Yeah, we throw around the term “restaurant analytics” around here like a bunch of hardcore data scientists. But thanks to always-on, always-connected devices like POS systems for restaurants, data is no longer limited to sales and guest totals.
Your restaurant generates a ton of data; the trouble is you can’t see most of it. Every time your staff enters an order, swipes a credit card, or closes a check, you’re creating data. Every review on Yelp, Facebook post and retweet on Twitter is valuable data, too. Even the weather!
Now, any of these individual pieces of data might not tell you very much, but in aggregate they can tell you an incredible amount about your business. Imagine if Amazon threw out their data every night? That’s essentially what restaurateurs are doing when they batch out.
What is Restaurant Data Analytics?
“Restaurant analytics” is the art of analyzing all that raw data into simple to use insights that you can use to make better decisions for your business. Today, every piece of information – from wait time to tip distribution – can be accurately gathered, measured and presented to owners in a way that’s clear, prompting a real-time response, and forward-thinking plans for long-term success.
Below are just 6 metrics you can measure to boost traffic, revenue, and customer satisfaction using restaurant data analytics in your POS.
Improve table turnover
In order to serve customers well, and hopefully create repeat business, you’ll need to move the dining experience along at your tables. A restaurant POS system can help facilitate ordering and even offer tabletop payment, so customers can enjoy a casual bite, leaving satisfied and likely to return for another meal down the line.
Plus, with faster order and payment, your waitstaff is free to accommodate more customers, further improving table turnover without unnecessarily rushing guests who want to linger a little longer.
Thanks to POS systems for restaurants, restaurant data is no longer limited to sales and guest totals.
Reduce food loss
Your restaurant POS can allow you to control the inventory going in and out of your kitchen, making your staff more accountable for the way they cook, deliver, and account for every item ordered.
It’s your restaurant’s inventory – don’t let careless staff over pile a plate, underserve a valued customer, or simply misuse the expected items in a way that hurts both your reputation and the bottom line.
Right-size your staffing needs
Wouldn’t it be nice to know who your top and lowest performing servers are? Yes, we all have that cocktail of gut feelings and experience; however, you should back up your decisions with data. Dive deeper and find out the exact cost of a bad server on your business. Trust me, it’s more than you might think.
If you always maintain the same number of kitchen and waitstaff throughout the week, but only certain nights warrant extra servers, your POS system analytics will be able to show you where losses occur, and where you might be able to better utilize their manpower.
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Reduce discounts and comps
You might think that a few percentage points of comps aren’t very much, but it’s just the sort of thing that can shrink your margins. There is no way there was 22 “birthdays” last night at the b
ar. Monitor staff and dishes easily with restaurant analytics.
Improve Staff Turnover
Though losing staff members is never easy, something as simple as optimizing a floor layout, or modifying which staff members handle certain table sizes, can go a long way toward resuming fully covered, completely efficient services. Even with a reduced staff, a POS system can help keep productivity and morale high.
Server Training, on demand
Let’s face it, employee training sessions can have limited success. Depending on the complexity of your system, the quality of the training, and other variables, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that your staff isn’t absorbing everything they need to succeed.
And when this happens, productivity (and ultimately revenue) can fly out the door faster than unsatisfied customers. Before long, work-based frustrations win out, employees resign, and the cycle starts all over again.
With your cloud-based POS system, all team members can access resources training, from menu memorization to workflow optimization, money management and more. Rather than putting the entire staff through more laborious rehashes, a simple POS training session can easily solve a problem, allowing workers to get back up to speed, and on the floor, where they’re making money.
Even after the training is complete, regular analysis of shift performance can help staff identify how they can improve, and improve their own bottom lines, alongside yours.
What are you waiting for?
You may not have a magic 8-ball for predicting restaurant success. But given the amount of data coming from your restaurant POS system, there’s little reason for unnecessary losses or expenses, when the answers are right at your fingertips.