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September 23, 2020

Why data is the future for your restaurant

A new era of hospitality is here – The Data Era. Successful restaurants must use data to provide personalised experiences, build relationships and make guests return.
September 23, 2020

As the world is finally starting to rebound from the Covid-19 outbreak, restaurants worldwide are starting to consider how to adapt their beloved business to match the new circumstances. A lot has changed, and a new era of hospitality is emerging: The Data Era. Today’s winners will be the restaurants that manage to use data to continuously provide each guest with a personalised guest experience, focused on building relationships and making them come back.

So why should you make your restaurant data-driven?

Our founder and CEO, Zaedo Musa, recently hosted a webinar on how data can help your restaurant to succeed as a business. In this webinar, you can learn why data is essential, and also how to collect and use data about guests to improve performances and ultimately reach the final goal: increase revenue.

What is the difference between not using data and using data?

The old way of running a restaurant shows an unreliable result of treating your guests. It is no longer sufficient to treat your guests as numbers and one time customers. The use of multiple systems to run your restaurant makes it challenging and time-consuming for any restaurant to gather insights about your guests and business because the different platforms you are using can’t integrate. Now is the time to stop making gut feeling decisions and start to cross information and make informed decisions based on real experience and intuition.

The problem

1. Legacy software was built around 15 years ago, and it is not evolving with the times. It is often slow, and unreliable. A lot of restaurants lose money on trying to rebuild the software or by persistently being unable to access the data behind it. 

2. Losing data is one of the pity mistakes the restaurateurs do. Instead of writing down information manually in notebooks, emails, spreadsheets, and so on, it is crucial to keep data in a safe, organized system. This system will then enable you to better serve your guests and make them come back.

3. Value for money? Today it’s more relevant than ever to know what you are paying for. Investing in modern, new, and better-developed software will give you more output than spending less on a system that will later need optimizing, which will require you to pay more. Modern systems will also provide long term value to your business by providing you with the insights you need to improve your team performance, target the right audience, personalise your guest experience and upsell based on their preferences.   

These problems lead us to look at the new way of running a restaurant, where restaurants are collecting and using data to make informed decisions to improve both the performance and guest experience.   Data-driven restaurants collect insights about their guests and business, make decisions based on the real data and information and give restaurateurs access to performance tracking and guest profiles. 

How can data help your restaurant?

1. Data-driven decision making brings the opportunity to answer distinct questions regarding aspects of the business, such as intelligent inventory management features or sales optimising to see what you are selling most and least. Moreover, a data-driven restaurant creates a sharp overview of the operations and can minimize concerns, such as food waste or money loss. Thanks to the collected data, decisions are both intuitive and supported by tangible insights that generate the best foundation to increase revenue and profit margin. Finally, all of these features of data-driven decision making are answering the question of how your business is doing today.

2. Track the performance of your business.

As mentioned earlier, data and information bring the opportunity to historically see the graphs of performance, allowing you to get a rich insight into how well your business is doing. Over time, you can determine the actual performance of your restaurant, reduce costs, save time, and have a more efficient way of working with your team.

3. Understand who your guests are and personalise the guest experience.

Building a guest database that you can use for marketing purposes will allow you to provide a more personalised experience and make your guests come back. Segmenting your guests and following their needs makes it easier to create and send out customised emails, thank you emails after visits, and even polite queries of feedback. This will help to serve up a memorable experience for which guests are more likely to come back, spend more money, and spread the word about your restaurant with family and friends.


4. Increase revenue.

Building an intuition while knowing who your guests are and what could potentially match their preferences can benefit not only them but also your business. Your team will be able to recommend the right things based on previous visits, reward regulars with special offers and promotions. 

5. Set revenue and experience goals for your team so they can perform at their best to impress you.

By using a platform that allows you to flip the screen and see how you’re performing in service, you will see your team making an effort to hit the goal. This tool helps make the whole team aware of its performance and, by showing the results of their work, it gives them the necessary motivation to keep improving. As for the experience goal, using a platform that lets your clients measure the quality of the experience will ultimately help you design a better bonus system for the team by having the data to realise who’s performing the best.

It is time to take control of your business.

First, it’s highly important to ask yourself: Do you know how your business is doing at the moment? Data will enable you to make decisions that are both intuitive and supported by tangible insights, so you have a clear daily understanding of where your business stands. Knowing this will give you the chance to increase revenue and ultimately optimise your profit margins.

Some factors are relevant to mention when you’re looking to boost your awareness:

  1. KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators, and they can be anything like revenue, best selling items, percentage of tips, food costs, and so on. If you track these KPIs, you’ll have a better perception of how the business is doing and what are the aspects that need improvement.
  2. Knowing what you can improve in your restaurant will set new goals for the team, and it will motivate them to achieve them together, which will positively impact their work and overall performance.
  3. Using data will also allow you to understand who your guests are, making it possible for you to personalise the guest experience by creating guest profiles. These profiles will get more detailed over time, and they will help your team do the work while also being very useful for marketing purposes (i.e. targeting audiences). These are some basic questions you should aim to answer: where the guests are from, how much they spend, what they buy, how often they visit you and how to make them come back. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to create memorable experiences for each of your guests , resulting in them coming back, spending more money and making sure they spread the word about your restaurant. It’s all about building relationships instead of treating clients as numbers.
  4. Building relationships is the next step. You can make any guest feel recognized by just saying “welcome back”, you can reward regular customers with special offers or promotions, you can send automated emails or text messages after their visit, and so on. Tightening these bonds makes the guests feel appreciated.
  5. Using data will ultimately lead to an increase in revenue. By using the information you have, you can craft personalised marketing to make guests come back, or target the right audience in your campaigns, or even host special events for regulars. Having insights will make upselling easier. 

How to make your restaurant data-driven? The answer is simple: Guest Experience Management.

Start by reviewing your current software and determine whether it allows you to cross information between platforms. The most important thing is that you prioritize a platform that gives you access to data-driven decisions. 

Wouldn’t it be easier to have an all-in-one platform focused on connecting the dots and give you the most accurate insights about your business?

We are now living in a new era. A new generation of emerging restaurateurs is rising, and they are the conquerors of data management. They realize the value of the perfect guest experience, and this is how they are setting a competitive advantage for themselves: they are becoming data-driven restaurants to build relationships and inspire great teamwork. Thus, they will extend their relevance and quickly increase revenue.

Superb introduces Guest Experience Management. GXM gives you the perfect way to connect the dots. You now have one platform to replace all the different software you currently use, and it also helps you gather the data you need to perform at your best.  

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