Harness Restaurant POS Data to Earn More and Perform Better

Harness Restaurant POS Data

Posted: Oct. 12, 2018

Modern technology has a great number of benefits. For you as a restaurant owner, it offers insight into your business within seconds. How? Through data collected by your restaurant point-of-sale 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. Chances are high that you have been a recipient of such emails, and you might have been intrigued by one promotion and purchased an item or service.

If so, then you know, from 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, you plan to send a birthday coupon to email recipients), customers won’t be 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:

  • Emails
  • Street addresses
  • Birthdays
  • Size of families
  • Favorite dishes
  • Holidays celebrated

Some POS systems help you to collect customer data, and there are other systems that 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 because 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)

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. To see how well your restaurant is performing, the following are important metrics to look at:

  • 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.)
  • Average number of reservations made per day, week, and month.
  • Time of day the most orders are placed.
  • 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 own 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 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 give you the opportunity to fix it.

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. 

Other useful metrics a POS system shows:

  • The number of payments made with cash versus card
  • Average tip amounts
  • Number of returned dishes
  • Most popular dish versus least popular dish on the menu
  • Voided/cancelled orders/checks
  • 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 a 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.

Find out more about how to harness useful restaurant date from your POS system.

Posted: Oct. 12, 2018 | Written By: Emma Alois

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It’s a fact: The quality of your restaurant’s POS system can mean the difference between profit and loss. Having the right POS solutions positively affects the functionality of every aspect of your business. From maintaining optimum customer care standards, to your ability to manage your inventory, effective POS can help your restaurant succeed beyond your wildest expectations.

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