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MODELING - Olive Garden Restaurant Comparison Analysis

Olive Garden is a restaurant brand that is owned and operated by Darden Restaurants, Inc. a SEC registrant with ticker symbol ‘DRI’. Darden reported that same store sales had increased for Olive Garden for 55 consecutive quarters in 2008. In 2009 same store sales declined and the Olive Garden brand has had continuous erosion since then.

Through a series of tasks outlined in the Objectives section below, the goal of this contest is to perform a store comparison analysis to uncover drivers that explain why some restaurants in the Olive Garden chain performed worse when compared to other restaurants in the chain. Data given in this contest is at a restaurant level.


  1. Objective 1: Uncover drivers that impacted performance of Olive Garden restaurants. Drivers identified should explain why some restaurants in the chain perform worse when compared to other restaurants in the chain.
  2. Objective 2: Validate or invalidate the following hypotheses based on analysis of data provided to you.

Quantitative factors on ~250 Olive Garden restaurants for the period 2008 to 2013 have been given to you. The early years might have sparse data points. 

Vicinity based attributes for all Olive Garden restaurants have been given for the latest time period only (and not for 2008 to 2012). 

Solver Delivery Expectations

Task 1: We expect solvers to submit maximum of 5 page approach note with details of how they will approach the problem given the sample data, what technique/s they will employ, their understanding of the business problem and quantitative understanding.

Solvers are free to use any technique they deem statistically fit/relevant to tackle the objectives – interactive visualization, data mining/exploration, machine learning etc. Please provide a reasoning behind your chosen type of technique keeping the objectives of contest in mind.

Task 1 Deadline is 12 Oct. 2014

Task 2: In this task we expect the solvers to develop an in depth analysis and provide a detailed report based on the objectives of the contest and their approach note.


  1. How statistically sound is the analysis used for fulfilling the objectives (including proving or disproving the hypotheses)
  2. How many drivers solver was able to identify other than the ones mentioned in Hypotheses
  3. How solver perceives the drivers as impacting store performance and whether they make business sense


  • One 1st prize of USD 1500
  • One 2nd prize of USD 1000
  • Two 3rd prizes of USD 750
  • Four consolation prizes of USD 250 each


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Tags: analytics, casual, crowdanalytix, dining, food, garden, olive, restaurant


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