December 7, 2022
Lauren Platero

Customer Data: 10 Most Important Data Points Restaurants Should Collect

Customer data is necessary for understanding how to launch and grow a business. More specifically,  restaurant data analytics are valuable for brick and mortar eateries and online ordering apps.

Consumer data can serve as the foundation for effective restaurant marketing strategies. It can also help upper management make important business decisions.

Some metrics are more relevant than others. It all depends on your business goals and current stage. The metrics that one restaurant manager pays close attention to might differ from another.

There’s a lot to unpack regarding data analytics, and it gets even more specific in the restaurant industry. Continue reading to learn more.

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Customer Data: Definition

Customer data is qualitative and quantitative information about the people who visit your business. Both types are equally important.

Such data can range from behavior to demographics. For restaurants, customer data is beneficial for building an effective strategy and drawing customers.

A restaurant business plan should outline a target audience. Understanding customer data can allow a business owner to launch an attractive eatery.

What Would Prevent Data From Appearing In A Custom Report?

Skewed data can lead to errors and confusion. Regardless of how you collect customer data, ensure that it’s seamless across the board. Incorrect formulas can also lead to inaccurate data points in a spreadsheet.

For example, double-check if any terms are in the database with and without a hyphen. This mishap can also occur with misspellings or special characters.

If you collect customer data in a spreadsheet, ensure that all formulas are correct and that they apply to the right cells.

If analysts don’t ensure that databases are accurate, wrong metrics will appear in reports. If errors are made regarding formulas, you may not generate results at all.

Data collections are meant to streamline restaurant operations for more insightful efforts. Miscalculating the numbers defeats the purpose of analyzing data in the first place.

What Is A Customer Data Platform?

A customer data platform is a software that collects analytics about a customer base. Many platforms have integrations to sort, filter, and interpret the numbers.

A customer data platform should integrate with current systems to collect accurate insight. If not, you might have to wait before getting valuable reports.

Customer Data Platform Industry

The customer data platform industry is growing more than ever. In recent years, hospitality software and restaurant tech have been game-changers.

Now, many customer data platforms center around food trends and restaurants. Hospitality software companies also offer some of the most innovative solutions.

Innovative restaurant technology revolves around data. With this said, you should consider a customer data platform for your eatery.

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Customer Data Analytics You Should Collect

Business analytics tools show us a vast number of metrics. Sometimes, it can feel a bit overwhelming figuring out which data points to track.

For those operating within the restaurant industry, read on to learn about the top ten metrics to closely monitor.

1. Best-Selling Dishes

A restaurant POS platform and an inventory management app can show you which dishes are best-sellers. This insight can provide you with ways to cut restaurant expenses and boost profits.

For instance, maybe you keep ingredients on hand for dishes that don’t sell. Or, maybe you would draw more attention to your business by promoting best-sellers online.

Do you want to onboard a restaurant inventory management app to provide this kind of data? Book a demo with BlueCart today to learn more!

2. Email Addresses

An email marketing strategy is a powerful way to grow your restaurant. In fact, experts claim that email is one of the most direct forms of contact besides physical mail.

Email campaigns include coupons, new menu types, event management alerts, and more. You can also customize them to suit your brand. The best part? Email marketing tools provide you with suggestions to achieve the highest open rates.

3. Phone Numbers

Phone numbers might not tell you a lot about a person. However, they are necessary for SMS campaigns. Recent studies show that SMS alerts might be just as effective, if not more so, than email campaigns.

SMS alerts are immediate and accessible. Upon receiving permission from customers, opt into an SMS campaign builder to send messages in real-time.

4. Geographic Location

As a restaurant manager, you likely recognize the importance of knowing where your customers reside. The geographic locations of your customers will influence most of your marketing plans.

Want to hang fliers or get a billboard? What about creating social media advertisements? Perhaps you’re considering opening a new location. These are just a few major reasons to analyze geographic data.

5. Age Range

Age won’t be the most significant factor in your business, but it can be if you’re planning to open a bar. If you find that most of your customers are over 21 years old and often order various types of alcohol, this could signal a new selling point.

