While talented staff, exceptional food quality, and customer service are essential for the growth of your restaurant, you can’t ignore the importance data analytics can have on the business aspects of your restaurant’s development.
Restaurant POS systems tend to generate a lot of data about your business. With data analytics, you can turn that data gathered into useful, actionable information, allowing you to dictate your future strategies and drive additional revenue for your business.
Are you interested to know more? Read below for an in-depth look at how you can use data to grow your restaurant business.
Understanding Restaurant Data Analytics
Every time a staff processes an order on their iPad POS, the restaurant POS system will store the data created by that order, such as what items they ordered, whether it was delivery or take-out, and how much they spent.
Spending time analysing the generated data can give you a much better idea of your restaurant operations, such as staff performance, customer spending patterns, and the profitability of certain restaurant dishes. This allows you to see the areas that perform well and the side of the business where you need to make changes.
In short, data analytics give you a deeper understanding of your restaurant and its patrons. From order preferences to the most popular item during a particular time of day, the data you gather gives you valuable feedback on how your restaurant is doing and allows you to make informed and better business decisions. It’s key to use your data and understand it; for example, digital menu software can provide insights into how adverts perform.
Benefits Of Using Data In Your Restaurant
1. Better Digital Marketing Capabilities
When it comes to restaurant marketing, there are two critical metrics you should always keep in mind: does the marketing attract new customers, and are existing customers willing to return to your restaurant because of it?
Once you have that information, you’ll be able to review your marketing efforts with more focus. As new marketing campaigns, special offers, and loyalty programmes may take time to project an ROI, having actionable data such as click-through rates and new/returning customer numbers are just as important as seeing a spike in revenue.
By tracking your marketing campaigns, you can generate comparable sales figures to determine how your campaigns perform individually and against each other. From this, you can decide if your current marketing investments are paying dividends or if you need to rethink your current strategy.
2. Improve Staff Management & Sales
Customer experience is paramount in the restaurant industry, which is why restaurant performance often correlates with staff performance. Well-performing staff will ensure that customers are taken care of with polite and efficient service, leading to faster table turnaround times, a higher chance of returning customers, and more revenue in the long run.
Knowing how each staff member performs in terms of their strengths and weaknesses, you can make an informed decision about staff scheduling and where to focus your energies on training and upskilling.
For example, you could schedule staff with the most efficient customer service to work at peak hours (for fair pay) to maximise customer experience. At the same time, those who can sell the most foods and drinks can take over duties during quieter periods to boost sales.
If you have high staff turnover rates, look at your low-performing members and try and implement upskilling or shadowing of better-performing staff members, as well as have a conversation with them on how to improve their job satisfaction.
While there’s more to staff management than just analysing data, it can still provide a general understanding of how each of your staff members is doing, which you can use to help improve their job satisfaction and your business revenue.
3. More Efficient Restaurant Operations
Given how competitive the restaurant business is, it is essential to run your operations as efficiently as possible to ensure you’re maximising available profits.
Data analytics will show you when your restaurant is at its busiest and slowest, allowing you to accurately schedule staffing and change opening/closing times, saving money on wages and bills. For example, suppose you have the same number of kitchen staff and servers across the week. In that case, data analysis can highlight lower business points of the day and allow you to adjust your staffing numbers accordingly.
Moreover, if you find yourself with more empty tables than you’re comfortable with during restaurant opening hours, analysing the data as to why that might be the case can help you figure out the issue and resolve the potential revenue loss.
For example, if you’re a restaurant that accepts reservations and you find that high no-show rates and cancellations lead to repeated slow nights, it might be a good idea to rethink your booking policies.
A deep dive into the data can also help your restaurant understand why not all your tables are being filled. Then, you can use incentives to attract customers, such as timed discounts or seasonal offers.
4. Better Inventory Control & Menu Planning
Accurate data for your inventory and stock control helps prevent food from being wasted in the kitchen and ensures you’re not over-ordering on stock you’re unable to sell.
With a dedicated inventory management system, you’ll be able to track the inventory going in and out of your kitchen, which can make your staff more accountable for how they use items and ingredients, hopefully leading to less food waste.
You can also use data to see which menu item is selling well and which has your customers returning for more. Often, it is assumed that the bestselling item is going to be the one that is the most profitable. However, your data analytics could tell a different story.
If your highest turnover menu item shows it’s ordered by customers who rarely come back, it might be worth looking into why that’s happening. Likewise, if you find that a seasonal item is getting a higher than average percentage of return customers, consider incorporating it into your main menu to maximise sales.
5. Streamline Payments
With increasing payment options available to the average customer, your restaurant needs to analyse how most of your customers are paying their bills so you’re able to adapt to the needs and wants of your patrons.
From cash to card to online payments, having a restaurant POS system will allow you to track how each of your customers is paying and ensures you have the proper hardware to accept these payments quickly and conveniently.
While it’s always necessary to have a cash till as backup, try to invest further into wireless and online payment solutions if you notice that customers are trending towards more modern payment methods.
Understanding how your customers pay will also help inform your choice of payment processor and ensures that you’re not paying payment processing fees for payment options your customers rarely use.
Understanding Your Business Through Data Analytics
Whether you’re starting out or are an experienced restauranteur, data from your restaurant POS is an incredible asset you should be utilising to help improve your business operations and overall strategy. With it, you’ll be able to make informed decisions on how you should run your restaurant, and utilising that knowledge will hopefully allow your business to go from strength to strength.