Data analytics has been transforming different sectors for many years, and the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) sector is one of them.
There is an increase in demand for Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) with the change in consumption patterns, hectic schedules of people, and expansion of eCommerce channels in the market.
By keeping the needs of different fast-food menus and online ordering services in mind, QSR companies started to incorporate technological advancements, including POS, kiosks, wireless portable devices, and digital menu cards.
The market value of the international QSR market was expected to be US$243.9 Billion and is aimed to surpass a CAGR of 4.9% during the prediction period.
What is Restaurant Analytics?
Restaurant analytics is the process of collecting, evaluating, and merging collections of data related to QSR business and converting them into value-added insights, which in turn enhance menus and restaurant training policies.
Restaurant analytics also deals with which days you are receiving more orders for food and why only a few members of your team are showing the best performance.
How Data and Information Can be Used in a Restaurant?
Restaurant data analytics companies can collect every bit of information and data and store it in a unique coherent storyline.
Information related to waiting times, reservations, home delivery, total food wasted, chosen payment options, and many other statistics is mixed, examined, and converted into actionable insights.
These restaurant analytics companies develop custom dashboards and discover important KPIs to measure progress toward reaching your goals.
The process of analyzing restaurant data includes these steps:
Identify consumer metrics:
Restaurants use analytics and reporting tools to understand major consumer metrics like guest opinions, AOV (average order value), employee performance, campaign promotion, churn, and retention.
This step includes the collection of different types of data, such as:
- Operations data
- Guest data
- Website data
Operations data can be gathered using restaurant tools such as CRM, inventory management, reservation systems, and POS data. This data also involves staffing data, data related to your menu, and sales data.
The goal of collecting data is to track various metrics and find future opportunities related to upcoming orders and revenue.
Guest data consists of the needs and wants of the guests, their behaviors, and their demographics.
This type of data collection lets you market to the relevant audience, personalize promotions, and produce a fine customer experience for all guests at the restaurant.
Website data derives from Google Analytics or a CMS (content management system).
This data provides an idea of how people are finding your restaurant website, how they view it, and which pages they frequently visit.
Data validation and cleaning:
Here, you have to validate the data to determine its accuracy. Remove unwanted or duplicate files and fix errors.
Before you focus on this step, you have to ask yourself which areas of your restaurant need improvement and if you are making enough sales to run your business.
Then use business intelligence and analytics tools to create stunning visualizations and produce important reports to discover trends.
Consider all these challenges and start making modifications to boost the user experience. Also, monitor whether these modifications are yielding better results.
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How are Customer Data and Quick Service Restaurant Analytics (QSRA) Related to Each Other?
With the rapid demand for digital technologies, quick-service restaurants started accessing large amounts of customer data to enhance operations and make powerful business decisions.
Here are a few points that highlight the relationship between QSR analytics and customer data:
Quick service restaurant analytics coupled with AI/ML algorithms to discover hidden gaps in your services, and identify fresh or innovative options to fill such gaps.
QSR analytics analyzes customer data to optimize the menu and helps you introduce fresh menu items to test which items customers like the most.
The end goal of taking this action is to achieve higher lifetime value and user satisfaction.
Uncovering fresh opportunities or pain points:
QSR analytics goes through customer data to discover the existence of any unmet requirements.
This helps you generate fresh and innovative methods to package the present menu items and focus on unmatched requirements with more data-driven offers.
QSR data analytics play a significant role in monitoring operations and highlighting areas where improvement is required.
For instance, it can monitor customer wait times, and data related to order accuracy to find bottlenecks and enhance customer service.
This tool can find out whether particular customers come back frequently. This information can act as a platform to design loyalty programs to attract consumers through targeted offers.
Marketing & advertising:
Through customer data, QSRs can run ads on Facebook and Google to reach targeted audiences and monitor their advertising efforts.
Why is Analytics Essential in the Restaurant Industry?
Restaurant data analytics is a superior tool to manage some interventions, such as improving training qualities, controlling food waste, and reallocating resources.
The added advantage is that it provides detailed information related to the quality of the food, sales percentage, and average wait time for the customer.
Analytics is crucial in the restaurant sector because of the following reasons:
By using greater insights collected from consumer data, and predictive analytics tools combined with ML models, it’s easy to anticipate consumer behaviors that result in increased outcomes.
The AI and ML tools are utilized to derive data analytics for restaurants to assist the operators in enhancing the complete efficiency of the place.
Also, once you obtain a complete understanding of which staff are performing their best with a clear goal, you can rotate shifts.
Having your best-performing employee on duty during your peak days can result in higher efficiency.
