Consumption difference or customer indifference

There are two groups of elements that are importantly determining the change in the supply of restoration in recent years. The first of them is limited to changes in demand, motivated by the evolution of society and the behavior of its members, and the second, refers to those motivated in the offer itself when introducing new technologies both in the presentation - preparation of the product, as in the own management service business.

For the study and estimation of demand in a restaurant, which is characterized by having a relatively fixed capacity, various methods can be applied, which can also offer information on the real behavior of the ingresos, the profitability of the organization and the level of preferences of customers in relation to the offer made. Various methodologies from other sectors have been adapted to this industry, allowing these estimates to be made and information to be taken. strategic.

The level of indifference about the offer has become another of the techniques for evaluating consumer behavior in relation to what is offered.

To apply it on administrator You must proceed to the selection of the different strata or segments, disaggregating them by age ranges. The ages taken for the study are made on the basis of a rough calculation and therefore the distribution of the amount of customers in each of these ranges it will be characterized by that of subjectivity.

However, to prevent this from happening, you can support satisfaction surveys that are applied in the installation or resort to the method of direct observation over a period of time in order to establish values ​​as close as possible to reality, since it is quite compromising and therefore impossible to ask each customer how old they are.

Once the data is obtained, a table is prepared in which the age groups that will be analyzed are reflected horizontally and the products that are evaluated vertically, as well as the number of sales occurred by product and range old. As it's shown in the following. This table is called "Table of Differences"

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Where Vo is the value observed in the time period that was chosen from the selected segments

The author suggests that the selection of products correspond to the same family and preferably with similar characteristics, that is, products that compete with each other.

For each group, the totals are obtained and the percentage it represents in relation to the total is determined, both horizontally and vertically.

To obtain the level of indifference of consumers, the same table is prepared, but this time, the following calculation will be made, which will tell us the number of products that would have been consumed by each of the group of clients of there are no differences between these segments.

Mathematically the calculation would be represented as follows:


The results will be recorded in the table, which will be called “Level of consumer indifference”. As it's shown in the following.


Vi is the value of consumer indifference over the product groups analyzed for the selected customer segments.

Subsequently, the difference between the figures obtained in this calculation is calculated with those of the first table corresponding to the values ​​assigned from the observation made, which will be reflected in a third table, called "Difference between the study and the indifference of the table of differences ”.


Where the result is the difference between the Observed Value and the Calculated Indifference Value. But since these differences cannot be used as they are obtained, the theoretical value of indifference must be applied, following the same methodology as in Table 12 and the relative value that shares the difference with respect to the base value must be calculated, which would generate the table 14, which allows obtaining a dispersion bias, that is, the level of demand that corresponds to an identical value for all customer segments.

Mathematically it should be calculated as follows:diferencia


The values ​​obtained, as in Table 3, can be between the negatives and the positives.

The results obtained in this last table are represented in a graph, allowing the following analysis:

  • Influence of age on the success of a product
  • The correlation between demand and age groups, as well as the level of independence of a group on the selection power of a product.
  • The level of customer preference for a product

Hypothetical example of dispersion:


Importance of this approach.

This technique makes it possible to relate the position of each customer segment with respect to the product and its analysis integrates two elements:

  1. The importance of the product studied within the general context of sales.
  2. The importance of each stratum or segment of the clientele within the global context of demand.

The result obtained with its application is the determination of the relative position of each customer segment with respect to a level of indifference proper to the installation. Offering important information regarding the evaluation of the products that make up the offer. It also allows to isolate, in successive approximations, the determining factors of the level of sales, allowing a pragmatic approximation of the causes of the success or failure of a product.

It is also possible with this technique make as many layers or segmentations as you want. In this case for a restaurant the most common are: age, sex, nationality, time periods of days, hours, weeks, months and years.

It is also an easy tool to program in computer systems or create spreadsheet systems to obtain results and interpret them.

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