Emerging Concepts

Optimizing Your Restaurant’s Data and Putting It to Use

The increasing data availability has enabled restaurant operators to gather information about their customers, resulting in more personalized service, strategic marketing, and much more. However, as the amount of data increases, it becomes increasingly complex. How do you integrate the massive amounts of information and come up with insightful actions as a response?

Nation’s Restaurant News spoke with Joe Yetter, the general manager at Punchh at PAR Technology, who described the current data environment succinctly, “A lot of available data out there is junk and there’s no need to store it, but there’s some really rich, valuable data too, and it’s sometimes hard to differentiate between those two.”

Here, we’ll explore some of the best uses for data and how it can enhance your success and set your brand apart.

Where Is the Data Coming From?

While much of your data comes from the POS, you can also gain insights from your loyalty program, customer relationship management tools, customer data platforms, inventory management, surveys, customer online reviews, a restaurant’s website, digital menus, reservation platforms, and more.

According to NRN, Dave’s Hot Chicken works with a customer database provider, allowing it to gain invaluable data from credit card transactions. 

How Do Restaurants Use Data?

One example is restaurant analytics available from the reservation platform OpenTable. It integrates with your POS and enables you to view data on a dashboard while utilizing forecasting software to understand your current and future performance. This type of data offers insights into maximizing capacity, optimizing turn times, and identifying marketing strategies for slower days and times.

One of the best uses of data is enhancing the customer experience. Knowing their names, favorite seating areas, menu selections, and arrival times gives your staff an excellent opportunity to treat them as VIPs. It also enhances your bottom line, enabling upselling that can benefit you and your guests. This knowledge also allows you to target your marketing campaigns effectively.

Restaurants also use historical data to determine the impact of staff and customer characteristics on spending, customer satisfaction, and speed. Using this information, they design targeted seating that optimizes profits and customer satisfaction. For instance, when extremely busy, hosts may seat smaller parties in areas where the staff exhibit higher speed skills. One study found that seating guests based on a server’s speed and workload could increase sales by 9 percent.

With the amount of data restaurants create today, the possibilities for its use are limitless.

How Do You Keep Your Data Secure?

Restaurants face a range of cybersecurity threats, from malware attacks to phishing scams, ransomware, identity theft, and data breaches. If successful, they can lead to a damaged reputation, financial loss, and legal liability. Fortunately, there are proven means that can help you protect your data.

Encryption, limiting access, and using strong passwords are essential for protecting data. Training employees in best practices is critical, as many hackers gain access to information through phishing attempts. In fact, the World Economic Forum reports that human error accounts for 95% of cybersecurity breaches. According to Small Biz Trends, only 17% of small businesses encrypt their data, a critical security measure.

Other essential aspects that ensure the security of your data include antivirus software and firewalls, patch management, and updating your systems. There are also tools like intrusion detection and protective domain name systems. With the limited time available to many operators, some find it best left to a cybersecurity expert to ensure the protection required.

How Can Operators Integrate the Vast Data Network? 

Many restaurant operators find data analysis confusing. Today’s modern data platforms and data analytics software integrate all your data, enabling you to make data-driven decisions confidently. As you would expect, there are a wealth of options on the market. 

Using Data for Your Next Strategic Move

At Emerging Concepts, our data scientists, real estate and restaurant industry experts join forces, creating a team that helps top restaurant and entertainment concepts expand across the country. Using predictive analytics and data-driven insights, we analyze each possible site to determine the best one, optimizing opportunities for success while mitigating risks. To schedule a consultation, contact Emerging Concepts today.

Emerging Concepts
  • Subscribe to our latest insights


Are you capital raise ready?