What if I told you that restaurants are already killing it at targeting their audience with custom offers that are based on their interactions, and their behavior patterns? Emerging restaurant and hotel chains who are eating chunks of business away from legacy hospitality brands are putting money where their mouth is: showing that robust restaurant data analytics solutions is the path of the future, rather than resting on established reputation.
That’s because the future is already here. One where loyalty is tossed out of the window, rather delivering personalized offerings and a customer-first approach.
Statistics show a stunning 70% of restaurants which are open for a year, close within 3-5 years of operations.
Don’t become another statistic. Disrupt your own business, before someone else does, as we take you down the rabbit hole of why data analytics for restaurant should be the sole constituent in your future strategies:
1. When You Make Your Menu The Biggest Sales Tool
We are definitely on a path where you will start seeing less of paperback menus at restaurants, and more of the menus showing up automatically on your customer’s devices. We’re not restricting it to smartphones. Or better still, the menu is read out by your Alexa home speaker in advance, as you prepare to set out from home. And this is not science fiction.
Move over from hardware to your actual restaurant. A smaller world has lent itself to a wider curated menu, along with years of evolution of the food industry. Now with restaurant data analytics solutions having categories for menu metrics and more, you have the opportunity to build a universal platform which brings in the power of artificial intelligence, CRM, customer analytics and supply chain metrics.
With enormous touchpoints between all your stakeholders over years of gathering information, the menu is now your strategic weapon. It could just be a piece of paper that is shuttled between tables and the billing desk, or it could be the window to revenue windfalls.
Renowed Chef Brian Duff recommends your menu should be tweaked atleast four times a year. That calls for an overhaul of your business functioning, because in case you wondered where could you get all the data we’re talking about, it is already available in expansive channels: Your POS reports, online ordering & social listening dashboards, business analytics and more. Dive deep and begin by dividing your audience into groups, and understand their purchase patterns, top menu options they choose, and more.
2. Making Customer Journeys a Delectable One
As much as you think internally about the state of affairs with your restaurant, and delivering a dream experience, the customer experience is something to focus on as well. Since restaurants live and die under the shadow of their customers perception and interest towards your brand, making them lifelong patrons must be your ultimate.
Start thinking for long-term benefits, as opposed to trading them for short-term wins. Your customer experience must be as glorious as the gasps they take when they taste your food. A renowned Singapore based POS vendor, iCHEFPOS conducted a survey to understand the approximate number of touch points a typical restaurant gathers. Get ready for this.
A single transaction i.e a meal by a family could involve more than 40 data points, and with the combination of menu items, waiters ordering, loyalty interactions and more, a restaurant could process upto 36,000 transactions, leading to 1.4 million data points, resulting in a mind-blowing 2 trillion ways to correlate. It’s confusing to even digest this, but this should be enough proof for you to kick start your restaurant analytics incorporation, because the payoffs will immediately outweigh the investment.
Customers nowadays are demanding, and expect data allowed by them to be sourced by restaurants, to be used well to tailored menu options and an end-to-end experience. As we mentioned in the beginning, this is the right time, and although you could be late to the party, start revamping your operations processes with the power of restaurant data analytics solutions.
3. Unlocking The Established Benefits of Loyalty Programs
The paradox of scarce, if not non-existent loyalty and the rise of loyalty programs is upon us. What do you do? Whom do you believe? According to us, if there was a time to emphasize the importance of a payback and retention program, it is now. Putting a robust loyalty program in place and the efforts put in can reduce the retention efforts you put into marketing.
With tools like restaurant analytics now being converged into the tech array in your business, the path to enhancing such programs becomes easier than before.
Look at how Starbucks benefited: It’s quarterly results a few years back showed a rise in profits by 26%, while its revenue jumped 11%, both of which were attributed to ‘My Starbucks Rewards’, its loyalty program loved by the world. It started using the power of restaurant data analytics solutions back in the day to adapt its program, so customers could win more on items that were largely purchased.
Then, they plugged in some marketing to offer add-on deals to current purchases, increasing the spend and converting happy customers to delighted ones.
A study by the Carlson Marketing Group shows that 64% of surveyed restauranteurs state their loyalty programs returned more than the cost invested in running the program. Further, a Dinner and Late Night Consumer Trend Report talked about a survey enquiring why customers visited bars or restaurants.
61% said it was the type of food served, while 55% said it was the special food served during happy hours. Use data from surveys and reports being churned out of analytics for restaurants, to push customers to buy and redeem points, decreasing your customer attrition rates.
4. Transforming Your Employees Into Culinary Consultants
Since you can’t run the show alone, we know you consider your team at par with you. That’s because they are the most important stakeholders in your business journey, if not the most. Before appeasing your customers, you have to have a satisfied and motivated workforce.
Not investing in them, but expecting your employees to be the best around town is a recipe for disaster when customers walk in to find a disoriented experience: food is great, while the waiter’s interaction is not. Thankfully, there are employee data analytics for restaurants which take in an array of data sources, from employee performance and appraisal data, feedback by customers to inputs by peers. This is the start of focusing on employee experience as well, a new term that is being focused today, according to a report by Forrester.
Coupled with these are aspects like talking numbers including which employees sold more items, and who couldn’t match up. Get beneath the surface to uncover insights and reasons you might have never know about.
For example, a US restaurant chain partnered with McKinsey to find out factors that would lead to better customer outcomes. Contrary to conventional reasons they expected, the results threw up reasons like management approach towards their teams, and commute distance, affecting superior customer outcomes. Restaurant data analytics solutions will be the key differentiator to help you get real about problems your business is facing.
Look at how GreatVines used GoodData, a provider of restaurant data analytics solutions to analyse its happy hour menu. They shared an example of how they wanted to understand how people were buying wine, in a glass or the whole bottle.
They went beyond that to determine how wine sold separately compared with the wine that was sold as part of the happy hour menu. All things analyzed and decided, now they were able to course-correct, and this led to increased margins. The goldmine of data they had access to was key to figure a way out. That is just a single case in point.
The National Restaurant Association says 53% of operators are open to implementing predictive restaurant data analytics solutions, if it was mainstream today. Predictive analytics for restaurants will suggest things to do next, that could prove beneficial to all stakeholders involved in the restaurant business. Begin experimenting on solutions that suit your business, and begin smelling the aroma of increased ROI.