July 26, 2023
Devn Ratz

Order’s Up: 5 Restaurant Data Trends to Boost Sales, Satisfaction, and Sustainability

With 35,000 stores serving every optimized coffee and tea, can you imagine your brand achieving the global dominance of Starbucks? Maybe it's Yum! Brands (the largest QSR company in over 155 countries) that inspires pictures of your restaurant stretching its signature flavors around the globe.

How do these enterprise brands beat astonishing records in a world constantly buzzing with heavy competition and shifting preferences? 

It’s “big data.” It’s lots and lots of consumer data processed by AI restaurant tools that automate ordering, streamline service, and optimize satisfaction for maximum reach. As the industry pushes, and competition bounces back from the pandemic, the estimated sales this year is just shy of the trillion-dollar ticket ($997 billion). 

Directed by restaurant data, every eatery must match the agility of bold food brands in using tech solutions to compete for emerging tastes.

Key Takeaway: When integrated, restaurant data intelligence unlocks informed decision-making, optimized operations, and enhanced satisfaction for more profit across locations. 
Online ordering systems use restaurant data to optimize deliveries and create revenue.

Top 5 Industry Trends in Restaurant Data

Enterprise restaurants, as leaders in service, are often the first to experiment with industry solutions of the future. In doing so, they capture the swinging interests of customers who really could dine—or, more to date, order—from anywhere. 

Each trend below represents a strategic approach to clear signals in restaurant intelligence, customer surveys, and market studies. Which apply to your customer, brand, or business goals?

Plant-Based Eases Premium Pricing

Lately, we’ve witnessed surges in plant-based dieting and, of course, restaurants prominently featuring plant-based products and vegan menus.

One reason is that global sales for the “plant-based” promise shocking success. Yearly sales should reach somewhere in the range of $162 billion by 2030. Considering the category barely kissed $30 billion in 2020, we should expect steep rises in restaurants with plant-based promos. Think vegan cocktails and alcohol-free mocktails.

These work as a quick revenue-boosting strategy. Many reports suggest customers are willing to pay premium prices for such thoughtful, responsible food, embodying restaurant sustainability.

Customers Prefer Taste of Takeout

Put simply, your customers would rather not. They’d not travel, not call, and not tolerate inconvenience. They want delivery. Restaurant data underlines this fixed change of heart. 

Surveys show 86% of customers order more than they did in the previous year. When surveyed, much more than half of all customers (64%) also said they did not plan to return to habits like on-site dining after the pandemic.

Tech Integration Pleases Off-Premise Diners

Integrated technology means massive impact for enterprise restaurants relying on POS, CRM, ERP , and more systems for staff and inventory management. When it improves operations and maximizes delivery sales, integrating third-party apps and in-house ordering software also makes sense to your customers. 

Almost half of customers (49%) say they favor restaurant technology to improve their off-premise dining experiences. Even more (51%) actually believe technology is essential for their favorite restaurants to provide positive value. 

If customers believe it, your tech stack choices—like whether to integrate restaurant POS data—have consequences. After all, without feeling valued, where are loyalty programs headed? 

Sustainable Practices Make Slick Profits

People dine. Each day, billions feast on the great variety of the planet’s grown, harvested, and caught resources. As a result, the future of our species closely connects with a change of direction in what we choose to eat—and why. 

Unfortunately, meats and grains tax the planet. As customers adapt to and lean toward sustainable alternatives, restaurants also turn their attention to conservation. Through sustainable technology and sustainable menus, restaurants are going green to capture markets themselves trying to reduce carbon footprints

Get the complete guide to sustainability in restaurants if you haven’t aligned with this customer value. 

Responsible Menus Get Healthy Rewards

Behind plant-based and sustainable preferences lives a customer’s core concern: health, safety, and wellness. 

This driving force behind buying decisions and brand preferences will continue to steer restaurant marketing strategies as well as actual item offerings. Restaurants must demonstrate their menus are nutritious, beneficial, and, in many ways, more than just “good.“ 

Food data remains the future. Most major players already sport digital menu ordering with items planned to target trends in sustainability, wellness, and speedy delivery. These restaurants save improved restaurant ops and digital order sales by positively influencing customer spend. 

