You Have Your Own Source of Restaurant Big Data, Right at Your Fingertips
It’s no secret: restaurant big data is getting bigger. SMBs are no longer afraid of jumping in the water of business intelligence and analytics, and restaurants are on the front line. But capturing and interpreting the right information can still feel elusive, and the results far from useful.
How does restaurant big data help you make change, now?
The growth of big data
Think of this in two senses: big data is growing, and big data means growth.
Growth only happens when more diners choose you. A restaurant is a 360-degree customer experience, immersive, and engaging all the senses. It also requires an investment of time. If people are going to choose to spend time immersed in your restaurant’s experience, you need to know what pleases them, when, and why. You can only know this for certain by gathering data around two points: sales and customer feedback.
Big data is growing in popularity because those who use it well know it’s a gold mine of information. You can start using the things you learn right away by leaning into numbers and feedback that look good (playing to your strengths), and inquiring further into numbers and feedback that look bad (minimizing weaknesses). The ability to constantly tweak your performance based on sales data and customer feedback gives restaurants who use big data a competitive edge.
Figuring out what works
On the ground, how does this work?
The biggest benefit to big data is that it lets you customize offerings to customer preferences. It’s all about the details and customers feeling like you “get” them. Tapping into this is how restaurants are discovering and rediscovering their own niche for earning customer loyalty.
For example, a restaurant that’s flagging in table service on weeknights might run data points through sales and customer surveys and discover it’s not because people don’t dig the dinner menu (which might be your first assumption), but because their base prefers takeout. They might then tweak their budget to amp up takeout promotions, add more drivers, and create special dishes for quick delivery.
You do you
This isn’t about becoming everything to everyone, but figuring out how to best be you. What your restaurant essentially is is made up of thousands of small choices, gestures, sights, sounds, smells, and tastes per day. From menu options, to the view, to the way hosts hang up coats and servers take orders. Every square inch is a constantly changing theatre, a buzzing beehive of information. Each of these elements, as it interacts with a customer, is a potential data point.
Gather enough data points, and you start to get a picture of what’s getting traction, and what isn’t in your context. Not only can you customize diners’ experiences, but big data is also what gives you a customized picture of your restaurant.
Complimenting your Spidey Sense
Big data doesn’t replace management skills, emotional intelligence, artistry, or the role of relationships. It’s not meant to. It simply gives you helpful information from an outside source—accurate, and lots of it. Data gives your intuition and common sense more to work with. As it does, it helps confirm or correct intuitions and decision-making as they develop, rather than on the back end, when situations can be more difficult to turn around. Think of Peter Parker’s Spidey Sense combined with all of Batman’s cool gear, and you’ve got the idea. If you know you can combine them, why choose just one?
Big data at your fingertips
In order to use big data well, and not get lost in another marketing investment fog, you need to:
- Get the data points you need and want
- Gather them in a timely way
- Keep them organized
- Make them actionable
- Keep them on hand
Original Review is the restaurant big data boon. Using four simple questions, OR quickly and easily gathers customer feedback on four crucial areas: food, service, atmosphere, and value. It also lets you add up to two custom questions of your own. Then it puts the results at your fingertips by storing, organizing, and displaying them on an online dashboard. It’s all in real time, so you can see reviews as they come in, immediately identifying preferences and problems down to the exact table, and building a database to track customer preferences over time.
Big data and new possibilities
This means endless creative potential for honing your customer experience: service, management, operations, staff, inventory, menus, marketing, facilities, music, temperature, allergies, handicap access, food sourcing, parking and valet, outdoor seating, and more. You can track the popularity of new menu items, seasonal changes, or customer preferences that tend to be stronger during certain hours of the day (for example, a half-price appetizer menu for lunch meetings). You can make and meet new goals, and take bigger risks without so much guessing.
The best way to get big data
The best way to know anything is to ask. This is what Original Review does. Hundreds of new data points are coming in per day. You know where they’re coming from. They’re what you want to know. And they’re giving you a new view of your restaurant, right away, from customers’ perspectives.
When we say OR is easy to use, simple to implement, and worth your investment, we mean it. Try us out for free or get in touch! We’ll help you harness the power of big data for your restaurant, and keep it easy, actionable, and right at your fingertips.