Your restaurant point-of-sale (POS) system is a treasure trove of information. Throughout the day and night your staff is meticulously punching in orders, preparing menu items, updating inventory and closing out customer checks. And whether you are the chef-owner of a single restaurant or are managing a multi-unit franchise, data analytics will give you the insight you need to make educated decisions that maximize growth and profitability. It’s the main ingredient for success in today’s competitive restaurant industry.
Every restaurant owner knows that a loyal base of repeat customers is vital to any restaurant. In fact, more than 60 percent of sales on average are from repeat customers, according to the National Restaurant Association. Unfortunately, many restaurant owners do not always know how often their best diners are returning, when they are most likely to dine, or which items they tend to order the most. Establishing a loyalty or reward program is the best way to unlock customer performance data.
In the past, loyalty programs were expensive and time consuming to run and maintain. But today, most restaurant POS systems already have a loyalty program built in so set up is quick and easy. POS data analytics gleaned from loyalty reward programs can give you invaluable insight into your restaurant operation. It will give you a better understanding of your best customers and the data you need to develop promotions that will attract more repeat customers.
Menu analytics is more than just simply running a profitability report or looking up your top and bottom sellers. It’s about understanding the why within the data. For instance, many restaurant owners often struggle to understand why a top seller is no longer as appetizing to diners. Using analytics, you will be able to spot these types of downward and upward trends and pinpoint more precisely when the change occurred. Perhaps, there was a change in vendor or an ingredient substitution that resulted in the menu item no longer appealing to some of your customers. Having this type of data at your fingertips is critical.
Equally important to a restaurant owner is staff analytics. Does the kitchen take longer to prepare certain menu items on certain times or days of the week than others? Do you need more or less coverage in the dining room or at the bar on a specific day? Is some of your wait staff pushing apps while others are pushing desert? Spotting minor staff performance issues before they become a major problems lies within the analytics.
While you may prefer chopping vegetables rather than slicing and dicing data, POS data analytics is critical to the success of any restaurant. It can help owners profit from a rising trend and help them spot a downward trend before it becomes detrimental to the business.