Analytics Software for Restaurants: The Success Blueprint

Marketing 16 minute read 20th December 2023

Analytics software for restaurants can be a real game changer. Other factors like your restaurant location or existing loyalty programs are only part of the picture. Analytics shape your business. You gain new insights by taking a step back to analyze your business from an external software perspective.

Analytics can help you in all aspects of your business. You could get new insights into the patterns of your food costs and inventory effectiveness. Or you could analyze the effectiveness of tools in reducing your staff turnover.

Having great analytics software in the industry is gold. It helps you look at all the ways you run your business and evaluate where you can improve. It is hard to complete this as a business owner for many reasons. One, you are emotionally involved and biased, and two, you lack time. This automation and unbiased analysis solves that problem. In this guide, we’ll take you on a whistle-stop tour of what to know about analytics software for your restaurant.

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What Is Analytics Software?

So, first things first, what exactly is restaurant analytics software? Analytics software is an umbrella term. It means any software that evaluates and draws conclusions on data. This could be to review a product, your online engagement, or for things like customer behavior segmentation. It typically completes this through an automatic process, and you get insights through a dashboard. This gives you easy access to your results and all the stats.

With restaurants specifically, this is vital for tracking customer behavior and monitoring online engagement. You can use general analytics software, or you can use one that specifically caters to the restaurant industry. You’ll get personal insights and all the research displayed on an aesthetic and functional dashboard. And from that, you can adapt how you run your restaurant so that you grow your business, profit, and positive guest experience.

Analytics are the be-all and end-all when it comes to improving your restaurant business. After all, where else will you get this objective feedback from? Aside from customer reviews, this is the best form of feedback you can get. Understanding analytics software is a fantastic first step and a brilliant way to boost your business.

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Top 5 Benefits of Analytics Services for Restaurants

There are tons of ways to utilize analytics, from restaurant employee tools to review systems. Let’s look at the top five ways you can benefit from analytics services for restaurants.

1. Better Menu Decisions

Analytics are great for setting yourself up to make better menu decisions. Why? Because the insights you get will show you the patterns in how your customers engage with dishes. For instance, only 1% of customers choosing one dish type would be a clear sign to axe it. Or if 80% of your customers choose vegetarian dishes, you can invest in vegetarian dishes.

Understanding your analytics is a great way to improve how you approach your menu. You’ll be able to make better decisions that suit your customers in the long run. And this will, in turn, raise your revenue - more on that later.

2. Better Understanding of Customers

By using analytics, you’ll garner a better understanding of customers. You will understand how they behave and feel about dishes, service, and more. Taking restaurant analysis seriously is like catapulting yourself into your customers’ shoes. And since they pay your bills, this is one of the best things you can do.

When you understand your customers, you can improve customer retention by adjusting problematic areas of your business. You can also ‘mind read’ and enhance services to attract loyal customers. All of this will simultaneously boost your guest experience as well. What’s not to love? After investing in analytics, you and your restaurant customers will skip the road hand-in-hand. It is like waving a magic Disney wand.

3. Better Reviews and Reputation

You will naturally see better reviews because of the boost mentioned above in customer and business relations. This is vital for your overall reputation, as it improves how your business comes across online. For instance, having a 5-star rating on Google Maps. Or glowing reports on TripAdvisor. All of these individual reviews add up to create a perfect business reputation.

Of course, this boosts your overall revenue. This also attracts more customers and encourages a positive external view of your restaurant. The sky is your limit once you crack the ‘positive reviews code.’

4. Larger Revenue

A larger revenue is music to any business owner’s ears. But this is especially the case for restaurant owners. We all know how outgoings can add up and really feel like they are bleeding your restaurant dry. Just wait for our next point, which covers wastage costs. However, you push your business to new capabilities once you analyze your restaurant. Think of it as a tree inside a box. Once you remove the box lid, the tree reaches new heights.

With a restaurant, the moment you start addressing your pain points, you remove that box lid. Removing your box lid will allow you to boost your revenue and reach new business heights. Whether your issue is poor customer relations, death by unnecessary outgoings, or poor marketing, analytics will help.

