ITICO F+B: “We have looked at over 200 locations in half the time”

Find the right sites at the right price points to drive return on investment with Geoblink

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Whitney Myrus - Partner

About ITICO F+B

ITICO F+B is the exclusive franchisee partner of the iconic restaurant franchise, The Halal Guys. The Halal Guys began in 1990 when the three founding partners opened up a hot dog cart in New York City. The founders soon realised the rising demand for Halal food from cab drivers around the city. That was when they decided to adapt their product offering and cooked up their famous platter of chicken and gyro rice.

ITICO F+B has also formed a strategic franchisee partnership with Eggslut. Founded in 2011, the company has transformed eggs, an everyday breakfast staple, by infusing them with cutting-edge culinary techniques and top-of-the-line ingredients. Eggslut has locations all over Los Angeles, California and in Las Vegas, Nevada. They’ve also opened an international location in Beirut, Lebanon.

Now, both The Halal Guys and Eggslut are planning their expansion into the UK and are relying on ITICO F+B to help them break into the market.

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“Prior to Geoblink, we looked at about 30 or 40 locations. Once we started using Geoblink, we have actually looked at over 200 locations in probably half the time it took us to look at those 30 or 40”

Challenges

Whitney Myrus, a partner at ITICO F+B, is leading both brands’ expansion plans in the UK. His goal is to have 20 restaurants up and running for each company over the next five years.

Whitney strongly believes that real estate is a retailer’s most expensive investment. One of the company’s main challenges was not having the right tools and data needed to understand the market and, in turn, use that information to invest in the right commercial properties. In order to get their return on investment after opening a new restaurant, it all came down to one key element for Whitney: location, location, location. As a means to ensure The Halal Guys and Eggslut’s international success, ITICO F+B relies on Geoblink’s Location Intelligence platform. In Whitney’s Myrus’ own words, ITICO F+B chose Geoblink because they “really wanted to get it right”.

Core Use Cases

  • Demographic profiling:Studying demographic data visually and intuitively on a map means ITICO F+B is able to evaluate the market dynamics of a potential location. Whitney then compares how those key demographics vary between daytime and nighttime to determine whether a potential site has the right characteristics for either brands’ restaurants.
  • Footfall traffic analysis: As the two brands of ITICO F+B have different operating hours, it is essential to understand those differences and ensure they are targeting the right customer at the right time. This is where footfall plays a key part in site selection. Obtaining precise footfall data which reflects mobility patterns by different times of day was something that Whitney “couldn’t find elsewhere on the market”.
  • Tracking “like” brands: Tracking other restaurant retailers’ movements allows ITICO F+B to open in catchment areas where “like brands” are present. While being next to other restaurants means that the brands will compete for the “food dollar”, Whitney knows that these points of interest attract more customers to the area. The ITICO F+B team now tracks over 20 brands with Geoblink and uses these insights to make sure the “right brands” are present in the places they open their restaurants.
  • Catchment area reports: It is important to get all stakeholders onboard during the site selection phase. Geoblink allows Whitney to instantly run reports based on certain defined characteristics to evaluate a site’s potential which he later sends to both the franchise brands and his business partners. These reports help ITICO F+B to “make decisions in a matter of minutes” as to whether or not a location is worth investing time and resources in.

Result

Apart from incrementally speeding up the site selection process for ITICO F+B, Geoblink has helped to protect the company by finding the right sites at the right price points, avoiding real estate investments that could be “massively detrimental” to the business.

ITICO F+B sees Geoblink’s Location Intelligence platform as a long-term solution, ensuring that the new points of sale do not cannibalise their existing restaurants and effectively drive the return on investment. In the future, Whitney Myrus is looking forward to uploading their points of sale data into the platform and overlaying it with the other data sources Geoblink offers to perform some predictive analysis and forecast sales. ITICO F+B just celebrated the opening of their first The Halal Guys restaurant in Leicester Square this past March in London.

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