What’s at the heart of every growing restaurant business? It might sound like a grand question, but the answer is simple - restaurant data. Data is the best map to follow when scaling your business. It has all the details about your customer experience, labor cost, restaurant industry statistics, and more. Restaurant data is an umbrella term. It includes all data related to your restaurant - from demographics to profit margins and industry stats. There is just so much data to consider in the restaurant industry.
For restaurant owners, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when making business decisions and analyzing business performance. Data acts as direction when you reach this point. So instead of waiting until you get overwhelmed, collect your business data along the way. There are many technology tools; you could invest in a built-in automation system. Let’s rewind a little, though.
In this article, we’ve prepared a complete guide for restaurant owners looking to use data. We’ll cover everything from foot traffic to trend analytics. Plus, why should you even bother with data in the first place? We have a lot to cover, so let’s dive in.
What Is Restaurant Data Collection?
Restaurant data collection is just the process of collecting data for your business. This is usually to aid company growth by using data to measure business performance. However, data can help to advise business decisions. For instance, you could use product popularity statistics to help you order the right amount of new stock. Using data to run your restaurant is one of the most versatile tools for company growth. It is worth investing in for overall business success and great for restaurant analytics.
When it comes to types of restaurant data, prepare yourself for a long list. There are so many different sorts of data that you can use. You can analyze foot traffic - especially if you want to increase customer numbers and assess your business location. You should analyze customer demographics when making big business decisions like menu adjustments or opening hours.
To break things down, these are some top examples of valuable data:
- Customer satisfaction statistics
- Profit margins
- Restaurant industry statistics
- Website statistics
- Customer demographics
- Foot traffic analytics
All of the types of data above provide meaningful insights for restaurant owners. Whether you are analyzing your customer experience or looking to try different restaurant models, data helps. You can see the data’s reach and flexibility by using those data examples. Data can help restaurant marketing, design, and customer service.
Collecting data is a massive must for all restaurant owners. It is vital for understanding your customers and business performance. And if you want company growth? Consider data collection a necessary step for success.
How To Collect Restaurant Data
Hopefully, you are already collecting data to grow your business. But if you aren’t, not to worry. This section will help you start.
Collecting restaurant data is a daunting prospect. But it is an absolute breeze to collect stats and figures. Most of the time, the entire process is automated. Depending on the data you want to collect, you must research technology tools to help automate the process.
For foot traffic data, you can invest in sensors that record the number of people that cross your threshold. The sensors link to online software - letting you track and analyze foot traffic. A captive portal for your wifi system is a must for customer demographics. This system requests guests input their demographic data in exchange for wifi connection. And this technique has a bonus; it boosts your customer experience if you aren’t already offering wifi. The easiest way to get a captive portal is through software, which displays the data on an analytics dashboard.
As you can see, collecting restaurant data is nothing to stress about. You can automate the process with the use of reliable software. All you have to do is open up your software’s dashboard to interpret the analytics.
Collecting data is simple, even if you want something more qualitative than quantitative, like customer experience feedback. You can send feedback forms to your email list or attach a QR code to customers’ bills. Encouraging feedback is a fantastic way to reduce the chance of customers ranting online. If you can deal with any issues and validate their experience then and there, the negativity won’t leave the door. Another bonus of collecting data for your restaurant.
How To Use Restaurant Traffic Data
So, you’ve collected restaurant traffic data. Now what? How can you put all these numbers to good use? Easy. Restaurant traffic data is one of the best types of restaurant data to use.
Often foot traffic directly correlates with business performance. By measuring foot traffic, you measure how many people your restaurant attracts. And the more people your restaurant attracts, the more money you make. Rather than tallying headcounts on your booking system (an eye-watering task after a long shift), a traffic sensor counts automatically. So at the end of the night, the sensor reveals the number of people that visited your business. Over time, you can measure your business performance with increases and decreases in this data. Foot traffic is a fantastic indicator of popularity and success.
Restaurant traffic data also helps you measure what times you are the busiest. This can help with everyday business decisions like staffing. If you know you are most active on a Saturday night, you can roster enough staff accordingly. You may manage it yourself if you know it’s quiet between 1 pm and 6 pm on Tuesdays.Staffing is money; the more unnecessary stuff you have, the less profit for that shift.
Similarly, if you don’t have enough staff for that shift, then customer experience could suffer. It is an intricate balance. And a balance that restaurant traffic data helps.
When choosing which restaurant data to collect, definitely consider restaurant foot traffic. Foot traffic is brilliant for measuring business performance and managing everyday business decisions. It can even be helpful when considering major business decisions like changing locations.
How To Use Restaurant Trends Data
Restaurant trends data is a fascinating category of restaurant data. Restaurant trends can be trends you notice in your restaurant or general trends - like industry trends in 2023. The trends can be anything from digital menus to more guests ordering your cheese board. When using restaurant trends, the most important thing is to pay careful attention to emerging patterns. It helps to stay ahead of the game.
Letting restaurant trends data lead your business decisions can be lucrative. This is especially true when implementing the trend is low risk and minimal cost. One of the best ways to use trends is through your restaurant design. For example, installing a trendy jungle wall might be in keeping with trends for restaurant photo areas. This initially costs a bit but is worthwhile as it attracts new customers and organic social media marketing. When changes are contained or minimal, restaurant designs are also easily reversible.
Another way to use restaurant trends data is to adapt your menu. For instance, if you notice a trend of customers asking for iced coffee, which you don’t sell. Once you reach your 20th customer asking in 2 weeks, it’s time to evaluate. You can use trends you notice in your restaurant to adapt what you offer.
How To Prevent a Restaurant Data Breach
Of course, with great things comes great responsibility. If you are collecting data, you must have a safe place to store it. A restaurant data breach is the last thing you want to associate with your business. And if you genuinely care about your customers, you have an ethical duty to prevent their data from being attacked.
So, how do you do that? Simple. We’ve got plenty of ideas, but these are our top suggestions:
- Invest in high-quality data-collecting software
- Invest in fantastic security software
- Change passwords frequently
- Use strong passwords
- Minimize staff access
- Train staff in data protection
- Back up your system and software regularly
- Use separate laptops for internet browsing and data managing
All of these preventative measures are easy to apply. Even the more complex ones, like staff training, can be done cheaply. Many free cybersecurity courses are online, so get creative and invest time into your business.
Finally, a plan is essential to have in place against restaurant data breaches. What would you do if there was a data breach? “Panic” is not a good enough answer. You need to know what steps you would take. Being transparent, decisive, and effective is necessary to restore your customers’ faith in you under these circumstances. And you know what they say: fail to prepare; prepare to fail.
Final Thoughts: Where To Start With Restaurant Data
Okay. You know everything essential about restaurant data. We’ve covered what it is, how to use different data types, and how to protect it from breaches. You are well and truly ready to take your next steps. The best place to start your data journey is by deciding what data you want to use. Do you want to analyze foot traffic? Demographics? Or do you want to measure customer satisfaction or trends? Pick one and start shopping for software and any vital technology tools.
Restaurant data is essential for business success. You must understand your customers, business performance, and the world. Whether you like it or not, data is the holy grail in the restaurant industry.
Are you looking for some extra help? Data collection can be overwhelming, but at Beambox, we are always happy to help. As experts in marketing and making the most out of restaurants’ data, we can help start your journey toward success. Outsource to us, and let’s take the following steps together.
Let’s get the ball rolling today. Beambox offers the best all-in-one wifi marketing platform. We leverage a dynamic approach to connect, capture, and keep more customers. Start your Beambox free trial today, and let us help you maximize your business potential.
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