What is Restaurant Analytics: How to Use Data to Increase Sales

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Analytics is a scary word meant only for the data nerds, right? Wrong. While it might seem you need to be a numbers whiz to worry about analytics, you should think again. If you own a restaurant, it’s crucial that you understand restaurant analytics. Why? Because knowing how your restaurant is performing by collecting data and analyzing it enables you to improve. 

The insights you need in order to do anything from enhancing customer experience to retaining employees can be found by analyzing the data, if you’re willing to dig deep enough. Analytics are critical if you want to increase sales, so buckle up while we walk you through everything you need to know about restaurant analytics and give you some tips and tricks that’ll help you decide what to change to improve profits and increase revenue.

What is restaurant analytics?

First, what is restaurant analytics? When we narrow in on restaurant analytics, we’re talking about the collection of organized data that helps you make informed decisions. The best restaurants analyze everything from daily sales and customer count, to the money each server brings in per labor hour. Many even keep strict calculations that help them when forecasting which ingredients they’ll need so they’ll have enough menu items for specific occasions and times of year. While it’s impossible to forecast and predict everything, there are a lot of helpful insights you can glean from digging into your restaurant analytics.

How do you gather data in a restaurant?

If data is so critical, how do you gather it? Glad you asked. While some do it the old school way with pen and paper, there’s a better method. It’s called restaurant reporting and analytics software. The right software will help you track it all and reduce your workload, allowing you to focus on keeping customers and employees happy instead of on keeping tabs. 

What is restaurant analytics software?

Restaurant analytics software combines all the data points you need to run a successful operation onto one platform. It then allows you to transform the data in a way that it can be analyzed and used for improvement. This software is a tool that saves you time and money, and it’s a technology you simply can’t afford to live without, particularly with the way business is being done today. Our restaurant analytics software can help ease the burden and give you the tools to wow customers and keep employees motivated. 

What’s the difference between restaurant reporting and restaurant analytics?

At first glance, it can be hard to distinguish the difference between reporting and analytics in your restaurant. Aren’t they one and the same? Not exactly. Once you take the time to consider the whole picture, it becomes clear. You see, restaurant reporting refers to the numbers and the reports that you see at face value. Analytics takes things one step further. It’s not just the data that you see, but what it means, and how it looks over time. A report gives you the raw data. Analytics give you actionable insights.

How do you analyze restaurant data?

Once you gather the data, you need to analyze it. That’s where restaurant data analytics comes into play. Analyzing your restaurant’s data is what makes it actionable and useful. If you just have data without any analysis, you’re really missing the boat. To analyze the data, you should first think generally about the areas of your restaurant that could use improvement. Are you struggling to make enough sales to support all your employees? Or is it tough to keep the right amount of inventory in stock? You should already have a general sense for what your main pain points are. 

Next, use these pain points as a frame of reference and then start digging into the data, running reports, and organizing it to find trends and insights. For instance, once you begin analyzing your restaurant data, you may find that some employees continually forget to clock out, causing you to pay them for work they didn’t do. Or perhaps you’ll find that one menu item seems to be ordered more frequently than any other, causing you to run out of a specific ingredient more quickly. Once you find these insights, you’ll then want to make some changes to improve customer service.

How are restaurants using data to improve their customer service?

As mentioned, restaurants use data to find places they’re falling short. But it doesn’t stop there. Once they understand where they need to step it up, they take real steps to improve. For instance, if the data shows that average customer wait times are long and you notice you’ve been losing customers, you could make a few adjustments. 

First, be sure to give them an accurate wait time. It’s always better to overestimate the wait and then seat them sooner than expected. A good rule of thumb? Always underpromise and overdeliver. That’s a recipe for customer satisfaction. Next, it might also be helpful to improve the waiting area by creating a soothing atmosphere or adding elements that keep the guests relaxed and at ease while they wait.

How can restaurants use big data?

What exactly is big data? It’s hard to define exactly what it is, but in general big data refers to all the pieces of data that make up large data sets. Sounds complex, right? Some examples might help. 

Let’s say you have an app for online ordering. Big data takes into account what a person adds to their order, how long they spend on the page, where they click before making their order, and even how long they dwell on each part of the page. In essence, the study of big data is actually the process of analyzing several smaller data points and finding trends and insights after making an analysis. 

Restaurants are using big data to improve their online ordering technology and make everything from menus to payments more efficient. In order to use big data effectively, you first need to collect it. All-in-one restaurant operations software is a great foundation to have when it comes to collecting data and integrating all your processes on one platform. That’s where we can help.

How can we help you with your restaurant analytics?

Whether it’s cash management, inventory, reporting and analytics, or even employee health checks, at SynergySuite, we help you with your restaurant analytics by bringing you a solution that helps you track it all on one platform. Gather the data, analyze it, and then use it to level up your restaurant. We’ll be here every step of the way while you make your restaurant better each passing day.

Looking for more tips and tricks? Check out “The Top Restaurant Analytics Tips By Experts In The Industry” – by our partners at Toast!

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