Product personalization shows guests you care about their experience. Personalization is easier than ever when you use big data to store relevant details about every guest that comes into your restaurant.

Do they have dietary restrictions or food allergies? What foods and drinks do they tend to order? When did they come in, and how many were in their party? Get guests to engage through a waitlist app, which allows you to save info like zip codes, email addresses, and special events.

Data is a game-changer when it comes to restaurant operations. Managers no longer live in fear of manual inventory counts, and hosts no longer struggle to remember the name of that one regular who orders pie with every meal.

Take a look at some ways big data is making a huge impact on restaurant management:


Inventory Tracking

“Data can help you understand which products sell and when, and which don’t,” says Karen Peacock, SVP and Small Business Segment Leader at Intuit. Focusing on the right units means you can stock popular items but reduce overhead by letting go of slow-selling products. (Who knew kale pudding would be so unpopular?!)


Connect on Mobile

Saving a guest’s phone number or email address allows you to send them helpful links and promotions suited to their preferences. If all of Mr. Smith’s orders come in at 6 pm on weeknights, you might try sending him a discount at 5:30 pm, and see if his order total increases.


Online Ordering

As online ordering continues to grow like a magic beanstalk, it’s imperative for restaurants to connect with guests before they even enter the restaurant. Data tells guests where they last ordered, and what dishes they’re likely to enjoy given their order history.


Target Your Most Loyal Fans

Your top 25% of guests generate 64% of your revenue. Track guests’ loyalty by reviewing data on the frequency of their visits, their average ticket price, and how their tips have changed over time. If a regular always tips 30%, and then one day she doesn’t tip at all – why not ask her what went wrong, and ask how you can make things right?


Understanding Data

Peter Chen, Director of Data Science at Algebraix Data, tells a joke about averages: “A statistician confidently tried to cross a river that was one meter deep on average; he drowned. Restaurants can be fooled by averages from their POS system. Without slicing and dicing the data further and taking a multi-faceted, dimensional look, data can be deceiving.” Point of Sale systems take guesswork out of the equation, so you get actionable results and data you can use.


Get Creative

Entrepreneurs are finding ways to take data analysis to the next level. Scientists have even begun to experiment with computer-generated recipes, designed to incorporate the highest possible number of trendy ingredients.

The future of data is exciting, but the right now of data is ready to make running your restaurant, cheaper, easier, and more accurate. You can count on your fingers, or you can count on data to manage your restaurant’s details.

Hungry for more data articles from the CAKE Mix blog? Read our posts on big data, how to use data to defeat holiday troubles, and how data is changing staff scheduling.