Increase financial growth:
Implement a set of strategies such as deals, partnerships, and offers in the restaurant or hospitality business to increase financial growth.
While these tactics will yield better outcomes in the future, you need to plan how to schedule them within your budget.
Spot emerging trends:
This analytics for restaurants closely monitors shifts in customers’ eating habits, rises in sales for particular menus, peak seasons for business, etc.
This data can be considered by the restaurants to change menus and shifts accordingly.
How will QSR Analytics Improve Marketing Efforts?
QSRs use data-oriented geofencing to increase their customer base. By using data-driven insights, restaurants’ with multiple outlets at multiple locations can make critical business decisions for expansion plans.
The insights covered by QSR analytics include:
- Visualize: Accurate representation of geospatial data
- Analyze: Algorithmic analysis using AI or ML
- Operationalize: Valuable insights to maximize business decision making
Let’s see how QSR analytics will improve marketing efforts:
Visualize possibilities for market expansion:
QSRs use analytics tools to represent their outlet analysis with reports, graphs, and heatmaps. This helps them detect gaps in a specific area and cover POIs related to Google Maps to show possible regions for growth.
This includes transaction volumes, repeat orders, order density values, and so on. This analysis will force QSR operation teams and managers to pinpoint gaps and take the required actions for expanding the business.
Restaurant companies can pinpoint regions for promotional campaigns according to region type, footfall, nearby POIs, and economic class.
They can grow their market by recognizing location intelligence through in-store mapping, customer density, and order heat maps.
QSR markets can collect these details about customers to send customized messages, and discounts, and focus on loyalty programs.
Examining restaurant expenses and performance data can help them conduct in-depth analysis. Restaurants can point out the possible market size of their niche audiences by adding customer modeling to the data.
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How is Productivity Measured in the Restaurant Industry?
Productivity measures the quantity of food sold completely by the restaurant and the total number of customers served.
Restaurants rely on operation metrics to track the growth and profitability of their business on a weekly or monthly basis.
The restaurant industry follows the below mentioned ways to calculate productivity:
It is measured by simply dividing the total number of sales by the total number of employee hours for that duration.
This metric plays a key role in evaluating how perfectly a restaurant is using labor.
Nowadays, more and more consumers are willing to examine online reviews, and share their thoughts related to a restaurant.
To keep customers engaged, restaurant owners have to be active on all social media platforms.
With advanced technologies, it’s not difficult to monitor all the types of data they require to operate a successful restaurant.
Restaurants that track their ratings daily may discover sentiments in negative reviews of unsatisfied customers, resulting in solutions including fresh menu items, employee service, or other modifications to boost the dining experience.
Moreover, restaurants can track key details related to their visitors by gathering a variety of data from a cloud-enabled POS system.
Additionally, they can use restaurant business analytics to get an overview of how often visitors will frequent their restaurants.
If there is a drop in this digit, it could indicate that the quality of service is not satisfactory and requires a proper analysis to retain customers.
This customer retention rate analysis can be done on a monthly or yearly basis.
What are the Data Analysis Reports that the Restaurant Industry Needs?
Restaurants may need the below-mentioned reports:
These contain broad data on the overall sales generated at a restaurant on a specific day. It gives a clear picture of the total number of bills issued and the discounts offered.
If a restaurant owner owns more than one outlet, they can get sales reports for all outlets in one place. Thus, a comparison of the sales that happened across multiple outlets can be done.
These reports involve the opening and closing inventories of every item, as well as the quantity of each item used on a specific day across multiple outlets.
In addition, the inventory report also has a Variance Report that describes the gap between the consumption of real and ideal stocks. A difference of 3–5% is OK; anything beyond that is an indication of waste.
CRM reports show the total number of orders received, the date and time of customer visits, and the number of bills produced at the table.
This will give a clear picture of the worst and best-selling items as well as the most loyal customers.
Customer Feedback Reports:
These reports help restaurant managers identify areas for improvement, address customer complaints promptly, and enhance the overall customer experience.
Labor Performance Reports:
For the success of any restaurant, a performance analysis of its labor is crucial.
Defining a set of goals and KPIs at the individual level and tracking their statuses on a monthly or quarterly basis will help in controlling the overall operations of the restaurant business.
Managers and restaurant owners use customized reporting tools offered by restaurant analytics firms to measure KPIs in real time.
Menu Performance Reports:
Menu performance reports will tell you which menu items are generating more sales and which are not.
By looking at underperforming items, restaurant owners can minimize food prices and the operating costs associated with creating such items and managing inventory.
By referring to these reports, restaurant managers will monitor and compare all the expenses with their actual budget on a daily or monthly basis.
