How’s your restaurant doing? While passion and intuition are required factors for leading a successful restaurant, it comes to a point where you’ll need more.
Restaurants that use data and analytics about their guests have tangible insights that show what needs improving, what’s performing well and how to increase profits.
Restaurant guest data includes everything from their most-ordered dish and allergy information to average spend and favourite wine. This data isn’t a set of numbers. It’s powerful information that when identified, tracked and optimised will improve your restaurant’s performance, boost your guest’s experience and help you align products and services.
And what does all that mean? It means you’ll have the data you need to boost profits.
Some examples of restaurant guest data include:
Restaurants have always tracked customer preferences in one way or another. Think of the manager who always remembers a guest’s anniversary or a server who delivers a diner’s favourite cocktail without being prompted. What is ‘great service’ is actually the way great restaurants and bistros have collected and used guest data.
But as the new era of hospitality arrives, and the restaurant industry grows more competitive, it’s no longer enough for just the manager to know it all.
With tools like a Guest Experience Management platform (GXM), restaurants can create individual customer profiles and track everything from wine preferences to what time of day someone typically comes in.
Collecting and analysing this guest information helps restaurants figure out exactly what customers want – without relying on guessing. And it helps them create new dishes, tweak existing ones, and learn how to better tailor marketing to individual guests, all with the ultimate goal of driving sales.
Restaurant guest data is any information that you collect about a diner. For example, you find out that a certain guest always orders a wine menu. Before the digital era, you’d collect this information by taking notes. Now, it’s possible (and easier) with Superb’s GXM platform.
Data analytics is what happens when you take that data and discover what to do based on guests’ actions. It allows you to get a picture of why your restaurant is performing the way it is, as well as ideas about how to improve performance.
By analysing (looking at) all of the wine menu orders, you notice a pattern – on Saturdays, more guests order wine menus than on Fridays. In response to the data, you hire 2 sommeliers for the evening and make sure your wine is fully stocked.
How can guest data help avoid no-shows?
If you have data on your guests, you’re more likely to contact them with a reminder about their reservation. Guests can tell the difference between a personalised message and an automatic one. Taking the time to write a message will make them feel appreciated and keener on letting you know about any change of plans.
This works well for no-shows and changes to the reservation: having one more person joining, sudden dietary requests that come to mind, or simply a table preference. Having this communication flow benefits you and the diner and ensures they have the best guest experience possible.
“We dropped from 30 no-shows per month to one. The fact that GXM allows us to easily obtain and store the data of our customers in compliance with the new privacy rules is formidable.” — Andrea Menichetti, owner of Da Caino
Understanding why a menu is or isn’t working is one of the hardest things to decipher. With the help of restaurant analytics and guest data, you’ll see what’s selling and how to strategise for repeat business.
By combining data such as most-ordered menus with repeat orders, customer reviews and feedback, you’ll learn what dishes to tweak, which ones to replace, when to offer discounts and even how to organise your menu to direct attention to the best-selling items.
Restaurant guest data can tell you which days are busy or slow. This helps you create promotions or unique experiences around your slow nights to attract more attention.
For example, if Thursdays are slow, you can create an event and sell tickets – that way you know exactly how many guests will come and how much staff to bring in. This helps drive sales even on the slowest evenings.
Analysing restaurant data offers you an overview of past and present inventory levels, combined with orders and cash intake. This means that you can fine-tune inventory to cut down on costs and food waste.
Not only will your restaurant or bistro reduce costs, but it’ll also increase revenue and efficiency by always having the most requested items on hand.
Restaurant data and analytics also enables you to predict seasonal trends and plan stock accordingly. You’ll always be one step ahead of your competitors by preparing in advance for seasonal trends and changes.
Restaurant data and analytics can also reveal information like waiting times and customer reviews. You can use this to assess the productivity of your staff and measure performance.
With this data, you can take action and think about how to motivate your staff or be aware of who isn’t meeting your standards. You can also adjust shift assignments based on the information. Making sure that your best staff are on the floor during your busiest days leads to a better guest experience and in turn, increased profit.
Businesses that use data and analytics can increase their profits by 8% to 10%. With the quantity and quality of data restaurants generate increasing, it’s time for more restaurateurs to join the digital era.
Analysing your restaurant guest data boils down to understanding your opportunities as well as your challenges. When there’s a reason behind your business choices, your staff will feel more confident in your decisions — and so will you. No more guessing what might work.
When you start implementing new changes based on data, remember to continue monitoring to make sure you’re heading in the right direction.
We’re confident in the digital direction of the industry, and we know that making informed choices based on guest data will grow your business and boost profitability.