Happy hour and drink specials are great ways to boost the restaurant profit margin. Did you know that alcohol has the highest markup of all the types of inventory? Don’t miss out on the opportunity, and get creative with mixed drink recipes to increase revenue.

6. Average Cart Value

The amount of money customers spend on each order is one of the most important metrics for a restaurant. This figure also dictates which items to recommend at checkout on delivery apps. Plus, it can help you strategize deals.

Ever wonder why some eateries have an all-inclusive meal option that only costs $19.99? It’s likely that marketing analysts found that this is the average cart value per customer.

Expanding outside of the average cart value can deter customers. So, offer prices that they’re willing to spend. To boost sales even further, price your items lower than competitors.

7. Loyalty Member Status

A restaurant loyalty program can boost short and long-term growth. Check customer data reports that state your total number of orders. Then, double-check your loyalty program data to see if most customers are receiving points and perks.

If you realize that most customers don’t use your loyalty program, it might be time to promote it further. Monitor these restaurant promotions, as you may experience a surge in sales.

8. Payment Method

Restaurants should offer multiple payment processing methods. But do you find that some methods are chosen more than others? If so, there may be room to elevate the customer experience.

If most of your customers opt for a particular method, find ways to make it a secure and seamless transaction. For instance, mobile and contactless payments are increasingly popular, so use a POS platform that makes this quick.

Every payment processor must abide by PCI standards, so safety and encryption are guaranteed. Just make sure that available methods are what customers prefer.

9. Spending Habits

Understanding your customers’ spending habits is key when trying to upsell. Are customers more likely to add more to their cart on delivery apps? What about certain days of the week when people pay more for drinks?

Find out which days, times, and seasons generate the most profit for your restaurant. Then, adjust your sales efforts accordingly.

10. Interests and Preferences

You can learn about customer interests and habits from social media analytics. Such insight can inspire restaurant events, themes, and more.

Though you may not find specific interests across your customer base, there could be trends involving food preferences, sports teams, and music. Geography can also play a major role in customers having things in common. So, consider any fandoms local to your restaurant.

Customer Data Integration: 5 Useful Tips

Customer data integration with other tools is useful for streamlining operations. With this in mind, here are five tips to know upon using a customer data platform:

  1. Onboard a system that integrates with your restaurant POS system
  2. Use integrations that offer built-in data reporting
  3. Select a product that provides training to upper management
  4. Ensure that a team member can interpret data analytics for the rest of the business
  5. Utilize a customer data integration software that shows current stats and historical data

Frequently Asked Questions About Customer Data

Still have questions? Customer data can certainly be an extensive topic! Continue reading about some of the most prevalent questions about customer data within the restaurant business.

Where Can Restaurants Use Customer Data?

Restaurants can use customer data to boost profits. Is there a menu item that customers prefer? Or, do you have enough email addresses to send out promotional campaigns?  

Utilizing customer data can drive traffic to an eatery. It can also increase mobile food ordering. As always, check your metrics and find what works best for your business.

How Do You Present Customer Data?

Present customer data with easy-to-view graphs and charts. It can be challenging to make sense of an extensive database of numbers. So, as an analyst or marketer, it’s your job to break it down into simple terms.

We recommend using tools like PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Canva to display analytics in an aesthetically pleasing way. It’ll ensure that your team pays attention to presentations. Plus, large datasets won’t seem overwhelming.

Try using contrasting color schemes and clear graphs. Line and bar charts work best, clearly representing consistent trends and changes.

How Do You Maintain Customer Data?

Maintain customer data in organized spreadsheets and databases. Many platforms offer data reports that you can keep on file.

Where Can I Find Customer Data?

Restaurant owners can find customer data in numerous places. To name a handful, here’s where you can find valuable insight:

  • A POS system
  • Social media accounts
  • Website traffic
  • Review websites

How Does Customer Data Help A Business?

Customer data can help a business by offering insight on how to perfect their products. If data reports show that customers prefer a certain product, the business will know what to prioritize. On the flip side, if reports show that something is causing a drop in business, you then have the knowledge to make proper changes.