Huge changes in revenue signal potential for operators with the appropriate tools.

With digital ordering up 783 percent, consumer data is more readily available than ever before. But using the power of this data can be difficult for those unprepared to decipher the needs of their physical and online spaces. 

Brian Brinkmann, chief product and marketing officer of data analytics platform Agilence, has a term for the disconnect between fast casuals and expectations of the digital age—a mismatch of operations.

“When you think about your fast-casual or quick-serve restaurant, it was accommodated to have people come in, sit down, and have an experience with dining rooms. Now, I’ve got to have parking spots where I can dedicate curbside pick-ups, or I may need to reconfigure my entry ways so that people can pick up orders outside my restaurant,” Brinkmann says. “Operationally, restaurants are going to have to change to help satisfy that digital channel.”

The key to combat operation mismatch, Brinkmann says, is to understand the customer experience. Yet the existence of consumer data on a number of disparate platforms—third-party ordering and delivery platforms, off-premises dining, and first-party sales to name a few—make understanding the consumer a difficult task. Some operators may also have separate e-commerce and in-store POS systems, further complicating integration abilities. 

This is where Agilence positions itself as a SaaS-based analytics platform that strings together data streams from all aspects of a restaurant’s network. From understanding a holistic snapshot of their operations and customers, brands can create a unified experience for consumers in the growing off-premises realm and in-store.

Restaurants that use tools like Agilence may find crucial insights that significantly impact financial performance for both companies and franchisees. Brinkmann exemplifies the power of omnichannel data analysis with one quick-service franchisee client, who found that managers were improperly comping free meals. The restaurant was then able to fix the $1.7 million-dollar problem using Agilence’s metrics.

“Just by bringing all that data together, we’ve got a picture of the customer that, frankly, the company itself doesn’t have. While restaurants have the ingredients for these insights, they don’t necessarily put it all together. We do that for them,” Brinkmann says.

Analytics also identify points of potential revenue growth by analyzing consumer habits. Using dashboards, key performance indicators, and prescriptive alerts, brands can create sales opportunities like multi-channel marketing campaigns or LTOs. This level of control over operations through analytics is especially important since third-party platforms don’t readily offer their data to restaurant partners, despite supplying an increasing percentage of sales.

Delivery aggregators’ hold on consumer figures isn’t the only reason restaurants would do well to get a handle on data now. Business consultancy firm Deloitte reports that 46 percent of consumers expect their dining habits to continue at current levels in the near future. As the trend towards continued digital power doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, brands may miss out on key data-backed observations if they don’t act.

“We’ll help you get the insights and analytics you need to understand what’s going on. And we’ll help you determine where you need to invest, where you need to divest, where you need to train, all to help you create a better strategic plan going forward,” Brinkmann says. “But in addition to that, we’ll help you understand the customers so that all those programs become more effective.”

To learn more about the power of data and creating the omnichannel restaurant experience, visit the Agilence website.

By Chloe Arrojado 

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