By Brad CallumAugust 6, 2019

Strategies based on big data are fast becoming the standard of the restaurant industry and the future lies in deeper analytics. Businesses are now, as a result, starting to infuse data into their culture, from personalized marketing to broad demographic assessments.

In the past, restaurant software solutions made analytics possible in retrospect. Is this adequate anymore? New developments suggest that no, businesses need to use modern platforms that allow for much faster access to data, in real-time as a matter of fact, allowing them to become more agile in response to new insights.

So in practice what this means is an opportunity to improve efficiency alongside the customers’ dining experience. For many, this begins with how a customer orders and pays for their meal but during busy hours, how much time a customer spends at their table becomes crucial. Restaurants are taking advantage of digital tools such as mobile apps, kiosks and table-side tablets to gain ever-more valuable information.

Knowing what customers are ordering each day, their spending behaviors, understanding their individual needs, has become easier than ever. Much in the same way that technology is getting smaller and more accessible in other areas, restaurant business intelligence tools are now remarkably easy to set up.

Is it really that easy?

It honestly and absolutely is that easy. With restaurant purchasing software, customers can simply check-in, order and then pay using a mobile app (or alternatively they can use a web browser). All the data from their order is automatically stored in the cloud and made instantly accessible to you, the restaurant owner. Beautiful, perfectly recorded and digestible data that only requires you to use the software, not actually invest in much extra computer equipment yourself.

To stay competitive and even gain a cost advantage, restaurant owners will collect data that helps them to attract more guests and boost check totals. Although sometimes it can be hard to sift through information and analyze where the value will come from, there are simple ways to translate your restaurant data into sales.

Collecting more of the ‘right’ data goes a long way to seeing results. What data can tell you goes much, much further than any idea of what the customers like and how they think. Patterns in spending and in other behaviors often only become apparent once restaurant data analytics come into play.

You don’t need to be a data scientist

Business intelligence support is an optional extra with Eten so you can receive guidance on what your data means. This is particularly useful for testing promotions which, incidentally, you can set to appear as a push notification in-app. Not only can you see exactly how the specials are selling, but you can be certain that the customers have had a chance to fully digest the menu before ordering!

Digital restaurant orders are expected to triple in volume by 2020 and this availability of data means that it will inevitably lead to deeper and more sophisticated restaurant analytics. This is the future that we are irresistibly headed towards.

Owners and managers in a position to adopt early will be better placed to grow their understanding of customers and, ultimately, provide them with the best restaurant experience possible.

Restaurants can collect a wealth of insights from looking at customer purchase data. Increasingly the point of sale is performing more vital roles than just as a cash register. Knowing how people are pairing things together, whether people who are more likely to buy ‘A’ might also like item ‘B’, you’re gaining invaluable insights from the consumer that are potentially being missed every single day.

Data is a blessing for tracking and selling promotions and a vital resource from a bundling standpoint. Rich information on customer spending can help you to adjust your menu and purchase inventory as often as required.

In the kitchen and on the menu, it’s all about creativity. So while data management solutions can help small restaurants to attract customers and run more efficiently, it is definitely not a fix-all. Each restaurant is unique and has different priorities, broad needs which need to be met.

But to use mobile technology to capture customer data such as age, demographic, favorite order and times of high-traffic. This is something most restaurants should be doing right now, to stay competitive in the rapidly changing world of technology and big data.

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