Managing a chain of restaurants is very challenging, and in order to get the best results the team in each restaurant needs to have access to the right information in order to make the right decisions. For large restaurants, the power of restaurant data can be unlocked by having it all in one place.

This is becoming ever more complex as restaurants are collecting an increasingly large amount of data.

In this article we will set out how technologies that have been available to Google and Amazon are now set to revolutionize the restaurant industry.

We see the approach in 3 key steps:

1) Data collection

You must gather restaurant data from all facets of your business. We like to break it down as follows:

  • “In-store” data e.g., POS, inventory, employee data
  • “Near-store” data e.g., social media reviews and other 3rd party content
  • “External data” e.g., weather, traffic etc.

2) Insight generation

then turning the data into actionable insights — here it’s important that the steps taken by each staff member must be clear, and ideally you can quantify the result

3) Insight delivery

finally , you must deliver them to the right person (e.g. a store manager) without having to wait for the insight to be passed down the management chain.

You need to ensure ease of access to relevant and reliable information, while decentralizing decision making ability away from the boardroom, or headquarters.

These insights will drive decision-making and help better manage restaurant chains. Actually, the faster and more accurately you can access and review information about your restaurant, the better you can manage, control and improve your operation.

The use of big data in your chain should increase your productivity and maximize your marketing ROI. For example, based on the analysis of your sales you could adjust staffing and procurement levels based on demand or you could reduce food costs by reducing wastage. With the collection of data from social media and review sites you are able to see how well your sites and staff are performing.

Here are five ways you can get value from your data:

  • Raise customer satisfaction to drive additional traffic

Improve your overall customer reviews and get alerted of bad reviews immediately, so they can be actioned in real time. The store managers will receive alerts if something needs attention to engage your most valuable customers.

Increase your speed of service, your average check size and give staff real time feedback on their performance and incentivise to sell more. We’ve seen more than 150% variability in up-sell across staff members, and even up to 800% in speed of service!

  • Optimize your menu

Analyze menus to find the most popular dish. Menu analytics can have far-reaching benefits, whether in identifying complementary menu pairings, creating discounts for winning combinations of such items, or identifying non-performing items and removing them.

Increase procurement efficiency with automated forecasting and find the right balance of delivery and in-store resources — more accurate ordering and staff scheduling.

  • Test and learn: bring software development practices to your restaurant!

A restaurant can test a program in one location and then, depending on its success, choose to apply the program at other locations and across various levels. Having access to the restaurant data enables you to quantity an initiative’s success.

At Tenzo we can offer all these insights in one place, on mobile and web. All the insights are delivered in real time to the right person in order to improve decision making and your bottom line!