Data-Driven Insights for “People First” Franchise Management

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In this episode of Data Alchemy, Priscila Bernal, Operations Analyst at Starboard Investments, reveals how her team leverages customized analytics and reporting to support Starboard’s ‘People First’ culture. Priscila explains how Starboard focuses on data accessibility and streamlined communication to foster proactive decision-making across their 43 newly acquired Burger King franchises

Data-Driven People Operations: A Case Study with Starboard Investments

Starboard Investments serves as a prime example of how a data-driven culture can be a significant competitive advantage. They go beyond simply providing access to data; they prioritize training and support, ensuring that all team members, particularly General Managers, feel empowered to utilize data insights in their daily decision-making.

Priscila highlighted the importance of adaptability in today’s rapidly changing market. Clear data communication, user-friendly reporting dashboards, and a continuous feedback loop are crucial to ensuring that the data strategy evolves alongside the business needs. This approach not only strengthens the workforce but also fosters a culture of engagement and data literacy at all levels.

Key Data for Multi-Location Management: From Sales to Staffing to Marketing

Private equity firms operate in a high-stakes environment, constantly seeking ways to optimize performance and demonstrate tangible results to investors. Data is no longer a luxury; it’s the key to unlocking hidden potential and gaining a competitive edge across all areas of operations:

  • Optimize Sales Performance & Gain Deeper Customer Insights: While tracking top-line sales figures is important, it can’t be the only thing you rely on to make strategic decisions. By analyzing traffic patterns, average check size, promotional or upsell conversions, and other customer ordering trends, operators can make more informed decisions about menu architecture and pricing, promotional strategies, and marketing campaigns.
  • Build Agile and Cost-Effective Staffing Strategies: QSR (quick-service restaurant) and other blue-collar industries are notorious for high turnover rates and rising labor costs. Data-driven staffing strategies can help to mitigate these challenges. By leveraging predictive analytics to forecast demand and optimize staff schedules, operators can ensure that they have the right people in the right place at the right time, maximizing labor efficiency without compromising service quality.
  • Target Marketing Efforts & Maximize ROI: All companies deal with limited marketing budgets. Data empowers firms to get more leverage out of their marketing dollars by allowing for more precise performance measurement. By combining product mix, ordering channel (dine-in, takeaway, delivery), and exogenous (e.g. weather, local event) data,firms can identify the most effective strategies for each site, maximizing return on promotional spend and ensuring that marketing dollars are driving maximum growth.

Implementing Data in Your Multi-Location Investment: A Journey of Continuous Improvement

Building a data-driven culture within a franchise or multi-location portfolio is not a one-time project but an ongoing journey of continuous improvement and adaptation. To fully leverage the transformative potential of data, firms should consider the following:

  • Define KPIs from the Outset: Start by clearly identifying the metrics that matter most to the overall business objectives. Whether it’s same-store sales growth, increased profitability per location, improved customer satisfaction scores, orreduced employee turnover, aligning data analysis with overarching business goals ensures that efforts are focused on driving meaningful outcomes.
  • Prioritize Data Accuracy and Integrity: Garbage in, garbage out. The foundation of sound decision-making relies on clean, reliable, and accurate data. Implementing robust data validation processes, standardizing data collection methods across all locations, and investing in data cleansing tools are essential steps in ensuring that insights derived from the data are trustworthy and actionable.
  • Make Data Accessible & Actionable for All Stakeholders: Data loses its value if it’s siloed or presented in a way that’s difficult to understand. Firms should invest in a mix of intuitive visual dashboards, automated reporting tools, and ad-hoc analysis capabilities to cater to the diverse needs of all stakeholders, from C-suite executives to regional managers to in-store teams.


The future of franchise and multi-location management is undeniably data-driven, with AI and automation playing increasingly crucial roles. Imagine a world where reports are generated automatically, potential operational issues are flagged before they escalate into major problems, and predictive analytics guide strategic decision-making. FDS Reporting is at the forefront of this data revolution, empowering operators to unlock the full potential of their portfolio investment.

FDS provides robust analytics that have helped multi-location businesses achieve remarkable results: on average, 5 new openings per year, a 6% increase in profitability, and 15+ hours saved weekly.