Your restaurant POS is not just an electronic cashiering system. It is the brains of your operation. And it probably knows a whole lot more about your menu, staff and customers than you may realize. Restaurants have traditionally been reactive to changes in the marketplace. But reacting to changes in the market after recognizing a downturn or sudden spike in the business is often too late which can result in higher costs and lower profits.
Keep food costs down and profits up
The ability to keep tabs on emerging trends as they happen, and predict when patrons are going to dine and the menu items they will likely be ordering allows restaurant owners to capitalize on predictable growth opportunities while reducing waste and excessive costs. This agile approach helps owners and managers intelligently forecast and plan the staff and inventory on hand to meet customer demands at any given time on any given day of the week.
Data intelligence can also help prevent restaurants from being overstaffed during slow periods and understaffed at busier times. Also, promotions can be tailored to specific segments of customers based on data intelligence to encourage more visits during slower time periods or to push new menu items with more accurate results.
Harnessing third party data
However, data intelligence is not limited to internal information captured by your POS software. Some restaurant POS solutions have the capability of mining intelligent data from social media and other third party sources. The mined external data can be combined with POS data to provide a personalized dining experience, customize promotional and marketing activity, and respond to other challenges that may have an impact on operations.
Where are your potential customers dining tonight?
Want to know where else your patrons are dining? Data intelligence can tell you that too. For example, Four Square’s Insights Data is a tool that restaurant owners and managers can use to see where potential customers are dining. Other third-party apps can even help restaurants predict the weather to avoid being overstocked on expensive perishable products when an approaching snowstorm may keep customers away.
Predicting the future with precision
How many times have you said, “If I only had a crystal ball?” Well, in many ways, data intelligence is like a “crystal ball”. Except that it relies on hard data to steer restaurants in the right direction rather than on hunches or educated guesses. Using data intelligence, restaurant owners can unlock the secret recipe that can give them a competitive edge in the market, reduce excessive costs and ultimately increase profitability.