In our last edition (part 6) we looked at what aspects of a system(s) needed to be implemented in a restaurant/food establishment. The ultimate goal of any system is business intelligence, helping you make informed decisions for your business. We have yet to look at other business development opportunities you can achieve from gathered data. Here are some that could be considered for a restaurant:
Trending Items. The beauty with automated systems is that you can collect any data you want and deliver it in logical reports. For example you can easily identify a trending dish by collecting data from orders over a period of time. It could be the middle of summer and you’ve noticed that your lemon gelato is most popular, maybe you need to buy it in bulk and pocket the savings. Advertise it as an in-house special and update your website to promote its popularity. There are many other ways you can act on information these reports provide you.
Food & Beverage Pairing. You should by now have a stable customer base and are familiar with a few regulars. Having regulars helps you forecast the demand to the exact day of the week. Again, check to see what your loyal customers have been ordering and pairing with their meals? Perhaps a little questionnaire or survey to ask them about providing feedback for your menu. Maybe its time to have discussions with other suppliers for a different range of wines. Or maybe, increase your customer relations by including their name against the suggested food and wine pairing in the menu? There is nothing like word-of-mouth advertising to get more customers!
Tapas Option. If you find that sales are dwindling, less customers are walking in, but other nearby establishments are still getting frequented, have a look at your whole offering again. Could it be the menu? Maybe it’s the price of your dishes? Revisit your strategy and do a comparison of what you are offering vs. what your competitors offer. It may be time to completely overhaul the menu to stand out from the rest. Maybe you need to adjust the portion sizes. You may already have all your menu costed, perhaps add a tapas-size option to cater for the more price-sensitive.
Easy Reservations. Provide an online booking option enabling your customers to reserve a table and avoid the queue. Speak to your website supplier about this, maybe you can increase the number of customers entering your establishment with minimal effort from your staff. Alternatively, have your diners rate your restaurant on popular apps like urbanspoon, yelp or traveladvisor. With this wealth of information readily available for you, decisions can be made proactively!