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June 21, 2021

4 Reasons Why Restaurant Data is Needed to Drive Restaurant Recovery

dDo you feel confident that you know how your business is performing in comparison to the rest of the industry? Do you understand how your sales stack up next to your competitors’? And what about your workforce metrics? Do you feel like you’ve got a good hold on your staffing levels?

With all the changes that the restaurant industry went through in the last 18 months, knowing these insights can have a dramatic impact on your long-term viability and financial stability. Data-driven decision making allows you to implement the best new services and menu items for your customers, attract and retain high-quality employees and make smarter decisions about your future direction.


Why restaurant data is so valuable right now

To deal with razor-thin margins and rising costs for food and supplies, knowledge is power. Restaurant recovery from the pandemic is unlike anything we’ve ever seen; you can’t compare it to a typical recession or major crisis like a natural disaster. It’s important to be smart and flexible as things unfold, and that requires accurate, up-to-date data on your business, your competitors and the industry at large.


1. Know the causes of staffing shortages

The restaurant industry is in the middle of a historic staffing shortage. There are many theories as to why, but to understand the reasons behind your restaurant’s staffing issues, you need data. The cause of your staffing shortage may be insufficient pay, improper staffing levels (leading to overworked employees) or your brand employment message. It could also be a combination of several factors. To pinpoint the reason, you need data, such as Workforce Intelligence Reporting.

Turnover can drive down sales and customer satisfaction, costing the business much more than just the cost of hiring and training a new employee. Investing in data can help mitigate those costs.


2. See how you measure up against the competition

Even if you have great data on your sales, it’s hard to know how you stack up against the competition. This has been an uneven economic crisis, in terms of the people affected. The battle for customers will continue to be tight. Benchmarking data allows you to assess whether your sales are over- or underperforming compared to your competitors. Benchmarks are also an important tool for measuring your internal progress. Download the Restaurant Benchmarking Guide to learn how to develop your own.


3. Know what’s driving the outcomes you’re experiencing

Whether you have lagging beverage sales or poor guest reviews, it’s likely that a number of factors contribute to those numbers. You need access to guest intelligence, consumer intelligence, financial intelligence and other key restaurant data metrics to understand the bigger picture. With that bird’s-eye view, you can take actions that will drive better outcomes.

The pandemic has disrupted the way we look at data. To help you understand how to correctly analyze your data in light of the crisis, we’ve created a guide to help you truly understand the story your data is telling.


4. Determine your next move

Disruption always presents an opportunity for innovation. With many diners preferring to enjoy their meals off-premise, you may be considering changes to your dining area and parking lot to accommodate to-go orders and deliveries. While some experts predict this trend is here to stay, the long-term popularity of off-premise dining remains to be seen. Big data can help you hone in on which strategies make the most sense for your business, so you can make the right investments for 2021.


restaurant data image example, person studying bar chart


FAQs About Restaurant Data


How is restaurant data collected?

Restaurant data is collected from a number of sources. Typically, data intelligence providers leverage publicly available sources, consumer demographics and payment data and data from their customers to provide their services.


What are the attributes of restaurant data

The attributes of restaurant data can run the gamut. Generally, restaurant data will include the dining segment, location and services provided. Financial data can be provided with product type, menu category and payment type attributes. Consumer data typically includes demographics such as income levels and family size. Common guest data attributes include ratings and location of the review.


What are the uses of restaurant data

Restaurant data is used to guide decision-making and strategy. Savvy restaurant owners use data to determine which menu items to offer, which consumers to pursue and which marketing messages will reach them. Restaurant data is also used to measure sales performance in comparison to competitors.


Where can I buy restaurant data

You can purchase restaurant data from a number of sources. Some vendors specialize in specific types of data, such as customer intelligence or financial metrics. On the other hand, data intelligence providers such as Black Box Intelligence provide comprehensive restaurant data solutions, along with expertise to help you understand the insights that data provides.


Taking on the restaurant recovery with the right data

Big data isn’t just another buzzword. The right restaurant data will empower you to make smarter financial decisions and even identify new opportunities to generate revenue. The only way to address the restaurant recovery and prepare yourself for future crises is with accurate, up-to-date insights.

The restaurant industry will continue to ride the roller coaster caused by the pandemic for the foreseeable future. To brace for ongoing uncertainty and set up your business for long-term financial success, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of all the changes in the industry. Sign up for the Restaurant Industry Performance Pulse for weekly updates and analyses on the latest restaurant industry data.


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