As a restaurateur staying relevant and competitive within the hospitality industry is a constant challenge. Some operators make it look so easy, always coming up with fresh ideas and menu items. Is it a gut feeling or, is it something more informed? What separates a restaurant barely hobbling along to a thriving franchise is understanding your customer.
Understanding Your Consumer
The long and short of it is – this industry is about the service you deliver to your customer, regardless of whether you operate a hotdog stand or a fine dining restaurant. What’s important is that you know your customers and their demands. Some operators are so adept and in tune with their consumer base to the point where they can instinctively understand what customers want.
Why Use Data To Understanding Your Consumer
While an impressive talent, this gut feeling can get you only so far, particularly when you start to expand into new territories. Not all customers will have the same demands or expectations; knowing this can lead to tailored service and product offerings. It all comes down to data. Quality information assists in making faster and more informed decisions than you would if you only went off of your cut feeling.
Getting the quality data in place while challenging in the past is now streamlined more than ever. With the advent of digital computers and the internet of things, businesses are bridging the gap between consumers demands. Your Point of Sale collects a plethora of data over time. Tracking sales, stock management, outgoing expenses, guest count, detailed records of menu items sold. The more data you have, the more information you can ascertain about; how your business is operating and gain insight into your customers wants and needs.
Advances in Point-of-Sale technology like online ordering and loyalty apps are helping operators to gain unique individualised data collection. Companies like Starbucks, the largest coffee franchise in the US and a global coffee house brand, use this kind of data to rebuild their menus to suit their market. The data even drives new store locations. Mc Donalds has used consumer data to break into Asian markets; by adapting their menus to suit the discerning pallets and the unique tastes and flavours in those countries.
Customer Satisfaction – Finding A Demand
Some trends only become apparent when you dig deeper into your consumer habits. By seeing the bigger picture, Knowing more about your customers can improve your customer satisfaction rates. Tailor their experience and build a loyal customer base in the process.