Food is a physiologic human need and people will always crave something to fill in hunger. Despite the fact that everyone needs to eat, in this very competitive industry, it’s hard to keep your restaurant business afloat. Amidst the desire to increase sales are various struggles limiting success. There’s the ever-changing face of consumer wants, growing client demands, the rising cost of maintaining operations, and the introduction of various food niches.
Luckily, in today’s highly technological world there are several ways to increase sales in a restaurant. The use of data, for example, offers unlimited advantages from attracting customers to retaining a client base. Thanks to new technologies, restaurant owners don’t need to dig deep just to get a valuable amount of data. Your POS, or Point of Sales, alone is a goldmine of data. But if not analyzed and used correctly, it’s essentially useless.
Data to find growth opportunities
Analyzing data may seem daunting at first, but it can actually lead your restaurant to find new opportunities for growth and development. Having the right information on hand allows you to analyze performance across operations leading to enhanced processes and systematized methods. For example, restaurant chains often use data to monitor activities around business locations. Equipped with the appropriate information, they use it as a tool to reduce wasteful activities or take golden opportunities for progress.
You can also combine data with different elements to boost promotions. Customer engagement solutions for one, when used correctly, can funnel back information into your campaign that in return will drive traffic for the business. Likewise, data can be used to target customers within a specific location and offer them personalized coupons or special discounts and promotions to increase revenue. To leverage data, you must:
- Collect information from multiple sources both online and offline.
- Don’t disregard data on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Make the data accessible to key people like managers and supervisors.
Data to promote specific products
Promoting new products or services is always a challenge especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Since taste buds are constantly changing, many restaurant owners find it hard to introduce new menu items as well as additional food services. It’s a constant battle of consumer needs versus wants, which can be very unpredictable.
But with careful analysis, you can use data to find out crowd-pleasing favorites as well as choices that should be removed. Your POS is a rich source of well-treasured information, the numbers behind each sale serve as a ticket towards the top ten list of most popular, and unpopular, food choices. By exploring the data on your restaurant, you can create smart actions on how to promote certain products or food items.
- Renew enthusiasm for less popular items by giving away promos and discounts.
- Focus on food selections that are flying off the kitchen shelves to drive sales.
Data to maximize customer value
Every individual is unique, and every customer requires different care that will distinguish them from the rest. Maximizing customer value will only take place when they are engaged with your food items, and the best way to do this is to give them unique incentives that will keep them coming back for more. Establishing customer loyalty is important to keep your restaurant sales increasing month after month.
Fortunately, if your restaurant is armed with the right data, you can use this to segment customers into groups and analyze their value according to different factors. Information such as how frequently they visit your restaurant and how much they spend on a meal can all be used to build a stronger relationship with your patrons. The key here is to incentivize less frequent clients and maintain a nurturing bond with regular customers. Here are some ways to maximize customer value:
- Create a loyalty program and reward frequent clients.
- Lure customers back into your restaurant by offering special nights or exclusive dishes.
- Offer small but attractive deals such as discounts for families, free drinks, free burgers, etc.
Data to predict customer behavior and replicate success
Another way to use data to increase restaurant sales is through forecasting. As the owner, learning how your customers behave and how they spend money on meals gives you a heads-up on what to prepare for their next visit.
Now that you have a scaling restaurant with growing followers and skyrocketing sales, don’t forget to use data to keep your success going. This is the time where you need to look back on what went wrong and amend things. Log every campaign you have and identify factors that made it successful, so you can repeat the strategy and come up with a similar outcome. When predicting customer behavior, don’t forget to:
- Use a proactive approach when segmenting client data by eliminating the unnecessary.
- Offer various packages according to customer needs, different tiers require different solutions.
- Let repeat customers explore other items by giving them irresistible deals and discounts.
How to measure data
Collecting data is simple, but measuring and analyzing it is yet another story. Your POS machine is loaded with great information, but even if you have the most sophisticated model, it can’t be interpreted by itself. Instead, what you need are specialized solutions such as customer management tools that can measure and analyze data in a simple and accurate way.
Two of the best tools you could try are Como and UpServe. Aside from their precise data measurement and analyzation features, they can easily be integrated with most POS machines available on the market. Also, you can use it to create automated restaurant campaigns according to the needs and wants of your business. Automated campaigns are useful for:
- Promoting restaurant memberships and loyalty programs.
- Following up on customers for repeat visits and multiple transactions.
- Targeting a specific market via personalized in-depth analytics.