Big data has become a popular topic that is no longer reserved for multi-national corporations. Thanks to technology gains, businesses of all sizes can have access to this new treasure trove of data. Even the smallest single unit restaurant that uses a POS system has a wealth of data at their fingertips. Add in data from your marketing, accounting, inventory and scheduling systems and you'll have more than enough to keep you busy for a while.
Data Science for Extracting Consumer Insight
As restaurant owner, it is important to leverage data science in trying to decipher insights from these large volumes of data. Data science is an interdisciplinary approach to data which helps extract insight that would otherwise be impossible considering the amount of information available.
While the idea of big data has received a lot of attention in the business world, research shows most restaurants are yet to start exploiting the available opportunities. Many big brands in other sectors including UPS, IBM and Netflix are just examples of companies which have integrated data science as an integral part of their business practices to optimize operations.
The data collected from your restaurant can prove extremely useful. This is where data science comes into play. In a restaurant business you have various operations which generate invaluable data.
Where to pull data?
Data from inside of the business: POS data, suppliers, accounting, wages, tips, etc.
Data from outside of the business: Social media, customer loyalty programs, weather, traffic patterns, events nearby, etc.
Leveraging Data for Better Restaurant Business
Below are some ways in which data science can help you optimize your business operations:
- Consumer insights: The better you know your customer shopping preferences, taste, demographics, purchasing power, visit patterns and other traits the more informed your business strategy.
- Better decision making: Almost every decision made in your restaurant can be based on data. With real-time data you are able to make good decisions even on the go.
- Customer retention: Now that you have data about your customers it is easy to segment them into repeat customers and start a loyalty program. A reward mechanism earns you repeat business, but this is more effective if you know who to target.
- Better pricing strategy: Over time you will tweak your prices and the impact will be reflected in the data your systems collect. By analyzing this data you can build a reliable pricing strategy.
- Menu changes: Which menus promise better returns? In the restaurant business the menu mix you choose can determine your sales success. Tracking the impact of your menu manually is virtually impossible. Data analysis will help you determine the best menu combination for higher sales. McDonald is highly renowned for this strategy.
Data science helps you stay ahead of the pack. Ensure your marketing and operations teams have the data and insights they need to make the best decisions. Your restaurant will boast the best prices, innovative menu mix, higher customer satisfaction levels and of course higher sales.