5. Less Wastage

Finally, analytics can help with more physical issues—for instance, less wastage. By monitoring your industry, portion sizes, and more, you can adopt a more efficient approach to food wastage. And, of course, this also benefits your revenue.

One of the biggest hindrances to restaurants’ profit is food wastage costs. Grab the bull by the horns and get analyzing. You can approach your restaurant inventory effectiveness head-on.

There is a lot of software that specifically tackles this issue. You can skip to our penultimate section for advice on which software to use.

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What Business Sizes Need Restaurant Analytics and Reporting

This is like asking how long a piece of string is. There is no official answer to what business sizes need restaurant analytics and reporting. What you are better off doing is looking at your current revenue and reviews. Are you happy with your revenue? Are you satisfied with your reviews?

Overall, using analytics to ‘symptom treat’ and diagnose issues in your restaurant isn’t ideal. It should be a continuous plan and strategy if you want to really gain long-term results. However, if you start noticing issues like poor revenue and review, it’s a sign that analytics are essential.

It isn’t so much about business size but where your current results for revenue and reviews stand. You could be a massive business with bad reviews that desperately require analytics. Or you could be a small business with great reviews that needs analytics for engagement improvement.

It is easy to let business size blind you, but don’t fall into this trap. Answering honestly whether your business needs analytics is all part of being objective. And if you can’t be objective, your business is already at a loss and disadvantage.

With all that said, analytics should also be a part of all long-term plans when running a business. This is because it provides you with ongoing feedback. Businesses are constantly developing, and as such, this gives you a heads-up as pain points create.

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Best Analytics Companies For Restaurants

Next up are the best analytics companies for your restaurants. Which software should you use for your restaurant? Which software you choose will depend on what you want to analyze. Do you want to evaluate your food costs? Restaurant inventory? Or do you want to look at general costs for restaurants? These are the top four to look at.

  • MarginEdge

MarginEdge is the software you want to identify higher outgoings and places to cut costs. Its design is by restaurant owners for restaurant owners and, as such, is a tremendous industry-specific tool. As a starting point, it is a great entry-level choice when choosing analytics platforms.

  • Posist

This cloud-based software allows you to test promotions and optimize your pricing. It analyzes your restaurant business to see where it’s not up to scratch, suggesting necessary changes. It is user-friendly and ideal if you are just using analysis software.

  • Restaurant365

Restaurant365 is a SaaS software that explicitly addresses restaurant inventory management. If this sounds up your street, you’ll control vendors, POS, and more from a single system. You also get the power to customize your reports.

  • MarketMan

Finally, you can use MarketMan. This restaurant-specific analysis platform lets you optimize inventory, track COGs, and get over-portioning insights. It is excellent if your business needs specific insights and analysis. This is especially true if you have identified these elements as pain points.

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Final Thoughts: What To Budget To Get Started With Analytics Software for Restaurants

Budgeting for analytical software is easy. If you are on a budget, you can analyze your data manually. This is relatively straightforward. Just look into different analysis methods online and how to stay objective. Or invest in free analysis tools. You’ll need to budget time rather than money, but it is a great way to analyze a budget. This method is essentially free if you want to invest in actual analytical software. Just set aside at least $50 per month for standard subscription rates.

Depending on your choice, you could budget $0 to around $1,000 annually on analytical software. Whatever your choice, your efforts and investment will pay off in dividends. You’ll get continuous feedback to improve your business. And when you act on the feedback, you’ll see a boost in your profit.

So, that’s where you need to think about Beambox. When analyzing your business and prioritizing growth, you must utilize your guest WiFi. Guest WiFi is the tool you already have. And if you aren’t utilizing it already, you have substantial untapped potential.

You can collect whatever you want from a captive portal on your guest’s WiFi. You could use it for data collection, getting reviews, or followers on Instagram. Use your analytics software to see which gaps you need to fill. Then, let your captive portal do the work for you.

Beambox is the ultimate marketing platform to launch your business to new heights. Start your Beambox free trial now. This is how to use captive portals to complement your analytics software for restaurants.

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