Leveraging Restaurant Technology Data
With the speed in which technology has changed the restaurant industry, operators are gaining access to more data points than ever before.
While this is helpful for analyzing trends, determining how to boost sales, or to get a better understanding of customers, it’s important to first understand how to sift through the information at hand and maximize it. The technology in today’s landscape provides all sorts of data, not all of which is necessary to help run the business. At some point, this data can start to run together and get confusing for a restaurant operator.
Below are just a few key areas restaurant operators should be aware of as it pertains to data.
The Changes in Data Delivery Over Time
In the past, it was the status quo for reports to be generated by team members, then consolidated by another team who formatted the data into a higher-level report that could provide a better vision into how the business is performing. This is no longer the case. Businesses using a modern POS should be able to get a consolidated view of their performance without that added operational overhead. Operators should know this offering exists as they are researching POS systems. This data should be readily available via a mobile application as well as accessible from a cloud-based portal, and reports should be schedulable to further automate and streamline this aspect of a businesses’ processes.
Improvement of Data Accuracy to Drive Efficiencies
As restaurants deploy more technology to improve their operations and meet the demands of the marketplace (e.g. delivery, mobile apps, nutritional information and meal customization), it has created many more sources of data which can now come together through a dashboard that operators can reference and pull key findings from to provide a better view of the business.
Data integrity is a cornerstone of improved accuracy. Operators can either run their business on a single platform, or tightly integrate their platforms with a unified database which houses information from each individual platform.
Either option allows operators to set themselves up for success and gives them the ability to see the accuracy of their reporting, reflected by their ability to make good business decisions.
Cloud-based technology should be looked at with special attention for business solution providers that can offer enterprise reporting turnkey as part of their service. Cloud-based POS software tends to be designed with the user experience in mind. An intuitive system will prevent frustration, loss of time and productivity, and potentially extra money spent on customer support.
Overall Benefits of Restaurant POS Data for Operators
Provided data is accurate and correctly analyzed, its value can be seen in better anticipating and identifying problem areas or hot spots before they happen. A restaurant operator should be able to see when labor costs are cresting above an acceptable threshold in real time, and should receive an automatic notification with this information. Product mix analysis can lead to an optimized menu and less waste, and inventory analysis can help identify low margin items that may not be performing well for recipe or menu adjustment.
A restaurant using other tools such as time & kitchen management systems should be able to further optimize their operations to identify weak shifts (e.g. staff not serving customers quickly enough) that may need a strong team member scheduled in order to strengthen performance, or times of the day that perhaps require less, or more, staff on hand to keep to the service-level targets in place for the business.
Common and Important Data Points That Drive Business Intelligence
Overall, there are several areas for operators to pay close attention to including speed of service, table turn times, hourly sales, comparative sales, labor costs, cost of goods sold, voids, discounts and ticket analysis. All of these data points can assist operators in making necessary changes to their day-to-day businesses to better drive sales and efficiency with their staff and managers across locations.
Syncing Loyalty Programs with POS to Track Trends
For loyalty program managers, being able to track every member’s interaction with your business is pure gold. Loyalty members are likely to be the most engaged and likely to be repeat customers. Operators want a good understanding of how they are engaging with the brand (such as through online reservations, mobile app, dining frequency or redeeming offers) to provide better recognition and more tailored rewards for their loyalty.