Modern technology has a great number of benefits. For you, as a restaurant owner, it offers insight into your business within seconds. How? Learn to harness data from your restaurant POS system. Below we reveal the types of data you can use to:
- Predict patterns
- Increase revenue
- Create effective marketing campaigns
- Optimize performance
- Customer Information Data
- Your customers are your lifeblood, and the more you know about them, the more effective your marketing campaigns can be.
Most retail stores collect data on their customers and send follow-up emails on birthdays and holidays. These emails almost always include a promotion or discount, and the customer response is strong. The chances are high that you have been a recipient of such emails, and you might have been intrigued by a promotion and purchased an item or service.
If so, then you know, from the first-hand experience that when the promotion targets a specific need or desire, it is extremely persuasive. With the data that you collect, your restaurant can have the same effect on customers.
Getting your restaurant customers’ information doesn’t have to be an imposition, either. If you are upfront about your intentions (such as planning to send a birthday coupon to email recipients), customers won’t feel put out when asked for their details. You will start a new relationship with customers that benefits everyone.
Types of Personal Data Restaurants Should Be Collecting from Customers:
Customer’s personal data might be the most valuable commodity a restaurant owner can harness. From a customer’s favorite menu item, to what causes they care about; this information can boost your restaurant marketing program to new levels when leveraged correctly.
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Some POS systems help you to collect customer data, and other systems log information. Aggregated information allows you to create targeted promotional outreach programs (through coupons, promotions, and specials) that entice customers back to your restaurant. And that is the ultimate goal. With enough customer data, you can send targeted emails or conduct specific social-media campaigns that attract repeat business. With the collection of data, you have correctly identified what your customers want.
One example of a restaurant with excellent and extensive promotional marketing is the Brazilian steakhouse brand Texas de Brazil. When customers submit their data, they receive a coupon for a significant discount on their next meal at the pricy restaurant. Additionally, a birthday coupon is emailed out, redeemable for a few weeks around their birthday. It’s a simple outreach program, and with several locations worldwide, the company is very successful with it. Use them for inspiration when you start building your own marketing campaign based on customer data. (See: 4 Tips for Creating Compelling Restaurant Marketing Emails)
How to Request Customer Data without Pushback
By using an integrated POS system, you can request customer data such as email, name, address, etc. at the time the check is presented on a mobile POS system. Offer a freebie in exchange for information, such as a birthday coupon, or a discount.
Alternatively, you can prompt customers to join a loyalty program through your POS system for long-term data collection that leads to repeat business.
Customer Experience and Restaurant Performance Data
Use the metrics on your restaurant POS system to get all the information you need to optimize operations and improve the guest experience at your restaurant. The following metrics are important to measure when trying to give customers the best experience:
Length of time, customers wait to be seated once announcing themselves to the host.
Table turnover. (If you see turnover is low, here are four tips to improve your table-turnover rate.)
The average number of reservations made per day, week, and month.
Time of day the most orders are placed.
What is the average number of customers seated per table?
These numbers reveal everything about how well your staff is performing to give the best customer experience. If you see, you are underperforming, investigate. Take one week to shadow your employees and ask the management team to provide their observations. The answer might be as simple as rearranging the floor plan to accommodate more people.
Or the numbers might reveal a more serious problem, like a miscommunication between the BOH and FOH. Fortunately, a restaurant POS can also help improve communications between the kitchen and FOH teams.
However big or small the problem may be, the data will show you where the problem is and allow you to fix it. Take the information you collect and use it to your advantage with new training programs, changing menu items, or changing staffing goals.
Lavu Pro Tip: One of the most useful parts of data metrics is being able to predict the future. When you can predict how customers will behave, you can prepare for busy and slow seasons.
Personalize Customer Experience by Using Customer Data
All of the data you collect from your customers shapes into a great personalization tool for the best customer experience. Use this information to send personalized promotions to your restaurant patrons, such as the following:
- A voucher for their favorite meal
- A free meal or dessert for their birthday
- Specialized holiday promotions based on holidays they celebrate
- Show your restaurant as an all-inclusive establishment by celebrating your customer’s holidays with them.
- Offer a discount on a menu item they haven’t tried yet.
Other useful metrics a POS system shows:
The number of payments made with cash versus card
The number of fees paid for processing credit card payments
Average tip amounts
Number of returned dishes
Most popular dish versus least popular dish on the menu
Food cost against profit
The busiest time of day versus the slowest time (This metric is helpful when making the schedule or forecasting the need for seasonal hires.)
Which staff member has the highest sales versus the lowest
There are myriad ways to use data from the point of sale. Start getting to know the metrics slowly, and in time, you can use the system to predict customer behavioral patterns, earn more, and perform at optimal levels.