A Recipe for Success: 9 Customer Analytics Restaurants Need to Measure

A Recipe for Success: 9 Customer Analytics Restaurants Need to Measure



August 22, 2023

August 22, 2023

What are restaurant analytics?

Measuring data is essential for every industry. The food and beverage industry is no exception. Collecting data and measuring analytics in your restaurant means you can make better, more informed business decisions.

Whether you’re the restaurant manager, business owner, or operations manager, reviewing restaurant analytics helps you uncover trends, be aware of peak times, and use that information to improve your service quality.

There are restaurant data analytics for customer behavior, guest experience, pricing, operations, quality, and others.

Knowing which guest analytics to measure can speed up operations, improve service quality, and more, ultimately increasing your revenues and profits.

If you own or manage a restaurant chain or F&B group, restaurant analytics become even more important, allowing you to compare locations, serving teams, and profitability across branches.

Why should you measure customer analytics in your restaurant?

The goal of any restaurant or F&B business is to grow, become successful, and get repeat guests. To do so, restaurant owners, managers, marketing, and operations managers need to gather data, measure it, then act on it.

But first, let’s look at the top benefits of measuring guest and customer analytics in your restaurant.

1. Get a better understanding of your guests

The top reason restaurant managers measure analytics is to get a better understanding of their guests and customers. By reviewing restaurant metrics, operations and marketing managers can understand customer habits, behavior, preferences, and more.

For example, some restaurant analytics can show you how often certain guests come in, their favorite food, frequently-ordered beverages, and so on.

This data can also show you if these guests are vegan or allergic to certain foods, allowing you to create customer profiles so your servers can point out such information when taking their orders. 

2. Get reviews about your restaurant

Using customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can get customers to review their dine-in experience and highlight your strengths (and weaknesses).

While getting a low-star rating is generally bad for business, it offers insight about your weaknesses, giving you the opportunity to not only improve your business but also your guest experience.

Further reading: Restaurant CRM Software: What Is It? And Why Do You Need It?

3. Make menu-related decisions

One of the top ways to offer variety in your restaurant is through your menu.

Using restaurant data analytics, you can uncover your most successful seasonal dishes and decide which items to keep or remove.

You can also use guest experience software to profile the guest’s last order and offer dishes based on guests’ preferences and dietary habits.

4. Increase your restaurant’s or chain’s revenue

Ultimately, every restaurant manager wants to increase their location’s revenues, and subsequently, profits.

Measuring customer analytics in your restaurant or chain helps you see your top earning dishes, customer preferences, food waste,…etc. so you can optimize your spending and increase your revenue. Without sacrificing quality, of course. 

5. Make marketing strategy decisions

Another key benefit of measuring customer analytics in your restaurant is to see the impact of your marketing efforts.

Use the data you’ve collected to support and improve your restaurant marketing strategy. 

6. Evaluate staff performance

Part of a great restaurant experience is the staff. Metrics and data analytics can help you see your top performing servers and the slackers.

Reviewing data about wait times and tipping can indicate server attentiveness and productivity. You can also use this information to ensure your best servers are available during the lunch or dinner rush.

7. Reduce food waste

Restaurants often struggle with food waste. Using data analytics in your restaurants can help reduce food waste by predicting your inventory needs.

This can help you cut and optimize costs, which can translate to higher revenues and profits.

8. Improve seating arrangements

Measuring restaurant KPIs helps you create better seating arrangements. When customers feel comfortable, they’ll stay longer, bring friends, and enjoy their time. They’ll also leave positive reviews, tip your staff, and boost your revenues.

9. Measure the impact of your partnerships

Many restaurant chains and F&B groups today ink partnerships to entice customers from large corporates to dine at their locations. Using restaurant analytics lets you measure the impact of these partnerships.

Similarly, if you’re running influencer campaigns or advertising with restaurant-focused magazines, data and foot traffic can indicate whether these partnerships are worth investing in or not.

