It’s no secret that the UK restaurant industry is extremely competitive, and a tough market for even the most experienced of restaurateurs. In recent times, difficult economic conditions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have placed additional strain on the industry. Before this, the 2019 ‘casual dining crunch’, which saw the number of restaurants falling into insolvency increase by 25% year-on-year, was a stark reminder of just how vulnerable the UK restaurant industry is to broader economic trends.

To survive, let alone thrive, restaurant owners must ensure they’re doing everything they can to optimise their offering while staying ahead of their competition. Increasingly, data is helping them to achieve this.

Introducing, restaurant analytics

Restaurant analytics is the broad concept of collecting data from a restaurant and turning it into actionable insight. Using this insight, restaurant owners can make better-informed business decisions, which can ultimately lead to improved efficiency and increased profitability.

With an abundance of information available through modern restaurant technology solutions, from POS (point of sale) systems to marketing platforms, restaurant owners who take the time to understand and utilise their data will have a competitive advantage over those who don’t.

How is data collected?

Data can be found in the various software and tools used throughout a restaurant but is most commonly collected through POS systems. A number of modern cloud-based POS solutions integrate with a multitude of different technologies including CRM (customer relationship management) systems, online booking platforms, inventory management software, and much more.

Nowadays, it is common for restaurants to use an all-in-one style system, that includes POS, payment processing, and built-in insights and analytics. By combining these elements with data from the various integrated software solutions mentioned above, restaurateurs can not only gain a better understanding of the performance of their business on a broad level but also obtain insights into specific areas that can be optimised to increase revenue.

What are some common uses for restaurant analytics?

Restaurant analytics can teach you a great deal about what’s going on in your business. Here are just a few examples:

  • Staff performance

Collecting and analysing data through a POS system can provide valuable intelligence about staff performance. For example, you could see which members of staff are making the most sales, serving customers fastest, or consistently getting the highest tips. With data, you can make more objective HR decisions; rewarding your best performers, and addressing any issues with staff who are underperforming. This can lead to better efficiency on the restaurant floor, driving more sales as you can utilise your best staff at peak times.

  • Customer payments
    A POS system will tell you how customers prefer to pay. By understanding this payment information, restaurant owners can ensure their venue is equipped with the right technology to allow customers to settle their bill quickly and easily. If most customers pay by credit or debit card, for example, it may be advantageous to invest in multiple card terminals to reduce waiting times at the end of meals during busy periods. Additionally, knowing how customers pay can help inform decisions regarding banking and payment processor partnerships, as selections can be made based on who offers the best fees based on the types – and volumes – of payments being made.
  • Menu optimisation

While every restaurant owner will have a good understanding of what the best and worst selling items on their menu are, analytics can take it a step further. As well as showing you which items are driving sales, menu analytics data can reveal which items are driving the most repeat customers, and which dishes are the most profitable. Taking it another step further, data can also help inform the design of your menu; research suggests diners spend just 109 seconds scanning a menu before placing an order, which means making an instant impact is critical. What’s more, a study by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration revealed guests given a menu without dollar signs spent significantly more than those who received a menu with them. Analytics data allows you to gain insights into tests with menu variations and make informed decisions based on the outcomes.

Analytics is an essential component of modern restaurant management. In such a cut-throat industry, every little advantage helps – and analytics gives restaurant owners the ability to gain that competitive edge.

Tracking restaurant performance data with Dinggalytics

Even though different technologies will produce a different data set, a good restaurant analytics system will analyse data from different sources to create an overall picture of what’s going on in your venue.

Dinggly’s restaurant analytics platform, Dinggaltyics, provides restaurants with a wealth of potentially insightful data from Dinggly call buttons. It provides clear information on the amount and nature of customer calls, which member of staff attended, how long customers were kept waiting, and even what they think of your restaurant. The system is cloud-based, so you can access it anywhere, in real-time.

To find out more about how Dingglytics could improve customer satisfaction in your restaurant, please get in touch.