Everything is a-changin': Customer expectations, palettes, and digital ordering channels. The only constant for restaurant chain operators is that the pace of change will continue to accelerate.
Enterprise restaurant operators are using multiple third parties to manage ordering, delivery, and other services like loyalty—which means data is not centralized. You’re probably spending more on technology than ever, but also wasting valuable time manually aggregating data between disparate systems!
This reality, coupled with the rapid change in the industry, means it is more difficult than ever to spot trends before they happen.
The only way that you can take control back and get your data back into your hands, is with a modern data-driven POS that delivers you the insights in one centralized place.
In the “Rise, Fall & Rebirth of POS” white paper we explore how you can better engage guests with data-driven guest experiences.
This blog post is part of a 6-part series specifically written for enterprise-level restaurant operators, “6 Things Every Operator Should Know” to position themselves and their businesses for success. Our posts so far include:
- POS is now a Virtual Term and System
- You Can No Longer Sanely Manage Multiple Menu Systems
- Restaurant POS Systems Need One Common Core
- It’s All About the Data (you’re reading it!)
Restaurant Data is Everywhere, but Insights are Missing
We hear a lot about how data and analytics are reshaping the restaurant industry. Modern, innovative restaurants are using data as a competitive advantage in establishing their brands while legacy brands are using data to maintain market share and get new customers.
But what does that really mean?
Data comes from every interaction you have with customers, your vendors, your staff, and throughout your operations. It is stored in your IT systems just waiting to be used to your advantage. But the data is useless if you can’t leverage it to grow and drive more personalized guest interactions.
First, you know this data will help you get to know your guests better so that you can elevate their experience. It will help you spot trends, understand their likes and dislikes and give you individual information so that you can personalize the brand experience for them.
Second, it will give you clear insight into your operations. You won’t have to rely solely on gut feeling or observation; the data will provide quantitative information on the efficiency of your operations.
But here is the problem. The data in your current systems isn’t accessible to you without going through a nightmare of administrative processes and trying to piece together information from multiple systems. The data stored in your ordering system, menu system, back of house system, front of house management system, etc.) isn’t communicating with a central database.
Restaurant Menu Mayhem
The biggest loser in all of this disjointed chaos is your menu. Because your menu isn’t centralized, it may differ depending on the channel. One version of the menu might be on UberEats, another version on your web site, another on your online ordering system, and yet another outdated version on Yelp. When a potential guest is researching or trying to order remotely from your establishment, they have no idea which menu is the current menu!
This happened to me over the weekend—my friends and I had made reservations for brunch at an Italian restaurant in Georgetown. We checked the ratings and menu online before going and were looking forward to breakfast near the canal. Once we got there, the restaurant staff told us they discontinued their brunch 6 months ago! I mean I can eat Risotto any time of the day (and still enjoyed it), but I was really looking forward to poached eggs. If the restaurant had a centralized menu and database, the disconnected menus online wouldn’t be a problem.
The Solution: A Modern Restaurant Chain POS that Unifies Data
Qu is leading the way for the restaurant chain industry with a new modern POS system that's able to unify all of your ordering, production, and brand experiences seamlessly while capturing information at every step of the guest experience.
Here are the 5 types of enterprise restaurant data you most critically need, all on one smart platform:
Qu allows you to access details for any combination of data types and data modes where and when you need.
1. Personal customer data is captured by your POS, loyalty, and online channels. Access to this data from one single source of truth will provide you the insights you need to deliver against ever changing guest preferences and offer personalized experiences that will keep your guests coming back for more. Personal data can include:
- Guest demographics such as age, income, and gender
- Food preferences
- Dining frequency
- Order history
- Average and total check sizes
- Birthdays and anniversaries
- Staff data and kitchen operations data including the speed of service, cook times, total orders, late orders, order tracking for in house and off-prem dining, peak traffic management and capacity
- Inventory data
- Scheduling data to manage your staffing needs
3. Configuration data gives you insights into how your systems are set up and used by your team, allowing you to understand where optimizations can occur.
4. Payment data is central to your restaurant chain and can bring you actionable insights as to the types of payments most frequently used by customers (loyalty, type of credit card, pay-pal etc.) which will allow you to make critical decisions about high-value partnerships and offering that make sense for your enterprise.
5. Transactional data includes everything associated with sales or returns.
A truly modern POS platform will not only be able to create the data and store it, but like Qu, it will fuse this data across your enterprise platform by ensuring you are able to present, transport, and protect your restaurant data.
Together, all of this data provides a holistic view of your restaurant chain, enabling you to better control your restaurant’s performance. What’s great is that your operations are now visible to the front of the house, middle of the house (think third-party delivery), and back of the house. Your guests are now getting an exceptional experience because take-out and delivery orders don’t interrupt the flow of in-house operations. Also, the data transparency between ordering, production, and brand means your employees remain cool, calm and collected in the most demanding operating hours.
Leverage POS Data to Transform Your Guests from Hungry to Happy
The statistics regarding restaurant failure are staggering. Approximately 60% of restaurants fail within the first year of operation, 80% fail within the first five years. The truth is that without analytics and data-driven decision-making, you simply cannot compete.
With a unified POS system, your data is easily accessed, analyzed, and turned into actionable insights. Data no longer lives in different systems. It’s on a single platform, providing a single source of truth. Decisions previously made on “gut instinct” are now made using concrete information improving accuracy, accountability, and more transparency on every decision.
With data analytics, you gain operational efficiencies as well as the ability to understand your guests better. You now have the ability to develop data-driven brand experiences and loyalty programs tailored to the needs and preferences of your guests, ultimately increasing guest satisfaction and driving customer retention. The ability to gain these efficiencies and create better customer engagement depends largely on the capability to easily mine and analyze your data.
Greater guest satisfaction drives revenue and combined with streamlined operations results in higher profit margins.
Qu’s on a mission to unify the ordering, production, and brand experience for restaurant operators and has all of the information you need to make smart business decisions.
The POS is built with a single core engine, one-database, and a layer of sophisticated APIs that unify all of your data. What’s more, Qu has a “brain” which we call Enterprise Intelligence.
The Enterprise Intelligence dashboard allows you to track your sales and operational data in real-time while Qu’s Analytics tool allows you to slice and dice operational and customer data to better understand the drivers of business performance. In fact, the system is able to even automatically analyze your data and alert you to actionable decisions in real-time. It empowers you to make revenue and cost impacting decisions where and when they matter most.
As demonstrated in the image, you’re able to glance and view the activities and key performance indicators most vital to meeting your organization's objectives in seconds. The operational dashboard makes important data both easier to use and easier to understand, enabling better focus and alignment, faster decision-making, and performance transparency.
The Transformation Isn’t Easy but the Payoff is Significant
Higher profits, streamlined operations, and higher guest satisfaction is only the beginning. Data allows you to be more agile, explore new, disruptive business models to further the evolution and growth of your business and give you the ultimate competitive advantage.