This helps them save some lump sum money. Water bills, equipment maintenance, Wi-Fi, electricity, inventory costs, rents, employees’ salaries, and so on are included in expense reports.
The added advantage of having such reports is that they will guide where to spend and where to cut expenses.
Brands Performance Reports:
If an owner has multiple restaurant brands, keeping track of operations and sales can be challenging.
Combining reports from external sources and depending on the manager for day-to-day updates is a headache.
Thus, there arises a need for a centralized restaurant management system to provide a summary of all brands’ performance in a commonplace.
The brands’ performance report will give information related to overall sales.
Crucial Restaurant Metrics and KPIs to Track Using Restaurant Analytics
The goal of setting restaurant KPIs is to measure the progress, success, and performance of a business.
They are crucial as they allow the whole staff to understand the objective of your business, and work diligently to achieve it.
Top metrics and KPIs to track using analytics in the Quick Service Restaurant industry:
It is the overall profit produced from sales data. By subtracting the amount of goods sold and operating costs from the gross revenue of a restaurant, the profit margin can be measured.
The gross margin percentage calculates how much of every dollar in profit is used to pay for rent, goods, labor, and other extra expenditures, sometimes indicated as a digit between 0% and 100%.
Average visitor spending:
Defines the average price that is paid by the visitor whenever they visit before other adjustments.
This metric is important for restaurants to calculate whether menu prices are impacting their overall revenue.
This is the common KPI to start with if your restaurant data fails to monitor past data.
Sales define the overall revenue produced by the basic functions of the restaurant. It has food, gift cards, and drinks.
It involves taxes, health insurance, salary, uniforms, and so on.
You should closely monitor labor costs, as they shouldn’t become a burden for you, and try to follow a rotating roaster if they get out of control.
Food cost percentage:
It is measured by dividing total food costs by total food sales. An optimal food cost percentage should be anywhere between 25% and 35%.
Food waste is a critical issue and is considered an unwanted cost for a restaurant. Waste of food is equivalent to a loss of money.
Imperfect use of inventory results in food waste, so businesses need to monitor unutilized inventory by dividing it by the overall amount of food purchased.
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Why Use QSR Intelligence for Restaurants?
Quick Service Restaurant Intelligence includes leveraging different origins of data including operational metrics, sales data, and inventory details to understand connections and trends that can lead to operational efficiency and business growth.
The process of data intelligence consists of:
- Data collection
- Data analysis
- Performance metrics
- Reporting and visualization
- Decision making
Let’s explore the importance of QSR intelligence for Restaurants:
Predictive analytics for restaurants enable managers to anticipate issues related to operations.
By studying previous data, operators can perfectly allocate resources, pinpoint possible risks, and make instant decisions to avoid problems before they arise.
Express Analytics provides customized reports according to QSR intelligence. Managers can produce extensive reports customized to their requirements.
They can select various metrics such as reporting durations, and visualize the data in an understandable format.
These reports will act as a foundation for strategic planning, and assessing performance.
Consolidated data management:
With QSR intelligence, managers can consolidate data across numerous modules, ensuring integration, accessibility, and integrity of the data.
Restaurant owners can get real-time insights into all major corners of restaurant operations.
They can get day-to-day status related to the performance of the equipment, task execution rate, and guest happiness, allowing them to make proactive decisions instantly.
QSR business intelligence nurtures an environment of uninterrupted progress.
By discovering areas of progress, managers can constantly implement standard practices, put more effort into success, adapt to frequently changing market conditions, and maximize their operations.
QSR Intelligence Use Cases
Let’s explore the major use cases of QSR intelligence in different modules of restaurant operations:
Brand guidelines and Food protection compliance:
Keeping constant brand guidelines and food protection compliance is a challenge for all restaurants. This is where QSR intelligence comes in by studying data from audits.
By collecting data in real-time, and making use of tailor-made audit templates, owners can stick to brand standards, cleanliness guidelines, and food-control processes.
Later, the data is examined to spot regions of non-compliance, monitor trends related to performance, and take necessary actions to address such issues.
To maintain operational standards, effective audit management is crucial.
Restaurant business intelligence can take care of the audit process by offering tailored templates related to auditing based on specific needs.
This comprises scoring systems, specifying audit criteria, and checklist items by taking industry guidelines into account.
Auditors can take screenshots of data and proofs using handheld devices, ensuring error-free and authentic documentation.
Later, that data is used to find gaps in operations, performance trends, and issues relevant to compliance.
Facilities and equipment maintenance:
Regular management of facilities and equipment is critical for the smooth operation of any restaurant.
