Restaurant Data Analytics: 5 Important Metrics to Look Out For

December 19, 2022
Lauren Platero
December 19, 2022
Table of Contents

Restaurant data analytics are vital for operating a successful business. From consumer data to social media ROI, there are numerous metrics to recognize within the restaurant industry.

Fortunately, innovative restaurant technology makes it possible to track relevant metrics. Financial, inventory, and hospitality software automate tracking and simplify analyses.

Once you obtain relevant information about your restaurant, you can develop more efficient strategies. Plus, valuable insight will also guide decision-making processes for changes that make sense. Every business is different from one another, so it’s critical that you’re aware of what’s ideal for your restaurant.

Before we dive into the five most important metrics that restaurants should look out for, let’s define restaurant data analytics.

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Restaurant Data Analytics: Definition

Restaurant data analytics consists of the metrics that pertain to restaurant operations. Without numerical data, it would be much more difficult for restaurant managers to confidently make important decisions.

Ways to Use Data For Restaurants

Restaurant data analytics are valuable for many reasons. As a business owner, you can use data to make smart business decisions. With this in mind, you must be mindful of the metrics that impact your business the most. Keep reading to learn about five metrics to monitor on a regular basis.

1. Kitchen Inventory

In many cases, the restaurant manager is responsible for keeping track of inventory control. Inventory analytics are so important since they dictate the items you can serve.

Eateries with fully-stocked kitchens can always serve menu items with fresh ingredients. By doing so, they’re one step closer to establishing stellar customer service.

However, restaurant owners need to make sure that they’re not ordering too much inventory. Restaurant expenses can increase by purchasing more than what’s necessary. Plus, food spoilage and shrinkage will also increase the restaurant food cost and operating costs.

In the meantime, consider using an inventory spreadsheet to help your staff take inventory. To take your inventory management techniques to the next level, upgrade to a user-friendly app, such as BlueCart.

Book a demo with BlueCart to learn how restaurant inventory management software can boost your business.

2. Best-Selling Menu Items

Once you determine which menu items are your best-sellers, you’ll open the door to so many promotional ideas. Plus, such data will allow you to be more mindful regarding inventory management.

For instance, if you find that there are fan favorites, these items can serve as the dishes you promote in advertisements. You can also prioritize these items on QR codes and within social media assets.

Finding out which items generate the most revenue is also great for inventory tasks. Let’s say you view the POS analytics and determine that some dishes aren’t profitable, there will likely be ingredients to remove from restock orders. In time, this will save the business a significant amount of money.

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3. Consumer Trends

Consumers can provide restaurants with an abundance of valuable insight. Business owners can use this information to cater to their customer base. They can also use such data to increase the restaurant profit margin over time.

Some of the most insightful information to keep an eye out for include the following metrics:

  • The busiest times of the day
  • The busiest days of the week
  • The frequency of requests for specialty menu types
  • Consumer demographics (age, gender, location, etc.)
  • The average cart value of on-premise and off-premise orders

All of these metrics can lead to ongoing consumer trends. So, remain mindful as to which strategies you can implement.

4. On-Premise vs. Off-Premise Orders

The number of orders that take place at your brick and mortar restaurant is key in understanding restaurant data analytics. On the flip side, tracking orders for delivery is just as important.

Food delivery via third-party apps defines what is off premise. It’s a solution for many restaurants, as it cuts overhead expenses and can grow the business further.

Depending on what your restaurant data analytics indicate, it might be beneficial to update your eatery’s business model. If you find that delivery would be a profitable option, then go for it.

Just remember that numerical data should support such decisions. Be sure to learn about the cost to open a QSR if your business is suitable. A quick service restaurant business model is ideal for casual dining and cutting costs. If the numbers point in this direction, it may be worth revamping current operations.

5. Marketing ROI

Restaurant marketing strategies have the potential to accelerate business. However, there are many variables to consider.

Do you invest in restaurant promotions on an ongoing basis? Perhaps you have a monthly budget that is solely for marketing campaigns. Either way, tracking results is necessary.

Digital marketing efforts will likely be your most effective strategies. Fortunately, digital marketing is the easiest to track. From native analytics dashboards to third-party business analytics tools, keeping up with numerical progress is a must.

The ROI meaning refers to the money you invest in your business vs. the revenue it generates. This means that the social media ROI will refer to how many sales you make after investing in digital ads.

Learn more about restaurant marketing ideas to inspire future promotional campaigns.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Data Analytics

Determining which metrics you’ll monitor is the first step toward building a strategy backed by numbers. Over time, these efforts will pay off and generate tangible results for your business.

Still have questions about restaurant data analytics? Keep reading to learn more about the importance of analyzing numbers within the restaurant industry.

How Do You Analyze Restaurant Data?

Ensure that you set each restaurant KPI before tracking restaurant data analytics. If you don’t have goals in mind, it’ll be challenging to form conclusions from your metrics.

Once you set goals, look at historical data to check what current trends look like. Then, you’ll know what to expect. Plus, you’ll be able to strive for realistic improvements, too.

Once you have a strategy in place, collect restaurant data analytics every week. Though it might not make sense to analyze them weekly, be sure to conduct an extensive overview once a month.  

As the metrics fluctuate, adjust your strategy accordingly. Over time, restaurant promotions will become specific, concise, and effective.

How Are Analytics Used In the Restaurant Industry?

Restaurant data analytics are used within the food industry for the following reasons:

  • To project future financial data
  • To gauge marketing efforts
  • To better understand the customer profile
  • To take inventory in the kitchen
  • To strategize hiring processes, expansions, and acquisitions

How Do Restaurants Collect Data?

Restaurants collect data by using digital platforms. For instance, a POS system can provide restaurant staff with information about customer trends and inventory statistics.

POS systems can also host marketing initiatives, such as a restaurant loyalty program. This kind of program would collect contact information upon signing up.

Lastly, restaurants can collect demographic information by analyzing their social media accounts. Social profiles provide significant insight as to who the customers are. Then, this data becomes super useful when creating ads.

What Is Data Analytics In the Hospitality Industry?

Data analytics in the hospitality industry pertain to anything involving food, entertainment, customers, and order sales. Hospitality software companies are constantly releasing new features that assist managers in collecting analytics.

Do Restaurants Use Databases?

Yes, restaurants frequently use databases. From innovative POS system features to third-party dashboards, there are many ways to track restaurant data analytics.  

If you manually track restaurant data analytics, a platform as simple as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel will do the trick. Just make sure that you track various metrics on a weekly basis. By doing so, you’ll be able to pinpoint why any changes occur.

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