How Do I Start Collecting Data at My Restaurant?

Lauren Maier on October 23, 2018 at 2:44 PM

If you’re not already utilizing data collecting methods at your restaurant, getting started may seem like a big leap that you’re apprehensive to take. We know—the world of data is a big one! But data collection can bring the way you run your restaurant down to a science, eliminating sources of lost profits and streamlining your protocols so your employees can make the most of them. We’ve outlined a few areas of your business where data collection and analysis can be especially valuable.

Should I start in the front of house or back of house?

Collecting data in the front of house can help you refine the customer experience and get to know your customers better while data from your kitchen and bar can help you control supply costs. Front of house data helps you identify customer preferences, identify underperforming hours, and grow revenue. Back of house data helps you protect existing inventory, optimize inventory purchasing, and cut food waste. When these groups of data are integrated, you can start identifying which menu items are the most successful and which could use updating. We recommend choosing the area most important for your business first, then pairing it with the other area later to optimize profitability.

Where do I start in the back of house?

We all hate the feeling of throwing away wasted food. It’s literally money going down the drain. If you want to start saving money immediately, investing in temperature sensor technologies can help you eliminate food waste in your kitchen. Inventory management can also be a huge money saver—and save you a headache or two next time you are trying to place an order with your suppliers.

Where do I start in the front of house?

The front of house is all about collecting data on your guests and their preferences. One great place to get started is with table management and point of sale systems. Using these tools, you can calculate your table turnover, market to your guests more effectively, estimate trends with guests’ attendance, and provide more accurate wait times. A lot of this front of house data is especially useful as you integrate it with data from the back of house, like speed of service data and variances in cook times.

The Big Picture

No matter where you start collecting data in your restaurant, you will be able to gather valuable insights from your data if you analyze it carefully—or let software do it for you. Collecting data is worth the investment in ways to do so, and it can help to give your restaurant the push it needs to succeed.

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