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Retail Case Study: Swiss Chalet

Applications: Market Potential Analysis, Real Estate Expansion

EA Products: HouseholdSpend, Demographic Estimates and Projections, Mapping, Delivery Area Analysis


Client: Swiss Chalet is one of five restaurant chains owned by Cara, the largest operator of full-service restaurants in Canada and the leading caterer to the travel industry. With brands like Harvey’s, Milestones, Montana’s, Kelsey’s and Swiss Chalet, Cara’s restaurants and establishments span the country with a presence in every province.

Challenge: To evaluate the potential for Swiss Chalet delivery and takeout for any market in the country, the chain needed a quick way to estimate food expenditures away from home, which would help determine how many new restaurants could be added to a market. The company also needed a way to communicate the delivery areas to the Call Centre staff so that customer orders could be efficiently routed and guaranteed delivery times could be met.

Solution: Using HouseholdSpend data, EA analysts provided a template for mapping existing and proposed delivery areas around restaurants that showed the key demographics and current Swiss Chalet delivery sales versus total expenditures for food away from home. This comparison also provided the current market share of restaurant expenditures and, with Demographic Estimates and Projections data, allowed Swiss Chalet to determine which areas were growing fast enough to either expand current kitchen capacity or to add another restaurant within the local market.

Results: Swiss Chalet used data-rich maps to modify the boundaries of its delivery areas to improve delivery times to its current customers and to add new restaurants in locations that were being under-served. EA also built custom applications allowing the Swiss Chalet Call Centre to identify which restaurant should deliver take-out food to new customers based on the redefined service area of each restaurant.  The work proved critical to Swiss Chalet’s nationwide rollout of its delivery services. In the words of Arnando Viegas, Director of the Cara Call Centre, “Cara’s requirement for effective and innovative analytical products and services from EA is critical to supporting our plans for aggressive and intelligent growth across Canada.

Written by Environics Analytics

June 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

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