F&B Insights

How Big Data Is Driving Restaurants’ Success

Every day, restaurant operators and chefs are faced with what seems like a million decisions. Pricing, menu planning, marketing, loyalty programs, staffing, and scheduling are just a few topics that cross their desks and sometimes get positioned to tomorrow’s tasks, often leaving some profit on the table. Were you aware your competitor down the street is offering a new tasting menu on Sundays that is drawing in the crowds? No? That’s a shame because some of your brand-loyal customers are.

How do you stay up-to-date on the never-ending challenges, changes, and daily decision-making required in the restaurant industry? More caffeine? 

Fortunately, there is a better way than additional stimulants. Today’s tremendous amount of restaurant data, i.e., big data, can help you. Let’s explore some of the benefits.

A Data-Driven Industry

Your guests create data all along their journey, from deciding where to enjoy a meal to walking into your restaurant, ordering, leaving a review, and sharing posts on social media. Internally, data develops whenever you place an order, count inventory, and change the menu.

Restaurants are using this data to offer a personalized experience for their guests, ensure enough staff is on hand to provide exceptional service and manage menus to optimize revenue.

Create a Personalized Menu

Many of you are already using menu performance analytics to help determine items with the highest profit margins and best performers in terms of demand. Today’s data analytics also lets you create a personalized guest experience. 

According to Accenture, “91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations.”

Restaurants collect guest data through a customer relationship management (CRM) database. This platform collects data from social media, websites, POS systems, review sites, and online ordering to create a unique customer profile that improves the experience, creates a personalized approach, and enhances marketing efforts. 

This information lets servers and staff greet customers by name, suggest menu items based on their previous orders, and offer relevant pairings. Customers feel appreciated, valued, and are undoubtedly impressed.  

Choose Your Next Location Wisely

If you’re just entering into the restaurant industry, bless you. Many people, with the best intentions, believe their concept is so unique and entertaining that they can open anywhere and achieve success. And, for some, that’s true. 

However, most of us mere mortals need a data-driven location analysis to ensure we’re giving ourselves the best possible opportunity for success. Restaurants looking to expand their footprint and create a successful expansion strategy use data to support their decisions. 

In each potential market, we analyze likely customer demographics, traffic patterns and how your target market moves through the area, competition, growth potential, retail and business patterns, and much more. We research social media platforms and reviews for customer sentiment analysis and look at nearby restaurants’ menus to understand pricing and offerings in the area. 

F&B Insights, a division of EMERGING, can help you get a quick understanding of local competitors with their AI-driven menu pricing. This platform gives you access to competitor and nationwide restaurant menus, enabling you to compare prices and items. It also alerts you any time there’s a change in a competitor’s menu. 

Seating Guests Based on Data

Harvard Business Review reported on a restaurant analysis that revealed seating customers considering a server’s speed and ability to handle workloads could increase restaurant sales by as much as 9%. That doesn’t mean you favor one server over others, which would result in anarchy. Rather, you can seat guests based on historical data, including average check amounts for servers, tip percentages, and table turnovers. 

This gives you an idea of speed, upselling abilities, and customer satisfaction. VIP guests or customers who experience longer-than-anticipated wait times may be directed toward best-performing servers. Those who optimize sales may also be considered for training positions, improving sales and the guest experience overall. 

Making the Most of Your Data

Optimizing data translates to knowing your customers’ relevant behaviors and preferences, enabling you to personalize the experience, increase brand-loyal guests who visit frequently, and tell their friends and family to do the same. 

At EMERGING, our divisions consist of data science and analytics, supply chain optimization, and restaurant real estate experts, working together to ensure you’re taking advantage of relevant data and using it to optimize your growth and success. To learn more about using data and exploring locations or to schedule a consultation, contact EMERGING today.

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