10. Improve your guest experience

The secret to a successful restaurant, or restaurant chain, is repeat customers. Those guests who come to your eatery because they enjoy the ambience, the food, the beverages. They’re those guests who may already know some of your staff by name.

Measuring different customer analytics in your restaurant and acting on this data will result in better guest experiences.

Top customer analytics for restaurants

As you can see, there are many benefits to collecting data and measuring customer analytics in your restaurant.

But what are the top restaurant analytics you should be measuring?

Let’s find out.

1. Revenue per available seat hour (RevPASH)

RevPASH also known as Revenue Per Available Seat Hour, is by far the most important metric on this list that most restaurants and hotels operating restaurants use to determine which seat to assign to each guest during a specific time period that benefits the restaurant best.

To calculate RevPASH, you’ll need to divide your restaurant’s total revenue in a period, usually a week, by the available seat hour for that duration. Then multiply the result by 100.

Alternatively, you can use SerVme’s restaurant management software to automatically calculate your weekly and monthly RevPASH.

RevPASH also helps you see if your current floor plan and seating arrangement are working well for you.

Bonus tip: Measure your restaurant’s RevPASH every week for a clear picture of how your restaurant is performing. You can also measure your RevPASH during holidays and seasons and compare the data year-on-year.

2. Customers per table

Measuring the customers-per-table metric gives you an estimate of the average number of guests seated in your restaurant at a given time.

It’s an indicator of average occupancy rates and can be an indicator of guest satisfaction and retention.

3. Average check per table

The average check per table is a metric that explores how much customers are spending in your restaurant. You can measure it on a daily, weekly, monthly, or annual basis.

To calculate the average check per table, you’ll need to divide the total value of checks (including taxes and tips) by the number of guests.

Bonus tip: Try to review the average number of customers spending more than the average check size and those spending below it. This can help you decide if you need to increase menu prices or offer more options to increase your revenues.

4. Food cost percentage

This profit-related metric lets restaurant managers compare the cost of ingredients for making a dish with the price they’re selling it for.

Often, restaurants will try to reduce the cost of their ingredients to maximize the average food cost percentage. However, if you do this, it’s imperative you don’t impact the quality of the food you serve.

5. Inventory turnover

Measuring your inventory turnover gives you a clear view of your available inventory, if you’re low on certain items, and so on.

The best way to measure inventory turnover is to use inventory management software.

6. Speed of service

No one likes slow restaurant service. That’s why measuring the speed of service in your venue is crucial.

Not only does speedy service contribute to higher guest satisfaction rates, but also increases table turnover and, accordingly, revenues.

7. Ratio of reservations

One of the most important customer analytics for restaurants, especially high-end and hotel restaurants, is the ratio of reservations.

Many restaurants use restaurant table management software like SerVme to help customers make reservations online or via phone.

Bonus tip: To increase the average number of reservations, make sure you offer easy-to-access booking and flexible reservation and cancellation policies. You can do so using SerVme. 

8. Ratio of cancellations

Not everyone who makes a reservation will come. So, it’s equally important to measure the average number of cancellations during the same time frame.

Cancellations work in two ways:

  • If there are few cancellations, your revenue shouldn’t be severely affected.

  • If there are many cancellations, you may want to uncover the reason behind them or offer less-flexible cancellation policies.

9. Average number of complaints received

Last but certainly not least is the average number of complaints received in your restaurant. You can review this metric by location, on busy days, or during a rush.

Wrapping it up

In 2022, the out-of-home dining market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region was valued at $44.8 billion. This figure is forecast to nearly double to $81.82 billion by 2028. Between 2023 and 2028, the out-of-home dining market is set to grow by 10.66%. (Research and Markets)

To be part of this thriving industry, you should measure in-house restaurant data analytics. This helps you not only maintain but also constantly and consistently improve quality across your restaurant and chain.

Need help measuring several analytics from this list? Then, check out SerVme, the guest experience and restaurant management software that helps restaurant managers like you gather and analyze data to improve-decision making.

Posted by :

Mohammed Rafy