Restaurants today are awash in data, but the real magic lies in leveraging all of that information to enable actionable insights that enhance your operations. Discover three ways to make your restaurant data work for you — and maximize your profits, build your business and create a better dining experience for your valuable customers.
Want to stay ahead of the curve? Restaurant data, when used wisely, can help you discover the trends happening right now and even the ones about to take hold. Why is this important? When you’re tapped into the pulse of your business, you can make smarter decisions that boost the bottom line.
For example, if your restaurant data shows that customers often order two particular items together, you can implement an upselling or cross-selling policy for your staff to further drive sales. And if your customers gravitate to just two of the three promotional offers you’re running, you might choose to drop the option that’s not resonating. Without data-driven insights, your restaurant could miss out on valuable profit-boosting opportunities.
Also consider how restaurant data can inform your labor scheduling. With hard numbers on your foot traffic patterns, perhaps you’ll discover ways to streamline your staffing so that workers aren’t standing around idle on typically slow Wednesday evenings —this allows you to reduce labor costs while maximizing worker productivity.
Data, Data Everywhere
Savvy restaurant operators have discovered the power of combining data generated internally — and externally. Today, it’s not enough to look at just your POS sales data or payroll numbers in insolation. Instead, some of your most valuable restaurant data could be the reviews diners are leaving on Yelp, foot traffic numbers from people-counting systems, posts from social media platforms and even weather reports. When take as a whole, data points from each source can give you a clear picture of what’s happening with your restaurant business — and why.
What’s more, you can leverage the totality of this data to tailor more tantalizing promotions, build a compelling loyalty program and cater to customers’ dining patterns. If you notice couples routinely sharing on social media about their fabulous anniversary dinners at your restaurant, for example, perhaps it makes sense to offer an anniversary package to appeal to similar diners seeking a memorable special-occasion meal.
Make the Most of Your Menu
Menu optimization is an art that restaurant operators are continually tweaking. Regularly review your restaurant data — your sales and inventory information in particular — to improve menu performance and increase profitability.
Eggplant parmesan not selling well and ingredients sitting around spoiling? It might be time to take that off the menu. Does the Thai steak salad typically sell out? Increase your inventory of those dish’s components to ensure you’re capturing every sale possible — and not disappointing diners.
Composing a seasonally driven feature or menu is a smart way to literally and figuratively “keep things fresh.” Incorporating the ingredients of the season can help to reduce waste in the kitchen while giving patrons an appetizing reason to return.
To remain competitive amid consumers’ evolving tastes and preferences, restaurant operators must leverage all of the data at their disposal to execute informed business decisions, decrease waste in both food and labor costs, and deliver a great (and Instagram-worthy!) overall dining experience for choosy customers.