Modern-day restaurants rely on certain fuels to power their operation. Some of the more obvious examples are customers, cash, and stock—each of which enable the business to succeed. But data is more than worthy of its status as a source of power for all manner of objectives.
We’re talking about the kind of insight that can offer the lowdown on customer behaviour, experiences, popular menu items, and much more. For example, information on someone’s purchase history is helpful when targeting them with products you know they’ll be interested in. We also have information on customer preferences, like the time and day that people choose to visit a restaurant, the items they typically order, and how they pay for them.
Used effectively, this information can provide clues for driving more customers, improving their satisfaction, future-proofing the business, and successful product development.
Here are five ways you can leverage business and customer data to maximise your restaurant sales:
If you’re collecting data on purchase history, you can easily see how some products are more popular than others. With those which are lagging behind, you might need to develop a strategy to give them an extra push.
Marketing special offers for the items in need of promotion will soon reveal whether they can reach the required heights of performance or if they need removing entirely.
There’s also a case for promoting items that you know will drive the highest margin. Though applicable to restaurants, it’s a tactic commonly used by online retailers that want to sell more to people that are already buying with them. By highlighting complementary items that will drive a good level of revenue, any business can significantly enhance their opportunity to earn.
Catering for VIP customers
Over the last couple of years, you might have heard a bit about customer lifetime value (CLV). It’s a metric that enables you to see how much a given customer is worth to you, based on their frequency of visits and average spend.
Once you have that data, you can make plans to nurture and strengthen the relationship even further. For example, if a customer spends a certain amount or visits your restaurant enough times, you can offer special rewards that will make them feel valued.
Some restaurants gain as much as 70% of their revenue from VIP customers. If you’re to succeed in the long term, you need to keep them on your side.
Marketing off the back of CLV also helps re-engage people that perhaps don’t spend as much with your establishment. If you have data on customers that aren’t buying much or haven’t visited in a while, a simple ‘We miss you’ sent via a push notification, SMS or email could help turn things around
As well as pinpointing the customers in need of attention, data can also be used to identify the times and days that your business is flagging.
This is a great example of how data flows within a restaurant and the ways in which it helps turn things around. In this instance, data on slow periods can be collected by the EPOS, thus identifying where the business could be doing more.
Customers submitting that information could be linked to a loyalty programme or an email database, where they can be targeted with special offers for specific times of the day. Chain establishments can even look into sales by location and incentivise customers to head to a place they wouldn’t usually consider.
In these instances, you can see how data has a direct impact on revenue and customer visits.
Are you aware that 59% of customers believe marketing personalisation can have an impact on where and what they buy?
Once you know the details around each customer, such as their preferences, history and demographic, you can start to build audience segments which enable a more personalised method of communicating with them. That in turn creates loyalty around your brand and keeps people coming back again and again.
Let’s say that a group of your customers regularly turn up to your restaurant and consistently order meat-free items from the menu. If you have a new vegetarian meal option, or wish to offer discounts on similar meals, you’ll know exactly who to target.
For years, marketers have been able to customise their communications by adding a name to any messages they send, but times are changing. Customers are more demanding than ever, which is why personalisation should be applied to the content of your messages and the offers they carry.
Finding (and repeating) a formula for success
If you already check your finances, you’ll be able to see how well you did in a certain month or week. Dig a little deeper; did a specific event or new product help drive that bright period?
Successes happen around the business all the time and these should be repeated whenever it’s possible and appropriate to do so. Analytics and reporting can help you identify where your marketing paid off and provide clues as to where you might want to repeat it in the future.
It’s key to think about attention to detail when examining your data for trends. It might be that you ran a Christmas promotion offering discounts for people dining with their families. This could have been a strong period for revenue—one that you’d love to repeat—but how much of that was down to an increase in family visits?
If you’re prepared to dedicate time and money into marketing, be sure that you’re measuring each campaign’s direct impact on the business.
From the above we can see that data is helping restaurants perform better across a range of different functions.
However, you shouldn’t just collect data for the sake of it. Whether it’s used to drive footfall around slow periods, re-engage customers that don’t visit often or strengthen relationships with those that do, data can impact a business in an ever-growing number of ways.
Restaurants have become a hotbed for information that floods into their systems on a daily basis. By integrating a customer engagement platform with your EPOS, it’s easier than ever to understand exactly what people are buying, and the reasons behind their every decision. With a solution like Como Sense, you can instantly take action based on that data and create targeted, personalised campaigns that fuel significant results.
Need more ideas on leveraging data to boost your sales? Use our calendar to schedule a call with an expert in the field.