Why QSRs should love marathons and the demand they bring

Published on February 09, 2023
Valerie Williams
Senior Content Marketing Manager

Marathons are major catalysts of economic activity across the globe. For example, the Rio Marathon in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil draws in over 100,000 people to cheer runners on as they race along white sandy shores. The total predicted event spend for this picturesque 26-mile race is $40,611,217 – which is a reflection of the increased spending the event will bring to the hotels, transportation providers, and restaurants in the area leading up to, during and after the event. 60% of this economic spending will be spent towards restaurants alone. 

On race day, QSRs near the starting line are in for a serious influx of foot traffic. It’s not uncommon to see lines out the door and around the block. While many will patiently wait in line, there are plenty of others that would rather go hungry than wait in a line that’s moving painfully slow. 

Imagine finishing the Rio marathon, and just wanting to plop down in front of a hearty steak, rich pasta, or a giant pizza. You cross the finish line in search of a viable option for food, but the nearest place is slammed by customers. But when you get to the next few options a couple of blocks away, with all the other runners – same thing, line out the door and around the block. The worst part for hungry customers, whether they’ve just run a marathon or not, is when you get to the front of the line after waiting a while, and most of the menu items are sold out. 

Now imagine a rainy, cold race day where people are even more inclined to head indoors for hot food and drinks, not an uncommon occurrence for those familiar with the Boston marathon.  Restaurants can use intelligent event data in a number of ways to anticipate and plan for demand driven by marathons, other major events, and smaller events that may drive demand specifically for their restaurant locations. Let’s review four ways to take advantage of event data to match your planning to local demand levels to avoid being understaffed and understocked during periods of higher-than-usual demand.

How to use event data to best prepare for marathons 

Restaurants near or along the marathon route can leverage intelligent event data in a variety of ways to prepare in advance. 

  1. Track the predicted economic impact of marathons: Track how much a marathon (or any of our 19 event categories) is predicted to drive in spending for restaurants. Understanding the economic impact of a given event can reveal how much operational teams should prepare to stock for perishable inventory, and to staff to ensure quick service for customers. Learn more about Predicted Event Spend.

  2. Access granular event details specific to your locations: Track marathons impacting your locations of interest with a quick 90-day overview of the number of events, predicted attendees, and much more for a designated radius around each of your locations. With your free PredictHQ account, you can track up to three locations for free, forever. Learn more about Location Insights.

  3. Easily visualize the area of event impact: Visualize the marathon route to see what areas of the city or location will be impacted with Polygons, which visually represent the area of event impact for marathons and other events that don’t take place at one specific point on a map. Learn more about Polygons.

  4. Get notified of relevant events as soon as they become available: Set your criteria for the types of events, such as marathons, that matter most to your business, and receive notifications as soon as these events become available in our system – which also includes predicted events that have yet to be confirmed or announced. Learn more about setting up Notifications.

With insight into the events that will drive impact for your restaurant locations, you can fine tune inventory, staffing, and pricing levels to in time to maximize revenue and customer satisfaction during peak periods of demand. Join the ranks of leading QSRs making use of intelligent event data to plan for peak demand periods, including big events like marathons, in order to keep costs low and make the most of every demand-driving opportunity within proximity of their locations.