In a rapidly evolving restaurant landscape, the key to success lies in understanding and adapting to the ever-changing dynamics of the industry. Enter the world of POS data.

Gone are the days when restaurants solely relied on intuition and experience. Today, the integration of technology, particularly POS systems, has revolutionized the way restaurants operate. According to a 2023 survey by TD Bank, 38 percent of operators are planning to invest in technology such as a new POS or other in-store tech. These modern systems are not just transactional tools but are treasure troves of data that, when harnessed correctly, can redefine the restaurant experience.

A sophisticated POS system offers tailored reporting capabilities, enabling operators to zoom into specific data metrics. By focusing on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as sales trends, labor expenses and guest feedback, operators can make informed decisions that enhance both revenue and operational efficiency.

Here are some of the most important metrics to pay attention to and the actionable insights that can be taken from them.

Optimizing Staffing Strategies

With the current labor market challenges, especially in the restaurant sector, data becomes a pivotal tool. How? By analyzing historical sales trends, operators can adjust staffing needs, ensuring optimal service during peak hours and efficient resource allocation during slower periods. A time management module can also allow users to build and maintain schedules quickly, analyzing labor costs in real-time compared to hourly sales.

When it comes to training, POS data can help restaurant operators emphasize team strengths and pinpoint areas that need enhancement, all supported by concrete data. If there are extended turnover times, consider enhancing staff training for better efficiency or reevaluate the menu to expedite dish preparation, for example. Leveraging these insights can lead to substantial time and cost savings over time.

Revolutionizing Inventory and Menu Offerings

With data-driven insights from POS systems, operators can monitor inventory levels, track ingredient usage, and even predict perishable item turnover. They can pinpoint ingredients that remain unused frequently and design special dishes to incorporate them, for example, or they can negotiate timely bulk purchases for their most essential ingredients.

For a streamlined and lucrative menu, it’s vital for operators to discern which dishes are popular, which dishes aren’t and why. Evaluating the sales of each item can shed light on potential pricing adjustments to bolster revenue and enhance profit margins.

Enhancing the Guest Experience

At the heart of every restaurant is the guest experience. While a modern POS should provide customers with a smooth payment process, the potential of a data-driven platform extends much deeper.

For one, data-driven POS systems promote transparency by offering customers real-time updates on their order’s preparation and subsequent pickup or delivery window. Additionally, tracking table occupancy rates can help operators identify and address potential service delays or issues that may be impacting the customer experience. Contemporary POS systems can also mitigate human errors by streamlining the ordering mechanism and instantaneously updating any order alterations. All of these factors can enhance customer loyalty and encourage repeat visits in the long run.

Personalizing Promotions

In today’s digital age, personalization is not just a luxury but an expectation—71 percent of restaurants use POS data for loyalty programs, upselling and discounts. By diving deep into order histories and customer preferences, restaurants can design loyalty programs or promotions that resonate with their patrons, fostering brand loyalty and repeat business.

Evaluating common pairings or sought-after extras can lead to the introduction of bundled deals or special offers, for example. On the other hand, POS data can also help restaurant operators pinpoint dishes that aren’t performing well and adjust accordingly, taking into account local ingredient availability or current food trends. From there, operators can create a data-driven promotional strategy, training staff to upsell based on trends and integrating customized offerings into their loyalty program.

In the world of restaurant operations, data is an unsung hero. It offers a lens through which operators can view their business, identify areas of improvement and implement strategies that drive growth. As the restaurant landscape continues to evolve, those who embrace data-driven insights will undoubtedly lead the charge, offering unparalleled dining experiences that keep patrons coming back for more.

Since joining Givex in 2007, Mo Chaar has helped Givex expand its North American footprint. He began my tenure as a Business Development Manager before becoming Vice President of Sales for North America and then moving to his current role as Chief Commercial Officer. In this role, he oversees commercial strategy and development worldwide as well as managing the sales teams within North America. His experience in gift card, loyalty and POS has assisted to the success of the company’s largest partners.

Outside Insights, Restaurant Operations, Story, Technology