question, are future growth opportunities hidden in your data which you can capitalize on today? If so, how do you find them?

A state of the art visual analytics platform can help a business person uncover hidden gems in their data provided it offers three things:

  1.  A Platform Not A Tool – a visualization platform provides business insights and showcases hidden relationships across dozens of complex systems like point-of-sale systems, CRM systems, supply chain systems, and external benchmarks.  A visualization tool showcases trends in a carefully created spreadsheet or database.
  2. Business User Empowerment – IT is an important piece of any enterprise technology roll out, but IT is not in the business of making data discoveries.  Business users need to be able to test theories and uncover opportunities with a flexible visual analytics platform that allows them to satisfy their curiosities. 
  3. Data – A visual analytics platform needs to provide more than the ability to see trends in corporate data.  It needs to provide data sets which allow a business executive to see how external factors like weather, demographics, and exchange rates impact a business scenario.

I invite you to get started on your visual analytics journey to see the whole story that lives within your data.  One discovery could pave the way for years of growth!

Photo credit: SportSuburban via Foter.com CC BY

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