How Data Can Optimize Operations, IT & Service
Data is at the root of improving operations, service and overall customer experience, but many restaurants wrestle with how effectively to use vast amounts of available data. In this exclusive roundtable, HT queries technology experts, Rob Graves, Vice President, Datatrend Technologies, Inc. (www.datatrend.com) and Givex (www.givex.com), to provide operators with key ways data can and should be utilized to enhance service and operations.
Share a best practice operators should adopt to improve operations by using available data.
GRAVES: A best practice we see our customers adopting is energy management by utilizing the Internet of Things (IoT). We work with several solution providers that monitor environmentals, such as refrigerators, oil vats, or even lighting levels, and can send simple alerts to on-duty employees if a sensor indicates an “out of threshold” situation. Imagine never again having a refrigerator door left open, or an empty section of the restaurant with all the lights left on. IoT is positively changing the way we conduct business, save energy, and communicate information to our teams.
GIVEX: Best practices show that utilizing a cloud-based, end-to-end restaurant management solution (where POS is tightly integrated with all operational systems) that can provide real-time reporting is the new paradigm for analyzing restaurant operational data. Knowing what you need to know and when you need to know it is impossible when trying to analyze data from disparate systems.
How can operators make sure that data is getting to the right people and being utilized properly?
GRAVES: One challenge we commonly see is an extreme amount of raw data overload, where workers become overwhelmed and unable to process the information. It is critical for employees, especially entry-level employees (common at multi-unit restaurants), to be provided with actionable insights, as opposed to raw data they must interpret. One benefit we’re seeing is by having quantifiable data, your team is not only able to act quicker to certain circumstances, but the organization’s ROI is measurable and nearly immediate.
GIVEX: Operators may not realize that using multiple systems/vendors for different parts of the business e.g. online ordering, POS, inventory, KDS, tableside ordering - creates difficulties when trying to gather data and understand what it is saying about the business. Frequently, many staff hours are tied up in trying to reconcile reports and data between different systems in order to get an accurate picture of guest experience, sales or even food waste. Successful restaurateurs find many different ways to succeed but an end-to-end restaurant management system that lives in the cloud solves the logistical problem of getting the right data when needed, allowing them to focus on other business needs.