Culver's Restaurant Chain Relies on ESRI GIS to Continue Successful Franchising

ArcGIS Business Analyst and Business Analyst Online Enable Company to Identify Target Markets for New Locations

Redlands, California — May 6, 2008 — Culver's, a Wisconsin-based restaurant chain, is using ESRI geographic information system (GIS) software to optimize store locations and demographics when assisting franchisees in site selection. Culver's is rated the best burger chain in the country according to the 2007 annual survey of diners conducted by Restaurants & Institutions magazine. The chain consists of more than 370 independently owned and operated restaurants in 17 states. ESRI's business-focused GIS solutions assist the real estate and franchise development department to identify targeted demographics for franchisees looking to open new restaurants.

"We chose ESRI because it has the best information available for comparing sites," says Dave O'Brien, real estate manager, Culver Franchising System, Inc. (CFSI). "Using the software, we are able to easily compare and contrast new sites by analyzing the demographics of our existing restaurants then pinpointing new areas that are similar."

Culver's real estate and franchise development department turned to ESRI and ESRI's Business Analyst product suite to define areas being serviced by existing stores, segment the demographics of those locations, and find new areas that have similar attributes maximizing site potential. Analysts at Culver's use a combination of ESRI's desktop and online software. ArcGIS Business Analyst, including the segmentation module, provides in-depth customer analytics, while Business Analyst Online is used for boardroom-quality maps and easy-to-understand reports. The segmentation module consists of ESRI's Community Tapestry, which classifies U.S. neighborhoods into 66 segments based on their socioeconomic and demographic composition.

Culver's prides itself in the success of its franchisees and has never had a restaurant fail, leading to its recognition as one of 25 high-performing franchises in the country by The Wall Street Journal. With a strong franchising system reliant on local owner/operators, the financial commitment and investment they make in Culver's is substantial. GIS is seen as a strategic business solution that will help with continued corporate growth.

"GIS is a tool to help us make even better decisions as we continue to expand," says O'Brien. "GIS doesn't replace anything we have now including people. Instead, the software has become a necessary tool for our business process."

"We are so pleased to be able to provide Culver's with the GIS solutions it needs to continue its success," says Simon Thompson, commercial business industry manager, ESRI. "Culver's is an excellent example of how geoextended business strategies are making significant inroads into the culture of corporate America, providing the geographic advantage that ensures long-term success."

For more information on using GIS in commercial business, please visit

About Culver's

Culver's takes great pride in doing it right for its guests at more than 370 independently owned and operated restaurants in 17 states. The owner/operator concept has been a cornerstone of growth for Culver's since the first location opened in Sauk City, Wisconsin, on July 18, 1984. Culver's invests deeply in partnerships and programs, including its VIP scholarship program, Culver's Cares charitable program, and countless other franchise-driven local efforts. Culver's is the recipient of numerous recognitions including the #1 burger chain in the country as voted by Restaurants & Institutions 2007 consumer choice in chains survey. In addition, the American Red Cross recently awarded Culver's the Circle of Humanitarian Award, which is one of its highest honors. For more information on Culver's locations, franchise opportunities, promotional programs, menu selections, and other areas of interest, visit

About ESRI

Since 1969, ESRI has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS, ESRI software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. ESRI applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. ESRI is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at

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Karen Richardson
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