With technology seemingly taking over our world, more restaurant owners are turning to data to change the face of their businesses. The use of data is so prevalent that it is altering the way in which diverse sectors operate. Big data simply means collecting information from different sources, including traditional and digital mediums, and analysing it with technology that is becoming increasingly affordable.

Restaurants also stand to gain from data collection and the wealth of information found in the point-of-sale software. Have you thought about how big data can help you to streamline your workflows and boost your bottom line?

New technology, old concept

Restaurants have always practised some form of data collection and a few of these include a suggestion box and email newsletter signup forms. These methods had to rely heavily on the front-of-house staff taking accurate responses and were time-consuming and subject to human error. In general, manual methods of data collection are too slow and unpredictable to be used for constructive insights of customers’ needs by restaurant owners. Using data produced through automation is the answer because it’s less intrusive and more accurate than more traditional methods.

It’s easier than you think

As previously mentioned, there is a great deal of useful information that can be gained from a point-of-sale system. The right point-of-sale system is much more than just having a cash register. It can host a loyalty system and record customer data including names, email addresses and telephone numbers – information that is useful for monitoring which customers use which rewards so that restaurants can ensure their incentives are on track. PilotLive offers business intelligence tools that allow for fast and accurate reporting.

Improved customer experience

Customer service is probably the most important factor for restaurants and customer data can be used to give patrons a better experience by producing personalised digital marketing campaigns. With advanced software, it’s possible to separate them into groups and address their different needs. Among these could be child-friendly activities for families, business lunches for professionals and happy-hour specials for singles. These days, it’s not only the big organisations that stand to benefit. Information about customers can be accessed by restaurant managers who previously did not have access to the same level of reliable information at an affordable price.

Make it a regular thing

Keeping regulars happy can decide your restaurant’s success because these patrons usually make up the bulk of your trade. This is where collecting information can again prove to be useful. Data collection makes it easier to identify regular customers to ensure they have an unforgettable experience. Servers can make suggestions based on previous orders, or recommend new items. Loyal customers should also be the first to enjoy promotions and coupons.

Pick out problems

It’s hard to keep track of every detail in the busy day-to-day workings of a restaurant, but with data collection, it’s become much easier to identify problems in your process. A repeat void, for example, could be picked out and resolved whether it means checking that an item on the menu hasn’t been prepared properly or an ingredient isn’t fresh.

Start now

Collecting data is easier and more affordable than ever, which means that every restaurant or chain can benefit from this. Improved customer service will ultimately mean more revenue, and data can help to identify problems and improve your workflow. Keep up with technology and make sure that you employ the latest trends to stay ahead of the curve.