QSR intelligence allows owners to perfectly supervise maintenance schedules, service databases, and equipment conditions.
After gathering and inspecting data associated with equipment maintenance, owners can forecast maintenance requirements, discover possible issues, and schedule tasks related to preventive maintenance.
This procedure reduces equipment downtime, minimizes repair expenses, and creates a comfortable working zone.
QSR intelligence also allows owners to monitor maintenance history, the performance of their service provider, and warranty details.
Visitor acquisition and retention
Understanding visitor preferences, and managing their concerns is necessary for acquiring and retaining guests.
Restaurant business owners collect and examine guest data from loyalty programs, social media reviews, and feedback or online surveys.
Such data helps owners look into areas for enhancement, address guest concerns, and personalize their experiences.
How Does QSR Intelligence Increase Restaurant Sales?
Listed below is a list of powerful ways to increase sales using QSR intelligence:
Analyze both the past and current performance of a QSR business:
QSR intelligence will compare previous and present sales and marketing promotions and give an overview of the performance of a business.
This overview highlights the present challenges of a business and key KPIs such as staff, profit margin, marketing, the overall operation of a business, sales, and expenses.
Quick service restaurant intelligence analyzes the least and best-selling menu items and comes with the factors that indicate why guests hate or love specific meals.
The factors include whether the price is higher. Whether guests don’t like the description and presentation?
If restaurant owners haven’t updated or changed the menu items for years, it’s time to revamp the menu.
They have to use HD pictures of their dishes and generate an impressive menu layout. Stop the dish that is getting fewer orders and offer discounts, combo meals, and attractive promotions to provide guests with multiple choices.
Take advantage of a loyalty program:
If customers want to visit restaurants again and again, offer them incentives such as free meals, a discount, or loyalty rewards.
This step makes customers engage with QSR brands and ultimately boosts loyalty, resulting in more revenue.
Focus on staff
With the help of QSR intelligence, brands can keep an eye on their staff and identify whether they need any training.
It is because they are the first point of contact for all customers. Also, QSR brands ensure that staff are not making any mistakes in serving their customers quickly.
How QSR Analytics is Changing the Restaurant Industry?
QSR analytics is changing the restaurant industry in the following ways:
QSR analytics coupled with AI and ML tools to find out ways to reduce costs without making any changes to the quality.
For instance, automating reservations enables the staff to focus more on boosting the customer experience.
Quick-service restaurant analytics are incomplete without strong marketing strategies.
QSR businesses need to know how to satisfy the needs of their audience and set up communication channels to reach them.
Restaurants rely on data analytics to adhere to quality guidelines at all levels.
This consists of staff behavior, cooking, delivery, dining services, packaging, maintenance and cleanliness of the kitchen, and so on.
It is a procedure for discovering different emotions felt by visitors when they visit restaurants.
Customer sentiment analysis provides the strengths and weaknesses of restaurants from a visitors’ angle.
It includes factors like dining experience, staff behavior, reactions regarding pricing, experience with online reservations, etc.
QSR brands need to hire a company that provides restaurant data analytics solutions to extract reports on customer sentiments.
Forecasting product expiration date:
Food products are more liable to spoil. Few food items can be stored for a week and few foods are edible only for more than a few hours.
Restaurant analytics manages the expiration date of all products and passes health-related instructions to visitors for their safety.
Restaurant predictive analytics is used by QSR owners and chefs to look into guests’ preferences and decide the menu items.
If more guests visit a restaurant at night and they order a burger, it shows that the item is a favorite and they should get it during busy hours.
This gives clarity for chefs to schedule their plans and adjust the items for respective times.
How Restaurant Analytics Impacts Other Areas of Restaurant Business?
With the increase in digital technologies, Restaurant analytics can transform the restaurant business in multiple ways.
Data analytics for restaurants can be mainly used to track inventory stages, and forecast upcoming market trends.
This information will be used by QSRs to improve their supply chains and minimize food waste by ordering only the required ingredients.
Helps in evaluating income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets.
Furthermore, regular analysis can be performed to spot the latest trends and make necessary decisions to boost the financial health of restaurants.
Monitoring customer traffic flow can help restaurant channel managers make proactive scheduling decisions. They can handle labor costs by planning the staff they need.
Offering guests estimated delivery times sets real-time assumptions.
If data indicates that delivery guests are unhappy with a few items, channel managers can use those details to modify their delivery menu.
What are the Major Factors Affecting the Growth of the Restaurant Industry?
Keep up with the latest trends:
Present-day customers’ expectations go beyond food quality, which requires restaurant owners to stay in touch with the latest trends to avoid the serious risk of losing out on possible customers.
