Shop Front Diligence – Case Study of a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR)

Overall experience that a QSR delivers will increasingly become a make-it or break-it factor for the QSR category in a growingly competitive environment. Places that offer experiences instead of just food will have an edge when it comes to building that loyal army of repeat customers.

For some QSRs, data and innovation is helping them navigate through this journey, which is apparent with one of our quick service restaurant client. For them a great customer experience starts with choosing the perfect real estate location.

The Challenge

Sophic was asked to provide volumetrics data and key insights for a particular location that a major retail food provider was considering leasing.

The Solution

  • Run Sophic Hardware for 3 weeks to find accurate total and unique individual volumes.

  • Provide daily and weekly outdoor traffic trends.

  • Enrich the discovered trends with location context.

The Data

The client was able to see live traffic trends shortly after the Sophic hardware was installed at the retail location. The following is an overview generated from 3 days of data.

Sophic Total Reach


Sophic Unique Reach


Est. Avg. Street Dwell Time

15.3 Sec

Est. Avg. Complex Dwell Time

45.7 Sec

Within a few hours, the client was able to review hour on hour outdoor traffic trends at the location they were looking to lease. This data told some interesting stories such as peak times of the day and what the impact of high traffic was at the local shopping complex where the shop was located. But this was just the beginning, data from multiple days always tells a lot more interesting stories as you will see further down in this study.

The following is an hourly outdoor traffic graph as collected at the clients location.

Hourly outdoor traffic trends graph

As the days passed, the client was now able to compare data from across multiple days allowing them to compare and better understand the behaviour of people at this potential retail location. Data from the whole week can be used to determine retail opening hours, staffing requirements and even the potential weekly ROI of the property.

The following graph is an hourly comparison across 3 days of data as collected at the clients location.

Hourly traffic trend comparison across three days.

Findings and Observations

We worked with our client to analyse and better understand the data. One of the biggest realisation for our client was that a count of vehicles for a short period cannot be used to approximate traffic trends.

A simple eyeball test at the clients location reveals that about 300 cars pass the location in about 10 minutes. Using extrapolation, we can calculate the reach for a 12-hour period between 8 AM and 8 PM as 21,600. However, with Sophic analytics we were able to confirm the above estimated number was almost 33,000 short of the real number. The difference in numbers here is mainly because Sophic can detect all outdoor traffic trends in real-time allowing us to provide accurate counts to our client.

Some key insights we provided our client were:

  • Traffic numbers were consistent across Monday through to Friday.

  • Behaviour is consistent in the morning but varies after 10 AM Monday to Friday.

  • Saturday had the highest reach for the entire week, but Friday was the busiest weekday.

  • Wednesday sees the least number of people in the area at lunchtime, while Friday has the most (closely followed by Thursday).

  • People passing the location in question tend to work shorter hours as the week progresses.

  • A comparison of our numbers with council numbers from 2 years ago show a 38% increase in volume at the client’s location.


The client needed help making a big long term leasing decision. The data and insights provided by Sophic allowed them to verify their assumptions, de-risk the process and come to a decision quickly.

Our client was really happy with the marketing intelligence we provided and made the decision of purchasing the property for over $3 million.

Are you looking to lease or purchase a commercial space for a retail store? Talk to us about how we can help you de-risk the process and make informed decisions!

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if you have questions or require more details.