Enhance Your Restaurant in Real-Time with Data Management

August 25, 2023

At a glance

  • Main takeaway: Data management is industry agnostic benefitting all types of businesses; however, restaurants have a unique opportunity to leverage data to manage their menus, supply chain and staff more effectively.
  • Impact on your business: Before jumping into a data management solution, restaurant owners must first understand their business, the outcomes they want and then assess and align their business objectives to their data.
  • Next steps: Aprio’s Data Management and Insights Services team can help you start off on the right path and develop a data roadmap tailored to your business objectives.
Are you ready to learn more? Schedule a conversation with our team.

The full story:

What would it feel like to be able to see all your data in a holistic view, understand the quality of your data and utilize your data to drive insights to make better business decisions? Absolutely incredible, you can admit it.

The idea of a data management framework is having all the foundational elements in place to be able to effectively report and drive insights. Now, your framework does not have to be massive, but the key reason data management is so important is ensuring you have high-quality data. The genesis of data management practices is focused on data quality and maintaining that level so you know your data can be trusted, understood and drive value for your whole company and individual stores.

While data management is industry agnostic, there are several dynamics that relate particularly to how restaurants manage their menus, supply chain and staff. Let’s dive into two examples below that showcase how restaurants can benefit from data management:

  • Example one
    A large, mature company with restaurant chains nationwide has been tracking historical trends for years, and in doing so, they are able to see their volume of sales per hour and calculate the number of employees they need on staff to cover each hour of service. By tracking historical data, the company is able to perform a year-to-year expected sales comparison of a specific event, time of year, or even day of the week. Then, they can take this recommendation to the manager on duty who can ensure they will have the right number of employees scheduled at any given time.
  • Example two
    One of the most familiar challenges with restaurants is being able to accurately predict how much of a certain menu item they need. When it comes to placing supply orders, it’s not uncommon for smaller restaurants to order based off the owner’s gut feeling, however, this method can lead to frustration from customers and staff if you are continuously running out of certain menu items. If you are a small restaurant, you must move beyond intuition and use data to reinforce your predictions to make business decisions effectively and accurately.

Are you maximizing your point of sales data to meet your business objectives?

The most important data your restaurant should be monitoring is your point of sale (POS), which is the core of your data. A POS system creates a transaction log and should go beyond total receipts for the day to effectively track what your business is doing. There are various big drivers you should be tracking, including:

  • When are people making reservations?
  • What menu item was ordered?
  • What time was it ordered?
  • Was it a phone or Uber Eats order?
  • If they dined in, how long did they stay?
  • How did they pay?

Restaurants generate a vast amount of data on a daily basis, from inventory to sales and customer data. However, they are usually working on multiple systems — reservations, dine-in orders, to-go orders, etc. To gain accurate insights and remain competitive, you need to bring all your data together in one place to see the patterns. You’ll then better understand what’s going on in your business and be able to be predictive in how you manage both the back and front of the house. By properly managing this data, restaurants can identify inefficiencies in their operations, optimize their menu, enhance the customer experience, increase profitability and better forecast demand to reduce waste.

The bottom line

When it comes to data, you don’t have to be a large company to play like one. You just need to know how to manage your data and insights. Increasing the speed of decisions, especially in the restaurant industry, is crucial to making informed business decisions as close to real-time as possible. Restaurants can leverage data management just as effectively as any other industry, but first they need to understand their business and customer base, what outcomes they are striving for and then assess and align their business objectives to their data.

Are you ready to go on a journey to discover how to harness your data? Aprio’s Data Management & Insights Services team can help you start off on the right path and develop a data roadmap tailored to your business objectives.

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About the Author

Greg Levins

Greg Levins is a Director of the Aprio Digital Transformation & Cybersecurity Advisory Services and leads the Aprio Data Management & Insights practice. He has more than 40 years of experience in the business of IT, focused on program management, enterprise architecture and methodologies, with a microfocus in data management. He has led successful digital strategies and implementations for clients operating in vertical markets, including: Aerospace, Manufacturing, US Military, US Federal, Retail, Healthcare, Travel, Utilities, Oil & Gas and Banking. Greg is a certified facilitator who excels at aligning stakeholders and team members at every level of an organization to deliver scalable, secure solutions that deliver speed to value.