Analyzing present market trends and making changes based on consumer expectations are crucial for the growth of restaurants.
Use technological innovations:
When visiting a restaurant, customers expect a convenient, and comfortable experience. Thus, restaurants need to use technological innovations to attract customers.
Imperative features such as point of sale, employee management, inventory control, and online ordering are growth factors for restaurant businesses.
Best atmosphere and quality food:
Earlier, customers were focusing more on quality food, but now they are expecting a good customer experience with the best atmosphere along with a hassle-free ordering process.
Thus, to achieve better growth in a restaurant, aiming for the best consumer experience can drive more revenue.
Set growth targets:
Maintaining a brand’s reputation by growing and developing it can capture the attention of consumers.
Considering how effectively it meets its requirements, it has forced restaurants to keep updated with the latest strategies to establish recognition in the market and reach the goal as predicted.
How POS Data Can Transform Your Restaurant?
POS systems are a crucial data source for QSR businesses.
Listed below are a few ways that POS data can shape the restaurant industry:
Minimizes errors and theft:
Almost all POS systems are hosted over the internet. Every sale and refund will be stored on the computer and automatically moved to the cloud.
This makes a business’s inventory more accurate than before. It will reduce counting and calculation errors by avoiding human mistakes.
A POS can track different transactions that take place on the POS; this reduces theft in QSR businesses.
Enhances service speed:
Overbooked restaurants and overwhelmed kitchens can slow down QSR business services. POS data can streamline operations by sending orders straight to the kitchen without human intervention.
Automation of activities:
POS systems come with default time-saving features. Restaurant owners can set up POS to alter menu items if ingredients are low.
They can automate reports by maintaining that they run automatically and are delivered to their mailbox.
Facilitate personalized marketing:
A POS can store all necessary customer data based on customer preferences. This helps QSR owners know their customers’ anniversaries, birthdays, and so on, which can be useful in making marketing plans.
With this data, they can declare special discounts or offers to their consumers on special days and enhance incoming orders using personalized marketing.
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Benefits of QSR Intelligence
Regular analysis of statistical data will help restaurants identify emerging trends and come up with strategies to boost sales through food apps.
The benefits of QSR intelligence are listed below:
Boost estimation and reduce wait times:
QSR intelligence is responsible for error-free sales forecasting.
Using big data, QSR companies can monitor their favorite dishes and relevant combos for different meals to reduce wait times and boost delivery speed.
It also warns restaurants about new trends during festivals, seasons, and holidays.
Restaurants target consumers according to their nearby locations using QSR intelligence.
The end goal is to deliver food at a specific time to consumers so they can have their favorite menu at the correct temperature.
QSRs can implement demographic intelligence to determine delivery charges, cancellation charges, and the amount of supply and demand.
QSRs can increase location-specific promotions based on these metrics.
Boost ROI via food deliveries:
To boost ROI via food deliveries, restaurants can monitor various metrics such as location-specific promotions, different payment choices, and ratings.
Monitoring these metrics can assist them in increasing operational efficiency, providing personalized services, and providing exact ETAs, which results in a higher ROI.
Leveraging AI/ML to Drive Better Value from Your Marketing Technology Stack
Implementation of AI and ML into marketing strategies helps yield better outcomes. It minimizes expenses, smooths operations, fixes human errors and helps to stay active in the market.
Businesses are already using AI and ML to improve efficiency, productivity, service speed, upgrade processes, and expand capabilities.
These technologies utilize the HIL (human-in-the-loop) concept to send low-confidence outcomes to clients to offer feedback.
Working with AI and ML tools can be challenging.
Express Analytics follows a 3-step procedure to help customers get started on AI or ML: ideation, developing a minimally viable product (MVP), and operationalizing and using an AI or ML model.
The company identifies opportunities that yield better business value and discovers the data inputs along with policies and regulations that need to be followed.
Later, we show a working MVP to clients and demonstrate how we can send the model to the production line of a business. This usually consists of assessing AI services or choosing a model with your data.
Leveraging QSR intelligence with Express Analytics is revolutionary for restaurant managers. The combination of different modules and data-based insights allows them to handle, streamline, and improve their operations without difficulty.
With predictive analytics, value-added insights, and performance monitoring, owners can make timely decisions, predict trends, and beat the competition.
Tailor-made reports, analysis of past data, and actionable recommendations offer managers and owners restaurant analytics solutions to bring about necessary changes and deliver quality services to guests.
At Express Analytics, we have worked with many businesses in various industries to combine data analytics cloud solutions to drive organizational innovation.
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