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Actionable insights for global fast-food chain to boost sales and deliver quality, with consistency

Our client is a global quick-service restaurant franchisee chain. They own a portfolio of multiple food-service brands internationally. Our client’s franchisees maintain thousands of restaurants across diverse regions, countries, and cities. Driving consistency at scale at an affordable price is key to their growth.

February 19, 2023 | Data and Analytics | Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Industry

What problem were we asked to solve?

Our client is a global quick-service restaurant franchisee chain. They own a portfolio of multiple food-service brands internationally. Our client’s franchisees maintain thousands of restaurants across diverse regions, countries, and cities. Driving consistency at scale at an affordable price is key to their growth. However, with over 2,100 franchised locations, ensuring that all guests receive a consistent positive experience and food quality can be hard to measure, monitor, and improve. Our client lacked consolidated, near real-time visibility into sales, foot traffic, and brand quality across its restaurants.

Historically, our client relied on ad-hoc reporting capabilities that lacked the ability to stitch together disparate pieces of information into a dynamic and powerful story for about the business. Without such visibility they found it challenging to make operational decisions about sales and quality across stand-alone restaurants, franchisees, and regions. As a result, the leadership often burned cycles on manually identifying locations with opportunities of improvement.

Hence, our client asked Gravitas to build an advanced analytics offering. The insights dashboards built by Gravitas enable our client to make informed decisions about brand quality, product portfolio, micro-level sales performance, and business development opportunities like new branding or renovation. These activities are critical to grow franchisee ecosystem sales and measuring performance in the ultra-competitive quick service restaurant industry.

Our approach

Our client partnered with Gravitas to build an advanced analytics team led by an in-house expert with a Ph.D. in data science.

Key steps included,

1. Identifying pertinent business questions.

Gravitas brings a team of experienced consultants that have been associated with top-tier global management consulting firms and have advised a diverse array of clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to non-profit organizations. We specialize in the fast-food and casual dining restaurant industry.

Our first step was to ask questions about the client’s business strategy, operations, and growth. As an example, are the restaurants experiencing an uptick in foot-traffic? What dimensions are used to measure brand quality e.g. branding, cleanliness, food quality, lighting, hygiene etc. How does brand quality affect a restaurant’s long-term sales? Are some markets outperforming others, and why?

Our client’s management had a wish list of data they wanted to track. However, Gravitas consultative problem-solving approach allowed the client to explore depths and nuances of data including correlation analysis. We peeled back the layers to get to what would be the core performance indicators and what auxiliary data could be pertinent to the client’s business. In the process, we became strategic advisors to the client helping them answer the most important business questions.

Gravitas spun up an Agile team with daily stand-ups to tailor analytics that made the most sense for the client’s goals, ensuring they understand the stories that different data points could tell about their sales and operations.

2. Developing four themes and dimensions

As teams continued to identify strategic questions, Gravitas provided the flexibility to tweak dashboards and add new data points throughout the project. Ultimately, the Gravitas team helped the client narrow down on 4 key themes of data:

1. Sales: Executive summary of key metrics such as sales growth % YoY, foot traffic, and planned vs. actual sales. As well as the drill-down ability to compare sales trends at different location types like strip malls, kiosks, airports, university campuses, and hospitals.

2. Brand quality: A leadership dashboard to measure the market penetration and efficacy of brand quality audits across regions. Intuitive views to determine key areas of improvement by market or individual restaurants based on quality audit scores and findings. In addition, correlation analysis of the brand quality impact on sales.  

3. Product portfolio mix: Analysis of consumer behavior by market and day parts. For instance, how well are breakfast items doing? Are drive-throughs enabling more beverage sales? Are high-margin products like cookies and desserts being adopted by guests? What new products are doing well, what products are not.

4. Business development: Information that helps the Franchisee leadership determine the marketing and business development spend by regions and cities. Also helps track the progress of new restaurant openings or renovations and more.

3. Avoiding analysis paralysis – making decisions with limited data

The availability of large volumes of consistent and high-quality data is a major roadblock for many clients embarking on an analytics journey.

Often the initial data isn’t good enough to make informed decisions, and teams are unsure where to start fixing problems.  

Read our insight:

Along with our client, Gravitas determined what key questions could be answered immediately with the data available to us. Gravitas then developed a long-term data & analytics roadmap for the client to add more dimensions, and to improve data quality, accuracy, and relevance.

4. Simple and elegant solution using Microsoft Power BI

Gravitas delivered a cohesive Power BI app that includes an executive dashboard, operational decision reports, and customizable visualizations that allow regional managers to get a better glimpse of restaurant performance in their markets. The dashboards offer a bird’s eye view of the business, along with powerful drill-down analysis into regions, countries, brands, and individual restaurants. To enable these powerful analytics capabilities, Gravitas worked with the client’s IT team to make the information available in a common data warehouse, simplifying the refresh and maintenance of data.


Gravitas offered the client advanced analytics capabilities are helping improve sales, address quality gaps, and build a predictive view of their business performance.

Key outcomes


months from concept to launch


return on investment


leadership hours saved by bringing key information at finger-tips

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