How data-mining and artificial intelligence are helping us build Costa’s future

Using innovative, powerful technology, we’re becoming more accurate than ever in setting up franchisees for success.

There’s not much that’s more important to a restaurant’s success than its location. Except the food, of course, but our fresh Mexican franchises have that part covered. As for the locations, our experienced team is taking an innovative, technology-assisted approach to ensure franchise owners open their restaurant in the perfect place.

We’ve partnered with SiteZeus®, an exceptionally powerful data-mining platform. SiteZeus analyzes numerous data points to help us determine just how well we think a site will work for a franchisee as the home of a new Costa Vida restaurant.

“I can tell you that a specific site is in an outstanding market for a restaurant based on population, demographics, household income and nearby businesses or offices,” says Costa Vida Director of Development Terry Jennings. “However, looking at it from a Mexican restaurant perspective, that specific market may already be overserved, and wouldn’t be the right fit for a Costa Vida.”

Innovative technology enhances boots-on-the-ground intel

The site selection process for any franchised restaurant rests on four key human components: the developers, the brokers, the brand and the franchisee. All four of those players working together have strong skill sets and direct knowledge of the markets we’re growing in. Combined with the hard data we can analyze through SiteZeus, we can pinpoint the right location with a higher degree of confidence.

“Having everybody looking at it from the brand perspective, the developer and broker perspective and the franchise owner perspective really enhances our ability to make better decisions,” says Jennings. “It’s really important to have brokers with strong developer relationships to get you in the right developments and franchisees that have boots-on-the-ground knowledge of their markets. Then, the filtering and screening of sites is where SiteZeus comes in. It helps fine-tune the difference between good, better and best.”

Our experienced team, broker partners and franchisees put our site development strategy in place, while the SiteZeus program helps us execute it at a stronger level than we’ve ever been able to before.

“We’re identifying markets we think Costa will be really successful in, markets that are really underserved relative to our product,” says Jennings.

How SiteZeus works

SiteZeus works by gathering data from a variety of sources: traffic counts, cell phone studies, social media, Yelp, Google Reviews, our customer loyalty program and more, and it builds its profile based around what we already know breeds success for a Costa restaurant.

“SiteZeus is really a framework that becomes more capable over time,” says Jennings. “The more data that we can gather, the more it will continue to evolve and learn and grow.”

The view of a Costa Vida location in the early morning sunrise.
Our tech-first approach to site selection helps franchisees have confidence that they’re opening their Costa Vida restaurants in the perfect spot.

The sheer amount of data available for the program helps us customize it very specifically for franchisees’ needs. It even takes into account the competitive landscape, to help us decide if an area is oversaturated with similar options, or if there’s the right opportunity for a Costa Vida to fill a gap in the market.

Future-proofing our restaurant site selection

A lot of software can get outdated pretty quickly. Just think how much slower a smartphone from three years ago runs today. But our location intelligence will only get better with age.

Over time, more data gets fed into the system, allowing it to better track trends and predict where those trends are likely to recur. The tool then provides even more powerful analysis, helping us accurately pinpoint what locations will enable franchisees to thrive. As our brand grows and we learn more about our loyal fanbase, we gain even stronger knowledge of the market forces that power a successful Costa Vida.

Explore the Costa franchise opportunity

Fill out the form on this page to download our franchise information report and start a conversation. If you’d like to learn more about our restaurant site selection process and other advantages of opening a Mexican food franchise with Costa Vida, visit our other research pages.

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