Customer Story

Shabu Restaurant

SAP Digital Consumer Insight




SAP Digital Consumer Insight

Kevin Valaika convinced his brother Bob to move to Park City, Utah to open Shabu, a restaurant featuring unique freestyle Asian cuisine. Success quickly followed. Shabu has received accolades that include Top 12 New Restaurants in America by Conde Nast Traveler in 2005 and Best Restaurant in Park City by Salt Lake Magazine in 2006.

Today, Shabu has a thriving business. But Kevin and Bob wanted to understand more about their local consumers so that they could craft specials, create events and target their marketing to their demographic. More importantly, they wanted to understand how local consumer demographics changed throughout the year as seasonal events like Sundance brought in large contingents of visitors to their area.


When is the peak foot traffic in this area?

Kevin began by looking into the times when foot traffic was heaviest around his restaurant and comparing a regular weekend in May to a Sundance Film Festival weekend in January. SAP Digital Consumer Insight showed him that traffic during Sundance was five times higher than his regular traffic. He also found that his standard peak hours for local consumers were between noon and 8:00 pm—but when Sundance visitors were in town traffic peaked earlier, at 11:00 am, and didn’t drop off until 10pm.

Kevin also saw that foot traffic on Sundays when Sundance wasn’t in town was considerably lower than Friday and Saturday; but during Sundance, it was just as strong. This data can prepare Shabu for their busiest weekend hours; but it also suggests that they should consider opening earlier and closing later during Sundance.

Where is the foot traffic coming from?

Kevin looked at zip code locations from SAP Digital Insight and found the heaviest demographic was extremely local, coming from Park City itself. Snyderville, an adjacent community, made up Shabu’s second-highest consumer home zip code. A smattering of other nearby communities made up the rest.

Kevin already knew his regular customers were local, but now he can use the exact zip codes for his local mobile and print advertising to make sure he reaches the consumer most likely to frequent his immediate locale. Kevin can also compare this data against dates that have large events pulling non-locals.

Who are they?

Sundance Age Breakdown

Kevin and Bob wanted to get a more detailed understanding of the people passing by their restaurant. Using SAP Digital Consumer Insight, they found that by far their biggest demographic their regular season from an age perspective was the 25–34 year old group, at 48 percent. 35–44 year olds came in far below at 17 percent. The age demographic was almost exactly the same during Sundance.


Regular Season Age Breakdown

Understanding this demographic breakdown can help Shabu’s owners tailor their menu, specials, and advertising to appeal to the Millennial generation. Research on Millennial food choices suggests that they are attracted to healthy, customizable food options, peppery tastes, and social restaurant experiences. Knowing this, Shabu may consider creating experiences like wine tastings or food pairing events that allow people to interact.

Regular Season Gender Breakdown

Sundance Gender Breakdown

Kevin and Bob looked at the breakdown in gender and found that in both time periods men represented close to 60 percent of their local traffic. Experienced restauranteurs, Kevin and Bob already understood that women generally order more calorie-conscious foods and more vegetables, while meat is a staple for men. Understanding their gender breakdown for local consumers may lead Kevin and Bob to always highlight at least one heartier meal aimed towards men, as well as tweak their demand outlooks to avoid over- or under-purchasing ingredients.


Insights for a forward strategy

With SAP Digital Consumer Insight, Shabu owners Kevin and Bob Valaika were able to augment their knowledge of their regular customers with broader consumer location data. They now have a clear understanding of regular season versus Sundance foot traffic. The data also gave them an understanding of the age and gender makeup of their local consumers, as well as Sundance attendees.

With this data, Shabu can tailor menus targeted at their prime demographic, market locally with more precision, and understand the changing demographics when large scale seasonal events take place.

Kevin and Bob were able to make informed decisions about their restaurant and gather the information they needed easily, within 15 minutes, and for the price of a single report ($439 USD).

You can learn more about SAP Digital Consumer Insight at the SAP Store.

“We have a solid base of regular customers who have helped us become successful, but we wanted to know more about potential customers and how we could build on our success. SAP Digital Consumer Insight gave us a clearer picture of the potential customers passing by our restaurant in our regular season and during special events, like Sundance, allowing us to tailor our specials and business hours to bring in new customers.”

Bob Valaika

Executive Chef, Shabu