Integrating Analytics to your Restaurant Management System

Restaurant data is no longer represented by lengthy excels and spreadsheets. Data comes in from multiple channels and needs to be analysed and presented in actionable ways.

With the advent of the restaurant management system, restaurant operations, marketing and finance largely run on auto-pilot. The role of management in that scenario becomes more strategic.

Pre-empting what customers will buy, their preferences, forecasting of what will work, are all essential ingredients for a successful restaurant and this is where a sound Analytics platform comes in.

Thanks to the growth of data and analytics, restaurants no longer need to “shoot in the dark” with key decisions they need to make every day. The goal of any analytics system is to throw light on what is working and what is not, derive meaningful conclusions from data and gauge the ROI of all your efforts. It also tells you how your resources are getting allocated and what needs more priority. Your restaurant management analytics should be equipped enough to give you insights on how your restaurant is faring, both minutely and holistically.

Customer data collection & processing is a critical base for an efficient Analytics Platform. Knowing customer details, what they like to order, how often they order, and other intelligence, let’s you create successful marketing campaigns.

restaurant data reports
Analysis of your restaurant’s data can provide many insights

This data can then be used to fine-tune your communication, run personalised CRM campaigns and reward your loyal customers with greater credits. When multiple channels work together, you get access to a truckload of raw data. This raw data is further structured and then converted into usable insights.

So how do you get started with restaurant analytics?

We have broken down the whole process into easy steps.

  1. Define the Objectives
  2. Define the Metrics
  3. Data Collection
  4. Metric Evaluation

Define the Objectives

This step is often overlooked. Start with the basics. What are the biggest hurdles to your restaurant’s success? List out a few key problem areas for your business. Then finalise the objectives for your restaurant for a given timeframe. For instance – Need to grow my restaurant customers by 30% in the next quarter could be an objective.

Define the Metrics

Once you define the objectives, the next steps become easier. Now all you need are metrics that best represent the objectives. As defined above, Objective 1 was to Grow restaurant customers by 30% . Your brand may need more visibility for your target audience. So let’s define a metric.

Metric 1: CRM campaign engagements (Ad impressions, Email Open rates, Social Media Impressions to name a few). Track the numbers regularly on shorter time intervals to check if you’re in line with the quarter’s objective. Take corrective actions at the end of each interval.

Some metrics that you need to track at your restaurant

Staff Turnover Rate (STR)

This metric tracks the attrition rate among the staff of your restaurant. The formula is simple.

STR = (Total exits/Total employees)*100

Average Customer Wait Time (ACWT)

This measures how long an average customer must wait at your restaurant from the time he is punched into the system (via your POS) till the time he gets his orders. So for QSRs this metric may typically range from anywhere between 3-10 minutes whereas for Fine dines this number would be significantly higher.

ACWT = (Total Wait Time in minutes/Total Orders)

Channel ROI (CROI)

This is fairly straightforward. Make a list of all your customer touchpoints (App, Phone, 3rd party, Website to name a few), track how much revenue accrues through each, costs involved with each and calculate and estimate the ROI for each of your channels.

CROI = (Channel Revenue/Channel Cost)*100

Social Engagement

Customers today are very active on social media platforms. Effective social listening allows you to understand how your brand is perceived by your customers and should be monitored regularly. Further customer engagement can be measured through likes, shares and comments.

Read more about enhancing your customer engagement here.

Segment Wise – Outlets/Days/Favourite items

You may want to analyse variables like Active Day Charts, Outlet performance, Hot items, that will give you insights on which days your sales are peaking, which outlets are faring better and so on. These data points are important as it allows you to make adjustments to your strategy quickly.

[Also read: How to Calculate Your Restaurant Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)]

Data Collection

data management for restaurants

Typically, data gets collected when orders are placed. Orders, as we know, come through multiple channels – could be through your online food ordering system. That is your website and app. Or perhaps third-party aggregators. Or direct phone calls.

Customers also leave data through other touchpoints like:

Customer reviews

Nowadays, customers have the freedom to write reviews about their experience at your restaurant on platforms such as Yelp, Zomato, Google. You need to periodically track them to see how the interactions are and how you can improve.

Customer feedback

Restaurants are now collecting feedback directly via platforms such as apps and interactive forms. You can have customers leave reviews and feedback right after their purchase.

Mailers and text notifications

Have you ever discovered a new favourite restaurant close to home and wondered why it wasn’t noticed earlier? Sending out mailers lets people know you are in the neighbourhood. Also, if you are exploring a new menu or concept, mailers are a great way to make customers aware of them.

Social Media

Social Media is a great platform to do all your promotions, share offers, create a buzz and amplify your brand. It is also an excellent platform to create a larger data pool to target and then track via social engagements.

Evaluate metric performance

Once you have defined the objectives and have a good stream of data from multiple platforms, you should track performance consistently. This will help in analysing trends and making your decisions accordingly.

[Also read: 5 Marketing Metrics Every Restaurant Owner Should Check]

Summing up

Once you have a good stream of incoming data and your metrics are in line, you (or the software tool you use) can now begin to use this data for strategic purposes.
Your decisions will now be backed by good, solid insights and an Analytics Platform can allow you to have just that.

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Aditya Sarkar

Aditya Sarkar

Aditya Sarkar is a Marketing Manager at LimeTray. When he isn't being a Marketer, he likes solo-travelling, playing all kinds of sports and chilling out with friends! He's reachable at