Get the online ordering case study about the success of Golden Corral to learn more. Or, if you’re ready to test new techniques, explore menu design ideas for every modern restaurant type. 

Exemplary of big restaurant data, both can optimize for cost reduction based on customer data, inventory levels, and KPIs.

5 Metrics to Reveal in Your Restaurant Data

Ready to dive into the signs of restaurant swimming or sinking? From retention to margins, get to know the metrics that measure your strengths and opportunities. 

Understand these five restaurant data points to support decisions, enhance satisfaction, and confidently profit.

Customer Retention Rate

Customer retention rates quantify your repeated orders or visits. You calculate retention by dividing the number of repeat customers by total customers (for a timeframe). 

Repeat Customers / Total Customers = Customer Retention 

Customer retention rates reflect customer experiences and loyalty. High retention rates show you’re enhancing customer experiences, showing your restaurant's reputation and strength. Monitoring this rate allows you to see if strategies are keeping or losing customers.

Customer Acquisition Percentage

Your customer acquisition rate counts new customers compared to total customers. Find this by dividing your new customers (for a certain timeframe) against total customers over a set period. 

New Customers / Total Customers = Customer Acquisition 

Acquisition rates reveal your restaurant marketing impact. Higher percentages suggest more successful efforts. Balance your focus between acquisition with retention to foster more sustainable growth.

Average Order Spend

The average order has a typical amount spent. Restaurants determine their own average order spend by dividing total sales by the number of checks. 

Total Spend / Number of Orders = Average Order Spend 

Calculate and monitor this restaurant figure to guide restaurant menu design (especially around pricing), upselling strategies, and revenue projection. High average spends signal that upselling techniques are working and maximizing restaurant profits.

Restaurant Reviews Rating

You can also calculate the average of all your reviews to gather a guest-generated snapshot of actual customer satisfaction

In “sentiment analysis,“ you would interpret and tag positive or negative attitudes expressed in reviews. Afterward, you’d seek themes and patterns in opinion or perspective. With the right questions, you’ll look deeply at your restaurant's public image–and its sources. 

To identify areas for improvement and inform customer service strategies, get example survey questions for restaurants.

Menu Item Margins

Your menu items either bring profit or cause costs. See which is the case by subtracting item costs from its price. Then, divide that result by the item’s price. 

For example, a large popcorn might cost 11 cents, sell at $11.00, and carry a margin like this: 

$11.00 - $0.11 = $10.89 
$10.89 / $11.00 = .99 

The profit margin is 99%, and movie theater popcorn stays a commercial classic for good reason. 

Margins should inform menu management and planning. It helps to separate high-profit items to promote from low-margin items to reimagine. Know your dishes, and then confidently price and optimize. Minding margins can help ease the pain of your growing restaurant’s monthly expenses

Use Revolution Ordering to capture and digest the restaurant data that leads to increased sales and satisfaction.

Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Data

Drill down into the truth about becoming a successful restaurant with these common questions from restaurant owners and operators. Take the knowledge restaurants need to drive business, become bold brands, and enjoy national loyalty. 

Why is restaurant data important?

Customer data vitalizes restaurants with insight for future development and strategies. Through their restaurant data, customers tell restaurants who they are, what they want, and how they’ll spend. 

Your job is to unlock this information with integrated POS technology. Your restaurant data matters because it stands to enhance customer experiences, improve restaurant marketing, and boost retention, sales, and loyalty. The list goes on.

How do you collect restaurant data?

To effectively collect and use restaurant data, identify the areas you want to improve or analyze. Then, you’ll need to do some investigating, tracking, and calculating to determine what guidance your POS, CRM, and ERP databases hold. 

Initially, you should learn to calculate prime cost, measure the cost of labor, and generally conduct reporting and analytics. You can collect any restaurant data you desire, but ensure it serves (or develops) your approach.

How can restaurants analyze “big data”?

Big data, no matter how it’s looked at or collected, needs to answer two questions about trends and behavior: what is happening, and why it’s happening. 

The what and why of online ordering trends, for instance, is regularly reported to you through the Order One platform. Each report, dashboard, or point of restaurant data you want can be customized to your brand's needs. 

To finally uncover the “what," “why,” and “where next” for the future of your brand, demo Revolution Ordering.