As digitization reshapes the operational and functional outlook of the restaurant industry, many owners are relying on data to help them succeed in the saturated market. The use of restaurant analytics from a cloud-based POS system can optimize decision-making and increase the bottom line.
With a POS system, you have access to a wealth of valuable information about your servers, customers, payments, marketing strategies, and more. Every time an order is entered, a check is closed, or a credit card is swiped, critical data is created. The information collected can tell you much about your business.
Restaurant Analytics Explained
Restaurant analytics is the collection of raw data that helps you make informed business decisions. From ordering to tip distribution, every piece of information can be collected, evaluated, and organized in a clear manner, allowing you to make forward-thinking decisions based on the information.
Read ahead to learn how you can use the restaurant analytics in your POS to increase traffic, customer satisfaction, and revenue.
- Optimize Table Turnover
To create repeat business, you’ll need to improve table turnover. POS data can help elevate the guest experience by optimizing the ordering process and allowing customers to make tabletop payments. This can ensure your customers enjoy their meal and are encouraged to return down the line. What’s more, faster order and tabletop payment options allow your waitstaff to serve more customers without rushing guests who want to stay a little longer.
- Reduce Food Waste
Your restaurant analytics can allow you to control inventory to fine-tune your inventory and reduce your costs. The analytics offer you an overview of inventory levels and how they relate to usage, orders, and cash intake. You’ll be able to order the required quantity as and when needed and bring accountability to the way your staff cook and serve customers. You also want to make sure the food is cooked to perfection because customers will be quick to return their plates to the kitchen if they’re dissatisfied with the tastes, temperatures, and textures of their food.
- Analyze Your Staffing Needs
Your team is the face of your business. They prepare meals, greet guests, and serve tables. It would be nice to know the performance of your servers. Which servers sell more desserts, wine, or specials? Who gets the best tips? Who gets the longest table turnovers? You can collect a lot of interesting data on staff performance using restaurant analytics. Then, evaluate how bad servers affect your business and find ways to help them improve. Your kitchen analytics will also show you how the number of staff you keep on different shifts is affecting performance.
- Reduce Discounts and Comps
While discounts, compensations, and deletions are a natural part of the restaurant business, they shouldn’t happen too often. A few percentage points of compensation add up over time and shrink your margins. Servers who frequently compensate for entire meals, or provide discounts to friends are wasting time, money, and labor. With a POS system, you can monitor staff and dishes to see what’s really happening and prevent the same issues in the future.
- Minimize Staff Turnover
Every business owner knows the impact of high employee turnover on the bottom line. And although losing staff members is bound to happen, it is something you want to happen very rarely. You can use the right restaurant analytics to enact simple tricks that boost employee morale and decrease turnover. For instance, managing floor layouts, streamlining scheduling, conducting team meetings, and matching the right servers to the right tables can go a long way toward increasing productivity and keeping morale high. This will help improve customer experience and increase revenue.
- Track General Performance
You should use your restaurant analytics to identify top-performing servers, improve staff training, and streamline scheduling.
- Identify strengths and weaknesses: With your POS analytics, you can identify weaker team members and pair them with stronger ones to increase morale and improve sales.
- Minimize turnover: use analytics to see which workers are not performing as expected and work with them to improve their job satisfaction.
- Match top-performing servers with VIPs: When an important guest makes a reservation, ensure one of your top servers is scheduled and assigned to their table. This will provide a better customer experience and improve loyalty.
- Maximize the Marketing ROI
Strong marketing is one of the most powerful strategies for filling seats and getting repeat business. Use your POS analytics to identify which marketing campaigns are successful and which ones need more work. You can also customize campaigns for customers to make them more appealing. Whether it’s a weekly Fajita Thursday special or a monthly eat-all-you-can buffet, using your POS analytics to track your marketing campaigns will allow you to compare sales data and determine if your campaigns are driving better and meaningful results. If a strategy proves to be just a waste of time, change it to something more profitable.
And keep in mind that marketing doesn’t stop at social media campaigns or promotions. Use your restaurant analytics to give away a free dessert on someone’s birthday or delight a VIP with a glass of their preferred drink. Such small gestures can go a long way in improving customer loyalty and increasing revenue.
- Tweak Your Menu
You have a list of dishes that you and your chefs heartfully prepare for your guests. But does every dish deserve to be on the menu? Your POS data will reveal that to you. Through your restaurant analytics, you can gain a better understanding of what is and what isn’t selling, and which menu item is responsible for the most profit. You’ll also know which dish has the potential to become a customer favorite and which ones may not be worth the cost to create.
Your restaurant is rich with data and all you need is a good POS system to extract meaningful insights. Ultimately, interpreting the collected data effectively and implementing actionable strategies will push your business in a direction where it grows and thrives.