The restaurant industry runs on relatively low profit margins compared to most other industries. As every dollar counts, restaurateurs constantly need to find ways to boost sales and fill more seats. Luckily, you have access to the information needed to run a successful restaurant. Reviewing the analytics of your restaurant provides a clear view of what works and what needs improvement.
With the right cloud POS software and analytics platform, you can capture helpful metrics for analysing everything from sales to labour. The variety of data can also be overwhelming. Explore the value of data with five creative ways to get more out of your restaurant analytics platform.
Why Should You Track Restaurant Analytics?
Most restaurant professionals review their sales reports regularly, with many also regularly reviewing labour reports and menu data. However, how many restaurateurs routinely track metrics from an analytical point of view?
Restaurant managers have traditionally relied on spreadsheets and basic computer software to track sales and labour. A robust analytics platform implemented with your restaurant’s POS software provides access to even more data compared to traditional methods.
The data is also easier to obtain, sort, and understand. Restaurant analytics provides you with data on an easy-to-navigate interface that you can access on any web-connected device. You can quickly review data for a specific period or compare data from last week, last month, or last year.
Viewing data related to sales, menu items, and labour makes it easier to determine which areas of your restaurant need more work. The insight that you gain may help you determine the best path for reaching your goals, whether you need to reduce labour costs or increase your profits.
1. Use Restaurant Analytics to Improve Your Menu
Restaurant analytics give you a better understanding of how each menu item is performing. The data may help you cut menu items, add items, or adjust the pricing. Restaurant managers can quickly determine which dishes perform best.
Reviewing this data allows you to remove items that underperform to cut down on food and money waste. Streamlining your menu increases your profitability by reducing your inventory needs.
Over time, you gain the ability to review past sales data to forecast sales for different times of the year. For example, you can review sales patterns to optimise your seasonal menus. Along with adapting your menu offerings, restaurant analytics can assist with pricing. A complete breakdown of sales, costs, and the popularity of different menu items can help you set better prices and boost profits.
2. Prioritise Labour Based on Restaurant Analytics
Use restaurant analytics to improve your scheduling. Your restaurant is likely slower on certain days of the week or hours of the day, which can make scheduling more of a challenge. Bringing in too much staff on a slow day drives up your labour costs. Being left understaffed may hurt sales and customer service.
Using sales forecasts and reviewing past data allows you to schedule staff more efficiently. Improving your scheduling may also lead to less overtime, which can dramatically increase labour costs. Identifying the slowest times of the day may also help you adjust the restaurant hours to cut costs.
For example, you may find that no one shows up before 11am despite opening the doors at 10am. Moving your opening hours back reduces labour.
3. Incentivise Your Staff to Upsell More Items
Create a weekly or monthly incentive for servers to upsell more menu items, such as appetisers or desserts. The server with the best performance receives a gift card or a small bonus with their next paycheck. Quality cloud POS software includes access to sales metrics for specific menu items and servers. You can use the available metrics to determine which servers are upselling the most items.
Each transaction is tracked by the software, giving you accurate, real-time access to sales data. Along with tracking data for an incentive programme, you can use the data to review the performance of your staff.
Reviewing sales data helps you analyse your servers’ performance, which may help with scheduling and staffing decisions. For example, you may want to spread your best servers out across multiple shifts to help support under-performing staff.
4. Use Sales Data to Improve Marketing Campaigns
Looking at sales data allows you to tweak your marketing efforts and attract more business. The insight that you gain from the restaurant metrics may help you target a variety of goals, including boosting sales during slow hours or selling more of a new menu item.
After using sales data to identify slow hours, you can target your marketing to drive more business to pick up sales. For example, you may find that sales dramatically slump on Thursday afternoons. You can launch a marketing promotion with discount drinks or meals during those hours.
You can also track the success of your marketing efforts. After launching a social media ad promoting a new menu item, you can review the sales data to determine whether the advertisement helped boost sales.
5. Analyse the Performance of Multiple Locations
If you oversee the management of several restaurants, it helps to have a single source for tracking the performance of each location. Cloud POS software with an analytics dashboard allows you to view metrics from all the restaurants under your management.
You can review sales data, costs, and other metrics of each location or use a side-by-side comparison to see which locations need improvement. Accessing data for each location from a single platform saves time and allows you to make high-level decisions quickly.
Begin Tracking Your Restaurant Analytics Today
Overall, restaurant analytics give you access to a wealth of metrics for improved decision-making. You can find ways to increase profits by optimising labour, menus, prices, and marketing efforts. You may even use the data to track the performance of your staff, which may assist with performance reviews or employee recognition programmes.
In the end, using a restaurant analytics platform to review data allows you to continually improve the success of your restaurant and make better decisions.